Changing boat flag: how much does it cost? Italy, France and Slovenia compared


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Prompted by numerous e-mails asking how to divest the Belgian or Dutch flag due to the recent abolition of the “light” recreational registers that the two European nations had established, we simulated having to make the switch.

Changing boat flag: how much does it cost?

We simulated owning a Dutch-flagged boat that urgently needed to change its flag and switch to the Italian registry. First insurmountable hurdle. The documents must all be produced in original hard copy, but we had all the documents in digital copy, a classic PDF. Another bureaucratic problem concerning the famous red rescue button that current VHFs possess.

In order to get the license that enables us to press the red button, we would have had to attend a course-“the first available session is in two months.”

Cost? Ridiculously high with great waste of time. They also alerted us that the boat would undergo a thorough inspection by a certifying body, which would involve hauling and launching the boat.

How much does it cost to change the boat’s flag: ITALY

The total cost of the practice, VHF red key patent includedis, on the face of it, nearly 4,000 euros for a boat of just over 10 meters.

How much does it cost to change the boat’s flag: FRANCE

The cost of obtaining the French flag to replace the Dutch flag is around 1,000 euros, including VHF license.

How much does it cost to change the flag on the boat: SLOVENIA

Slovenian boat registration, navigation booklet up to 200 miles from the coast VHF license at about 600 euros.


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