A recent news story dictating the rules for navigation in French territorial waters has created some uncertainty around the possibility of yachts visiting French waters this summer and anchoring there. Having received many anxious questions from captains and yacht managers preparing their itineraries, ECPY asked the Préfecture Maritime (the French maritime authority) to clarify, asking them to specify the anchoring and stopping modalities applicable to vessels flying non-Schengen (and not ‘non-European’) flags.
They said: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, French maritime authorities have defined specific navigation rules in French territorial waters under prefectoral decree 238/2020, according to national rules.
“According to these specific Covid-19 regulations, foreign vessels flying flags outside Schengen agreement are prohibited from anchoring or stopping along the French coasts except as provided for in Artivcle 2 of Decree 85-185 of 06 February 1985 and in the case of absolute necessity.
“Nonetheless, these regulations are specific to Covid-19 and should be repealed.
“This does not call into question either the right of the innocent passage nor the regulation of supervision of anchorages set up by the Maritime Prefecture.
To read the full statement, click here.
These clarifications should reassure yachting professionals wishing to take advantage of the French anchorages on the French Riviera and Corsica this summer.