The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is scheduled to enforce new regulations this week that would require yacht rental firms and commercial yacht operators to install an automatic identification system (AIS) on all yachts of 12m or longer in a bid to reduce collisions.
The Regulations Governing the Management of Yachts (遊艇管理規則) were amended in accordance with the Executive Yuan’s “Salute to the Seas” policy, which encourage people to engage in marine activities through yachting, the Department of Aviation and Navigation Ho Shu-ping (何淑萍) said on Friday.
“Since the regulations were stipulated in 2011, the number of yachts in the nation has increased from 68 to 1,135 as of this year, with the number of yachts owned by yacht rental firms or commercial yacht operators accounting for about 10 percent of the total. To protect the passengers on yachts, yacht rental firms and commercial yacht operators would be required to have the AIS system installed on yachts that are 12m or longer,” she said.
Photo: Hsu Li-juan, Taipei Times
“The system would reinforce identification among yachts and, in turn, help prevent them from crashing with one another,” she added.
The department said it would start enforcing the new regulations as soon as it publicizes them this week, adding that owners of old yachts would not be fined as long as they have the AIS system installed before the next scheduled inspections of their vessels.
Under the regulations, yachts that have been in operation for less than 12 years are required to be inspected every two-and-half years, whereas those that have been in operation for 12 years or longer are required to undergo an annual inspection.
All yachts need to undergo a special inspection every five years.
The amendment would also allow people to register as co-owners on the yacht certificates, the department said.
As the nation has seen a dramatic increase in the number of yachts and people holding a license to operate yachts, the department said it plans to raise the number of berthing spots for yachts across the nation from about 1,000 to 1,500 by 2026.
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