The captain's powers, which go beyond navigation, guiding the crew of the ship and representing the interests of the shipowner, are analyzed as a special type of delegation, not so much transferring power, authority or responsibility but more as posing special tasks for the captain, providing means for their execution, and determining responsibility.
At the same time, the performance by the captain of certain functions (certification of birth, death, will) still does not make him a civil servant, an official representing the state. The captain only certifies some emergency events, but does not carry out their state registration, without power-administrative authorities. The captain of a sea-going vessel does not have the status of a state civil servant, is not listed as «special subjects» (Chapter 52 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). Thus, the captain of a Russian merchant ship, having no state-power authority, can only conditionally be considered a "universal authority", with the application of this concept exclusively within the framework of doctrinal analysis, i.e. in quotation marks.
Keywords: sea vessel captain, delegation, authority, universal authority.