The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator (hereinafter, the “Administrator”) recently published the revised RMI Yacht Code (MI-103). The Yacht Code (hereinafter, the “Code”) was revised to reflect changes in today’s yacht market, not only in terms of the increasing size and complexity of yachts being designed and built, but also to cover recent industry developments such as technology, new international conventions coming into force and port State control (PSC) inspection of yachts. The Code replaces the previous RMI Commercial Yacht Code in its entirety. The Code applies to all commercial yachts of 24 meters in loadline length and above and certain sections of the Code apply to Private Yachts Limited Charter (PYLC) of any tonnage. The Code sets the standards and substantial equivalencies for safety, security, pollution prevention and seafarer accommodations appropriate to the size of the yacht.
Substantive changes to the Code include the Administrator’s requirement that all commercial yachts, regardless of tonnage, must be classed by a Recognized Organization (RO) or Classification Society. The Administrator will continue to recognize Appointed Representatives (ARs) for the issuance of international statutory convention documents on unclassed yachts. Two such Appointed Representatives (ARs) already have agreements in place with the Administrator: United Maritime Survey and Regs4yachts (a trading name of Regs4ships Ltd.).
A notable change is that the Code no longer has a size limitation and is applicable to commercial yachts and PYLCs of unlimited tonnage. With respect to survey and inspection requirements, changes include an initial, annual and renewal Compliance Verification (inspection) for commercial yachts and PYLCs and the issuance of an RMI national compliance certificate for a commercial yacht or PYLC. For those yachts that have been issued a Commercial or Private Yacht Document of Compliance, either a Commercial Yacht Compliance Certificate or PYLC Compliance Certificate will be issued by the Administrator following the next annual Compliance Verification.
“We are pleased and excited to launch the revised Code,” said Marc Verburg, Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs. “The Code is now more in line with current practices within the yacht industry and pulls together new convention requirements like the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006,” continued Mr. Verburg. “We look forward to industry feedback and hope for a smooth transition for existing yachts in the Registry,” concluded Mr. Verburg.
The Administrator remains firmly committed to ensuring full compliance with both national and international requirements with respect to safety, security and protection of the marine environment. The Administrator is submitting the Code to the IMO and requests industry feedback to further enhance the provisions of the Code.