The act of francization of a pleasure boat

The maritime equivalent of the grey map of land vehicles, the act of francization is a navigation title like the Traffic card, which is required to navigate the rule. However, this administrative document is mandatory only in certain cases, depending on the type of vessel, hull length and engine power. For which pleasure craft and VNM (Motor vehicles with engine: Jet ski) is it compulsory? How do I get it? In what form is the document presented? Dedicated to boaters and shipwreck professionals, our service advises you and accompanies you in your administrative steps to obtain the act of francization.

What does an act of francisation look like?

Franciser a pleasure boat

The act of francization is an authorization to fly the French flag issued by Customs Services. When the pleasure craft is French, it is subject to French law. Its owner must then apply the regulations in force in France, both at the legislative and tax levels, and pay the annual Law of Francisation and Navigation (DAFN).

The act of francization, valid throughout the life of the ship as long as it beats the French flag, is attached to the boat and its owner. Any change (transfer of ownership, change of administrative position, replacement of engine, modification of hull length ...) must be made to the Customs Office. A new act of francization will then be edited, replacing the previous one.

This administrative document must be in the possession of the browser (owner or lessee) when the vessel is on the water or on land during towing. You must be able to submit it at any time to the screening officer if requested.

Important: in the case of co-ownership of the boat, only one request for an act of francisation must be made, bearing the details and the distribution of the shares of each co-owner.

Which pleasure craft are affected by the act of francization?

Vessels and motorboats with a length of hull of 7 metres or more, and/or having an administrative power (expressed in tax horses) equal to or greater than 22 CV must be francized. Any VNM (Vehicle Nautical to Engine: jet-ski, sea scooter) with a real power greater than 90 kW is also affected by this approach. This applies to new and used vessels, regardless of the age of the vessel.

If your boat does not fit in these criteria (hull length less than 7 metres, lower power ...), you must nevertheless be in possession of a traffic card and have registered your vessel with maritime affairs, the DDTM (Directorate Départementale des Territories et de la Mer).

CAUTION: The customs registration of the French vessel does not excuse the presentation of the act of francization to the DDTM because the document must be validated and stamped. Otherwise you would not be in good standing with the legislation in force. No worries, we take care of the whole approach, including the request, the obtaining of the title and its validation by the maritime administrations.

The conditions required for the francization of a pleasure craft

To francise your new or used pleasure boat, it must have been built in one of the countries of the European Union or its current owner must have paid the taxes and import duties.

The vessel must also have successfully completed all security checks. The CTA (Statement of Conformity) validates the vessel's compliance with its entry into the European market.

Finally, the boat must be at least half:

  • A national (natural person) of a Member State of the EU (France or other) or of a State in agreement with the EEA (European Economic Area), whose principal residence is established in France or having been elected to it.
  • A company (legal entity) whose head office is established in France, in a Member State of the European Union or in an EEA State.

If this is not your case, we propose, if necessary, an election service from home on French territory, allowing us to francise your boat and become your referent to the administrations.

How to modify an act of francization?

You may at any time report an administrative change on the act of francization. This is mandatory. Don't you have time? We propose you the complete management of your administrative procedures in case of:

The Annual Law of Francisation and Navigation (DAFN)

The DAFN is a mandatory annual fee for navigation, applicable to all ships and VNM. It is calculated based on the hull length of the sail or motor vessel and the administrative power (expressed in administrative horses) of the vehicle engine (s). For yachts, a specific tax applies, do not hesitate to contact us to know the amount.

A dilapidated abatement is granted according to the age of the vessel if the engine power is less than 100 administrative CVs). If the amount is less than 76 €, you will be exempt from the payment.

In the first year of purchase, you will be required to prorate the months during which the vessel is in your possession and at the beginning of each subsequent year. An annual notice of payment will be sent directly to you by post at the address indicated at the time of registration.

To calculate the amount of your DAFN (age included), we provide you with a smart calculator.

Go to the calculator

Some special cases for francization

Navigation in International Waters

Navigating in international waters is authorized to French vessels, but only if the design category, safety equipment and diplomas in the possession of the owner or the tenant (licence to sail in international waters) permit.

