HFW: Yachting Industry Briefing

Though the 2021 Mediterranean yacht season may have been a little late in its start, from the volume of new build and sale and purchase transactions we have been engaged with this year, it appears that the idea of yacht ownership is as popular, if not even more popular, than ever. Whether you are new to the industry or an old hand there will be something of interest to you in the following compilation of topical and legal developments to affect the yachting industry.

With the pandemic focussing the mind, more than ever, on the importance of having in place good environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies we will, over the next few briefings, endeavour to bring you commentary on series of relevant ESG related matters. We begin this series with a subject close to HFW’s heart, the She of the Sea Campaign and their efforts to increase the level of diversity and inclusion amongst yacht crew.

Next, sticking with the theme of yacht crew, we analyse a recent UK Employment Tribunal case which has once again shone a light on ensuring the need to handle the dismissal of yacht crew carefully. Following this, we consider the ongoing question of social security arrangements for those yacht crew resident in France and in particular look at the impact of Brexit on these arrangements. 

With recent changes in French law designed to protect France’s seagrass meadows, it is likely that the yachting industry will see a number of prosecutions brought this summer against yachts anchoring or stopping in these newly established protected zones. Our Paris office analyse these changes in the law, what needs to be done to ensure compliance and the consequences of non-compliance.

Events earlier in the year in the Suez Canal and elsewhere around the Indian Ocean, including in Mozambique, have once again directed people to consider the question of security in this region. As the leading law firm in matters of piracy and complex security, we set out a brief summary of these events and their implications for yachts operating in the Indian Ocean.

Moving further east, our Australian colleagues provide an analysis of the likely future of Australian cabotage rules as they apply to large yachts wishing to operate commercially in Australia, a destination which surely, once travel restrictions are lifted, will become more popular than ever with the owners of large yachts.

Finally, following the commencement of proceedings in London in late 2020 in connection with the 2018 grounding in Greenland of the ICE ANGEL, our admiralty and crisis management experts consider the importance of adhering to a yacht’s Safety Management System, whether doing so is prescribed or voluntary. 

The full briefing can be downloaded here.


As ever, HFW hope you find the content useful and would be delighted to receive any comments or questions you might have.To learn more about HFW's market-leading yacht team, please visit www.hfwyachts.com


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