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Latest Rules for Navigation in French Territorial Waters

With so much uncertainty regarding current coronavirus restrictions, there have been many questions from vessels looking to return to French waters. The current restrictions are limiting and there is no date for the current end of the decree in place. The French government is planning the process of lifting restrictions from mid-April onwards.
After contacting the controlling authorities (Prefecture of the French Mediterranean and local port authority), Riviera Yacht Support has managed to decipher and condense the rulings as follows (many minute details have been left out in the aim of clarity), with the information concerning non-EU flagged vessels, whether privately registered or commercially registered.
The decree states that transit is possible if the vessel is going to its homeport or if it is going to a shipyard for planned repairs. The definition of homeport is if the vessel owns the berth and is directly linked to said berth. However, after further communications with the Prefecture Maritime and local Antibes port authority the following is permitted:

  • It is permitted to transit from port to port where you have a confirmed reservation.

  • All anchoring and stopping is not permitted whether on charter or not.               

  • Picking up a charter in France while in port leaving a port to depart France is permitted.

  • Chartering is permitted. 

  • Transiting to a shipyard where you have a prior contract for works is permitted.

  • A vessel can arrive in France with a prior confirmed reservation, however the following documents are required: DMS (Declaration Maritime Sante); Valid ships sanitation certificate; Attestation sur l’Honneur Covid (document declaring you have no cases or signs of Covid on board).

  • Please note each port or shipyard may have its own particular restrictions and documentation request.

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