The Call for Change in the Superyacht Industry
The superyacht industry is a global business built on luxury, exclusivity, and wealth. While it has made significant strides in various aspects, it has also unfortunately been tainted by the shadows of corruption and unethical practices. As industry professionals, we must take a stand against these outdated methods and strive to be the guiding light for fair play and ethical conduct. It's high time we challenge companies that fail to comply with the law or adhere to basic ethical practices.
The Power of Ethics in Business
Ethics is the compass that guides us between what we have the right to do and what is truly right to do. As a company committed to delivering an ethical and morally upright service to the yachting community and beyond, we believe that understanding the importance of ethical conduct in business is paramount. By rejecting bribes, commissions, or kickbacks, we not only uphold our integrity but also foster a fair and competitive environment that benefits everyone in the long run.
Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Corruption and Complacency
Over the years, numerous professionals in the superyacht industry have witnessed, participated in, or heard about backhanders, hidden commissions, and envelopes of cash exchanging hands. These unethical practices continue to persist, with some competitors still offering kickbacks and even ethical bodies like MYBA turning a blind eye to the immoral conduct of their members, despite claiming this in their mission statement 'maintaining business at the highest level of ethical conduct’.
Fortunately, the tides have begun to turn as more and more industry professionals adopt a higher ethical stance on corruption. Upholding integrity and transparency is crucial to the longevity of the industry, as it ensures the trust of the world's wealthiest clients.
Our Commitment: Onshore Cellars' Anti-Corruption Policy
We take great pride in having established our first Anti-Corruption Policy. By working with our company, clients can trust that no bribes, commissions, or kickbacks will be paid to any crew members, charter, or sales brokers without the full knowledge and consent of the end client. Our competitive pricing reflects our commitment to transparency and fair business practices.
Legal Implications of Bribery and Corruption
While some may argue that commission payments are legal, the line between a legitimate transaction and a criminal offense is dangerously thin. Invoicing a commission or bribe payment does not make it lawful. Offering, giving, or promising to give a financial or other advantage in exchange for improper performance of a function or activity constitutes bribery.
Bribery is a criminal offense under various anti-corruption laws, such as the United Kingdom's Bribery Act 2010. Even if a yacht is not registered or cruising in the UK, a "close connection" with the country, such as residency, UK passport, or control over a UK-incorporated company, is all that's needed for prosecution. Most countries have similar laws in place.
In addition to potential criminal convictions, owners, charterers, and their agents can face civil liability and lawsuits for any losses incurred due to bribery.
The Path Forward: Encouraging Ethical Conduct in the Superyacht Industry
To promote lasting change in the superyacht industry, captains, management companies, and other professionals must actively discourage bribery and corruption. Implementing clear policies, educating crew and staff about the law and its implications, and ensuring transparency in all transactions is essential to creating an ethical environment.
By fostering a culture of fair play, transparency, and trust, we can collectively steer the superyacht industry away from the shadows of corruption and towards a bright, sustainable future.
The Time for Change is Now
As professionals in the superyacht industry, we have a responsibility to uphold ethical standards and demand transparency in all aspects of our business. The time for change is now, and it starts with each one of us taking a stand against corruption and embracing a culture of integrity.
By promoting ethical conduct and fair play, we can shape an industry that thrives on trust and accountability, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for all stakeholders involved. Let us unite in our efforts to create a superyacht industry that truly exemplifies the best of luxury, service, and professionalism, free from the stain of corruption.
Email us to view our Anti-Corruption Policy, and join us in our mission to set a new standard of ethics in the superyacht industry.