Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to register under the Belgium flag?

If all documentation is supplied, it will take about 2 to 6 weeks to register. If you are in a hurry, we can register your boat temporarily under the Dutch flag within 3-5 days please see our site For the MMSI you need to have the Belgium registration document to get the call sign, therefore we can only apply for the MMSI license after the Belgium registration has been obtained. MMSI license takes about 4 -6 weeks.

What are the differences between the Dutch and Belgium Flag?

  1. The Dutch flag is only valid in EU waters and the Belgium flag is valid worldwide
  2. The Dutch flag can be obtained in 5 days and there is no need of proof of cancellation of the previous flag register. The Belgium flag is obtained in 2 to 6 weeks
  3. There are no registration taxes on the Dutch flag, in Belgium there is a one time registration tax depending on the age of the vessel (see table below)
  4. The Dutch flag is valid for 2 years, the Belgium flag is valid for 5 years

What are my obligations under the Belgium Flag

  1. Raise the Belgium national flag
  2. Raise the courtesy flag of the country where you are sailing
  3. Indicate the name of your boat and homeport in letters on the backside of the boat or the sides if there is no space
  4. The Belgium Flag register has to be renewed every 5 years
  5. Be current with your tax payments (VAT, local taxes, etc..)
  6. All local maritime rules still apply, speed, navigation areas etc..

I am not European.

  1. We setup an United Kingdom LTD. for you in 24 hours. This LTD is owned by you but can also have additional owners if needed. The total cost for the setup of the LTD. is 300.00 Euro and after that 249 Euro annually. As the LTD. is only used for owning a boat you will not need to pay any taxes or do any government filings.
  2. After 24 hours, the LTD is setup and then you make a new bill of sale on the name of your UK LTD.
  3. We will then register the ICP for 399,00 EUR on the UK LTD. as owner of the vessel and you will receive your Belgium flag registration approx. 2/6 weeks later.
    *UK Ltd registration
    *Valid Worldwide
    *Expedited 2/6 week service
    *DHL overnight courier

Where do I have to put the name of the boat?

You have to paint or paste the name of the boat and the homeport on the port side (back) of your boat. The minimum size for the letters of the name is 10cm, there is no minimum for the homeport name.

Do I have to pay VAT?

Yes, VAT is a European tax and sailing under a different flag doesn’t exempt you from paying VAT. If you buy a new boat it should show on the bill of sale, if you buy second hand the VAT should have been paid by the previous owner. Ask for proof of this VAT payment when buying the boat.

For Spanish residents and Spanish nationals, do I need to pay “Impuestos sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte”?

The easy answer is yes, but it depends. Law states that any resident in Spain has to pay this tax, independently from where the boat is registered.

  • If the boat was previously registered in Spain, and had the tax paid, get proof of this payment. You do not have to pay this tax again, it’s only due once on a vessel.
  • But in most other cases this tax will have to be paid. Check with your local tax office in Spain.

How much is the registration tax in Belgium?

This is a one time tax , on the first time register to be paid directly to the Belgium ministry of finance upon request and it depends on the age and length of the boat, for example for boats under 7,5 meters its 0 EUR. For boats older than 10 years and over 7,5 meters it starts from 61.50 EUR up to a maximum for new boats of 2478 EUR.

Age Years Amount
<1 2478,00 Euro
> 1 2230,20 Euro
> 2 1982,40 Euro
> 3 1734,60 Euro
> 4 1486.80 Euro
> 5 1239,00 Euro
> 6 991,20 Euro
> 7 743,40 Euro
> 8 495,60 Euro
> 9 247,80 Euro
> 10 61,50 Euro

What documents are needed to register under the Belgium Flag

1) Proof / Certificate of nationality and residency
2) Copy of your passport or national identity card
3) Copy of proof of ownership of your boat (Invoice, bill of sale, notary act…)
4) Cancelation of your previous flag (if applicable)
5) A copy of the EC declaration of conformity for boats built after 1998 and for the engines built after 2006
6) Pictures:
a) A picture of the side of the boat, or jetski,
b) A picture of the HIN number, or hull number
c) A picture of the CE plate of the boat
d) A picture of the serial number of the engine(s) if applicable
7) Online form correctly filled in

For Imported boats: Copy of the EC declaration of conformity Proof / Certificate of payment of the EU VAT

For home build boats: Invoices of the main elements of the boat, like hull, mast, engine,.. An insurance report Declaration/statement in French/Dutch that you are the builder, stating the model of boat, construction time with start and end date, address of the location of construction and a drawing reference.

Safety equipment required on board

  • Rescue Equipment

    • Life vest/jacket : one per person on board
    • Lifebuoy with light, in case of night operating
    • Effective distress signals, including flares
  • Nautical Instruments

    • Magnetic compass
    • Navigation lights
    • Boat horn and manual depth sounder
  • Armament Equipment

    • Anchor, hammer and boat hook
    • Bilge pump or bailer
    • Sufficient number of oars with oarlocks
    • Minimum of 20 m of rope for usual operations
    • Waterproof electrical torch allowing to give light signals
    • Fire extinguisher (for motorboats)
    • Complete sails kit (for sailboats)
  • First Aid Kit

    • Waterproof box with necessary bandages and other usual pharmaceutical products
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