As of October 2015, the 3rd edition of the Commercial Yacht Code 2015 has become applicable (the Code).

The Code has been drafted by the Malta Transport Centre’s Merchant Shipping Directorate, (the Administration), taking into consideration consultations with yacht repair yards, specialised service providers and manufacturers, recognised organisations, appointed surveyors, a number of yacht management companies and the professional yachtsman association, in order to obtain a wider perspective of the industry.

The Code essentially sets out the required standards of safety, pollution and crew welfare, which are appropriate for the type and size of the yacht.

According to the Code, existing yachts whose keel has been laid prior to the coming to force of this Code, shall comply by not later than the first periodical survey that is carried out after 1st October 2015.

In regards to commercial yachts that have already been certified, the Administration will possibly accept existing arrangements and equipment, given they do not constitute safety hazards and cause pollution. Upon replacing such hazardous equipment or arrangements, the replacements should however conform to the criteria defined by the Code. More specifically, the Code especially provides for yachts engaged in commercial operations and which carry a maximum of 12 passengers.

Surveyors and recognised organisations have been appointed by the Administration to conduct surveys and certification relating to the Code, as well as an oversight programme to ensure execution of these delegated services. After the appropriate survey and inspections are concluded, a certificate of compliance to trade as a commercial yacht will be awarded to the yacht conforming to the standards set out in the Code.

The Code additionally outlines the standards acceptable by the Member States of the European community for yachts eligible to fly the flag of other EU Member States. The Administration can still conduct an onboard evaluation, however as a general rule, the Commission of the European Communities’ general mutual recognition clause applies.

The Code is continually updated to keep up with the application of any new legislation and international principles and to reflect innovative technologies and feedback by the yachting industry’s stakeholders. Additionally, Flag State Inspections (FSI) may be conducted from time to time on board yachts in any port if the Administration deems necessary, in which case yacht masters/owners/managers are required to comply with any attending Port State Control Inspector. In accordance with mandatory reporting requirements, the Owner, Operator, or Master of a yacht are also required to quickly report any marine accident or occurrence to the Marine Safety Investigation Unit.

You can view the complete Code in the following link: http://www.transport.gov.mt/admin/uploads/media-library/files/CYC%202015.pdf.

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