These are the new rules (2022) for boat rentals and leases


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to Boats in Motion print + digital and for only 39 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.


The New regulations on the commercial use of recreational watercraft and personal watercraft. Uniquely defines the requirements, formalities, and obligations to be met for leasing or rental for recreational purposes or for tourist uses of a local nature, as well as support for diving for sport or recreational purposes in maritime and inland waters. Here’s what you need to know about the new legislation. And what to do in order to start the business of chartering or leasing a vessel.

Vessels, charter and lease. What changes

The new single regulation dedicated to the commercial use of Vessels can be found published in Official Gazette number 11, dated 01/15/2022 (Decree September 1, 2021). It consists of 9 short articles. Here are summarized the basic concepts of the first 7 articles, related to sailing, motor, or rowing/pedal boats. Articles 8 and 9 are specific to diving activity support and not summarized below.

You may be interested in:

Sei barche (natanti) per tutti gli usi sotto i 100mila €. Da 7 a 8.45 m


It is specified in the first article what be understood For rental and leasing activities. Can undertake such activities a “commercial operator” or an enterprise established under form Of society, or a company individual, a center by diving underwater, a circle or association or an organization not lucrative by social utility such as NGOs. For clarity: a private shipowner cannot rent or lease his or her own vessel, and remember that occasional chartering, a formula reserved only for registered vessels, is also not allowed for watercraft.


To start the commercial activity of chartering or leasing vessels, a start of business form must be sent to the local maritime authority, to which must be attached: the certificate of registration with the chamber of commerce; the list of units to be employed distinguished by sequential number; a copy of the declaration of power of engine, a copy of the type approval certificate or EC declaration of conformity, a copy of the certificate of suitability for hire, and a copy of the policies insurance. Unlike in the past, the application does not have to be resubmitted annually. THE START-UP FORM CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE


The contract for the activities’ of leasing or chartering must be in writing and the original or a true copy must be kept on board. The items that the contract must contain are detailed in Article 3.

For transparency, leases or rental agreements are Drawn up in writing and kept on board, except for small rowing boats, sailing dinghies and jet skis, which may be leased from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset and only under favorable weather conditions.


The qualification required for the professional operation of rental units and those in support of scuba diving is standardized; the age of majority and a Cat A boat license are required. For non-licensees leasing an “exempt” watercraft, essential boating instructions are to be given to the client.


Vessels to be used for lease or rental must be marked in a conspicuous manner with the call sign of the operator commercial followed by the sequential number. The commercial operator is required to deliver them in perfect working order, explain the operation of the engine, safety devices, Of the anchoring system and specify the limits/area of navigation.

Recreational vessels may not be subleased, cannot be used for water skiing. The lessee also has obligations: he is obliged to use the unit with the utmost diligence, not result in damage to third parties or public and environmental property, may not cause emissions or noise nuisance.


Even for watercraft, it is now possible to sign a contract with one or more charter clients, for a fixed period of time, including daily or hourly or fraction of an hour, to be spent for recreational and tourist purposes in marine or inland water areas.

The comment of Confindustria Nautica

This is the comment of the president of Confindustria Nautica, Saverio Cecchi: This is another implementation step in the reform of the Boating Code to streamline and modernize our industry, a goal on which we continue to work tirelessly in collaboration with MIMS. Among the many innovations achieved, I consider the introduction of minimum navigation instructions for unlicensed people to be a great cultural and pro-safety initiative, and I have urged our Members to spread them even when selling smaller units.”

Luigi Gallerani



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you already a subscriber?

Sign up for our Newsletter

Join the Sailing Newspaper Club

Powerboats, its stories, from small open to motoryachts. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the editorial staff each week. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button.

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.

Dracan 42 Sport Top

Dracan 42 Sport Top (12 m), the super-spacious weekend boat

Catamarans, of all sizes and for all uses, are now an increasingly common feature of the power boating market. And on closer inspection. Admittedly, there are notable differences from more traditional solutions, but the gain made in terms of onboard

Ranieri Cayman 33.0

Ranieri Cayman 33.0 Executive (10 m) is the new day boat

The rib scene is a vast one, populated by inflatable boats of all sizes and dimensions, from small tenders to maxi-cabin cruisers, from purely service hulls to those designed to meet every need required by even the simplest daily outing.