In November 2016, SuperyachtNews announced that The Red Ensign Group (REG) had begun the process of developing a new regulatory framework that consolidates the Large Yacht Code (LY3) and the Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) to better regulate the needs of the superyacht community. We speak exclusively to Jo Assael, senior surveyor and yacht codes specialist for the Cayman Registry, about the code itself and the progress that has been made by the appointed working groups thus far.

“This project aims to make the code more usable. We are going to to write in greater flexibility so naval architects, designers and owners can get what they want out of a superyacht and write in standards that reflect how modern superyachts are being built,” starts Assael. “This project is also an update on consistency and terminology.”

To date, the REG has been hosting a number of working groups through which it hopes to ascertain what the industry itself hopes to see change. Various working groups have been created, spanning LY3, PYC, helicopter landing areas and passenger limits. It is important to note that the consolidation of LY3 and PYC is not a merging of the two, it simply brings them in line with one another in a more cogent format.

“The four groups have been working since January with several meetings having been held for each. We have engaged with as much of the industry as possible, taking the working groups to Pisa, Amsterdam, London ,and locally, in Southampton” continues Assael. “We are trying to ensure that we get the greatest possible output from these meetings and elsewhere from those who haven’t been able to attend.”

The consolidation of the codes has not been without its critics, especially from those who bemoan increasing regulation. “There are always those who feel we are just regulating for the sake of regulating,” explains Assael. “This is not an attempt to increase regulation, we are creating a modern platform for addressing today’s regulatory framework. This will make complying with regulations easier. If we, and other flag states, didn’t provide codes, then internationally trading vessels would need to be fully compliant with SOLAS, load line, STCW and the MLC. I doubt this is something that many people want.”

Next on the agenda for the creation of the new REG Code, if the REG hopes to meet its original deadline of the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show, is drawing the working groups to a close and analysing the proposed changes that have been explored therein. After which a special session will be called for the REG to decide which amendments are appropriate and feasible. Assael is eager to highlight that the end of the working groups does not mean an end to input. “This is by no means a closed door, we intend to take advice on issues for as long as we may,” he says.

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