Yacht – Survey & Audit Certification

Image of Yacht at Sea

Yachts Under 24m

Not engaged in trade

Yachts under 24 metres and not engaged in trade are not subject to International Conventions, with the exception of COLREG and MARPOL Conventions which apply to all yachts and are regulated through national legislation. Whilst the COLREG and MARPOL Convention apply to these vessels there are no survey requirements, the owner is responsible for compliance with these Conventions. These vessels require a Cayman Certificate of Survey and a Cayman Tonnage Certificate to facilitate their registration.

Engaged in trade

Yachts under 24 metres and engaged in trade are subject to the Merchant Shipping (Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport or Pleasure) Regulations 2002 and are therefore required to undergo surveys in accordance with the small craft codes. The six authorised classification societies will carry out the surveys for these vessels.

Yachts 24m and over

Image of Yacht at Sea

Not Engaged in Trade

Yachts 24 metres and over and not engaged in trade are not subject to surveys and audits unless the vessel is 400 GT or over. In such cases, the following are required:

  • International Oil Pollution Prevention certificate (IOPP);
  • International Sewage Pollution Prevention certificate (ISPP);
  • International Air Pollution Prevention certificate (IAPP); and
  • Engine International Air Pollution Prevention certificate (EIAPP) (with NOx Technical Files).   

For Yachts under 400 GT the following are required:

  • Yachts under 400 GT will require Engine International Air Pollution Prevention certificate (EIAPP) (with NOx Technical Files) if any of the engines installed have a power output of more than 130 kW; and
  • Regardless of the yacht tonnage, if it is certified to carry more than 15 persons, including guests, staff, and crew, then it must hold onboard an International Sewage Pollution Prevention certificate (ISPP).

The Surveys for ISPP and IAPP are fully delegated to the six authorised classification societies except for the initial and renewal surveys which are normally done by Cayman.

Engaged in Trade

Yachts over 24 metres engaged in trade are subject to surveys and audits in line with the requirements of the International Conventions. The Cayman Registry undertakes the surveys required for the issue of the Large Yacht Code Certificate whilst the remaining applicable surveys and certification may be delegated to the six authorised classification societies.

Whilst it is the intention of the Cayman Registry to visit each Large Commercial Yacht at least once a year and undertake the above noted surveys, if this is not possible, we may delegate on a case by case basis to the appropriate classification society.

All yachts on international voyages of 300 GT and over are required to have an Automatic Identification System (AIS) and if they proceed beyond area A1, are required to comply with the requirements of LRIT contained in SOLAS Chapter V 19-1.

In addition to other statutory requirements, yachts over 500 GT engaged in trade, are also subject to the ISM and ISPS Codes. The audits required in compliance with these Codes will be conducted by the Cayman Registry, except in exceptional circumstances.

Periodic Inspections

Large Commercial Yacht Certificates are valid for a maximum of five years; however, to maintain the validity for the full five-year term, the yacht will be subject to annual inspections and a renewal survey at the end of the five-year term.

Annual Inspections

The annual inspections can be carried out within three months of either side of the anniversary date, which corresponds to the expiry date of the certificate. For example, a certificate that expires on the 24th June 2020 must have an annual survey done between the 24th March and 24th September each year. If the annual survey is not carried out within this period, the certificate becomes invalid. Then a renewal survey will be completed and a new certificate will be issued.