Common nautical rules sought

BELGIUM: A declaration on “developing common rules for truly European nautical tourism” was launched in Brussels in July at a European Parliament Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas event.

The influential cross-party Intergroup, co-organised by European Boating Industry and the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions, brought together 107 MEPs from 23 different member states and six political groups.
The main measures highlighted in the declaration are the recognition of private boaters’ licences, the mutual recognition of skipper qualifications, the sustainable development of pleasure ports and inland recreational navigation, and the alignment of reduced VAT rates across the tourism sector to ensure a level playing field.
With close to 200 registered participants, the event featured some of the highest-level players from the European Commission and European Parliament, as well as the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Speaking for the industry were Roberto Perocchio (Assomarinas and Confindustria Nautica), Olivier Albahary (Globesailor and FIN) and Harald Kuhnle (Kuhnle Tours and BVWW). They highlighted that the rules for land-based activities need to be replicated for the water. Boater licences, for example, should be treated in the same harmonised way as car driving licences.
All speakers agreed on the need for a more European approach to tackling the issues flagged up at the event. In a thriving sector, this would push sustainable growth of nautical tourism and manufacturing in coming years.


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