MYBA, the Worldwide Yachting Association, founded in 1984 by a group of prominent yacht brokers, aims to promote standards of professionalism and ethics in the yachting industry throughout the Mediterranean and worldwide. Since its origins, the association has been gaining momentum and has adopted an increasingly influential role in the superyacht industry, but many owners seem to be unaware of what it does, or even its significance.

This year’s AGM saw MYBA appoint a new president, Fiona Maureso of Northrop and Johnson France, and a new vice-president, Jacqui Lockhart of Select Charter Services Villefranche, and the association has also announced a new marketing campaign and re-branding for 2014. “Owners don’t know us well enough and I believe that they don’t know what we do,” explains Cora Tracey, MYBA’s general secretary. “A good part of that is our fault because in the past our previous boards have preferred to keep a fairly low profile, but this is changing. I think the way things were unfolding, we all began to realise that we couldn’t stay low profile. If you want to lobby, it’s not enough to lobby, you have to let people know that’s what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve. We have done a lot of things in the past, but we didn’t talk about it. There are many people, amongst them owners, who don’t understand that it was the MYBA members who wrote the MYBA Sales and Purchase Memorandum of Agreement and the MYBA Charter Agreement. Despite several challenges over the years, these documents are now considered industry-standard contracts, showing that they can do a good job defending the interests of all parties."

MYBA President Fiona Maureso

Breaking down MYBA’s principal aims and achievements, Tracey explains that it primarily comes down to maintaining standards across the industry. “Some people believe that they can charter a big boat by themselves or via a concierge or travel agent,” she acknowledges. “But the day that something goes wrong with that deal, they don’t have a broker to negotiate on their behalf. MYBA is about the added value of the broker, good business practices and encouraging members to do things in a certain way. That’s why, for example, on our database that used to be MYBAnet, now YACHTFOLIO, we have a really rigorous vetting procedure where we ask for a lot of documents. The main guarantee of MYBA to our clients, charterers, brokers and owners is that anybody who is on YACHTFOLIO, or who is a MYBA member, has professional indemnity insurance. That is something you would expect every company to have anyway but they often don’t.”

"MYBA’s ultimate objective would be to see a harmonised rate of VAT across Europe, harmonised documentation, and harmonised interpretation and application of all legislation."

“Another of MYBA’s concerns is ensuring that the high professional standards that we represent are carried through to the next generation of brokers,” adds Fiona Maureso.  “We are therefore working hard to engage with our younger members, encouraging them to take a more active role in the association. Our new marketing campaign will also encompass more presence on social networks, which we realise plays an important part in reaching out to the young.”

For the future, MYBA is also set on increasing its influence on fiscal matters at a European level. “We are funding the European Boating Industry (EBI) to research, inform us, educate us and to do the lobbying at the EU Commission,” Tracey explains. “The problem is on three levels; there is the European legislation, then national interpretation and application, and then there is local interpretation and application. MYBA’s ultimate objective would be to see a harmonised rate of VAT across Europe, harmonised documentation, and harmonised interpretation and application of all legislation. It is an ambitious objective but that is what we intend to work towards eventually. As the yachting industry’s language is primarily English, it would be wonderful to see one final set of paperwork in English that you encounter everywhere for yacht charters. It may seem rather utopian, but if everyone keeps working towards that goal, speaking with one voice in the industry, then perhaps we will achieve it.”

Timeline of important milestones for MYBA:

1984: MYBA is founded originally as the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association.
1986: 1st MYBA Sales and Purchase Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) distributed.
1988: 1st MYBA Charter Agreement distributed.
1998: MYBAnet launches in live test mode – the site went official and was invoiced in              2000.
2004: French Commercial Yacht Status VAT exemption driven by MYBA.
2007: MYBA goes global and changes its name to MYBA The Worldwide Yachting                    Association.
2008: Close work with FYBA and AYCA on standardisation of the terms of charter                    contracts between the associations. The AYCA Charter Contract now mirrors                 many of the clauses of the MYBA Charter Agreement and evolves alongside the           regular revisions of the latter.
2009: MYBA joins ICOMIA with access to IMO and funds a consultant to attend all the              meetings.
2013: New YACHTFOLIO Charter launch replacing MYBAnet’s old technology.
2013: MYBA affiliation with EBI, funding work and lobbying at EU level to represent and           defend the interests of the superyacht segment.
2013: A MYBA delegation met in Brussels with the EU to discuss its input to the EU                 Greenhouse Gas Emissions policy consultation followed by participation at other           events.
2014: MYBA supports and invests in the Palma Superyacht Show.

Profile links

MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association)

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