Yacht’s flag state

New or used, after finding your pearl for the sea, it’s essential to take the right decision about your yacht’s flag state. Soon we will talk about insurance, another inevitable fact.

Reminder: the flag determines the nationality of the boat, not the one of the owner. Visible by the flag of the country carried in the back of the yacht, the flag is an universal maritime use.

We answer to What, Who, How and How much according to Where to do it. A non-exhaustive list because for each case, there are many solutions. We are here to listen to you.



Any boat measuring more than 2 meters.


The yacht must belong for at least half to a person with Belgian nationality or resident in Belgium, to a legal entity registered in the Banque-Carrefour des Entreprises, or responding to a combination of the above conditions if a person and a legal person are co-owners of the boat.


The application for the flag state has to be done to the competent authority, accompanied by the required documents. This can be done by the buyer of the boat or by a competent person with a power of attorney. It is valid for 5 years.

The documents are:

  • Title of property (invoice or deed of sale)
  • Notice of cancellation when the boat, purchased second-hand, has sailed under foreign flag
  • for a person: Certificate of Nationality or Residence or an impression of the data of the electronic identity card with a card reader / if several physical persons are owners: a power of attorney form, signed by all the owners
  • for a legal entity: a Certificate of Nationality and Residence or a printout of the electronic identity card data of the members of the management or executive body responsible and an up-to-date copy of the complete statutes
  • depending on the characteristics of the boat, a CE Declaration of Conformity

How much?

The cost for maritime registration under Belgian flag is 330,00 €, all taxes included; the renewal (every 5 years) is 100,00 €, all taxes included.

In the month following the registration, the Belgian circulation tax will be required. It’s applicable for boats between 7.50 and 24 meters. The amount of this tax is 2.478,00 € for a new boat, decreasing by 10% per year of age of the boat, with a minimum fixed at 61,50 € (applicable to all boats over 10 years).

Loi relative à la navigation de plaisance, art.5, 05/07/2018



Any boat measuring more than 2.5 meters.


Any person or legal entity residing or domiciled in Spain or in another State forming part of the Agreement of the European Economic Area (EEA). In the latter case, a representative in Spain has to be designate.


The elements to be provided are the following:

  • The request from the interested party
  • Title of property (invoice or purchase / sale agreement with tax paid)
  • Certificate of radiation (if the boat was already registered)
  • Proof of payment of customs fees *
  • Name of the boat (3 names in order of preference)

How much?

The flag application is free. On the other side, a boat without registration will not have the right to sail outside Spanish jurisdictional waters, ie, between the baseline and the parallel line located 6 miles offshore.

In relation to registration, which is necessary, among other things as to navigate within international waters, the fees necessary to pay depend on the region. The law establishes a basic tax of 12% of the value of the boat. In the Canary Islands, it’s 11%; in Andalusia, 13.7%. This is paid at the time of registration, only once.

* For more information on customs fees: www.fomento.gob.es

Artículo 76 de la Ley de Puertos de Estado y de la Marina Mercante



Any boat whose hull length is longer than or equal to 7 meters
or less than 7 meters and whose engine power is higher than or equal to 22 administrative horsepower (HP).

The boat must also has been built in the EU or have paid import duties and taxes due and has been subject to a security check.


The boat must belong for at least half a person from a State of the European Union (EU) or from a State forming part of the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA) having his principal residence or having an address for service in France or a company whose registered office is in France or in another EU Member State or in a State party of the EEA.


The application must be submitted to the customs office of the future harbor.

The documents to be supplied are:

  • The request
  • Identity document proving the nationality of the owners
  • Proof of address
  • ID photo
  • Property title
  • Original of the Declaration of Conformity for the Boat
  • Certificate of non-similarity of name (for the boats of 24 meters and more) issued by the delegations of the sea and the littoral

La demande de francisation doit être déposée au bureau des douanes du futur port d’attache.

How much?

The annual charge is paid by the owner of the boat during the application, then every beginning of the year.

This tax is calculated according to the length of the boat and the administrative power of the engine or engines (horsepower):

  • Depending on the length of the hull, the tax varies from € 77.00 € to 458.00 € for boats from 7 to 15 meters. From 15 to 24 meters, the tax is 886,00 €.
  • Depending on the power, from 6 to 99 HP the fee varies between 14,00 € and 50,00 € per HP above the 5th. From 100 HP, the fee is replaced by a special tax of 64.00 € per HP.

In addition to, depending on the age of the boat, a deduction on the charge is applied (only for a motorization lower than 100 HP): 33% for the boats between 11 and 21 years; 55% between 21 and 26 years old; 80% for the over 26s.

Boats over 30 meters with a power of at least 750 Kw (true engine power) are subject to other taxes.


At Privilege Yacht, customer of our sales services or not, we remain at your disposal to study your case. We are lucky to be surrounded by trusted experts. We want you to enjoy it too.

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