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Change the flag to your vessel: belgian or hollander?

Posted by | February 11, 2016 | News | Comments
Change the flag to your vessel: belgian or hollander?

In this last years, there was been a big interest to change from italian flag to foreign flag.

The topic is very actual and deserves to be deepened, in order to clarify for all people who asked themselves, why?

There are a lot italian's armator that decided to change their flag to foreign flag where the law are more simple.
The most favourites of the States of the European Community, in that case, are Belgium and Holland.

It's very important , specify that if you have Belgium's, French's, English's, Holland's flag (in alphabetical order), don't have ever an boat but an ship.

The belgium's flag waves always more frequently on italian's boat. The our code of navigation is different in a lot of points than belgium, and for someone it's a advantage, for example, tax, bureaucratic, economic...ecc.

Change the flag to your vessel: belgian or hollander?

We must start from the beginning, the typology of the boat, because all the boats like or less than 2,5 meters are considered it; so, more than it and until 24 meters are considered vessel and they must be registered.
There is no limit from the coast; Only one limit is by the category of construction, from letter A to letter D: each boats can stay until the distance of its class membership.

It's possible to register our boat if we are European, also if we haven't a residency, besides the renewal is more cheap than italian.

There aren't planned a checks for a renewal certify of security, R.I.N.A. ecc, if our boat is destinated for a private use.
The twelve miles are always the border of territorial water, like is decided from international law, and not represent the limit of navigation, but indicate the jurisdiction under we must submit.
The allocations of security are less then our, it isn't obbligatory to have the liferaft from anyway distance to the coast.

The license boat are always obbligatory.

The boats more big than 2,5 meters must have a lettre de Pavillion.
The letter of the flag can be of two types: commercial and not commercial. The first one is obbligatory for all the boats from 2,5 meter to 24 meters, that wants to do a fishing or commercial job, like transport of passengers that pay, charter, leasing, ecc.
About private use, instead, must have a letter of flag not commercial. The vessel category, more than 24 meters, must have a particular document, the lettre de mer (letter of the sea).

The obbligatory dotation are here below:


One life jacket, for each one people on board, a light lifebelt in case of night navigation, signals of emergence, like rockets.
Nautic instruments: compass, lights of navigation, a horn for the fog and an Hand depth sounder.

Armo: an ancor, an hammer, a boat hook, a pomp or bailer, a sufficient number of oars with oarlocks, 20 meters of CIMA for maneuvers, an electric lamp for signals, fire extinguisher (for boats with motors), a set of canvas (for sail)

Medical equipment: a sealed box including dressings and drugs (not obbligatory an italian's box emergency room)


The letter of flag (lettre de pavillon), a copy of insurance, the navigation regulament, paper of Tides, charts (updated).

In Belgium, all the people that decided to pilot a boat must have a lot of attention to check their boat and equipment relatively to the type of navigation that they will do.



-You must go to Guard Coast and must do a request to cancel the boat from italian's registry. If the boat that you want to cancel, is less than 10 meters, you must cancel from RID doing a question to Guard Coast where you register it, than the rapport with the Guard Coast is finished.
If the boat are more than 10 meters, you must ask the authorization for cancel, one time that you received it, can do a question to Belgium, one time received the Lettre de Pavillon, you must show to Guard Coast the foreign registration and the boat,only after that, will be cancelled definitily.

-With a new registration, the number of identify will be change from a Port of appartenence declared from owner boat, obviously, you must choose an European Port.

-When the government left the letter of flag, automatically , the boat are registered.


• The documents of propety boat, like a invoice, a contract of sell or an notary's act.
The contract must have : Name, Surname and a complete address of seller and buyer, the date, price, description of boat, the sign of who sell and who buy.
• A copy of ID of who sell and who buy. (is better the passport)
• A declaration of conformity CE for boats that are for the first time on sale and imported from European Union after 16 June 1998.
• A declaration di conformity CE for bike of sea and for motors 4 temps that are for the first time on sale or imported after 1 Genuary 2006. (motors 2 temps from 1 Genauary 2007).
• An original advise of cancellation for used boats that navigate under foreign flag (a certify of radiation, or authorization for a dismiss flag for boat before registration).


Less than one month.

After we received a belgium glag:


The « lettre de pavillon » must be renewed at the end of validity (5 years) and all the time that you decided to change something (for example, change of propety or change the motor).

The question of renewal must have the documents here below:
The « lettre de pavillon » in original version
The documents that speaks about the changes
The request of renewal must be at least 3 months before the deadline.


The written request of cancel must have also a « lettre de pavillon » in original copy and a sell's document of the boat.
If you will request a document of radiation, you can receive it.

Certify of conformity CE. The declaration of conformity is an certificate left from ships manufacturer; it's a document that attest the european's conformity about the motor and the construction.
This document have all the informations, the description and the ISO norm that they apply to made it, all the registration number and identification's number of the boat.
The declaration must be released from seller updated about the mark of CE (16 June 1998 for boat, 1 Genuary 2006 from bike sea and motors 4 temps and 1 Genuary 2007 for all 2 temps).
If we don't have the conformity's certification, the boat can't be sell or used until we will have it.



All the boats more 2,5 meters must pay a navigation's tax about 2478 euro for new boat. If the boat is used the cost is about 247,8 euro for each year by seniority until a minimun of 61,50 euro. The renewal of the flag cost about 98 euro each 5 year (in agency).


A lot of people omit left this aspect in second importance, instead, it could be a not good surprise.
The better way to proceed is ask before, all the informations about the italian's insurance and then we can do all the rest; in fact a lot of italian's insurance not including "the corps".

Change the flag to your vessel: belgian or hollander?

A boat that have an hollander flag not have a lot of differences from a boat that have a belgium flag. You can understand it, comparing the equipment on board, the obbligatory of license boat, not too much burocratic's documents, costs less in the years than an boat that have italian flag.

The hollander flag not have costs about the category of the boat, is free.
If you are thinking to change your flag to hollander flag, consider that you must contact an agency including relatives costs (about 300 euro).
It's possibile to obtain hollander flag, sometimes, in 1 week.
The renewal of the hollander flag must be each 2 years and if you decide to don't renew, or you don't rember to do it, the boat automatically result not registered.
The Holland not recognise the italian's radio license, so, you must obtain a hollander's radio license.

In fact, we remember, that all the radio an electronics devices must declared to authority where the boat is registered.
Each country left releases an M.M.S.I. license (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) for system on board;
The hollander's authority request us a copy of certify of radio license (can be different of propety of the boat). The italian and polony certify isn't recognised from hollander authority because Italy and Polonia not signed the agreement for harmonization finals.

The certify of VHF with number M.M.S.I. (Maritime Mobile Service Identify) is released only for a people with residency in Holland. If you are asking how can resolve it, don't worry there is a solution to all, in fact, you can obtain it (and for all the World) in England.

...if you are arrived here, you can ask to yourself, why i must change my flag? You can find the reply in this article!

Change the flag to your vessel: belgian or hollander?


• Website Ministry of belgium transport.

• Website Agency where we can proceed to change in belgium flag.

• Website Agency where we can proceed to change in hollander flag.