Due to EU rules harmonization and to bring order to the ever-increasing maritime traffic in the Adriatic, it was necessary to revise important sea and inland waterways regulations in Croatia. Hence, from the 1st of February new Rules for boats and yachts (Pravilnik o brodicama, čamcima i jahtama) have came into force, uniting two former rule books for each of the separate category. As expected, it sparked a boisterous debate along with diverse comments, critics and doubts.
However, detailed analysis of the new rule book shows that it represents a welcoming and much needed change which will primarily help to increase safety at sea. Namely, majority of the contained novelties make perfect sense and are in accordance with common sense, although many people regard it as another “attack of the state on the ordinary man’s pocket”, especially on pensioners. Some parts may be regarded as too excessive and rigorous, such as part concerning installation of carbon-monoxide detectors in every enclosed space on boars, which certainly makes no sense.
Furthermore, as it is typical for Croatian legislator, no detailed regulations have been introduced, which would determine who, when and where is going to perform much more frequent boat inspections. Charter companies are therefore already “slightly panicking” because, according to new rules, some yachts have become boats as the length limit increased from 12 to 15 meters. The method of measuring boat’s length has changed as well - now it is taken into consideration the integral hull length.
Some other novelties include repeal of permanent boat registration and introduction of more often technical inspections, hence boats for personal use larger than 7m and with the propulsion power over 15 kW will be inspected every five years, while those with less than 15 kW every 10 years. Charter yachts and boats faced completely new process of navigability determining, so called “mini ISM”. Also, almost all new yachts and boats won’t be required to perform primary inspection which has been obligatory upon first registering within boat or yacht registry.
Speedboats and jet-skis will be obliged to have speed-limiting system installed which will limit their speed to 5 knots within the safety zone close to coast and other craft. Besides that, we are particularly welcoming a decision to make obligatory wearing of life vests on all boats without the cabin, helmets on jet-skis and safety band or bracelet for all boats which exceed 20 knots of speed. In addition, environmental standards are much stricter now, while several registries for different vessel types have been replaced with a singular one.