top of page

State

Yachts

28 June 2010

Last revised

minutes

5

Reading time

While discussion about building a new British royal yacht ebbs and flows, it is often forgotten that a significant number of the world’s superyacht fleet already consists of royal and presidential yachts. These vessels occupy a particular place in international maritime law – often acting as floating embassies and extending extravagant hospitality and prestige. And just as diplomats hold special privileges in foreign countries, so do state vessels.

minutes

5

Reading time

28 June 2010

Last revised

While discussion about building a new British royal yacht ebbs and flows, it is often forgotten that a significant number of the world’s superyacht fleet already consists of royal and presidential yachts. These vessels occupy a particular place in international maritime law – often acting as floating embassies and extending extravagant hospitality and prestige. And just as diplomats hold special privileges in foreign countries, so do state vessels.

  • Diplomatic privileges grant state yachts immunity from seizure and delay.

  • Immunity is based on negotiated reciprocal agreements and has a legal and political foundation.

  • State yachts represent a nation and seizing them could be seen as a diplomatic insult.

  • Different countries have varying laws regarding immunity for state yachts.

  • The privilege is often restrictive, requiring proof that the yacht is a state yacht and the circumstances justify the immunity.

  • Immunity protects owners from disputes such as unpaid bills.

  • Arrests of state yachts are governed by the laws of the jurisdiction where the yacht is located.

  • Arrests serve to detain the yacht until financial security is provided.

  • The International Convention on Salvage may not apply to state yachts entitled to immunity.

  • Action can be taken against individuals responsible for negligence, even if the yacht is immune.

  • Immunity protects owners from disputes such as unpaid bills.

  • Arrests of state yachts are governed by the laws of the jurisdiction where the yacht is located.

  • Arrests serve to detain the yacht until financial security is provided.

  • The International Convention on Salvage may not apply to state yachts entitled to immunity.

  • Action can be taken against individuals responsible for negligence, even if the yacht is immune.