Renting the boat. Association president retorts in defense of Maritime Ombudsman

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Following the statements in the article “Renting a boat with travel agency guarantees,” Paola Gatti, president of AYBI (Association of Italian Yacht Brokers), wrote to us. We receive and publish below his correction.

Clarifications on the role of the Maritime Ombudsman

Dear Director Oriani,
We wish to make some necessary clarifications in response to the “contribution” “Renting boat with travel agency guarantees” by Gianni Costetti, owner of Navalia srl, published in the Sailing Newspaper on Dec. 30, 2023 regarding the article “Renting a boat online, here are 6 contingencies” of Nov. 2, 2023 under the chapter, “Beware also of so-called “ship brokers.”

The undersigned AYBI (Italian Yacht Brokers Association), whose members are exclusively brokerage firms registered with the Register of Maritime Brokers and for the most part members of MYBA (The Worldwide Yachting Association), would like to point out the following :
● The Maritime Broker is an industry specialist whose role is primarily to find proposals for charter boats that are as responsive as possible to customer requirements. This is against the backdrop of extensive knowledge of the market (boats and crews), constant inspections of yachts, participation in trade fairs (charter shows) and evaluation of references provided by esteemed colleagues suitable for ensuring the quality of the offer.
AYBI requires members, as a main condition for membership, to have a Professional Liability policy specifically designed to cover all areas of risk faced by professionals, and companies providing professional services, in the conduct of their business (P&I Policy for Errors and Omissions).
Contrary to the assertions of the article., the MYBA contract (which exists only in an electronic version and can be used only by professional brokers who are licensed and registered with the Association) primarily protects the interests of the client/charterer precisely because payments are made to the broker and are forwarded to the shipowner by the stakeholder (the Central Agent who is managing the boat) only after the successful completion of the charter service, in accordance with the terms of the contract. In this way, the guarantee for the customer/consumer is maximized.
In addition, the recreational boat charter contract by its nature and formulation is entered into through a professional broker (Maritime Broker) who has undergone the required professional training and passed the relevant examinations obtaining the license required by law in order to carry out the activity in question. The legislation in this regard is quite different from that of the travel package. Qualified Travel Agencies almost always use, to their own caution, Maritime Brokers to enter into charter contracts for Yachts. Moreover, in the statement issued by my colleague Costetti, the difference between leasing and chartering is not presented with due clarity! Leasing provides that the client is fully responsible for the operation of the boat (exactly as would be the case with leasing a car) chartering, on the other hand, provides for the full responsibility of the captain and crew (clients on board are passengers transported and served in full ) We believe that leases, misrepresented as charter contracts, entered into through Travel Agencies, deserve more careful legal evaluation and subject clients to uncovered risks.
Finally, professional Charter Brokers. always suggest taking out a cancellation policy, which is provided by Italian and foreign companies even for very large amounts, and which allows the end customer to be able to be compensated for all the expenses stipulated in the rental contract and also for costs not strictly related to the rental itself (travel, luggage, medical expenses etc.).

The President of AYBI
Paola Gatti

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