According to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) work is underway to update the RMI Yacht Code. Taking input from across the registry’s specialist teams, as well as external experts, a revised version of the code is expected to be ready in the first half of 2021.
“We hope that these amendments to the Code will make it more practical than ever before for owners and yards to choose the Marshall Islands as a building standard,” comments Marc Verburg, fleet operations manager yachts for International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI), who is leading the code revision.
The newly formed Yacht Technical Working Group (YTWG), which includes representatives from Classification Societies, yacht mangers, naval architects, surveyors, maritime safety consultants, and aviation experts is focussed on updated the code to reflect changes in today’s yacht market, such as helicopter landing areas, structural fire protection measures for yachts under 500gt, and lifesaving appliances.
According to the RMI team, the growing trend for helidecks on larger superyachts means that the approach to firefighting systems is in need of a review. Currently, the applied firefighting rules are based on the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority’s CAP 437 guidance, which is intended for offshore platforms. As such, this standard has not always been a practical solution for yachts, and so a goal-based standard is currently being developed and reviewed.
“The pop-up deck spray nozzles found on rig helipad firefighting systems are not always feasible on a yacht, so we’re looking at alternative means that can perform the task just as well,” explains Verburg.
“Although we are not the largest yacht registry by size, we focus our attention on quality and our ability to provide a 24/7 problem solving service,” says Patrick Bachofner, director of IRI’s Geneva office and worldwide director of Yachts.
According to the team, the appeal of RMI lies in the differentiations in the standards for yachts capable of carrying more than 12 guests. Large private yachts do not have to be built to the same specifications as are provided in the Code, Chapter III for passenger yachts. The RMI allows, through its national legislation and the Code, the registration of commercial yachts, private yachts, private yachts limited charter (PYLCs), and passenger yachts (PAXYs). It also allows for RMI-flagged private yachts to charter in French and Monégasque waters without the need for commercial registration by requesting a Temporary Certificate of Registry for Yacht Engaged in Trade.
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