Presently Germany does not have a so-called yacht code. Large yachts flying the German flag must therefore comply with SOLAS on the same basis as a German-flagged cargo ship. Given modern yacht designs, for instance those with low window areas or specific stability arrangements, compliance with SOLAS can be either difficult or not feasible.
In 2021, in a case believed to be the first of its kind, a superyacht was registered in Germany and immediately flagged back out to a jurisdiction applying a yacht code. Significant involvement of the various German administrations including the relevant German ministry was necessary in order to obtain approval for the flagging out. LEBUHN & PUCHTA (Edward Maguin and Dr. Sarah Gahlen, partners; Katerina Fast, associate) acted for the successful owner. One of the broader implications of the case is that there are now welcome prospects for the implementation of a yacht code in Germany.