Maritime Affairs

Find all the services of boat registration


Maritime Affairs is an administrative department responsible, inter alia, for the coordination of the State's strategies relating to the sea and the monitoring of French territorial waters and coastal waters. It is also involved in the management of marine and river recreational boating. This administration, known as the Directorate of Maritime Affairs (DAM), is subdivided into subdirections for an efficient meshing of French territory around the world.

Brief History of Maritime Affairs

Maritime administration and management date back to the 17th century. On the impulse of Jean-Baptiste Colbert during the reign of Louis XIV, a first administrative service was created to record the sailors serving on the ships of the Royal Navy, the Service des Classes. It was renamed the Maritime Recording to the French Revolution (1795) with a new supplementary role: the regulation and surveillance of French territorial waters. Maritime Registration became Maritime Affairs in 1967.

The Role of Maritime Affairs Administration

Maritime Affairs develops, coordinates and implements marine regulations by ensuring compliance at the national and local level throughout French territory.

The Maritime Affairs Department intervenes on:

  • Safety and maritime security through surveillance of maritime navigation and signalling, search and rescue at sea, prevention of risks and pollution of ships, coordination of the seas police (fisheries police, navigation police ...)
  • Marine and river pleasure and nautical leisure by the administrative management of navigation titles (navigation map), registration and vessel permits and the regulation of nautical activities
  • Trades and seafarers through the elaboration and application of the law of maritime labour (regulation and working conditions), the social protection of seafarers (fishermen, seafarers ...) and their vocational training
  • Regulations and maritime policy integrated into maritime activities (maritime transport, Marine Marchande ...)
  • The management and administrative follow-up of the commercial fleet flying the French flag
  • Protection of the marine environment and approaches to sustainable development and ecology related to fisheries, aquaculture (marine crops) and marine energy
  • ...

The Organization of the Maritime Affairs Branch

The Maritimes Affairs Branch is working on a number of non-recreational missions where we cannot decline all of the specifics here. Here is the simplified organization chart for the DAM relating to pleasure boating.

DAM is a branch of the DGITM (Directorate General of Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea) which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Territorial Communities. DAM is divided into decentralised services:

  • In metropolitan France by the 4 Interregional Directions of the Sea (DMRI) in the East Channel and North Sea, North Atlantic and English Channel, in the South Atlantic and in the Mediterranean
  • En Outre-Mer (Directions de la Mer or DM) in Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and South Indian Ocean (Réunion, Mayotte, Lands Australes and Antarctica).

DAM is also present in the Pacific in New Caledonia, in Polynesie-Française, in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Tahiti, in the Windward Islands ...

Placing the port authorities known as the Maritime Affairs District since 2010, each Interregional branch of the Sea is also divided into several Directorates of the Territories and the Sea (DDTM), which are themselves subdivided into Delegations to the Sea and the Littoral. These services are responsible for administrative procedures (navigation titles, registration of a pleasure craft, pleasure craft) and information to the public for marine and river navigation.

Administrative procedures during confinement in the fall of 2020

With the ban on navigating during the new confinement (except for specific cases detailed in our news), boaters are stranded at the dock. This is the time to take all your administrative steps in order to return to the sea calmly as soon as possible. Like Customs, the Maritime Affairs offices remain open and operational and our advisors work full-time to meet all your needs: ship registration, navigation card, modification of a title ... Benefit from our expertise recognised by each Directorate of the Territories and the Sea and each Delegation to the Sea and the Littoral. By using, the shipping and registration deadlines for a pleasure craft are reduced.

In our experience, we found that the management of 80 % of files suffers from delays in processing due to missing parts and information, all the more so as it is necessary to study many specific cases. The result is the loss of time, interminable exchanges with the maritime administrations, difficulties in reaching the former owners, etc. This is magnified by the crisis of the Covid-19 because the services are overwhelmed and understaffed. It is therefore essential to present a perfect record of the first blow! To avoid any administrative debugging and extension delays, leave us your file. We take care of your administrative approach from A to Z from the request until the document is obtained.

Maritime Affairs –