I've got a serious issue going on..
I am from Portugal
and I've got a boat registered under the Belgium Flag.
Two weeks ago I was tying of on my spot at the local marina here on the island and I was "inspected" by the local Polícia Marítima (I believe it is similar to the Coast Guard - USCG).
According to the Belgium Flag certificate I am not obligated to have a driving permit
for sea and I can only be boarded and inspected by Belgium authorities and the local Customs
Also, according to Belgium Flag rules I also not obligated to show any other documents nor security equipment
to the local authorities here in Portugal
It happens that they asked me for several documents including the Boat's registry, insurance
, "lighthouse tax" and fishing license
and I obliged!
After that the officer asked me to show him my security equipment
, fire extinguisher, flares, life vests to which I replied, I am on a boat running the Belgium Flag and that he had no authority to ask me for any of those items.
The officer kept insisting that I had to show him the equipment and my driving permit
to which I answered: "I do have them stored in the cabin
but you Sir, you do not have authority in that matter thus I will not show you that." because he is not even authorized to ask me for those things according to the Belgium Flag in the first place.
After he was done, he told me I was going to receive a ticket notice.
It so happens that on Friday I received the ticket notice and, in sum, it is saying that I failed to provide a driving permit and that I did not have the security equipment on board.
Also there was something saying that as the total ticket price
is an abstract amount I was not able to pay the ticket voluntarily and had 20 days to counter the accusations.
Has anyone here experienced this in their home waters?
I will have to write a counter letter to defend myself and I really need the exact laws so I can juice up the letter by giving valid laws instead of what is just written on the Pavillon Belge website where I registered the boat at...
Tomorrow I will try to get in contact with the office that I have the boat registered at but my french is somewhat spotty..
I'm sorry for the long thread but I really need help with this..
Thank you all in advance!
Stay safe on the water!