Yacht Engaged in Trade (YET) - Compliance Explained

Posted: 4th November 2015 | Written by: Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson BW

Yacht Engaged in Trade or YET, the new initiative by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Registry, was the hot topic of the moment when launched at Monaco Yacht Show 2015. The initiative certainly raised some eyebrows while also receiving a significant number of nods.

“ …I can see the benefit to the owner – but it’s a little restrictive” was the most common soundbite that we were hearing.

“…Can’t believe that MLC 2006 convention is not required if the yacht can charter!...” was also mentioned.

Although we do not speak on behalf of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Registry (RMI), Mark Robinson Maritime Consultants (MRMC) are Appointed Representatives to the RMI and as such have a clear understanding of the compliance regimes when looking at the survey requirements for a yacht to enter the YET initiative.

We hope to bring clarity, from a compliance perspective, on some of the questions, confusions and purpose of YET as raised during the show. But please note that in no way are we tax, vat, import and export specialists and do not address any questions pertaining to these areas.

YET - The Basics

The yacht must be 24m or more in Loadline length

The yacht must be in possession of an RMI Private Yacht Certificate of Registry

YET - Maritime Compliance

The (YET) yacht must comply with the applicable chapters of the MI 103 (RMI yacht code – 10/15 edition). For ease of understanding this incorporates ALL the mandated information and instruction to gain commercial compliance irrespective of the yacht being in possession of a Private Yacht Certificate of Registry.

For example, let’s look at a yacht that is 400 gross tonnes and above, but less that 500 gross tonnes.

To break this down, the yacht must be appropriately surveyed and be issued with the following statutory certificates; an International Loadline certificate, an International Sewage Pollution Prevention certificate, an International Oil Pollution Prevention certificate + form A, an International Air Pollution Prevention certificate + supplement, an Engine International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate, an International Anti-Fouling System certificate, an International Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate, an International Energy Efficiency certificate and be inspected and found to comply with ALL requirements of MLC, 2006.

Suffice to say, the yacht must comply with all the pertinent requirements contained within MI-103 and all other national and international requirements and be fully commercially compliant at all times, whether ‘engaged in trade’ or not – there is no wiggle room on this.

MSMC, Wreck Convention (300GT), Mini ISM and hours of rest all come into play as well, to name but a few of the additional requirements you would expect for a commercially compliant yacht. Obviously for yachts 500GT and above, ISM and ISPS code compliance is mandatory.

YET - Maritime Compliance continued

The yacht cannot carry more than 12 passengers whilst ‘engaged in trade’

Private yachts carrying a Yacht Engaged in Trade Compliance Certificate (YETCC) and operating under a temporary Certificate of Registry - Yacht Engaged in Trade (COR YET) - national certificates issued by the Administrator - can be considered by EU PSC authorities (within the Paris MOU) as a commercial yacht for the purposes of compliance and ultimate inspection.

YET - The Benefit

Whilst at the moment, the waters in which a YET can be enabled as ‘Engaged in Trade” is limited to French and Monegasque, it does mean that the UBO does not have to raise a charter party agreement to use his/her own yacht (as if it were commercially operated). However, it must be noted that whilst the yacht is in this commercial ‘bubble’ for whatever length of time the COR YET is in place (limited to a total of 84 days per year – and not consecutively), the UBO cannot use their yacht.

Complete fiscal transparency – ‘Flip/Flop’ is not part of this initiative and importing/exporting the yacht to meet these sometimes complex requirements is a thing of the past.

Clearly, the YET initiative is not for everybody, nor should it be.

What it does do, is offer an alternative to the norm, freeing the owner to enjoy their asset as intended, free of the bureaucratic red tape that can easily dissuade the most earnest of yacht owners from trying to recoup some of the running costs associated with the joy of boating.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands has just released Marine Guidelines notice MG-1-11-2 detailing the exact YET requirements and ‘The RMI Yacht Code’ MI-103 has been released to reflect this new YET initiative.

For more information on how the YET initiative may work for you contact Mark Robinson, Master Mariner & Principal Surveyor of Mark Robinson Maritime Consultants (MRMC).

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