SYBAss consultative status at IMO extended

Superyacht sector represented at highest regulatory level.

SYBAss has been granted an extension of its ‘consultative status’ at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in recognition of the work it has been doing as the representative body of the large yacht industry. SYBAss will continue to do everything possible to ensure that superyacht yards have a level playing field when it comes to new regulations so that they can continue their highly specialised building work.

IMO is the specialised agency of the United Nations with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. It designs and maintains rules and regulations for international shipping, which also apply to most superyachts.

SYBAss was initially granted permanent consultative status at IMO in 2013, having previously had provisional status since 2010. To retain this consultative status, NGOs like SYBAss are expected to make a substantial contribution to the work of the relevant bodies of IMO. In addition, they must disseminate information on and promote the work of IMO to their membership and beyond.

Professional support
IMO evaluates the performance of each NGO with consultative status biennially and, if it is found satisfactory, extends that status. At its 29th session on 26 November, the IMO General Assembly approved SYBAss’ participation in IMO’s work over the period from 2013 to 2015.

“We are delighted that we have had our permanent consultative status confirmed after the first official review,” says SYBAss secretary general Theo Hooning. “This will help ensure that the superyacht industry continues to be represented in a professional way at the highest maritime regulatory body and be acknowledged as a unique sector. It also reinforces the role of SYBAss in protecting the superyacht sector from regulations that might jeopardise the industry. We will continue to uphold the interests of the many thousands of people who work on the design, construction and operation of large yachts.”

The IMO status extension is also a tribute to the exceptional work of SYBAss technical & environmental director Chris van Hooren, who now enters a well-earned retirement knowing that his legacy has been secured. Hans Huisman will take over the role at the start of 2016.

Progress made
Over the past two years, SYBAss has actively participated in various working areas of the IMO, including stability, energy efficiency, emissions and tonnage measurement. SYBAss succeeded in making upcoming new regulations more appropriate for superyachts in areas such as the renewed intact stability requirements and delaying the NOx Tier III requirements for yachts below 500 GT from coming into force, so that more suitable technical solutions can be developed in the meantime.

SYBAss has also disseminated information and promoted the work of IMO to its member shipyards via regular summary reports of relevant IMO committee meetings and updates. Publications in various superyacht media and presentations at seminars have enabled SYBAss to keep the wider superyacht industry informed. This allowed timely awareness to be raised within the superyacht industry of future new regulations such as the Ship Recycling Convention, Ballast Water Management Convention, CO2 and NOx emission requirements and the Polar Code.