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Why are Ships registered with the Polish Flag?

It is becoming more and more common to see in the marinas of our country the Polish flag. Boats registered in Poland to navigate Spanish watersWhy is it so common and what does it mean? Just as until recently it was common to find Dutch flags on ships, this new trend has numerous advantages over the previous one.

However, we are talking about a practice that does not exempt from compliance with the law, although it is common to resort to registration with foreign flags for various reasons. In the case of the Polish flag, ships of all sizes are betting on it, that is why it is important to understand what we should do if we opt for this alternative and what benefits we will obtain.

Can the Polish flag be used on boats?

To understand the use of the Polish flag on ships, it is necessary to explain that it is a flag, that is, an official flag that tells us that the vessel belongs to this country and that it is registered in the Polish Maritime Registry.

But then, why do so many ships in Spain use it? Because Any pleasure craft whose length measures between 2.5 and 24 meters must be registered, and nothing prevents users from registering it with the Polish Ministry of Marine Economy and Inland Navigation -or in any other foreign country-.

In fact, The possibility of doing so is explicitly contemplated in Spanish legislation., specifically in the Royal Decree 875/2014, in which nautical qualifications for the management of pleasure craft are regulated.

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What benefits does Polish boat registration offer?

Obviously, this type of boat registration is not a whim. exist arguments that support those who opt for the Polish flag. Ships with flags such as Belgian or Dutch are also frequent, but the truth is that, since it is issued by a state and not by a private organization, the Polish license plate is the one that offers the greatest advantages.

First of all, It is fully permitted to sail a Polish boat with qualifications issued in Spain and it is the most economical option, since it never expires - it is a definitive flag that you should not renew. On the other hand, the flag of Poland itself, being a member state of the European Union, is at the same time a license plate.

In this sense, it should be noted that vessels require the so-called MMSI - the maritime mobile service identity -, a number used to identify vessels for radio communications and security purposes that comply with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), and that also can be shipped from Poland.

Lastly, there are situations in which this type of management is the only possibility. And when a ship has not been previously registered - because it was not necessary in its place of origin, because it had not previously sailed on the open sea or for any other reason - It cannot be registered as a vessel in Spain, but it can be registered with the Polish flag; a procedure that is agile and economical.

What is needed to obtain the Polish flag?

Beyond the benefits it entails, The possibility of installing the Polish flag on a ship also entails compliance with a number of requirements. Firstly, there are three assumptions when registering the boat: if it comes from another country, the registration will have to be certified, if it is second-hand, provide the purchase and sale contract in the name of the owner and, if it is new, deliver the invoice with VAT broken down.

On the other hand, it is also an essential requirement to include photographs of the boat showing data such as the engine serial number, CIN identification number -which shows the builder's code, the manufacturer's country code, model year, month and year of manufacture and a unique serial number-, and the side of the ship.

Likewise, if you have it, The European Conformity Certificate of the ship's engine and hull is also required.. This document may be replaced by technical reports or navigability certificates issued by other countries when they are manufactured before 1998, which do not have CE marking. As an alternative option if this is not possible, a responsible declaration is required by the owner of the boat.

Documents necessary to obtain the Polish flag

In addition to the above formalities, it is also essential to present a series of documents to obtain the Polish flag - ships that require the MMSI need to include extra documentation -. In this case, these are more specific contributions related to the identification of the ship and the owner himself:

  • Declaration of conformity European engine and hull.
  • ID or owner's passport.
  • Power -for which a representative is required in Poland-.
  • Discharge certificate of the flag of origin, if any.
  • The mentioned Photographs in color of the serial number and the side of the vessel.
  • Bill or contract for the acquisition of the vessel.
  • If MMSI is needed, a written declaration of European conformity must be provided for each type of communications to be registered - documented in the user manual of each piece of equipment - and the skipper's nautical certification demonstrating his or her training in maritime radio communications.

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Why is it common to request the Polish flag for a ship?

In addition to the advantages we have mentioned, it is worth noting that The Polish flag allows the same navigation licenses as the Spanish one, but it does not require that boats pass any ITB nor does it imply an obligation to include specific safety materials.

However, Both the maintenance of the boat and its safety are the responsibility of its owner.. It is advisable to take the greatest possible care in all aspects to guarantee the proper functioning of the ship and the protection of its users.

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