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Old 03-05-2016, 01:15   #1
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License and Registration in the EU..

Hi everyone. I have been looking at licensing laws and requirements for cruising in the EU.. and as if things were not confusing enough (for example, in Germany a german needs a license to operate a boat with more than 15HP but a british national doesn't need one while visiting Germany cause he doesn't need one in his home country.. I think that is bananas but oh well.. so it is).

So this is actually a long and convoluted story and in the interest of keeping it simple, here is the question. If a Canadian with permanent residency in Germany buys a sailing boat in the Netherlands, which is not registered, he is:

1. Required to have a german license because he lives in Germany and there the law says you need to have a license for a boat this size.

2. Required to have a canadian boating license because he is a Canadian, regardless of whether the ship is registered in the Netherlands or not.. or elsewhere.

3. Required to have a german license if he registers the boat in germany under german flag with the BSH (which requires my german wife to be the majority owner of the boat.. I am fine with that). Then german laws apply and this means this boat requires a german license to be sailed.

4. No license is required if the boat is bought in the Netherlands and sailed there since there there is no license nor registration requirement for a boat this size. It doesn't matter which nationality one is.

5. Nobody gives a rat really.. it is only an issue if you bump into someone and the insurance asks questions.

6. None of the above

Thanks!

PS: alternative "7" .. one register the boat with the DSV or ADAC in Germany, gets an IBS registration.. which does not allow one to put a german flag on the boat but instead one puts the flag of the owners nationality on it and then try to explain to a portuguese official why your RYA UK issued ICC and Canadian Flag on a boat registered in Germany is totally ok
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:32   #2
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

Actually only requiring you to meet your home countries license requirements is perfectly logical. Remember most of these laws were developed for professional seafarers who might visit a dozens of countries per year. To try and get a license for each would be unrealistic.
- Your residency is a complication and I'm not sure if it affects your status.


Where will you boat? Coast or inland waterways...if it's inland waterways the rules are often different as you are viewed as a local cruiser and thus should meet local rules. (I know France requires CENVI if you want to cruise the canal systems)


How hard/expensive is it to get a German License? If it's not difficult just get one and it's not an issue.


If you weren't a resident and you were coastal cruising, being licensed in Canada would cover you (or if Canada doesn't have a license, you don't technically need one).


I would suggest looking at the German Licensing requirements to see if it talks about citizens or residents.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:33   #3
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

residency is not the same as being a natural citizen. A boat can be registered in any country that will allow it and still operate in Germany. The nautical rules of the country of registration usually apply when the boat enters another country. Your nationality might not matter; it's all about where the boat is registered. Generally speaking, boats in the EU are either EU boats or non EU boats and they are managed differently. When a non EU citizen buys a boat, it is usually deflagged if it's registered in an EU country. The new owner registers it elsewhere. Each EU country has different nautical laws and manages them differently although the EU is trying to implement a uniform code of practice. poorer EU countries might be more liberal in their implementation of rules, after all a tourist dollar is a great export earner. Best of luck.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:05   #4
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

Well the plan is to sail her out of the Netherlands via the canals, day sail to Calais and at that point make a decision whether to enter the canal system or attempt to cross the biscay (potentially with professional assistance) .. Then sail the med.

I forgot to mention the reason I do not wish to register it in Canada is to avoid risking for the boat to be considered "exported" out of the EU and thus lose its VAT paid status. Also, I live in Germany, my wife and my job is there.. I do not want to have to start observing some 18 month rule for a boat just cause I have a non EU passport even though I reside permanently and probably won't be relocating elsewhere anytime soon...

So am I correct to say, license requirements are exclusively tied to the nationality of the boat registration and not the nationality of the individual? .. But then what about the Netherlands case where registration is not mandatory nor is a license.. If one buys it there and just sails it there for example?

BTW I already have the RYA ICC but am doing the German license right now.. It might just not be done before I get the boat and would rather sail a bit around instead of having to park the boat until I get that if it is not required in the Netherlands.


