Superyacht insurance law specialist, Daniel Crockford represented event sponsor Keystone Law at the recently staged Superyacht UK AGM in Falmouth, which convened over 80 members from across the UK’s diverse luxury yacht sector.

Figures published from the AGM show that the British market is enjoying relatively strong YoY growth – 3.9 per cent to be precise. And this has generated jobs for 3,500 people and a combined market turnover of £460 million.

Commenting on the vibrancy of the British sector, Crockford said:

“Although not the tropical venue that some may expect when thinking about superyacht conferences, the choice of Falmouth was the perfect place to evidence why the UK has become a centre of excellence for the superyacht industry. The AGM took place at the National Maritime Museum, which celebrates the UK’s long maritime history and, looking to the future, is in striking distance of shipyards such as Pendennis, Cockwells and Rustler Yachts, all of which the AGM attendees were lucky enough to have a look around.

“Pendennis in particular, is going from strength to strength.  The yard, with its recent developments, including the creation of two 90m and one 45m construction sheds, is world class and with the recent running of the Pendennis Cup, now in its fourth year, Pendennis have organised an event that is now a firm fixture on the superyacht calendar.”

The Pendennis facility in Falmouth.

Crockford was however, keen to reiterate a word of caution raised at the meeting, with regards MLC 2006, which he said had led to some detentions since its August 2013 implementations.

“An issue that we have seen arising from these breaches is the question as to who is responsible for compliance with the regulations.  Under the convention it is the ‘shipowner’ who is responsible, but ‘shipowner’ can include the owner, charterer, manager or agent.  We would recommend that you ensure that all contracts, such as charterparty and management contracts, clearly deal with the issue of responsibility.

“We would also recommend that owners check that any potential liabilities under the convention are sufficiently covered by your insurance cover.”

There was praise though, for the effective lobbying process that has lead to the delay of MARPOL Tier III implementation for yachts under 500GT to 1 January 2021. As this category would encompass production heavyweights Princess and Sunseeker, the foreseeable delay is most welcome for the UK industry body. Furthermore, “This will allow many within the industry, such as builders, engine manufacturers, classification societies and specialist catalyst manufacturers more time to consider, and get to grips with, the implications of these regulations on yacht design and build”, Crockford added.

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