Large pleasure craft at sea
Large pleasure craft are those with a hull length of more than 24 metres. If you want to register such pleasure craft in Belgium to sail at sea, specific conditions apply. Because of their length, these craft must also comply with international regulations.
Please note: you must always be able to prove a link with Belgium for the registration of a pleasure craft, even for craft of more than 24 metres in length:
- the pleasure craft must be more than 50 per cent owned by Belgians or persons officially resident in Belgium; or
- the pleasure craft must be at least 50 percent owned by a legal person registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE); or
- a combination of the above.
For all pleasure craft with a hull length of more than 24 metres, you need to apply for a registration letter and a minimum safe manning document.
In addition, specific technical conditions apply according to:
- the length between perpendiculars of the pleasure craft;
- private use vs. commercial or professional use;
- the characteristics of the pleasure craft.
Length between perpendiculars of the pleasure craft
For pleasure craft of more than 24 metres in length, the length between perpendiculars is of primary importance. If the length between perpendiculars is also 24 metres or more, stricter conditions apply.
Length between perpendiculars of less than 24 metres
The certification or classification depends on the use: private vs. commercial or professional. Only authorised organisations, the so-called classification societies, are allowed to carry out the inspections and surveys regarding those documents. Are you looking for an authorised organisation? Please contact us for more information.
If the length between perpendiculars of your pleasure craft is less than 24 metres, at least a hull certificate from an authorised organisation is required for private use.
Commercial or professional use
If the length between perpendiculars of your pleasure craft is less than 24 metres, a hull class certificate from an authorised organisation is required for commercial or professional use. For a class certificate, the control and inspection are more thorough than for a hull certificate.
Length between perpendiculars of 24 metres or more
If the length between perpendiculars of your pleasure craft is 24 metres or more, a hull and machinery class certificate from an authorised organisation is required.
Private use vs. commercial or professional use
The conditions also depend on what you want to do with your pleasure craft: do you want to sail it yourself, or use it in whole or in part for commercial purposes?
- Private use refers to craft used only for private purposes, such as trips with friends or family.
- Commercial or professional use refers to craft used in whole or in part for other activities, such as paid trips for passengers.
Pleasure craft used in whole or in part for commercial or professional purposes are subject to stricter conditions. In addition, in the case of pleasure craft for commercial or professional use, you are considered an employer, and you must comply with certain provisions of the maritime labour convention for crew.
Please note that trips with more than 12 passengers (not including crew) are never considered as yachting. Are you in that situation? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Characteristics of the pleasure craft
The characteristics of your pleasure craft also have an impact on the conditions. These include:
- the gross tonnage (GT);
- the number of persons allowed on board (both passengers and crew);
- the possible sailing areas (how far from the coast).
FPS Mobility and Transport
Do you want to register a pleasure craft of more than 24 metres in length, or do you have a question about certification or classification? Please contact email@example.com. You will then receive further information on the steps to be taken.