27 Feb 2024


The first Captain Symposium just took over in Sint Maarten at Isle de Sol IGY Marina where five top agencies of the Med have been giving updates for next coming season. The topics chosen were related to the news worth knowing by the captains before approaching the next season in all the EU countries. Each of the five representatives highlighted different topics, showing how different are the laws and their interpretation by each government.

Going from West to East, Marta Spreafico of Lantimar Yachting representing Spain, showed that the Spanish immigration and Port Authorities make it easier to meet restrictions than other countries. Spain has been steadily increasing in popularity as a cruising destination for megayachts over the last 5 years, and the opening of new marinas such as Málaga and the hosting of the America's cup 2024 in Barcelona will only increase this popularity. Additionally, Marta shed some light on the characteristics of the charter license and tax structure necessary to understand how to develop commercial activities in Spanish waters.

France and Monaco are ready for the new season with the spring events like Cannes Film Festival and Monaco F1 Grand Prix. Mark Ravnholt from Catalano Shipping Services brought the focus on the easy way to import prior to commercial activity. Charters can be done both under commercial registry or with a private registry switched to YET. This confirms France/Monaco as the accessible countries from a fiscal perspective. Two types of contracts, MYBA charter style and transport contract at lower VAT rate are available. Restrictions on anchorages along the coasts of France including Corsica were also pointed out with compulsory prior request to nearest signal station min 1h prior arrival for +70m LOA

Alberto Cadeddu from Nautica Assistance was in charge to show the Italian status. Not much news (still YET registry not accepted by customs) apart from many immigration offices that are now ignoring the last regulation regarding the non schengen holder crew. The law enforced one year ago made it impossible to have non schengen passport holder crew stamped onto the boat, suggesting the D-Visa as the best solution. The good news is that the D-Visa is very easy to obtain by any consulate in Europe, and in the meantime many immigration points have decided to ignore the new law and they are back on stamping in and out any crew passport as it was before and it happens in other EU countries. Restriction from the Maritime Health Offices due to a growth of Dengue cases, were also highlighted during the speech.

Croatia became a Schengen member in 2023, and Andrjia Simic from Simmor Marine showed how immigration rules are now more strict while the charter became very accessible for EU Commercially Registered Yachts NO LIMITATION ON LOA and non EU commercial registered vessels above 24 m LOA. Charter activity is always welcome and a license seems easy to get.

The most attended news was related to the Greek government opening to foreign flagged vessels for charter activities. Eleni Zournantzi from Neptunea was amazingly precise showing all the possibilities and procedures needed to get the licence and to the usage of the boat by the owner of the yacht. Updates for clearance documentation & procedures and immigration rules were also shown together with the news about some marinas.

The audience was able to ask many specific questions and get the answers from each country's representative even the following day. Each of the agents is committed to keep updated on all the captains and brokers with updated newsletters from now on until the beginning of the season.
The IGY team at Isle de Sol made a major work with the set up and the organization of this event while the IGY Marketing Team is looking already at the second edition to be hosted next summer in one of the IGY Marinas, with the focus on rules and regulations of the winter destinations 2024-25.

As the symposium drew to a close, it became evident that the collaborative effort of industry stakeholders is paramount in steering through the ever-shifting currents of maritime regulations. The insights shared by Marta Spreafico, Mark Ravnholt, Alberto Cadeddu, and Eleni Zournantzi highlighted the diverse array of challenges and opportunities awaiting captains in the EU waters. The commitment of each agency to keep captains informed through ongoing newsletters underscores the importance of continuous dialogue and education in this dynamic realm. Kudos to the Isle de Sol IGY Marina team for their exemplary organization, laying the foundation for future editions aimed at unraveling the rules and regulations of upcoming winter destinations.

Should you need some direct information from our partners please do not hesitate to contact

andrija@simmormarine.com for Croatia
mspreafico@lantimaryachting.com for Spain
mark@catalanoshipping.com for France and Monaco
e.zournantzi@neptunea.gr for Greece
agency@nayacht.con for Italy