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The new Red Ensign Group Yacht Code comes into effect 01 January 2019

The new Red Ensign Group (REG) Yacht Code will officially be implemented on 01 January 2019. The REG, a group of British Shipping Registers made up of the UK, its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, developed this new code to consolidate and replace the existing Large Yacht Code 3 (LY3) and Passenger Yacht Code, to increase usability and flexibility. In order to give the superyacht industry ample time to prepare for its 2019 implementation, the new code was first published in November 2017.

The new REG Yacht Code is not only applicable to new yachts that have their keels laid after 01 January 2019, but also to any yachts that currently fly the REG flag, which will have to comply ahead of their first flag compliance survey after 01 January 2019.
The REG Yacht Code is split into three sections:

Part A

This section replaces LY3 and will remain applicable to yachts over 24m in Load Line Length, that are in commercial use or certified to a commercial standard and do not carry more than 12 passengers.

Part B

Replacing the latest version of the Passenger Yacht Code, this section covers all yachts, both private and engaged in trade, that are certified to carry between 13 and 36 passengers.

Common Annexes

The common annexes are the requirements that are relevant to both parts of the yacht code therefore are applicable to all yachts. As well as the guidelines extracted from previous versions of the yacht codes, there are also sections dedicated to battery systems, emergency training and drills, over-side rails and helicopter landing areas and operations.

Yacht exterior hand rails


Within Part A & Part B there are sections that detail the various requirements where all existing and new yachts will have to comply. These range from the requirements for a recovery of persons from the water plan, to certification of fire treatment of material, as well as the implementation of recent requirements of SOLAS like firefighter’s radios, Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System, portable atmosphere testing instruments and detailed direction on the requirements for emergency drills.

All three parts of the yacht code have been updated to include the latest requirements from the International Maritime Organization and, where appropriate, the wording or direction has been adjusted to make it clearer and more defined. The intention is that the code will set the standard for industry best practise, which will inevitably mean, that like LY3, it will be considered as the standard where other flag yacht codes are compared against.

For yachts with their keels laid after 01 January 2019, there are some structural changes to be included along with the above items such as the removal of fixed carbon dioxide firefighting systems in the engine room and the testing and compliance of over-side working systems.

Although the deadline for all yachts currently sailing under a REG flag or another flag following a REG Yacht Code is the first compliance survey after 01 January 2019, there is the possibility of phasing in the new requirements. With several years of experience in all aspects of flag and yacht code compliance, Ocean Management can assist in providing a reasoned implementation plan for consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact us or email to discuss your requirements.

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