The Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has accepted the British MCA regulations for new and existing yachts. This breakthrough follows years of lobbying by the Netherlands Association for the Shipbuilding and Watersports Industries (HISWA). These primarily technical regulations are applied to yachts larger than 24 metres, smaller than 3,000 GT and which carry a maximum of 12 passengers.
The British MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) regulations are an internationally accepted standard. The rules pertain to issues such as stability and the strength of materials. “This is an excellent decision,” comments Michaël Steenhoff, Manager Yachtbuilding at HISWA. “Dutch yacht builders now have the opportunity to create MCA accredited yachts under a Dutch flag. Until now many large yachts flew the British Ensign. The Ministry’s decision now allows for yachts that are MCA certified to sail under a Dutch flag.”
The move by the Dutch government also will also lead to a strong structural increase in the competitive position of Dutch yards in the international arena. “The combination of the favourable fiscal conditions applied in Holland to commercially used vessels and the new decree will lead to many more yachts flying the Dutch flag,” according to Steenhoff.
The yacht building industry in the Netherlands is a major exponent of the maritime manufacturing industry. Worldwide, Holland holds first place in the production of yachts larger than 40 metres. In 2005, turnover was approximately 600 million euros, almost 100 per cent of which was exported.