Vessels can now sail throughout the Mediterranean. But we want more

A new amendment to the “made in Italy” DDL was approved in the House that facilitates small boating, that of watercraft, which can now sail more freely in extraterritorial waters thanks to simplified documentation. But we want more: when will there be a simplified watercraft registry, somewhat like there is with 50 cc mopeds, so as to ensure free movement, minimal bureaucracy, and no insurance problems in case of damage and theft?

Good news for owners of watercraft, namely those recreational boats less than 10 meters in length that are exempt from registration requirements under the Boating Code. In fact, a regulation is arriving-thanks in part to the work of Confindustria Nautica-that increases the possibilities for shipowners to sail freely throughout the Mediterranean, simplifying paperwork and avoiding the risk of incurring steep fines, restrictions and even the seizure of the vessel.

In recent days, a new amendment to the so-called “Made in Italy” Decree Law was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in which the documentation that will enable vessels to sail in the territorial waters of other EU countries is defined. In particular Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, but also others, which as of next summer under their own restrictive boating regulations would be precluded to non-“license plate” boats, which would be required to register with all the burdens that this entails.

Two documents are enough to navigate in EU countries

Under the new rule, those who with their unregistered watercraft want to sail in other EU countries will only need to submit two simplified documents to the foreign authority:

  • The unit’s certificate of technical data (DCI – Declaration of Construction or Importation);
  • An owner’s declaration of possession notarized by the Automobile Telematics Desks (STA) that also certifies the nationality and characteristics of the vehicle.

These two simple documents thus compensate for the lack of registration and actually attest to the link between the boat and the country of origin, the so-called “flag,” which is necessary to sail freely in extraterritorial waters. Otherwise, a yachtsman who wants to sail his or her vessel, for example in Greece, will only need to have all the equipment prescribed for the chosen sailing area and insurance coverage valid in the territorial sea.

Benefits even for those who have lost their title

In addition to making it easier for boat owners to sail and cruise abroad, the new law aims to discourage boaters from registering their vessels in other EU countries with the consequent payment of VAT to their coffers. It will also make it possible to leverage national revenue from the payment of fees on simplified vessel documentation to implement the efficiency of the Telematic Register of Recreational Craft.

Finally, the newly approved amendment also solves a problem for owners of “watercraft” who voluntarily intend to register them under the Italian flag, but have lost or do not have a title. As of today, in fact, they will be able to produce a declaration in lieu of affidavit, again with a signature notarized by the Telematic Sportelli dell’Automobilista (STA), in which they certify that the pleasure boat is their exclusive property, indicating the date and place of purchase and the seller.

When will we see a simplified vessel registry?

In short, at last, a rule is also arriving in Italy that makes life easier for boat owners, who have always been considered “second-class” boaters as far as the possibility of sailing freely in other Mediterranean countries is concerned. For the time being we are content, although it would be desirable in the future to have in our country a kind of Simplified Vessel Registry, somewhat like what happens with 50 cc mopeds, so as to ensure free movement, minimal bureaucracy and no insurance problems in case of damage and theft.

 

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