Red Ensign Group Publishes Revised Yacht Code

16 February 2024 By Aileen Mack
iStock/Ryan McGill

Associate Editor Aileen Mack joined Dockwalk in July 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If she’s not at a concert or coffee shop, she is lost in a book, movie or a YouTube rabbit hole. Email Aileen at

At the start of 2024, a revision of the Red Ensign Group (REG) Yacht Code was published. This is the first significant revision since 2019 of the code for yacht safety and design standards. It will not come into force until July 2024 to allow the industry to become familiar with it and comply.

During 2022 and 2023, the revision was developed by the UK and its relevant overseas territories and crown dependencies, with consultation from the REG Yacht Code Industry Working Group, including shipyards, designers, management companies, and regulatory authorities.

Similar to the January 2019 revision, the latest code consists in two parts: Part A that applies to yachts 24 meters and over in load line length, in commercial use for sport or pleasure, do not carry cargo, and do not carry more than 12 passengers; Part B applies to pleasure yachts of any size, in private use or engaged in trade, do not carry cargo, and carry more than 12 but not more than 36 passengers.

The changes reflect regulatory amendments that have been published in recent years by the International Maritime Organization and accommodate current trends and innovation in yacht design. Amendments to existing text have been made to provide clarification to parts of the Code that were previously open to interpretation to ensure its consistent application and setting a level playing field. This revision represents the expertise gained in the nearly three decades of regulating the large yacht sector since the first version of the code, published by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in 1997.

“The REG Yacht Code is the international standard for the design, construction, and operation of these vessels,” a REG spokesperson states. “We will never compromise on safety and crew welfare and maintain the highest maritime regulatory standards. However, we do recognize that it’s important to support innovation and technological developments in a rapidly changing industry.”

To read the updated REG Yacht Code, visit:


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