Matthew Cassar June 29 2022 Peace of mind for Malta's yachting industry: Transport Malta issues new guidelines Fenech & Fenech Advocates | Shipping & Transport - Malta Matthew Cassar Shipping & Transport ApplicabilityTender design categories and equipment requirementsRequirements and insuranceSurveysCommercial yacht extended range tender certificateComment On 10 May 2022, the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta released its second commercial yachting notice pursuant to which it informed the yachting industry of its Commercial Yachts Extended Range Tender Guidelines (the Guidelines), issued on the same day.ApplicabilityThe Guidelines shall be read in conjunction with the requirements of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code (CYC) and will be applicable only to Malta flag commercial yacht tenders that:have a hull length of less than or equal to 24 metres;are designed as an appurtenance; andfall under the registration certificate of the mother yacht.The Guidelines clarify that extended range tenders which are also designated as the yacht's rescue boat must meet the CYC rescue boat requirements. The rescue boat/tender is to operate only up to six nautical miles from the mother yacht and is to be stowed onboard the mother yacht. In the event of any conflict between the Guidelines and the CYC rescue boat requirements, the stricter requirements shall always prevail. Extended range tenders shall be engaged solely and exclusively in the business of the mother yacht.The Guidelines took effect on 1 June 2022 and existing extended range tenders must comply with the Guidelines no later than the mother yacht's first periodical survey on or after 1 June 2022.Tender design categories and equipment requirementsThe Guidelines list four design categories of tenders classified in terms of the tender's capability to withstand wind force and significant wave height.The Guidelines also establish the minimum equipment required onboard extended range tenders, depending on the operational distance from the mother yacht. These technical requirements must be met at all times.Requirements and insuranceThe Guidelines lay down various requirements with respect to extended range tenders that must be applied in conjunction with the requirements set out in article 22 of the CYC. Across the requirements laid down by the Guidelines, they outline that extended range tenders are to be adequately and safely manned without jeopardising the safe manning of the mother yacht. Further, crew onboard the extended range tender shall, at least, hold a valid nautical licence and be adequately experienced and trained. The tender shall never carry more than 12 passengers and it shall never exceed the maximum number of persons shown on the European conformity (CE) builder's plate for designed category B or A tenders.Extended range tenders shall be certified in accordance with the EU Recreational Craft Directive(1) to a minimum of design category B. Such CE certified tenders must be issued with a builder's declaration of conformity. The Guidelines state that other types of internationally recognised tender certification regimes may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.Extended range tenders must also have adequate mooring arrangements, an anchor and an anchor cable appropriate for the size of the tender. The tenders shall also be fitted with safe and strong handholds and safe seating arrangements. However, the Guidelines clarify that railing and inflatable tubes shall not be considered parts of the seating arrangements.The Guidelines regulate that the extended range tenders shall be issued with adequate insurance coverage that should at least cover third-party liabilities. The insurance may form part of the mother yacht's insurance policy.SurveysThe Guidelines also establish the requirements with respect to surveying extended range tenders. The extended range tenders shall be surveyed in conjunction with the mother yacht during the mother yacht's initial/renewal survey. Tenders shall also be surveyed:during the mother yacht's intermediate survey, for mother yachts that have a registered length of less than 24 metres; andduring the mother yacht's second- and third-year annual surveys for mother yachts that have a registered length that is more than or equal to 24 metres.Existing extended range tenders shall be surveyed by the same appointed surveyor of the mother yacht and the survey may be carried out outside the mother yacht's survey window, following which the surveys with respect to the tender are to be aligned with the mother yacht's survey window. The outcome of the survey shall be included within the mother yacht's survey report and the tenders are to be mentioned within the certificate of compliance of the mother yacht.Commercial yacht extended range tender certificateThe Guidelines provide that upon satisfactory completion of the surveys, the attending surveyor shall issue a commercial yacht extended tender survey report using a dedicated Transport Malta report. Transport Malta will release a commercial yacht extended range tender certificate upon receiving the commercial yacht extended tender survey report together with a copy of the tender's certification and a copy of the tender's builder's declaration of conformity. The certificate will be issued upon the payment of the necessary fee.Comment The Guidelines epitomise Malta's proactive and sophisticated approach to ensuring adequate safety and regulation of Malta's commercial yachting fleet. The establishment of the Guidelines suits the yachting industry as it ensures that extended range tenders meet the basic procedural and safety requirements set out therein. Without meeting such requirements, an extended range tender will not be issued a commercial yacht extended range tender certificate in terms of the Guidelines. Indeed, through the Guidelines the Merchant Shipping Directorate has extended its reach further in terms of establishing a flag that places regulation and safety at the forefront and thereby provides clarity and peace of mind to all industry players.For further information on this topic please contact Matthew Cassar at Fenech & Fenech Advocates by telephone (+356 2124 1232) or email ([email protected]). The Fenech & Fenech website can be accessed at www.fenechlaw.com.Endnotes(1) 2013/53/EU.