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Large Yacht Services Guidance

Complying with the MARPOL annexes

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) applies to all vessels at sea. MARPOL's six annexes relate to the international requirements to prevent pollution by ships.

The Large Yacht Code is not an equivalent to MARPOL, which applies in full to large yachts. Yachts over 400 GT require MARPOL certification.  

We can advise on all aspects of MARPOL compliance and ballast water management.

MARPOL surveys and certification are delegated by the UK to Recognised Organisations.

For more information please see our full guidance on complying with MARPOL annexes for UK registered large yachts.

Marine and Merchant Notices

These notices publicise to the shipping industry important safety, pollution prevention and other relevant information.

Merchant Shipping Notices (MSNs) often contain details of UK law and are legally enforceable when referred to by a Statutory Instrument.

Marine Guidance Notes (MGNs) gives guidance and recommendations about best practice to industry on how to interpret the law and general safety advice.

Marine Information Notes (MINs) provide less important time-limited information.

Helicopter guidance

Our guidance pack contains:

  • Helicopter operations handbook
  • Safety training handbook
  • Helideck safety training information

The Helideck Certification Agency and Safeguard Helideck Certification are the two bodies accepted by us for surveys.

Information for yacht managers and yacht crew

We have guidance and documents on the operation and crewing of large commercial yachts, for example:

  • On crew agreements
  • Manning

Find information on Official Log Books on the dedicated guidance page.

Alternatively, you can contact the Large Yacht Team if you have a query.

A Master's Guide to the UK Flag (Large Yacht)

Our guide for managers, masters, and officers of UK registered large commercial yachts provides information about UK Merchant Shipping regulations and administrative procedures.

The legal requirements of other Red Ensign registers may vary slightly from the UK’s. You should contact the relevant flag state administrations if in any doubt.

You can read A Master’s Guide to the UK Flag – Large Yacht Edition on GOV.UK