13/11/2018
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Home > Daily News > The Government Wants To Fine Up To €100,000 To Websites That Rent Pirate Yachts

The Government Wants To Fine Up To €100,000 To Websites That Rent Pirate Yachts

The proposal of Ports follows the example of the tourist rent and incorporates to the sanctioning regime to the digital platforms that offer boats without license – On November 6 there will be a “macro meeting” to plan the fight against piracy in 2019

The nautical fair of Palma reflects the importance of the sector in the islands. B. Ramón
On November 6 a “macro meeting” has been convened in which the nautical patron, the Govern, Maritime Captaincy, the Government Delegation, the General Directorate of Merchant Marine, the Tax Agency and the Civil Guard, among others, will participate. , to plan the fight against the ‘pirate’ ships during 2019, “the most important that has been held so far in the sector” , in the words of the General Director of Ports and Airports, Xavier Ramis. And the proposal that this is going to put on the table is to incorporate the sanctioning regime, with fines that can reach up to 100,000 euros, to web pages that market the yacht rentalwithout stating the number of your authorization , following the example of the measures taken against illegal tourist rental.
This initiative is based on the constant complaints made by the Balearic association of maritime activities companies (APEAM) , and more specifically by the president of his nautical charter commission, José María Jiménez, regarding the massive presence in the archipelago of vessels that they are rented, mainly to tourists, without having the corresponding license for this activity.

The situation has become so serious, according to Jiménez, that during the summer, as many pirate yachts as the ones that are licensed to rent are sailing through the islands, and it shows that in the case of Eivissa the first ones are even more numerous than the seconds. According to this employer’s association, in Balears there were at the beginning of the summer some 2,700 illegal boats, as many as legal.

Xavier Ramis considers that this estimate of irregular ships is excessive, but he does not hide that his number is really high. Therefore, the first measure that was adopted shortly before last summer was the creation of a register in which all the boats that are dedicated to charter with the corresponding license must register. In August there were 2,722 registered , and at the moment they are close to 3,000 , according to Xavier Ramis, which is interpreted as an outcrop of a part of the yachts that previously operated without authorization and which, faced with the expected tightening of controls, They have chosen to regularize their situation in that short period of time. Further, that number is almost double that of the vessels that were legalized five years ago.

The general director highlights the importance that this sector has in the Balearics with one fact: the islands concentrate 30% of the charter fleet throughout Spain.

Control of the web

A factor that is considered key to combat these illegal activities is the control of the web pages where the rental boats are commercialized, given that the bulk of the demand is foreign. Hence, the activity of these will be incorporated into the sanctioning regime in the case that unregistered yachts are offered.

In any case, the general director of Ports remember that a few days ago he had a meeting with representatives of several of these digital platforms, and values ​​the commitment they acquired not to advertise any vessel that does not include the number of the record to prove that your activity is legal.

The incorporation of the activity of the web to the sanctioning regime supposes fines of 60 to 500 eurosin the case of the minor infractions, of 500 to 10,000 euros in the serious ones, and of 10,000 to 100,000 euros in the very serious ones, although from the Conselleria his willingness to analyze the proposals aimed at hardening these fines is suggested, as proposed by the nautical charter employers.

Very serious sanctions are contemplated in the event that there is a repetition of the infringement.

We must remember, for example, that the Government has already proposed a fine of 300,000 euros to the platform of rental of housing Airbnb for repeatedly offering properties of the islands dedicated to tourist rental that do not have the corresponding authorization.

Because in the opinion of José María Jiménez, said sanctions, especially in the case of mild, are very low and hardly will play a deterrent against those digital platforms that are committed to the commercialization of craft regardless if it is in the record Balearic.

The General Directorate of Ports has opened some 60 sanctioning files in the last three years , most of them for serious infractions, which entails a sanction proposal of 500 to 10,000 euros.

The problem, according to the president of nautical charters, is the enormous difficulty that exists when ‘hunting’ offenders, especially in the case of foreign vessels that are precisely the most numerous, given that many of them are hardly they touch some archipelago port. In this sense, he emphasizes that it is common to see how a zodiac moves clients from some beach to the yacht, which remains anchored in the vicinity. In his opinion, this type of strategy on the part of the offenders explains that the Ministrydetects an illegal activity inferior to the one that in his opinion exists in reality.

Greater vigilance

José María Jiménez acknowledges that it is beginning to appreciate a greater intensity in the surveillance carried out by the autonomous and state administrations, and in this sense applauds the work being done by the current director general of ports, which states that “is the first one who has taken this problem seriously “.

The business spokesman points out that not only is the charter activity detected by unlicensed vessels, but even with employers who do not have the corresponding degree, which entails risk for the passage.

The importance of the meeting to celebrate the next day 6 lies not only in the large number of attendees, but in it will analyze the proposals they present for new measures within the plan to combat pirate ships for the 2019 season.