PDA

View Full Version : Hands up those who have been fined for not having a registration document



timbartlett
12-10-10, 11:34
Arising from another thread:

If you personally, first hand, yourself, and no-one else has been fined, issued with a penalty notice or prosecuted by the French authorities for not having an original registration certificate, could you let us know?

If you can tell us what was the alleged offence and which law you were supposed to have infringed, better still.

And if you can find a link to the actual legislation, that would be perfect.

Thanks.

toad_oftoadhall
12-10-10, 11:45
Arising from another thread:

If you personally, first hand, yourself, and no-one else has been fined, issued with a penalty notice or prosecuted by the French authorities for not having an original registration certificate, could you let us know?

If you can tell us what was the alleged offence and which law you were supposed to have infringed, better still.

And if you can find a link to the actual legislation, that would be perfect.

Thanks.

Just to spice it up, I will donate £50 to the RNLI for the first British Resident to verifiably come forward. (Or if people would prefer I'll give the cash to them personally.)

Edit: Offer withdrawn. Looks like we've got one.

jaba
12-10-10, 11:56
I am not British, so I am not entitled to 50 pounds, but, just for the fun of it,
if you wish you may follow this link and decide if it's relevant

http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2004/luglio/29/barche_italiane_non_sono_piu_co_9_040729106.shtml

Marsupial
12-10-10, 15:50
For £50 I will see if I can get my friend to sign on - I was on board when he was fined in Calais . . . . but he is a bit bashful about it.

toad_oftoadhall
12-10-10, 15:58
For £50 I will see if I can get my friend to sign on - I was on board when he was fined in Calais . . . . but he is a bit bashful about it.

Well I withdrew the offer 'cos Tim found one. However, if your mates receipt has the offence written on it and meets the requirements above then it's game on again for you and your mate (and you + your mate alone).

£50 is cheap to put this one to bed.

chippysmith
12-10-10, 16:01
you know I have but all I've got to show for it is a receipt and a large hole in my pocket!

Marsupial
12-10-10, 16:07
Well I withdrew the offer 'cos Tim found one. However, if your mates receipt has the offence written on it and meets the requirements above then it's game on again for you and your mate (and you + your mate alone).

£50 is cheap to put this one to bed.

I'll tell you the year - its a long time ago; 1999, the offense was no SSR on board, the fine 300E but sadly my friend declines the offer - just talked to him on skype.

This year we have logged over 3000miles through "europe" and every where we went they wanted our Part One and Insurance docs the insurance to be translated into the local speak..

toad_oftoadhall
12-10-10, 16:48
you know I have but all I've got to show for it is a receipt and a large hole in my pocket!

Would you object to scanning/photographing the receipt and posting it so we a can all see it?

al.carpenter
12-10-10, 20:59
I'll tell you the year - its a long time ago; 1999, the offense was no SSR on board, the fine 300E but sadly my friend declines the offer - just talked to him on skype.

This year we have logged over 3000miles through "europe" and every where we went they wanted our Part One and Insurance docs the insurance to be translated into the local speak..

300 "euro" in 1999????

al.carpenter
12-10-10, 21:06
Err, forget my post above.... of course the euro was introduced on 1st jan 1999.......... getting old I'm afraid. Appologies. Al

rallyveteran
13-10-10, 07:21
Err, forget my post above.... of course the euro was introduced on 1st jan 1999.......... getting old I'm afraid. Appologies. Al

...but only as a trading currency. He'd have had a lot of trouble paying a 300 Euro fine in 1999 as Euro notes and coins didn't enter circulation until 1 Jan 2002. Perhaps a first hand report would be more reliable than "yeah it happened to my mate...."

tcm
13-10-10, 10:08
Yes, i was fined 1000FF, south of france on the very first trip out, Easter 2000, in Ste Maxime, 8am knock from 3 large douanes. Our reg documents had been kept off the boat in the marina office then in La Rague just 10miles away over winter. We phoned la rague who faxd it over, no good. Cash, no credit cards.

I believe the logic behind the French on-the-spot fine for not having the ORIGINAL derives from the way in which the French sailing tax is paid and -and shown to have been paid - each boat has an orange registration doc (a logbook) and you stick a little lick-to-stick square stamp in it to show you've paid this years tax. A photocopy could of course be made to looks as tho the tax has been paid - only an original of the french reg do unambiguoulsy shows if the annual tax has been paid.

capsco
13-10-10, 10:36
I was fined by French in 1992, no docs apart from purchase invoice from broker, from memory it was 300F [long time ago] bringing newly purchased, used MB from Mallorca to SOF.

