Boat documents 2023, which ones you must have on board


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The list of mandatory documents to have on board for watercraft and pleasure boats. Navigazoine license, engine power certificate, boating license, compass deviation tables, here's what you need to know
boat documents 2023
Boat Documents 2023 – In this photo, some of the mandatory documents to have on board a sailing vessel for sailing beyond 6 miles from the coast, the boat license, insurance, engine power certificate, manufacturer’s EC compliance certificate, radio equipment license and limited RFT certificate to operate the VHF (photo by Luigi Gallerani).

Here are all the mandatory documents that must be on board for 2023, both for Italian-flagged registered boats and watercraft (boats under 10 m in length). We have seen how hefty fines can be snapped up in cases of expired documents; the case of the fine for an expired VHF radio license caused a stir.

Boat documents 2023, what to have on board

Have you checked that you have Navigation License, engine power certificate, insurance? Here’s the 2023 boat document list so you won’t be caught unprepared for one of the increasingly frequent Coast Guard or Coast Guard document checks. Also remember that boat documents and insurance are required by marinas whenever we want to moor for a transit.

2023 mandatory boat documents

  • Navigation license. The old paper license must be compulsorily updated through the STED (Telematic Sportsman’s Desk) in case of change of ownership or when updating the safety certificate.
  • Declaration of engine power. According to Art. 41 of Decree Law July 18, 2005,no. 171 all engines installed on any recreational craft (including tenders) must have insurance including any auxiliary engine.
  • Valid insurance policy for the boat (and tender engine).
  • Valid safety certificate.
  • Compass deviation chart.
  • RTF operating license for VHF with MMSI international callsign code and RTF license for any other radios on board. See forms on the Mise website. Please note, the license expires every 10 years.
  • Raft revision. Certificate of validity/revision of life raft, for navigation over 6M.

Mandatory documents for vessels (under 10 m)

  • Certificate of approval and declaration of conformity. For CE boats, check that the type approval class plate, as well as the hull serial number, (CIN) are clearly visible and matching.
  • Declaration of power or the certificate of use of the engine. This is the reference document for the insurance policy. As with boats, the tender engine must also have a certificate and insurance.
  • Boat (and tender motor) insurance policy.
  • RTF license. Beyond 6 miles it is mandatory to have a VHF on board. Even if we are within 6 miles but have a VHF, it is mandatory to have an RTF operating license for every radio on board. Since an MMSI is not mandatory for a vessel, the corresponding callsign is the name of the boat. Please note, the license expires every 10 years.
  • Raft revision. Life raft revision certificate, for navigation over 6M.
  • Not mandatory but it is good to have on board the purchase invoice of the vessel, proving ownership and payment of VAT.

Personal documents to have on board

  • ID for each person on board.
  • Boating license, correctly called“command and conduct boat qualification” for the master. It must be valid and mandatory for all boats and watercraft for which the engine exceeds 40 hp. For sailing vessels for which a license is not required (motorization under 40 hp) is mandatory for navigation beyond 6 miles from the coast. If you are a resident of Italy, foreign boat licenses, even if obtained within the EU, such as the French boat license, are NOT valid.
  • Limited RTF certificate and SRC certificate for VHF radio use if operating in DSC.

How they check your documents while you are surfing

Document verification is often carried out while at sea by Coast Guard or Guardia di Finanza patrol boats, or in ports, by officers at the docks. The patrol boat will pull up to your boat and give you instructions.

Typically they will hand you a long net in which to hand over all the documentation of the boat and often of all the passengers, which will be verified. The Guardia di Finanza issues an inspection report when all is well, to be exposed in case of subsequent inspections, to speed up operations.

Luigi Gallerani



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