If you are cruising the waters of another country under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, that country is quite within its rights to ask you to comply with their rules and regulations, should they wish you to do so. However courteous recognition accorded by one nation to the laws and institutions of another means this is seldom the case.
The Coastal State may however require visiting vessels to comply with some of its requirements, the most common of which is requiring the skipper to prove his or her competence for that role. Carriage of local publications or regulations is also commonly stipulated. It is important that you are aware of your obligations prior to leaving UK territorial waters.
Law of the Sea and the Coastal State
- Which country's regulations apply to your boat will depend on where you are and what you are doing.
- Do you have the correct papers ready to satisfy a foreign customs official or do you risk the possibility of your boat being impounded or you incurring significant fines?
The ICC and Proving Competence Abroad.
- Proof of competence may be needed for cruising the territorial, or internal waters of another country. Find out about the ICC and download translations of RYA Certificates.
- Customs requirements for private individuals who sail their pleasure craft to and from the UK, including customs procedures.
ATIS and RAINWAT
- The Regional Arrangement concerning the Radiotelephone Service on Inland Waterways requires that ships coming from states that are not members of the Regional Arrangement and sailing on inland
- Is a black water holding tank required for boats with toilets when cruising abroad
Flying with lifejackets
- There are a number of items, classed as dangerous goods, which passengers may not carry on board an aircraft and compressed gas is one of these. The regulations pertaining to these items are complex
- It is customary, but not obligatory, when visiting the waters of another country, to fly the maritime ensign of that country as a mark of courtesy.
Red Diesel Abroad
- Although it is still legal to purchase red diesel for use in pleasure craft in the UK, this is not the case in many other EU countries. This can lead to boaters who have filled their tanks with red
- A quick glimpse out of the window on a grim winter's day in Britain will have many of us longing for the crystal clear seas of the Caribbean.
Join the RYA
members save 15% on books and more at the rya shop!
All the reasons to join
PDF, 90 KB
PDF, 472 KB
including very pistols
About the UK Ship Register
Elsewhere on the web
Advice published by OFCOM
Travel advice and tips for British travellers on staying safe abroad
Information site for cruising sailors
Up to date piracy information
from the International Sailing Federation
published by ISAF
Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea
Search for your nearest Camping Gaz supplier