The MCA has written a new draft IPV Code (intended pleasure vessels) in conjunction with British Marine, the RYA and the YDSA, which reduces regulatory and economic burdens on marine businesses. It also helps to ensure that operators of pleasure vessels in temporary commercial use are operating on the right side of the law.
There are a number of scenarios where a pleasure vessel is operated outside of its legal definition:
When a vessel is wholly owned by an individual or individuals, and at the time it is in use it is not “used only for the sport or pleasure of the owner or the immediate family or friends of the owner”.
When a vessel is owned by a body corporate and at the time it is in use it is not “used only for sport or pleasure, and on which the persons on board are employees or officers of the body corporate, or their immediate family or friends”.
When a vessel is not “on a voyage or excursion which is one for which the owner does not receive money for or in connection with operating the vessel or carrying any person, other than as a contribution to the direct expenses of the operation of the vessel incurred during the voyage or excursion”.
Each of these mean the vessel is being used outside of the legal definition of a pleasure vessel and it is therefore in commercial use.
When the vessel is in commercial use, currently there are only two options to enable legal operation:
1. Code the vessel for the relevant commercial use, such as MGN 280 or the workboat code
2. Gain a ‘load line exemption’ from the MCA for the vessel and its journey
These can be costly and often require changes to be made to the vessel.
How will the new IPV Code affect delivery trips?
Delivery trips can generally be split into three categories:
1. Delivery trip on behalf of the manufacturer/distributor/company (ie. the vessel is still owned by a company)
2. Delivery trip on behalf of an owner (ie. the vessel is wholly owned by an individual or individuals)
3. Delivery trip to change location for commercial purposes eg. a change in charter location
Delivery trip on behalf of the manufacturer/distributor/company:
Due to the fact that the vessel is intended as a pleasure vessel and wouldn’t normally be in commercial operation, but is for a single journey, the new IPV code would be applicable.
Delivery trip on behalf of an owner:
For the second example, as the vessel is owned by an individual or individuals and the delivery trip is simply to move the vessel’s location for the owner, it is seen that this is still for the sport or leisure of the owner, his immediate family or friends, and therefore the vessel is still under the definition of pleasure vessel and not a commercial operation.
Delivery trip to change location for commercial purposes:
For the third example, the vessel is under normal operation and therefore in commercial use, so the it should be fully commercially coded for the journey or have a load line exemption for the specific journey/vessel. The vessel cannot be taken out of ‘commercial use’ and the new IPV code applied for the single journey, enabling the vessel to be relocated for its next commercial activity.
NOTE: British Marine and the MCA will be holding a workshop with a Q&A session at the YachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show, sponsored by PKF Francis Clark and the SMG Group:
When: Friday 14 September, 17.30 - 19.00pm
Where: Members and Exhibitors Lounge