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Home > Legal & Financial > Temporary Navigation Permit

Temporary Navigation Permit

The use of pleasure crafts and yachting has experienced an important boom in recent years. The variety of designs and new materials used in the construction of vessels has led to both a proliferation of models on the market and an improvement in the conditions of acquisition and access to them.

The aforementioned growth has led to the need for purchasers of these boats to go to exhibitions, boat shows or the premises of the importing, construction or licensed companies established in the ports and marinas in order to compare the different boats and even to test them in sea trials in the marine environment as a prior step to their acquisition. In order to carry out these activities, it is considered  the Spanish Law within the Royal Decree 685/2010 that regulates the temporary navigation permit  for certain pleasure crafts  (Real Decreto 685/2010, de 20 de mayo, por el que se regula el otorgamiento de permiso temporal de navegación para determinadas embarcaciones de recreo)  grants  of temporary navigation permits for recreational craft which, without being registered in Spain , carry out the activities described in the previous paragraphs, without prejudice to the establishment of any requirements that may be necessary to safeguard the safety of navigation, human life at sea and the marine environment.

The main purpose of this regulation is to provide a certain legal certainty and a general and lasting solution to the long-standing problem faced by shipyards and brokers when participating in exhibitions, boat shows or simply being able to show their ships at sea in a sea trial.  The temporary navigation permit may be applied for by importers, builders and distributors of recreational craft, and once granted, these will be authorised to:

  • Be exhibited at boat shows, exhibitions, ports and places used by importers, builders and distributors of boats.
  • Be tested at Port and in sea trials by carrying out exhibition activities in inland waters and in the territorial sea.
  • To sail between two or more ports or maritime facilities on the Spanish coast to participate in events and exhibitions.

The term for which the temporary permit is granted is for six months and there is the possibility of requesting a renewal once it expires, and there is no limitation on the number that each company may apply for.

The application for the temporary navigation permit must be submitted to the Maritime Authority (Capitanía Marítima)  corresponding to the maritime district in which the vessel is located, for which a standard application form has been produced, and a decision on whether or not to grant the permit must be taken within 15 days. The documentation to be provided with the application is as follows:

1) Identification number of the vessel.

2) Copy of the written declaration of conformity of the vessels and engines with CE marking. In the case that they do not have CE marking, the calculations that demonstrate the design category of the boats, as well as stability and freeboard, must be attached.

3) Declaration by the person in charge of the applicant company that the vessels for which the temporary permit is requested have the following nautical equipment on board:

  1. a) For rescue, safety, fire fighting, navigation and prevention of dirty water spills, depending on the navigation area where navigation is to be carried
  2. b) When for the navigation to be made it is necessary for the vessel to be equipped with radio MMSI identification number, as well as the ship’s station license (LEB), the log sheets of the same must be available. Given that the area in which these vessels may navigate is in the territorial sea

4) In the case of vessels manufactured and coming from third countries, the applicant company must attach a copy of the customs clearance (SAD or DUA).

Although it does not appear in the list of documentation foreseen in the Royal Decree, certification should also be provided that the compulsory civil liability insurance for recreational craft, regulated by R.D. 607/ 1999, has been taken out.

A novel and important aspect to highlight is that the regulation itself establishes  who can skipper these vessels and even how many potential clients can participate in the exhibition in the event that they sail.

In this sense, skippers may be the employees of the company responsible for the boat, i.e. the person requesting the permit, who have a  qualifications, competences  and endorsements  that allow them for the type of boat in question according state flag law. With regard to the number of potential buyers who may participate in the navigation, a maximum of three is established, to which must be added the skipper and other sellers or technicians. In any case, as is obvious, the number of persons may never exceed the number of persons that the vessel can carry according to its certificates.

Carlos Espinosa

Solicitor & Tax Adviser

+34 627 41 32 01