Personal information charter

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency holds personal data relating to seafarers, ship owners and agents and members of the public who have voluntarily registered their vessels.

We know how important it is to protect your privacy and to comply with the Data Protection Act.

If we ask for your personal information we will:

  • let you know why we need it;
  • only ask for what we need, and not collect excessive or irrelevant information;
  • make sure nobody has access to it who should not;
  • let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you better public services, and whether you can say no;

  • only keep it for as long as we need to;
  • not make it available for commercial use without your permission.

In return, to help us keep your information reliable and up to date, we ask you to:

  • give us accurate information;
  • tell us as soon as possible of any changes, such as a new address.

How to find out what personal information we hold about you

If you want to find out if we hold any personal information about you, you can make a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to;
  • let you have a copy of the information in a form that is as clear and understandable as possible.

Please be as specific as you can about the information you want, and, if it isn’t obvious, explain why you expect us to hold your personal information. To make a subject access request email us:

Note: there can be a charge of £10 for this information.

When we share information

We may share personal information within our organisation or with other bodies if it would be compatible with the purpose for which we collected it, and/or where we need to, or are permitted to do so by law.

There are some cases where we can pass on your information without telling you; for example to prevent or detect crime or to produce anonymised statistics. In all cases – whether data is shared internally or externally – we will act within the Data Protection Act and other law.

Who we share information with and why

The training and guidance we give to our staff

All of our staff are trained in the importance of protecting personal and other sensitive information. Anyone working with large volumes of personal data, receives more in-depth training and takes refresher training each year. Managers who have formal responsibilities for large datasets receive more training.

How to make a complaint

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your personal information and want to make a complaint, please write to the Information Legislation Team:

Information Assurance
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Bay 3/08
Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
SO15 1EG


We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and send you a full response within 20 working days. If we can’t respond fully in this time, we will write and let you know why and tell you when you should get a full response.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, contact:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire, SK9 5AF