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May Jun 2015 Marina World

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MARINA CLASSIFICATION Ralf Heron Port Tarraco in Tarragona, Spain is certified for both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. New ISO standard focuses on marinas by Ralf Heron Over the years, the question of classification or formal certification of the world’s marinas has been the subject of some debate, and 2014 was a year of significant change. It saw the proposed combination of The Yacht Harbour Association’s (TYHA’s) Gold Anchor award scheme with the Australia-based Marine Industries Association’s (MIA’s) similarly named programme. It was the year that also saw the publication of the first part of the International Standards Organisation’s (ISO) 13687-2014 Yacht Harbours standard. In 2015, we will see significant revision of two further ISO standards; 9001 and 14001 - favourites with some marinas – and development work on a new international safety standard. To classify or certify There is a strong school of thought in the marina industry that classification is more viable for many marinas than seeking ISO certification. Proponents of classification point out that it offers a more structured approach to the industry than the alternative. Notwithstanding this level of interest, only a small proportion of the world’s 17,500 marinas is either classified under existing schemes or has achieved ISO certification. It should be noted, however, that the bulk of the marinas making up the global total are small operations with less than 50 berths. Julian Goldie, managing partner of Tollesbury Marina, is also international director of TYHA. In his view the ISO 9001 and 14001 standards are designed for organisations in general and the new Yacht Harbour ISO standard has a lower level of basic requirement than marina classification schemes, such as Gold Anchor and the International Marine Certification Institute (IMCI) Blue Star Marina programme, which have been developed specifically for the industry. The Gold Anchor scheme is based on self-assessment to obtain a single Gold Anchor, progressing through stages and appraisal by a TYHA assessor to obtain a higher number of gold anchors; ISO standards are gained only after rigorous assessment by external experts; and awards under the IMCI Blue Star Marina programme are made only after marinas are inspected by IMCI inspectors. All have merit says Tony Browne, marina director of Porto Montenegro, which has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications and five Gold Anchors. He feels these are essential in today’s competitive environment. “Porto Montenegro Marina is committed to high quality customer service,” he says. “We understand that our efforts affect the actual life experiences of our customers. For us, quality is fundamental to the ongoing success of the organisation. We will give the same quality and exceptional service that we would expect and want to receive as customers.” ISO for yacht harbours ISO 13687:2014 establishes minimum requirements for commercial and non-commercial harbours for leisure boats and yachts to deliver services to the boating community, excluding the standardisation of sports activities. The scope does not cover specifics of boatyards, drystacks, dry-docking areas, dry storage, fuel stations or nearby beaches. “Yacht harbours have a measurable and increasing social, commercial and environmental influence,” says Ulrich Heinemann of IMCI, who leads the working group on this standard. “They are part of a globally expanding industry affected by broad circumstances. All this has been taken account of and motivates the development of this International Standard.” The ISO Working Group is currently dealing with a further two parts of the standard: ISO/NP 13687-2, minimum requirements for intermediate service level harbours; and ISO/NP 13687-3, minimum requirements for high service level harbours. These will come into force next year. Recognising that every yacht harbour is unique, the purpose of the new standard is to set out minimum requirements that are suitable for www.marinaworld.com - May/June 2015 35

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