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Old 03-05-2016, 03:48   #5
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

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Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Well the plan is to sail her out of the Netherlands via the canals, day sail to Calais and at that point make a decision whether to enter the canal system or attempt to cross the biscay (potentially with professional assistance) .. Then sail the med.

I forgot to mention the reason I do not wish to register it in Canada is to avoid risking for the boat to be considered "exported" out of the EU and thus lose its VAT paid status. Also, I live in Germany, my wife and my job is there.. I do not want to have to start observing some 18 month rule for a boat just cause I have a non EU passport even though I reside permanently and probably won't be relocating elsewhere anytime soon...

So am I correct to say, license requirements are exclusively tied to the nationality of the boat registration and not the nationality of the individual? .. But then what about the Netherlands case where registration is not mandatory nor is a license.. If one buys it there and just sails it there for example?

BTW I already have the RYA ICC but am doing the German license right now.. It might just not be done before I get the boat and would rather sail a bit around instead of having to park the boat until I get that if it is not required in the Netherlands.


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Not sure about Netherland canals but if you take the canals to the Med, you do need a CENVI for the French portion.

Canadian Registration will do nothing to eliminate VAT paid status. The rules are a bit more complicated but losing VAT status would require the boat leave the EU for a significant time and possibly with a sale outside the EU. So that's a non-issue given the situation you described. You could happily get Canadian Registration.

The 18 month VAT rule is if the boat is NOT VAT paid but wouldn't apply to you anyway as it is for non-residents. As a resident of the EU, VAT is due immediately (assuming it isn't already paid).

Don't quote me on it but I don't see why they would have an issue with a UK ICC for coastal cruising. If it includes the CENVI, I don't thing the French would really have an issue.
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:56   #6
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Hi everyone. I have been looking at licensing laws and requirements for cruising in the EU.. and as if things were not confusing enough (for example, in Germany a german needs a license to operate a boat with more than 15HP but a british national doesn't need one while visiting Germany cause he doesn't need one in his home country.. I think that is bananas but oh well.. so it is).

So this is actually a long and convoluted story and in the interest of keeping it simple, here is the question. If a Canadian with permanent residency in Germany buys a sailing boat in the Netherlands, which is not registered, he is:

FOR CLARITY, I AM WRITING IN CAPITAL LETTERS, I AM NOT SHOUTING...

1. Required to have a german license because he lives in Germany and there the law says you need to have a license for a boat this size.
I AM A US CITIZEN, WITH A US BOAT, I PAID VAT ON THE BOAT IN THE NETHERLANDS AND PUT THE BOAT THROUGH A POST-CONSTRUCTION ASSESSMENT SURVEY. I DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE MY FLAG, MY BOAT IS USCG DOCUMENTED. I AM SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE US. NO LICENSE IS NECESSARY IN THE NETHERLANDS UNLESS THE VESSEL IS LONGER THAN 15 METERS.

IF I WERE YOU AND HAVE A CANADIAN SAILING LICENSE IF ONE IS REQUIRED, I WOULD KEEP THE BOAT ON THE IJSSELMEER AND FLY A CANADIAN OR DUTCH FLAG AND KEEP THE GERMANS OUT OF THE PICTURE COMPLETELY.

2. Required to have a canadian boating license because he is a Canadian, regardless of whether the ship is registered in the Netherlands or not.. or elsewhere.
IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE TO FLY A CANADIAN FLAG AND IF YOU NEED A LICENSE TO SAIL IN CANADA, THEN YOU MIGHT NEED THAT LICENSE ANYWHERE. BUT SAILING A BOAT IN THE NETHERLANDS UNDER A DUTCH FLAG, ONE DOESN'T NEED A LICENSE.

