Flag Registration for a boat.
Flag registration yachting and boating, are you flying a legal flag on your yacht? Perhaps the first question to ask yourself is, “Do I have a passport that matches the flag I fly? If the Answer to that question is “yes”, then you are probably ok.
Flag Registration the rules are not clear.
After that, things get a bit foggy! My next question; (aimed at the boating community) Would you go sailing if a fog was forecast in your area? As an experienced yachtsman, my answer; I would think twice, especial if I was planning to sail directly into the fog.
That leads me back to my first question. Therefore, at this point, let me answer the question for you. If you’re a boat owner, and your passport does not match the flag you are flying, “it’s getting foggy, and you could be in shallow water”.
Flag of convenience. It’s all a bit foggy.
You might have a legitimate reason to fly a flag from another country. Perhaps the yacht is owned by a company based in that country? A word about the company registered Boats and Yachts.
Since the beginning of time, individuals and companies have used a “flag of convenience.” Let’s call that a bit misty, but I wish to note that I have great respect for legitimate company flag registration.
Again we enter the fog of registration with great caution. Some individuals have perfectly valid reasons for using flag company registration.
An example of where the fog becomes worrying is Dutch registration rather than sailing under a flag. Dutch registration does not offer the same legal protection as flag registration. The Dutch registration for boats and yachts is merely a register. The Dutch register is a privately owned company operating as a commercial venture, nothing wrong with that or using the register. Therefore, so long as you do not intend to cruise Italy, Portugal, Spain, or outside Europe where the register is not recognised, you might be ok.
Some countries do not recognise Dutch Registration.
Most people will not know that the Dutch EU ICP Light Registration is not currently acknowledged under Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish maritime law. You are sailing into tricky waters if you visit these countries with a Dutch-registered vessel.
A new player for Yacht and Boat registrations has been created; it is the Polish register. We have no comments to make about that at this time.
The fog surrounding flag registration yachting and boating has been around for a long time and will continue. A decent Maritime lawyer or Yacht Broker can act as a good radar. One good reason why if you are buying or selling a boat, Think seriously about using a Yacht Broker.