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European Regulations Regarding Insurance Cover and AIS Equipment

By Val Ellis last modified Sep 13, 2009 09:26 AM

Published: 2009-09-13 09:26:07
Countries: Albania , Azores , Belgium , Bulgaria , Channel Islands , Croatia , Cyprus , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany , Gibraltar , Greece , Greenland , Iceland , Ireland , Italy , Latvia , Lithuania , Netherlands , Norway , Poland , Portugal , Romania , Spain , Sweden , United Kingdom

Posted Fri, 13th Mar 2009

It's important to note that this currently proposed AIS Requirement is for fishing vessels only and that the insurance requirement applies to commercial vessels.

The 11th March package approved by the the European Parliament for maritime safety may have two ramifications for leisure sailors who visit European ports. The first is mandatory anyway in many European countries, but the second may affect all yachts over 15 metres. This may affect not only European sailors, but those who charter or sail in from other parts of the world.

The package is, of course not aimed at leisure sailors, but rather at ships of the world and other commercial vessels who sail into and out of European ports.

The first tenet is the requirement for vessels to carry insurance. While the overwhelming majority of leisure sailors insure their boats now, and charter boats are already covered by law, there are a significant proportion of long range cruising sailors who don't carry insurance because of the expense. In the future they will be denied entry to any European port.

The second tenet is the requirement envisaged for all vessels over 15 metres to carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS). This piece of legislation is aimed at fishing boats, not at leisure yachts, but the sailing boats will be caught as well. More and more leisure yachts are carrying this worthy piece of electronic gear anyway, but get ready for it to be mandatory.

With this new package, the European Union will have a completely overhauled system for monitoring vessels in its ports. This system will allow a more frequent and systematic inspection of vessels, and will make it possible to ban non-complying boats, as well as ships, from European ports.

by Des Ryan