The francization of pleasure boats flying foreign flag

Request my change of flag


Yes. sail under foreign flag This was not the case today, but it was a great deal of privilege and the simplification of administrative procedures for the French. French or foreign navigators with their tax residence in France now have theobligation to submit to French regulations or do francize their boat of pleasure. To accompany you in your steps of repatriation under French flag, we decrypt for you the various procedures and legislation currently in force.

End of privileges for foreign boats: the Act of 2016

More flexible in terms of safety and administrative documents, other European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands have seduced French boaters for many years to register a boat. To name only them, the belgian flag allows to navigate in the offshore area without a navigation permit, the dutch pavilion allows navigation with reduced and simplified safety equipment...

European nationals could register their boats in the state of their choice and should only be subject to the rules of that flag, regardless of the navigation zone and their country of origin.

In order to encourage the recreational sector, Law 2016-816 for the Blue Economy, issued on 20 June 2016, makes a change for French nationals, as stipulated in Article L. 5241-1-1:

"Whatever their flag, recreational vessels and motor nautical vehicles belonging to natural or legal persons having their principal residence or head office in France, and pleasure ships and motor nautical vehicles enjoyed by those persons, shall be subject, in French territorial waters, to all rules relating to ship's driving titles and arms and armaments equipment and to the rules governing the conduct of vessels and their use of waterways. safety applicable on board pleasure vessels and motor nautical vehicles flying the French flag."

In other words, the privileges to be beaten foreign flag no longer apply to the navigation of French residents in French territorial waters. Moreover, the French tax (DAFN) is now compulsory, regardless of the country of registration of the boat. The acquittal is in the form of passport right. The amount is equal to the DAFN paid by a boater with a French flag vessel.

Finally, it should be noted that to clarify registration registers at European level, Belgium (and other foreign governments) sends notice of deletion to French owners if they do not reside primarily in its territory.

What then to do to sail in good standing in France?

Two solutions are possible to apply the legislation in force in French waters:

  • Keep the foreign flag while applying French regulations : pass and obtain the navigation permit appropriate to the type of navigation desired, equip its boat or VNM (Nautical Vehicle to Engine: Jet Ski) with mandatory safety equipment...
  • Free/register your pleasure craft.

What is francisation?

L’act of francization is an administrative document issued by the Customs Service which authorizes the French flag and involves submitting to French, legislative and fiscal law (acquired VAT and DAFN).

The francisation concerns:

  • sailboats and motorboats with a hull length of at least 7 metres and/or with an administrative power of 22 CV and more
  • VNMs (jet ski, scooter of seas...) with a real power exceeding 90 kW.

The validity of this navigation title is unlimited as long as the boat remains under the French flag.

The procedure of francisation

The repatriation of a pleasure ship under the French flag is a long and possibly tedious administrative process but the specialized advisors of are there to help you.

The special case of pleasure boats without the obligation to be french

If your boat is less than 7 metres long and/or has an administrative power of less than 22 hp, or if your VNM is equipped with an engine with an actual power of 90 kW or less, then francisation is not mandatory. It is still possible to have it repatriated under the French flag. For this, the procedure is also long and potentially complicated. You can entrust us with your file, we will take care of all these administrative procedures with customs and Maritime Affairs in order to proceed with the registration of the boat and the obtaining of the registration number.

By entrusting us with your file, you will have the assurance of benefiting from our expertise and reduced deadlines. We propose to take charge of the whole procedure: request for delisting in the country of the pavilion, declaration with different organizations in France, obtaining navigation tickets, etc.

The francization of pleasure boats flying foreign flag –