The new yacht code from the Red Ensign Group (REG) was unveiled this week in Amsterdam at the Superyacht Forum at METSTRADE.

During its launch it was stated that the REG Yacht Code has taken account of all the experience gained after nearly 20 years of regulating the large yacht sector since the first version was published by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) in 1997. This new code combines the existing Large Yacht Code 3 and the Passenger Yacht Code into one. It enters into force on January 1, 2019.

In its new format, the code includes two parts with common annexes – such as for over-side working systems, sailing vessels and helicopter landing areas.

“In the superyacht sector, the Red Ensign is the flag of choice and its yacht code is the international standard for yacht construction and operation. This represents a lot of work over many months and includes many innovative measures to meet the specific needs of the Large Yacht Sector. The Red Ensign Group has made a point of listening to the industry to create this code and all of us will continue to listen to help support the industry to get ready for it as it comes into force,” Alan Massey, CEO of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said.

“We wanted to make the code more usable and wrote in greater flexibility so that naval architects, designers and owners can get what they want out of a superyacht. It was important to make sure that we are regulating for today and not for how yachts were being built when this code first came out in 1997,” Jo Assael, Senior Surveyor and Yacht Code Specialist for the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, commented.

“Although the codes remain mostly the same, we want to make sure that within this prescriptive framework, we have equivalent arrangement clauses. These support innovation and point to alternative SOLAS design routes as an alternative which would be just as safe as the prescriptive one,” Assael added.

The Red Ensign Group (REG) is a group of British shipping registers. It is made up from the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and the UK Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and the Turks & Caicos Islands) which operate shipping registers from their jurisdiction.