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The new Italian Recreational Craft Code (Codice della nautica da diporto)

On 13 February 2018 the Legislative Decree no. 229 of 2017 (“Decree”) entered into force, introducing significant changes in the Italian “Recreational Craft Code” (“Codice della nautica da diporto”) – Legislative Decree no. 171 of 2005 (“Code”).  We summarise here below some of the most interesting innovations.


The Decree extends the scope of application of the provisions of the Code to all vessels, also those used for commercial purposes (as defined in the new art. 2 of the Code).


  1. Recreational crafts, intended to rental for tourism purposes, which board up to 12 passengers and with a hull length of more than 24 meters, included under the definition of “commercial yacht” in accordance with art. 3 of L. 8-7-2003 n. 172, may now be registered in the International Vessels Register (D.L. 30-12-1997 n. 457) regardless of their tonnage. The Decree cancelled the limit of 1,000.00 tonnes previously required for such With the registration in the International Register, it is possible to enjoy tax and social security benefits.
  2. The creation of (i) a “Central Online Archive of the Recreational Craft” (“Archivio telematico centrale delle unità da diporto – ATCN”) for the registration of vessels, and (ii) the implementation of the “Yachtman’s Online Desk” (Sportello telematico del diportista – STED) for all the administrative fulfillments – for instance the STED shall release the navigation licenses.

The registration may now be requested not only by the owner but also by the user of the recreational craft in leasing and, in case of termination of the leasing, the owner may request the cancellation.

  1. With regard to the registration procedures, the Decree introduces (i) specific provisions related to the registration of bigger crafts,  with a hull length of more than 24 meters in accordance with art. 3 of the Code, and defines (ii) the procedure related to the registration of smaller crafts, with a hull length of more than 10 and up to 24 meters in accordance with art. 3 of the Code, without CE trademark.


  1. The  Decree consolidates the so-called “Blue Mark” (“Bollino Blu”), a mark issued following the positive outcome of a prior check with regard to the onboard documentation and safety carried out by the police forces operating in the sea. This prior check, until now provided for by annual ministerial directives, rationalises the system of checks and controls avoiding their reiteration.
  2. The procedures to embark and disembark members of the crew on chartered vessels with the same owner were deleted. In this case, if any change occurs with regard to the crew members, the owner is only required to communicate to the competent Authority the final composition.
  3. The rental agreement, or its certified copy, shall be kept on board.
  4. The Decree amended the rules concerning the arrival and departure of recreational crafts and specified that only the crafts sailing with an extra-UE state flag and with commercial purposes are required to communicate, also with PMIS on Line procedure, the information related to their arrival in the first national port of call and their departure from the last national port.


  1. The Decree introduces new professional profiles, as the so- called “Recreational Vessels Broker” (“mediatore del diporto”), who provides advice for the negotiation of construction, sale, lease, rental or mooring agreements.
  2. The Decree provides for the implementation of the “Passenger Yacht Code”, a code intended to fix requirements and standards to be fulfilled by the so-called “passenger yachts”, which transport from 13 up to a maximum of 36 passengers, excluding any kind of goods, to provide a regulation appropriate to the needs of this kind of yachts, differentiating them from the commercial ones.

Please note that further decrees will be enacted to implement the new Code.


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