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By No owner — last modified Nov 09, 2015 10:07 PM

 Netherlands - Formalities

Clearance

Although an EU country, all boats arriving from overseas must fly the Q flag and report on arrival and departure. This is strictly enforced.

On arrival the Customs will issue a certificate of entry, which is valid for a maximum of 12 months. During this period a yacht may leave and re-enter the Netherlands, showing the certificate on each re-entry. Foreign yachts must be registered.

Visiting yachts may need to complete an entry form in triplicate and hand it in at an Immigration office. EU yachts can simply post such a completed form.

Two copies should be kept on board for future reference. Forms can be obtained in advance, or from the Harbour Master at the port of arrival. When the Harbour Master's office is closed, contact the Immigration office by phone: 0118 483400.

An example of a form can be downloads from this website. Different regions might have a different design.

Spot checks are often carried out and yachts are fined if the correct procedure is not followed.

Last updated November 2016.

Immigration

All visitors require a passport which must be valid for at least three months after departure from the territory of the Schengen countries.

The Netherlands is a member of the Schengen Agreement Area. See Noonsite' Schengen page for more details on the immigration rules.

Last updated November 2016.

Customs

All firearms must be licensed, and a copy of the licence carried. There are restrictions concerning signalling pistols. Very type flare pistols must be accompanied by a firearms certificate issued in the country of origin.

A radio operator's licence may also be requested.

Import of raw meat is prohibited.

The yacht may not be sold, rented or borrowed while in the Netherlands, unless the appropriate taxes have been paid.

EU regulations apply concerning temporary importation. See EU VAT page for more information.

Last updated November 2016.

Customs
Belastingdienst/Douane , Postbus 3070, 6401 DN HEERLEN , The Netherlands
Tel:+ 31 45 574 30 31
Opening hours: 08.00- 20.00 (Mon-Thurs), 08.00 - 17.00 (Fri)

Documents

Yachts must carry their original registration document, insurance policy and ship's radio licence. One member of the crew must have a radio operator’s certificate of competence. For EU boats, proof of VAT status is also required. A copy of Binnenvaart Politie Reglement (BPR) must also be carried, even if the Dutch is not understood.

On inland waterways, any person steering a vessel capable of more than 9 knots must be over 18 years and have the Dutch "vaarbewijzen" or an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) endorsed for inland waterways. This same rule complies to boats longer than 15 meters. Such a certificate may now be requested from anyone in charge of an offshore yacht.

Restrictions

Navigation
Shipping traffic is very heavy along the coast. A very busy shipping route is via the Hook of Holland over the New Waterway to Rotterdam, and there is no yacht harbour in this port. In a strong westerly wind and outgoing tide from the New Waterway there can be a high tidal sea.

Inland waterways
Access to the inland waterways is from the ports of Veerhaven and the IJmuiden locks. From Den Helder there are connections via the Noord-Hollands Canal and the Zaan with Amsterdam. There is access through Vlissingen with a standing mast via the Canal through Walcheren with connections to Dordrecht and Rotterdam. There is no access from Scheveningen.

There are no speed limits on the larger rivers (except the Maas), the IJsselmeer, the open-sea channels in Zeeland, the Waddenzee and the coastal waters. However, there are speed limits in force on the canals and lakes, varying between 5 and 9 knots in different areas, which should be checked. Motorboats capable of travelling at more than 9 knots must be registered. This can be done at most larger post offices for a fee, showing proof of identity. In some areas local permission must also be obtained to travel at greater speeds.

On many of the canals and rivers yachts must keep to starboard and have their engines prepared for use. If motorsailing on the waterways, yachts are required to display forward a black cone, apex downwards.

Landing on some islands in the inland waterways is restricted. There are also restrictions concerning draft and height. However, there are certain routes that can be taken by yachts with high fixed masts without encountering any bridges. These are in the western and northern parts of Holland, such as Vlissingen to Delfzijl.

Yachts are required to have on board a copy of the Inland Waters Police Regulations, which are in force on most of the inland waters, the Zeeland channels (except the Western Scheldt, where its own shipping regulations apply), the IJsselmeer, and the Waddenzee. On the Dutch Rhine, the Waal and the Lek the Rhine Route Police Regulations are in force.

The Inland Waters Police Regulations are available in Part I of the Almanak voor Watertourisme, in Dutch only. Part 2 contains tide tables, opening times of bridges and locks, and other essential details.

The rules applicable to Amsterdam, are called the Verordening op de Haven en het Binnenwater.

On the basis of these rules the Amsterdam port control and police patrol boats can give compulsory instructions and issue fines if necessary.

It is recommended to have the latest charts on board as depths change and banks as well as shallow areas move frequently.

From January 2009 it is prohibited to discharge black water (toilet waste) from all pleasure boats on all inland waterways, lakes, the Waddensea and territorial waters within 12 NM of the Netherlands Coast.

Pleasure boats can be installed with holding tanks, dry or chemical toilets or boaters could choose simply not to use their toilets. The law is likely to be enforced with rigour.

Fishing
There are certain regulations regarding fishing in the Netherlands and a permit must be bought. Permits can be obtained at post offices. Regulations must be respected concerning closed seasons, areas where fishing is permitted, types of rods which can be used and types of fish which can be caught.

Pets

Animals must have a valid Health Certificate and Rabies Vaccination Cerificate. For further information on bringing in live animals, please contact: Rijksdienst voor de Keuring van Vee en Vlees, Postbus 3000, 2270 JA Voorburg, Tel: (070)357 88 11.

The Netherlands accepts pets covered by PETS (Pet Travel Scheme) with current Pet Passport and microchip.

The import of all birds, including pet birds and poultry, arriving from countries infected with Avian influenza is prohibited.

The import of psittacine birds if coming from Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua or Paraguay is prohibited.

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