Yachts Birgu / Pexels

A new organisation tasked with initiating new qualification programmes for professionals within the superyacht industry was established on Thursday.

The Superyacht Alliance for Professional Standards was founded in Malta by founding members Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association (MYBA), Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), and International Association of Maritime Institutions (IAMI) in the presence of Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia.

The programmes that the new organisation will start conducting include the Yacht Owners Representative Programme, aimed at individuals who are ready to become certified owners’ representatives, including captains, engineers, yacht managers, yacht brokers, and others. It will also promote existing ones like IAMI’s GUEST Programme, an internationally recognised large yacht industry qualifications and assessment standards.

The alliance’s primary aim and objective is to align the associations throughout the superyacht industry to “raise the bar for professionalism”. It will also aim to create more visibility and awareness on the job opportunities that exist within the industry.

Yachting Alliance / SYBAss
From left to right, from back to front: Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Aaron Farrugia, Superyacht Alliance Secretary General Hein Velema, MYBA President John Wyborn, IAMI Board Member Joey Meen, and SYBAss Secretary General Theo Hooning / SYBAss

Minister Farrugia welcomed the “historic achievement” and congratulated the founding associations for their commitment towards a more environmentally sound and sustainable industry. He also reiterated Malta’s “commitment” towards the alliance’s success, before reassuring the alliance that Malta will “remain steadfast in its policy to further consolidate the quality mark in this important industry”.

He added that the establishment of the alliance is another sign that Malta is now considered “one of the main jurisdictions in the superyacht industry”, which will be further reinforced through the publication of the first ever national vision for the superyacht industry.

A number of key industry stakeholders took pleasure in the announcement, including Ivan Sammut, Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen at Malta Ship Registry, who said that the registry welcomed the initiative and is “proud” to have assisted in its establishment.

“We thank everyone for the confidence being shown in Malta. This is the beginning of a brighter future for the further development of qualifications in the superyacht industry,” he said.

He added that Malta Ship Registry looks forward to “further cooperation” with the alliance.

Niki Travers Tauss, General Manager at Marina di Valletta and CEO of Valletta Superyachts, said that this is a “great initiative” and confirms that Malta has become “ever more relevant” to the superyacht industry.

Fenech & Fenech Advocates Partner Alison Vassallo, who heads the yachting department within the law firm, remarked that the alliance is an “excellent initiative”.

“This announcement further strengthens the role our jurisdiction is playing in the future modelling of the superyacht industry,” she said. Dr Fenech is also Chairperson of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry’s Yachting Services Business Section, with Mr Travers Tauss as Deputy Chairperson.

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