3. Required to have a german license if he registers the boat in germany under german flag with the BSH (which requires my german wife to be the majority owner of the boat.. I am fine with that). Then german laws apply and this means this boat requires a german license to be sailed.
I WOULD STAY AWAY FROM THE GERMANS. I LIVE IN GERMANY, MY WIFE IS GERMAN, BUT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY BOAT IN THE NETHERLANDS.

4. No license is required if the boat is bought in the Netherlands and sailed there since there there is no license nor registration requirement for a boat this size. It doesn't matter which nationality one is.
THAT IS CORRECT.

5. Nobody gives a rat really.. it is only an issue if you bump into someone and the insurance asks questions.
IF YOU FLY A DUTCH OR GERMAN FLAG, THE DUTCH MARCHAUSEE WILL LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR THE MOST PART. ONE IS REQUIRED TO HAVE 5 MILLION IN LIABILITY FOR THE EU

6. None of the above

Thanks!

PS: alternative "7" .. one register the boat with the DSV or ADAC in Germany, gets an IBS registration.. which does not allow one to put a german flag on the boat but instead one puts the flag of the owners nationality on it and then try to explain to a portuguese official why your RYA UK issued ICC and Canadian Flag on a boat registered in Germany is totally ok
PAL, IF I WERE YOU, I WOULD KEEP MY BOAT IN THE NETHERLANDS AND STAY FAR AWAY FROM GERMAN WATERS AS POSSIBLE.

SKYLARK IS VAT PAID, CE CERTIFIED, USCG DOCUMENTED, INSURED IN THE NETHERLANDS FOR ABOUT 100 EUROS A YEAR BASED ON A 12000 EURO VALUE. I AM PROBABLY UNDERINSURED, BUT WHAT THE HAY, I WILL GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP...
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Old 03-05-2016, 13:00   #7
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

Having a German Sportbootfuehrerschein (sp?) is good if only to learn the signage along the European canals and rivers.

Again, if your boat is NOT registered in Germany, your life will be much simpler.
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Old 03-05-2016, 13:05   #8
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

I have heard that if one wants to take a vessel through the French canals, having a 2 meter draft isn't going to work. That's what I have heard. The French might advertise deeper canals, but I have read others' experiences that differ.
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Old 03-05-2016, 14:12   #9
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

I would call the BSH or DSV, my experience is they are friendly and helpful.

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Old 04-05-2016, 11:00   #10
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

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Originally Posted by George DuBose View Post
Having a German Sportbootfuehrerschein (sp?) is good if only to learn the signage along the European canals and rivers.

Again, if your boat is NOT registered in Germany, your life will be much simpler.

Like I said, the SBF See and Binnen (German licenses ) are in the works anyway .. It is just a matter of timing. ..

Hmm registering the ship in the Netherlands is not an option for me I don't think .. Since well .. I am not dutch nor live there :-) .. So it is Canadian or German flag for us. I would think a German flag while cruising the EU should make things easier.. Not harder.. :-S


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Old 04-05-2016, 12:00   #11
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

I know nothing about the boat aspect but experience has shown that, in general, exposing yourself to German bureaucracy makes your life more complicated.
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Old 04-05-2016, 13:20   #12
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

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I know nothing about the boat aspect but experience has shown that, in general, exposing yourself to German bureaucracy makes your life more complicated.
In general I don't know but with boating the German rules are relaxed. SBF See and Binnen (the licenses) are really easy to get. As a resident one can sail under german flag, costs are reasonable; also the fee for radio is not too much. As mentioned above the officials are (normally) friendly and helpful.

Netherland is probably even more relaxed. But as a German resident it's the natural thing imho to register in Germany.
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Old 04-05-2016, 20:50   #13
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Re: License and Registration in the EU..

German flag? Make absolutely certain that everything about you evidence. Of VAT is valid. Make sure that you abide by all of the German sailing qualifications and regulations. You still need To sign in to some countries and also get the right documentation when you're travelling. For Canadian flag the Canadian rules apply. Google JimB sail for current information. About sailing in the Med. There are several web sites that cover Euro waterways and you can get ENCs for most of them
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