Döhle Yachts Maritime Compliance Department specialise in providing a highly pragmatic and experienced approach to the application of local, national and international legislative requirements pertaining the day to day operation of superyachts. The Department’s aim is a simple one – supporting owners, managers and crew in the delivery of a professional, effective, safe and, as applicable, regulatory compliant service which allows for the guest’s and charterer’s uninterrupted enjoyment of the yachts.

We are responsible for developing our safety and security management services and supporting their subsequent on board implementation. We also provide the focus for all regulatory, Flag State and Classification Society liaison and in conjunction with our sister company, Döhle Yachts Technical Services, ensure the full range of design, build and service consultancy.

Our yacht compliance staff work exclusively for Döhle and have extensive experience on both large sailing and motor vessels. They are adept at translating legislation into plans that actually work on board large yachts. Our auditors and inspectors undergo continuous training and have excellent working relationships with Flag State administrations and the major Classification Societies.


Our highly regarded ISM service (International Safety Management) which we provide for superyachts consists of two distinct stages, the development of the systems including on board set up, and the subsequent ongoing supervisory and support functions once the systems are in place.

The yacht’s Safety Management System (SMS) will be developed in conjunction with the Captain and crew, taking into account all relevant international and national legislation and will form part of the overall yacht management system.

We (under our trading name Döhle Private Marine Clients) hold Documents of Compliance (DOC) for the Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Netherlands and the Marshall Islands and can very quickly obtain a DOC from any Flag State when required.

Our ISM services cover all aspects required by the ISM code and we are happy to provide a detailed overview of the specifics of these services on request.

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Technical Checklists

Knowledge – ISM Code

Mini and Voluntary ISM

We provide Mini-ISM services for superyachts as required by the UK’s MCA Large Yacht Code (LYC), for commercial yachts over 24m and under 500GT. Several other Flag States have similar requirements.

Our Mini-ISM system is tailor made for each yacht using our extensive in-house experience.

The system includes the provision of a shore emergency contact available on a 24 hour basis. This guarantees access to a full support resource whenever it is needed, at defined levels and agreed charges.

If required, a media response organisation can further augment the above services.

Mini-ISM services comprise of two distinct facets, the development of the systems, manuals and on board set up, and subsequently ongoing support functions once the systems are in place.

Our Mini-ISM services cover all aspects required by the Large Yacht Code and we are happy to provide a detailed overview of the specifics of these services on request.

Voluntary ISM

Some Captains and owners of private or commercially registered (<500GRT) yachts may opt to implement a full Safety Management System (SMS) without gaining the underlying Flag State Certification. Our in-house specialists can provide advice on the best options based on the specifics of each yacht.

We can provide a tailor made system which will meet the requirements of a full ISM whilst taking into account each vessel’s individual requirements.

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Technical Checklists

Knowledge – ISM Code


Our Maritime Compliance team is highly proficient in ensuring that the ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) Code is interpreted correctly and applied, in a realistic manner that actually works on-board, via the yacht’s Ship Security Plan (SSP).

Our ISPS service for superyachts consists of two distinct stages, the development of the system to be used on board including an on-site assessment, and the subsequent continual supervisory and support functions when the system is in place.

The yacht’s SSP will be developed in conjunction with the Captain and crew, taking into account all relevant international and national legislation and will form the basis for security management on-board.

Our ISPS services cover all aspects required by the ISPS code, and we are happy to provide a detailed overview of the specifics of these services on request.

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Knowledge – ISPS Code

Designated Person Ashore

To ensure a direct link between the company (Döhle Private Marine Clients) and those on board, the ISM Code requires that a designated person ashore, with access to the highest levels of management is appointed.

It is the Designated Person’s responsibility to monitor the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the operation of each vessel, and to ensure the adequate resources and shore-based support are available.

The Designated Person also provides the first level of shore-based mediation for any complaints, grievances or disciplinary issues that cannot be resolved on-board.

During emergency incidents the Designated Person is the leader of the Emergency Response Team and provides yacht Captains with a single point of contact for any emergency situation which may be encountered.

Döhle’s Joerg Vanselow, Director, and Matt Gough, Maritime Compliance Manager, are both experienced DPA’s and are fully qualified having completed approved Designated Person training.  They fully understand the proficiencies necessary for undertaking the role of the Designated Person under the provisions of the ISM Code.

Emergency and Media Response

We have a purpose built, dedicated 24/7 Yacht Emergency Response and Crisis Management Room (ERR) which is furnished with all the necessary communications equipment and resources and with ample redundancy to ensure continuity.

The ERR forms the shore-based control centre for any incident be it pollution, safety, security or media related. It serves as the work place for the Emergency Response Team (ERT), which convenes as required to provide the necessary support to owners, crew and managers. The ERT comprises of Döhle Yachts staff, augmented, as required by incident, by other experienced ship management staff for the Döhle (IOM) Group. It is the hub for all external support, organisation, and communication.

Reporting and ongoing liaison with the authorities is essential. The ERT will coordinate with, for example, the coastguard and rescue services, the owner and/or the owner’s representative, Flag State, coastal and Port State, hospitals, next of kin, insurance companies and salvors, as well as with all other relevant parties.

In emergency situations we manage these external pressures allowing the Captain and Crew to focus solely on the events as they develop on-board with the primary aim of maintaining the safety of the passengers and crew in conjunction with the protection of the yacht and the environment.

Our ERT receives in-depth training via regular drills and simulations for the team based on real life situations.

The ERT carry out regular drills and response training with industry leaders. They also have real and relevant experience in managing incidents and the associated Media interest.

An incident at sea soon becomes everyone’s business. In the era of instant global communication the world can soon learn when things go wrong. It is therefore essential that any media interest is correctly managed, and other stakeholders are proactively appraised as situations develop, and the ERT are trained accordingly.

In addition to the regular emergency response training for the ERT, we have real and relevant experience in managing incidents and the associated media interest.

Any media response regarding a yacht, required as a result of an incident can be coordinated by trained in-house personnel and supported by industry professionals.

MARPOL and SOPEP Services

All yachts, whether commercial or private, depending on their tonnage, must comply, to varying degrees, with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL, short for Marine Pollution). All our response and management plans are provided efficiently, reliably and promptly, and are accepted by Flag States as fully compliant documents.Aided by our in-house professional expertise we are able to provide full support to our clients and continuously maintain our Ship Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) and other response manuals and. In the case of other national MARPOL requirements we are also able to provide the necessary plans.We will also provide full annual maintenance of your response plans and provide timely updates as a result of on-going changes to legislation. These will be incorporated to the highest standard, ensuring ongoing compliance.

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Technical Checklists

Knowledge – MARPOL & SOPEP

Maritime Labour Convention

Compliance with the MLC 2006, when applicable, on a yacht is achieved in conjunction with our ISM or Mini-ISM services. All of our clients for ISM or Mini-ISM are offered an additional MLC compliance manual and ongoing support in this area at no additional cost.

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Knowledge – MLC

Passenger Yachts

Döhle Yachts holds Documents of Compliance for Passenger Ship operations and has built an unrivalled experience in the regulatory management and support of superyachts built and operated under the UK MCA Passenger Yacht Code.

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Technical Services – Passenger Yachts

Knowledge – Passenger Yacht Code

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