Last May, Royal Decree 339/2021, of May 18, was published in the BOE, which regulates the safety and pollution prevention equipment of pleasure boats. This can be consulted by clicking here. This new legislation on recreational boats came into effect on July 1 of this year. In this article we will summarize it for you.

Recreation boats. Image of stock.

Among the main novelties that the new standard incorporates we find:

  1. Updating of security equipment. The RD repeals Order FOM / 1144/2003, of April 28, which regulates safety, rescue, fire fighting, navigation and prevention of wastewater spillage equipment, which recreational boats must carry on board, depending on the area in which they are browsing. The technological evolution of safety equipment intended to be installed on board vessels, in these 17 years of validity of the previous standard, requires harmonizing its regulation and adapting it to the current regulations (Directive 2013/53 / EU) that regulates the pleasure boats and marine equipment. New in this section: The life rafts will be one or more, they must have capacity for all the people on board and they may be ISO 9650 or other equivalent regulations, provided they are approved by the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine. Their reviews will be carried out according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, always taking into account the applicable regulations. In the rafts that are in boats with commercial or lucrative purposes, the revision interval should not exceed 24 months.
  2. The scope of the legislation will apply to pleasure boats that are in the following situations: a) Boats that are registered or pre-registered in Spain. b) In accordance with current legislation, carry out an activity for commercial or lucrative purposes in maritime waters in which Spain exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction, whatever its flag State. c) Vessels that navigate through the Spanish internal maritime waters or the Spanish territorial sea, whatever their flag State, and that are their owners or have their use and enjoyment, natural or legal persons with residence or registered office in Spain.
  3. Penalty regime: The new RD establishes a regime of infractions and sanctions with homogeneous criteria and interpretation throughout the Spanish territory, thus avoiding the different interpretations of criteria by maritime captaincies and providing legal certainty on this point.

In short, the objective of this new standard is to determine the safety equipment, in the field of rescue, navigation and fire protection, and prevention of pollution of the marine environment, particularly by dirty water, in the recreation boats; as well as the obligations of the owners and employers and the requirements that said teams must meet, which, in their essence, come from European regulations.