Malta Passenger Yacht Code Overview

2022-12-07T09:45:33+01:00December 6th, 2022|Publications|

The revised Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) was introduced by the Transport Malta Directorate on the 25th of May 2021, the code may be accessed here.

This code was born out of necessity to cater to the needs and realities of the ever-expanding yachting industry in Malta.  The code was drawn up by the Merchant Shipping Directorate within Transport Malta in close coordination with various major stakeholders in the industry, ranging from yacht manufacturers, appointed surveyors, and recognized organizations, aiming to serve as a widespread representation of the industry.

Which yachts fall under Malta’s Passenger Yacht Code?

This revised code is specifically designed for and applicable to passenger yachts which:

  • Carry more than 12 people but no more than 36 (no more than 200 total persons);
  • Do not carry cargo;
  • Are engaged in international voyages.

Requirements to be satisfied to be registered under PYC

Passenger yachts which are registered under the Malta flag are required to meet SOLAS and other applicable Conventions’ requirements.

Additionally, passenger yachts qualifying under the PYC must be surveyed, certified, audited, and issued with Class and Statutory Certificates by Recognised Organisations.

It is important to note that the revised PYC does not apply to:

  1. Commercial yachts carrying 12 or less passengers (the Malta Commercial Yacht Code applies in this case);
  2. Passenger commercial/cruise vessels engaged exclusively in domestic navigation;
  3. Passenger commercial/cruise vessels carrying more than 36 passengers;
  4. Vessels engaged in the ferrying of passengers;
  5. Pleasure craft and yachts not employed in commercial use;
  6. Fishing vessels;
  7. Vessels owned or operated on non-commercial services;
  8. Passenger ships whose total complement of persons onboard is greater than 200 persons.

Malta Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) vs Malta Commercial Yacht Code (CYC)

In 2020, the Merchant shipping directorate along with Transport Malta, drew up a revised CYC which became effective as of 1st January 2021.

The CYC distinguishes itself from the PYC by applying to:

  • Yachts engaged in commercial operations which do not carry 12 or more people;
  • Yachts ≥ 15 m in length overall and < 24 m in length;
  • Yachts ≥ 24 m in length and < 500 GT;
  • Yachts ≥ 500 GT.

Another difference can be seen when it comes to commercial yachts certified in accordance with CYC, where such yachts may be granted one of three navigation notations as follows:

  • Navigation within 60 miles from a safe haven (Short Range);
  • Navigation within 150 miles from a safe haven;
  • Unrestricted Navigation.

Whilst passenger yachts certified under the remit of the PYC may carry out International (Unrestricted) Voyages or Short International Voyages, as defined by SOLAS:

  • International (Unrestricted) Navigation is an unrestricted navigation notation;
  • Short International Navigation is a navigation notation concerning an international voyage in the course of which a ship is not more than 200 miles from a port or place in which the passengers and crew could be placed in safety.

To summarise

Prior to the Passenger Yacht Code introduction, yachts carrying more than 12 passengers that fell outside of the Malta Commercial Yacht Code’s scope had to satisfy similar requirements to those applicable to passenger ships. These requirements were often regarded as being impractical and limiting in functionality when considering a passenger yacht’s design and general operations.

This newly revised PYC shows that the Merchant Shipping Directorate is committed to keeping up with the requirements of the flourishing yachting industry in order to maintain Malta’s status as a quality flag, this indication of commitment to future growth is wholly welcome as it signifies the close eye Transport Malta along with the Merchant shipping directorate, are keeping on the practical needs and demands required to nurture long term growth in this sector.

The article is intended to serve as a general guide on the subject matter. For further information and guidance on the subject we recommend seeking professional assistance.

Yacht Registration with SMM

SMM Group team provides 360-degree support through the process of yacht registration in Malta. Get in touch with our specialists for assistance with the registration of your superyacht under the Malta flag. Book a face-to-face or online consultation by filling in the contact form or call +356 2123 7167 for immediate assistance.

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