ECPY has been actively investigating the situation created by COVID-19 for yachts and yachting, and taking into consideration the announcement made by our prime minister, have released the following guidance.
The information aims to summarise requirements and recommendations for ship owners and captains in order to maximise safety of seafarers in the COVID-19 environment; ensure passengers can be safely hosted and cruise on yachts; avoid yachting to be a source of virus dissemination; and should crew or passengers get infected, to manage yachts operation in accordance with health care capacities in the areas of operation.
Status of commercial yachts
It is important to remember that commercial yachts are designated as Merchant vessels and not as Pleasure vessels. They are related to Cargo ships but do not fall under the Passenger ships (more than 12 passengers). Commercial yachts do not sell at the cabin and cruise with either a charter contract, either a transport contract, to the exclusion of all bareboat charter.
Restrictions in France can be at five levels:
National regulations published by the Prime Minister or any other relevant minister
Department regulations published by the Prefet, including areas up to 300m from the shore
City regulations published by the Mayor after approval of the Prefet
Maritime regulations published by the Prefet Maritime (beyond 300m from the shore)
Port authority (most often the Mayor or Harbourmaster as his representative)
Addendums to transport agreement and charter agreement have been put in place to consider the COVID-19 as a case of force majeure and determine the conditions of cancellation, postponement or termination of the agreement if the charterer/client or the owner/service provider is directly impacted by the COVID-19 disease to fulfil his obligation, or incase the COVID-19 disease was affecting the enjoyment of the vessel, or in case of COVID-19 case or suspicion of case during the cruise. Contact your preferred broker for additional details.
For further information on the arrival of yachts in French waters, all information relating to passengers, testing and more, find the entire guidance article here.