The act of francization for used boats

If the request for francisation applies to your yacht bought in France or in the EU, you have a period of one month from the signature of the deed of sale to make your request ..

For vessels acquired in other foreign countries outside the EU, a declaration of prior import is necessary to obtain the act of francization. Customs may also require a ship's compliance expertise to justify placing on the European market.

The act of francization for foreign vessels

Francization is an essential step for pleasure craft previously under the foreign flag.

However, it is possible for a European or French national, having elected domicile in France, to keep the previous flag, subject to the payment of a passport fee, strictly identical to the amount of the DAFN.

CAUTION: It is not uncommon to see " beautiful announcements of foreign-flagged vessels (Belgian or Dutch to name but one), boasting the advantage of not paying taxes in France. If the previous owner did not pay the passport fee, then Customs will require you to pay the arrears before proceeding with the new registration.

Engine replacement with lower power

It can happen that a change of engine with a lower power during the transfer of property exempts you from the francization (less than 22 administrative CVs for motorboats 7 meters and more, less than 90 kW for VNM). In this case, you will have to report it, we will ask for the cancellation of your ship in their register, even if the former owner had given you the act of francization.

How does an act of francization occur?

Until 2012, the act of francisation for pleasure was presented in the form of an orange notebook. Since January 1, 2013, the new version of the act is a digital document (1 page in A4 format).

Act of Francization Boat of pleasure old model

On the cover of the notebook are the general information: the francisation number and the boat number, the vessel's original name, the date of the francisation and the place where it was validated, the stamp and the signature of the Customs Office.

Vessel characteristics:

  • Type of boat (yacht, sailing boat, motor boat, VNM ...)
  • Previous ship names
  • Serial and serial number (unique identifier)
  • Manufacturer's name and address
  • Country and year of construction
  • Building Materials
  • Past Pavilion and Import from a Foreign Country
  • Propulsion mode (manual, sail or motor)
  • Distinctive Signs
  • Tonnage and measurements (hull length, tonnage ...).

Engine Characteristics:

  • Engine Brand
  • Engine Type
  • Power of the engine expressed in real CV and administrative CV
  • Type of fuel used (LPG, diesel, gasoline).


  • Company (name and address of insurance company selected)
  • Insurance contract number.

Owner or co-owner information:

  • Name
  • First Name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Address
  • Occupation.

If the vessel belongs to a legal and non-physical person, the name and address on French territory are requested.

If there are two or more co-owners, an insert is provided to record their contact details (name, first name and address) and the distribution of ownership shares (in %).

Finally, the name of the former owner, if any, must also appear.

New Model Francization Act

Since January 1, 2013, the act of francisation for pleasure craft is a secure digital document presented in this form:

Vessel Identification:

  • Name of vessel
  • Francization number, given by Customs on request
  • Vessel registration number, given by the DDTM (the first two letters correspond to the registration area and are followed by 6 digits and a key letter. If there is a change in ownership AND homeport, only the first two letters will be changed on the transfer of ownership declaration)
  • The name and location of the Customs office through which the vessel was registered.

Vessel characteristics:

  • Type of boat (sailboat, motorboat, yacht, catamaran, jet-ski ...)
  • Model (model name given by constructor)
  • Constructor (if this is an amateur construction, the potential sale date must be shown)
  • Ship modified (yes/no, changes made by individual or not and if yes, date of potential sale)
  • Year of construction of the vessel
  • WIN number (Watercraft Identification Number): vessel hull identification number that replaces the old HIN and CIN numbers
  • Design category: ability of the vessel to meet certain navigation conditions (A for high seas, B for offshore, C for the coastal zone and D for protected waters)
  • Inshell length in metres
  • Shell Width in metres
  • Total number of engines
  • Characteristics of the engine or engines: brand, model, serial number (unique identifier), real power expressed in kW, administrative horse power (CV), fuel used (petrol, diesel, LPG).

Owner data:

  • Name, first name, address of the owner or owners
  • Name, first name, address and distribution of shares (%) co-owners if there are any
  • Name, first name and address of the tenant or tenants if necessary.

An insert is provided to record the place and date of the francisation of the boat, followed by the stamps and signatures of the Prefect of the Department and the Customs Office.

The act of francization of a pleasure boat –