New Year, New Regulations

Jan 17, 2023 by Capt. Jake DesVergers

As of Jan. 1, 2023, these requirements for all yachts — private, limited charter, and commercial — take effect.

As the New Year starts, it brings a chance for the various regulatory bodies to bring us a new set of requirements to understand and implement. We will see several new rules enter into force at the start of 2023. Below is a summary of what will affect new and existing yachts.

MARPOL: Amendments to Annex VI and the EEXI

Applies to all yachts: private, limited charter, and commercial.

The Energy Efficiency eXisting ship Index (EEXI) is a measure introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The required EEXI value is determined by several factors, including ship type, capacity, and method of propulsion. The EEXI must be calculated for the individual ship or yacht; it cannot be determined for a series of the same vessels (i.e. sister yachts).

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, an EEXI technical file must be on board yachts of 400 GT and greater. The EEXI calculation with supporting documentation must be submitted to the yacht’s flag state and/or class society for review and approval. Those yachts already in possession of an IEE certificate must undergo a new survey.

[Editor’s note: In response to questions about the above amendments, readers are reminded to seek guidance from their specific flag state. While the MARPOL regulation requires all vessels over 400 GT to comply, applicability and compliance is implemented differently by each flag state, and at their discretion.]

Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention: Amendments to bottom paint

Applies to all yachts: private, limited charter, and commercial.

Any AFS containing the chemical known as cybutryne shall not be applied or reapplied to the hull of any ship or yacht on or after Jan. 1, 2023.

Ships and yachts with cybutryne paint shall either remove it or apply a sealer that prevents leaching. This action shall be completed no later than the next scheduled renewal survey, but no later than 60 months following the last application of bottom paint.

Yachts of less than 400 GT may be exempted if the Coastal State where the yacht is located agrees.

U.S. Coast Guard: Continued enforcement of bareboat charters

Applies to all yachts in U.S. waters: private, limited charter, and commercial.

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to implement an aggressive program to eliminate illegal charters. Multiple voyages have been terminated. In some cases, legal action was taken against the operator. Penalties ranged from monetary fines and probation to prison time.

According to the USCG, there are seven distinct elements required to have a valid bareboat charter operation:

  1. Crew choice: The charterer selects the crew. The yacht’s owner may provide a list of qualified captains (typically three or more) for the charterer to select from or the charterer can find their own crew.
  2. Crew pay: The captain and crew shall be paid by the charterer.
  3. Provisions: All food, fuel, and stores are provided by the charterer.
  4. Expenses: All port and pilotage fees are paid by the charterer.
  5. Insurance: Coverage is obtained by the charterer, at least to the extent of covering liability not included in the owner’s insurance.
  6. Crew termination: The charterer may discharge, for cause, the captain or any crew without approval from the yacht’s beneficial owner.
  7. Inspection: The vessel is surveyed upon delivery and return to the owner.

Capt. Jake DesVergers is Chief Surveyor for International Yacht Bureau (IYB), which provides flag state inspection services to private and commercial yachts on behalf of several flag state administrations.

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