Registration in Holland: Watersportverbond & Zeebrief

Navigate under Dutch pavilion

Navigating under a foreign pavilion and adopting a complacency pavilion is an advantage accessible to boaters. You do not want to register your pleasure boat in France but you prefer to turn to another nationality for your boat? The experts of present the Dutch pavilion from all its seams.

Recording your boat under a European or extra-European pavilion is completely legal, provided you declare it in your country of residence.

Need advice? Contact one of our advisers!


The two types of Dutch pavilions


Dutch pavilion at the top of the matt


To register your boat in the Netherlands, there are two solutions:

  • Obtaining the ICP (International Certificaat Pleziervaartuig), issued by the Watersport Verbond sports association
  • Obtaining the Dutch Worldwide Zeebrief, issued by the Kadaster, the official body which deals with the recording of boats in the country.

ICP by Watersportverbond

The ICP does not give the possibility of beat official Dutch flag because it is no longer recognized by the international maritime authorities since 2018. It is a certificate of property which nevertheless authorizes to sail locally in the river zone or in the maritime zone in the countries -Low. Since March 1, 2021, it has been reserved for Dutch citizens and residents of the country for over 5 years. If you respond to these restrictions, you can ask for any pleasure vessel with a hull length of less than 24 meters (sailboat, motor boat, yacht, vnm type jet ski).

Dutch Zeebrief

On the other hand, the zeebrief is recognized all over the world and it is accessible to all nationalities. For nationals outside the EU, you will have to declare a legal or physical person officially belonging to the European Union. However, it is not possible to record a ship with the Zeebrief on behalf of a company. Please note, the procedure is expensive!

Why choose the Dutch pavilion in 2022: the advantages

Since 1993, when the intra -community borders of the European Union have opened, boaters can choose to navigate any foreign pavilion in the interior waters of the EU zone. The only constraint is to apply the navigation rules of the registration country. In comparison with other Member States such as France or the United Kingdom (up to Brexit), Holland is more flexible on many points.


For a Dutch flag beating boat, there is no traffic restriction. You can therefore navigate freely and indifferently in the river area, coastal zone or hauturière zone as long as the construction category (A, B, C or D) allows it.

In some cases, you also don't need a navigation permit. The sea permit and the river permit remain compulsory if the hull length exceeds 15 meters and/or if, with the installed engine, you can navigate more than 10.8 knots (20 km/h).

Security question, the required equipment is reduced to the essentials, which does not prevent you from equipping yourself completely to guarantee your safety. The survival raft is not compulsory (only recommended), regardless of the navigation area.


The procedures for obtaining the pavilion are also simplified but remain essential for any boat between 2.5 and 24 meters long. With simply a valid identity document and the title deed, you can register with the Dutch cadastre. Plaisance insurance is not compulsory for registration but we can only recommend that you subscribe to one in order to protect you in the event of a claim, theft or damage. You will also not have to prove the acquittal of VAT if the boat is imported from the EU or the certification this if the boat was built before 1998. A security visit is compulsory and will be financed by the owner of the Boat, a mandated agent will identify and check the boat, despite being more a courtesy visit, it is compulsory.

Thus, the file is generally processed fairly quickly, in 2 to 6 weeks.

In addition, you are free to choose your home port in the Netherlands. If you don't, recording at Amsterdam will be automatic. The name appears on the title and on the hull of the boat

From a financial point of view, navigating under Dutch pavilion is also interesting. Indeed, there is no navigation tax to pay in the Netherlands (unlike the DAFN acquittal obligation in France), regardless of the type of boat (yacht, sailing boat, motor boat , engine nautical vehicle), however the recording rate is higher than elsewhere.


In short, the registration with the zeebrief is interesting subject to studying the documents in the file.

The drawbacks and limits of the Dutch pavilion

The price of registration at the Dutch cadastre is also higher than the European average, with a cost of around € 2,000. It depends on the location of the boat at the time of the control visit because the agent's travel costs are the responsibility of the owner.


But there is more restrictive if you want to get out of Dutch territorial waters, in particular to come and navigate in French waters. Indeed, with the Leroy law on the blue economy promulgated on June 20, 2016, navigation in the waters of French territory (and mooring at quay in a French port) is entirely subject to French legislation, regardless of nationality of the pavilion and the owner of the boat.


First of all, if you do not have the Dutch Worldwide Zeebrief but only the ICP, you will be considered as without pavilion, which is prohibited in France. If you do not have a navigation permit, you will not be able to navigate more than 6 miles from the French coast (semi-haututor zone and hauturière zone). Then, you must have on board all the security and armament equipment required by French law, much more regulatory.

Finally, if you are a French citizen beating Dutch pavilion, you are not subject to the payment of the DAFN (annual francization and navigation right) to French customs because they are only required for French residents. However, if your pleasure ship measures 7 meters and more and/or if the administrative power of the engine exceeds 22 CV, you will have to pay a right of passport, the annual amount of which is strictly identical to that of the DAFN. In addition, if the verification of the acquittal of VAT is not carried out by the Dutch maritime authorities, rest assured that their French counterparts will not fail at the slightest control.

Here is the text of law n ° 2016-816 of June 20, 2016 for the blue economy:
Art. L. 5241-1-1.- Whatever their pavilion, pleasure vessels and nautical nautical vehicles belonging to natural or legal persons with their main residence or their head office in France as well as pleasure ships and Engine nautical vehicles of which these people have enjoyment are subject, in French territorial waters, to all rules relating to the lines of driving of ships and the armaments and safety equipment applicable on board pleasure ships and Nautical vehicles with a French flag engine. "

DAFN and Maritime Passport Right under Dutch Pavilion

To navigate in all serenity and legally in French or foreign waters if you are a French resident under Dutch pavilion, you will still have to pay the right of passport. Its amount is strictly identical to that of the DAFN (annual francization and navigation right). In addition, it is compulsory regardless of the maritime navigation area on the globe and also in wintering.

To calculate the amount of your DAFN (dilapidation included), we provide you with an intelligent calculator.

Access the calculator

How to register my boat in the Netherlands?

Have you decided to record your pleasure boat in Holland and meet all the criteria for the validation of the file? Entrust your administrative procedures to! Our pleasure navigation experts are responsible for obtaining the title of navigation for you from the Dutch maritime authorities (Kadaster).

Do you prefer to beat French flag? We also propose to set up your francization deed file and transmit it to maritime affairs. We also take the procedures for requests for foreign pavilions (Polish pavilion, British pavilion, Spanish pavilion).

Can I take out boat insurance to navigate under Dutch pavilion?

It is entirely possible to have a beating ship with a foreign pavilion. We have chosen April Marine, provider in pleasure boats insurance, as a partner for the quality of their services and their all -risk and third party guarantees.


Our opinion on the zeebrief

One of the most serious Polish pavilions (with French and Polish) in Europe. Both accessible, valid for life and without additional annual taxation, the Dutch Zeebrief is a register that deserves to look into it. The only downside remains its prohibitive price

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Registration in Holland: Watersportverbond & Zeebrief –