Sorry no docs, long since filed?

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 10:43
Yes, i was fined

What was the offence?

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 10:43
I was fined

What was the offence?

Bilgediver
13-10-10, 11:18
Arising from another thread:

If you personally, first hand, yourself, and no-one else has been fined, issued with a penalty notice or prosecuted by the French authorities for not having an original registration certificate, could you let us know?

If you can tell us what was the alleged offence and which law you were supposed to have infringed, better still.

And if you can find a link to the actual legislation, that would be perfect.

Thanks.

The Ships Registration document in the world of commerce is an important document as are many others used in the marine world and even if we are are only leisure sailors we are supposed to play according to the same rules.

It would be an offence not to produce the original Registration document at most foreign Ports of Arrival . Just think yourself lucky you don t have to present all the others that the skipper of a commercial vessel is asked for:D:D

timbartlett
13-10-10, 11:24
if we are are only leisure sailors we are supposed to play according to the same rules.Not according to the 1995 Merchant Shipping Act.


It would be an offence not to produce the original Registration document ...What offence are you committing by failing to produce a document that you are not required to have? That is precisely what we are trying to find out.

Tranona
13-10-10, 12:16
[QUOTE=timbartlett;2672370]Not according to the 1995 Merchant Shipping Act.

[QUOTE]

All the Act does is define what a British ship is in broad terms, in just the same way as the Nationality Act defines what a British citizen (of various types) is. This does not remove the need for a British Citizen to be in possession of a passport when visiting a foreign country. This is the British Government confirming that the individual is indeed a citizen. If the individual remains in the UK there is no need to have any proof of identity.

The principle is exactly the same with a small ship. Complying with the definition in the MSA is a pre-requisite of registering the ship on one of the registers. You are then able to demonstrate to foreign authorities the nationality of your ship in order to take advantage of the "comity" aspect of the UN convention. In practice most (but not all) states also allow you to keep a boat in their territory without complying with all or some of their laws. Within the EU, however, they cannot discriminate agaisnt individuals and boats from another EU state.

So, as France seems to have a law which requires ALL boats to have a registration document, a visiting UK yachtsmen must be able to produce one. The fact that it is a UK document is actually irrelevant except in relation to meeting registration requirements in respect of such things as equipment and crewing.

I suppose you could try your argument that your boat meets the UK MSA definition, but suspect that even a native French speaker would have difficulty in persuading French authorities that was sufficient.

As I keep on telling your mate Toad, it is useful to get confirmation from individuals that have been fined for this offence, but if you really want confirmation the law exists (or not) and are not prepared to accept the advice of a range of authoritative published sources, then you need to seek confirmation from the French Authorities (or at least a legal opinion from a suitably qualified French lawyer).

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 13:06
I am waiting for a delivery hence cannot leave the farm right now and go to the Gendarmerie in Cherbourg, so I called them (13.10.10-1420hrs LT) at the Brigade Maritime (tel 02 33 92 55 29) and the answer to my question "which documents for a british flagged vessel can I be asked to show the french authorities, Affaires maritimes, Douanes, Gendarmerie, Police" when sailing in french waters?" and the answer was straightforward - proof of identity of every person on board, bill of sale for the craft and proof of insurance. (does not have to be translated into french since international language for maritime matters is english...) That's it.
In fact, when I specificaly asked if a SSR registation document was necessary, he said no, they have no say in what a british ship should be providing or having on board in form of papers or security as long as the craft complies with the british law. Since SSR registry is not compulsory in the UK, it is not compulsory in France.
When I asked him where I could find confirmation in writing of his comments, he said on the douanes web site so, will check on post later as right now I am busy. Cheers... Al

michaelchapman
13-10-10, 13:45
Not according to the 1995 Merchant Shipping Act.

What offence are you committing by failing to produce a document that you are not required to have? That is precisely what we are trying to find out.

You still don't get it do you.

The offence is:-
Dt 60-799 du 2.8.1960 - Art 2.
Defaut de titre de navigation ou carte de circulation.

Failure to produce your registration document.

You are however correct, that as a British ship you don't have to have one. But you have to produce adequate documentation to prove that you are a British ship, and that as such you don't have to have one. This being France, of course only originals of that documentation will suffice.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 13:57
I am waiting for a delivery hence cannot leave the farm right now and go to the Gendarmerie in Cherbourg, so I called them (13.10.10-1420hrs LT) at the Brigade Maritime (tel 02 33 92 55 29) and the answer to my question "which documents for a british flagged vessel can I be asked to show the french authorities, Affaires maritimes, