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The information below is intended to provide answers to questions that come up regularly. It is not intended as a comprehensive guide and it has limited applicability. Please read the countries introduction to ensure that it is appropriate to you. The standard documentation a UK flagged pleasure vessel operating outside UK Territorial Waters should carry is detailed on the paperwork page.

UK Government travel advice

FCDO advice including information on permitted duration of stay and visas for the Netherlands:

Evidence of competence

For information on the validity of RYA certificates abroad see Evidence of Competence Abroad.

Resolution 40 has been formally adopted.

Coastal Waters: there is no specific requirement for evidence of competence other than that stipulated by the vessel's flag state.

Inland Waters: ICC required for vessels over 15m in length or capable of more than 20km/h (approx. 11 knots), otherwise not required. Certificates must have been issued prior to 2011 to be valid for vessels over 25m in length.

Dutch translations of many RYA certificates and their related course syllabus are available from the RYA website. 

Standard entry and exit formalities

EU member state (part of the customs territory of the EU (which includes territorial waters)).  Further information is provided on the Entry & Exit Formalities page under Customs - EU Member States.

Part of the Schengen area.

As part of the customs territory of the EU (which includes territorial waters) and the Schengen area customs and immigration checks may not always be required on arrival and departure.

Immigration information: 

List of Dutch border crossing points:

There may be additional customs requirements.  

You must carry on board

A copy of the current inland waterways rules (Binnenvaart Politie Reglement (BPR)) which is published in volume 1 of the ANWB Wateralmanak (only available in Dutch) or at


Whilst visiting the Dutch inland waters ensure that the compulsory listening watch is maintained on the specified VHF channel (see the ANWB Wateralmanak or local charts).

Although not officially designated (e.g. by the Dutch coast guard or Radio-communications Agency) Channel 31 is listed for example in as being used duplex (channel 157.550 MHz (ship station leg) c/w 162.150 MHz (coast station leg)), as the marina channel. Channel 31 is not an international channel and in the UK it is assigned nationwide to the RNLI (and to CalMac in the Clyde estuary and Hebrides).  Its use without express authorisation on a UK ship may therefore be held to be unlawful.  If your VHF set has or is adjusted (by the manufacturer) to have Channel 31, this must be recorded on the UK Ship Radio Licence, which authorises the use of Ch31 outwith the UK only; "Apparatus programmed with Channel 31" can be added to the Ship Radio Licence under types of equipment. The option is not available for a UK Ship Portable Radio Licence, as that licence does not authorise use beyond UK territorial seas.


Signatory to the Regional Arrangement Concerning the Radiotelephone Service on Inland Waterways (RAINWAT). Where a VHF is required or is to be used on the inland waterways of RAINWAT signatory countries, the set must be ATIS enabled and vessels must comply with the requirements of the RAINWAT.

Buying diesel

It is unlawful in the Netherlands to buy or use marked 'red' diesel for propelling a private pleasure craft. See Red Diesel Abroad for further information.

Holding tanks

See holding tanks for information on the discharge of waste water.

North Sea shipping routes

New North Sea shipping routes came into force on 1 June 2017.


Dutch inland waterways information: