Published in the Spanish Official Gazette on May 19th, Real Decree 339/2021 is a new regulation that includes new features in relation to safety equipment of recreational craft, as well as measures aimed at preventing the pollution resulting from their use.

This regulation will come into force on July 1st 2021, with the exception of its first final provision (which updates safety measures when using personal water craft) and its second final provision (which regulates nautical certifications required to sail recreational craft). Both are already in force.

Most important new features of RD 339/2021

Among its new features, the main ones are:

●     Safety equipment update: New rules referring to required life rafts have been added to the amendment and update of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works' Order FOM/1144/2003 in relation to safety, rescue, fire-fighting and navigation equipment, and water pollution prevention as requirements for recreational craft on the basis of the zone where they operate.

Life rafts must be carried on all recreational craft operating in Zones 1, 2 and 3, and the number of passengers on board and the capacity of the life raft must match.

●     These rules apply to recreational craft in any of the following scenarios:

  1. Registered or pre-registered craft in Spain.
  2. Craft carrying out activities with commercial and profit-making purposes in Spanish waters.
  3. Craft sailing through Spanish waters whose owners or users reside in / have a registered office in Spain.

●     Changes within the framework of infringements: The new RD establishes a set of infractions and sanctions based on a unified approach and interpretation within Spanish territory. This way differing criteria and interpretations by maritime authorities are avoided.

ANEN (Spanish Association of Nautical Companies) has prepared an infographic that summarises all the regulations to clarify the resulting changes. You can download all the information through this link.