Yachts & Yachting in France

May 26, 2020in ECPY

On the 8th May 2020, the maritime prefecture published a prefectoral decree n ° 062-2020

“Regulating the navigation of ships and maritime activities in French inland and territorial waters of the Mediterranean to cope with the 2019 coronavirus epidemic (covid-19)”

ECPY has received many questions concerning this prefectural decree, and in particular if its two main articles (n ° 2 and 3) are applicable to Yachting [extract: “Port calls, mooring and staying at anchor is limited for French and Foreign flagged pleasure vessels along the coast to a maximum distance of 54 nautical miles (approximately 100 km) from their home port … ”]

In order to clarify the situation, ECPY recalls that, according to a legal principle

  • Commercial Yachts, as designated by their registration, division 242 for France, or under the RIF flag or the technical equivalences of the common flags used in Yachting, such as the Red Ensign, Cayman Is., Marshall Is., Malta, etc., in particular applying the Large Yacht Code, are indeed classed as merchant vessels and not pleasure vessels
  • more specifically, they are related to cargo ships, but do not fall under the category of passenger ships (more than12 passengers);
  • commercial yachts are not sold by the cabin, and cruise with either a charter contract or a transport agreement, to the exclusion of all bareboat charter.

Consequently, the articles of the published decrees by the Mediterranean maritime prefect (France), relate exclusively to pleasure/private vessels (case of decree 62-2020), are not applicable to commercial Yachts

Therefore, with regard to the temporary measures linked to COVID-19, movements of these commercially registered yachts, with their crew, are authorized.

However, for the time being, charter or passenger transport activities are still forbidden today, due to health restrictions (a) linked to passenger admissions (b) linked to the movement of ships between countries.

In addition:

ECPY is currently negotiating with the authorities so that private yachts with equivalent safety certificates benefit from the same treatment as commercially registered yachts

ECPY is also negotiating with the authorities so that charter or transport operations on yachts can resume as soon as possible.
In the current state of negotiations, we are aiming that charter and transport operations will be authorized for July and August, provided that the deconfinement goes well. This is a realistic goal which, of course, needs to be confirmed.

Source “ECPY”