Yachting News » Business » ECPY Clarifies Easing of Restrictions in French Waters

ECPY Clarifies Easing of Restrictions in French Waters

Further to publication by the Prefecture Maritime Mediteranée of a decree outlining an easing of restrictions for nautical activities in French waters, ECPY has issued an update to clarify the implications for commercial yachts.

The main question raised has concerned whether or not the following statement is applicable to yachting:

"The stopover in a port, the mooring and the stop, pleasure craft flying the French or foreign flag are limited, along the coast, to a maximum distance of 54 nautical miles (about 100 km) from their home port… ” 

ECPY are keen to point out that:

  • Commercial yachts, as designated by their register, division 242 for France, or under the RIF flag or the technical equivalences of the usual flags of yachts, Red Ensign, Cayman Is., Marshall Is., Malta, etc. applying the Large Yacht Code, are 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 than 12 passengers);
  • Commercial yachts are not sold by the cabin, and sail with either a charter contract or a transport agreement, to the exclusion of all bareboat charter.

Consequently, the articles published by the Prefecture Maritime Mediteranée (France), relate exclusively to pleasure craft (case of decree 62-2020), and are not applicable to professional yachting. Therefore, with regard to the temporary measures linked to COVID-19, the movement of these commercially registered yachts, with their crew, is authorized.

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

In addition:

  1. ECPY is currently negotiating with the authorities so that private yachts with equivalent safety certificates benefit from the same treatment as commercially registered yachts.
  2. ECPY is also negotiating with the authorities so that charter or transport operations on yachts can resume as quickly as possible.
  3. In the current state of negotiations, we are aiming that charter and transport operations will be authorized for July and August, provided that the easing of restrictions goes well. This is a realistic objective which is subject to confirmation.

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