Republic of the Marshall Islands Updates its Yacht Code
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Yacht Code (the “Code”) has been updated and amended making it more pragmatic than ever for modern and innovative owners and shipyards to choose the RMI as a building standard. The Code was first published in 2013 and this is the most significant update to the Code since then. The 2021 Code revisions incorporate all previously issued supplements as well as additional technical and safety updates to address the building requirements of today’s yachts.
Key changes and updates include:
- •new requirements for modern design elements such as underwater glazing for observation lounges and glazed bulwarks;
- •helicopter landing areas (Annex 2 of the Code) revised throughout with alternative standards for firefighting;
- •shipyards now have the possibility to apply for a Helicopter Landing Area Technical Certificate (HLATC) issued by an Aviation Inspection Body (AIB);
- •a more practical approach for submersible launching;
- •a practical approach to structural fire protection for Category 2 yachts;
- •modified rescue boat requirements to provide a practical alternative standard for yachts < 500 gross tons;
- •updated radio equipment requirements;
- •modified firefighting appliances to provide alternative standards when taking the typical size of the yacht into consideration; and
- •safe working practices for working over the side and man-riding cranes were clarified and addressed to meet national requirements.
International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI), who provide administrative and technical support to the RMI Maritime and Corporate Registries, organized an RMI Yacht Technical Working Group (YTWG) to make recommended amendments to the Code. Marc Verburg, IRI’s Fleet Operations Manager, Yachts, led the YTWG whose members consisted of representatives from the RMI Registry, Classification Societies, yacht managers, naval architects, surveyors, maritime safety consultants, and aviation experts. The Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) was also instrumental in the review of the amendments to the Code.
“It was a privilege to work with such a global team of experts. The Registry truly appreciates their assistance with the amendments to the Code which now further reflects the recent changes in the market, from a practical approach to helicopter landing areas and facilities to the use of glass without compromising safety,” said Marc Verburg. “The 2021 version of the Code allows builders and designers to create innovative and safe superyachts to a practical standard,” he continued.
In 2020 SYBAss members were responsible for the construction of almost 60% of 40 meter or more yachts delivered worldwide. “We are an innovative industry which embraces new technologies and materials, so we’re pleased to see this reflected in this forward-looking update of the Code. It takes a practical approach to the requirements of the superyacht industry and is fully aligned with the mission of the International Maritime Organization,” said Lorenzo Pollicardo, Technical and Environmental Director, SYBAss.
“The RMI offers many options for yacht owners in terms of registration and operation through the various chapters of the Code,” said Patrick Bachofner, IRI’s Director, Geneva Office and Worldwide Director, Yachts. “The practical amendments brought forward in this revision to the Code once again set the RMI yacht registry apart from others.”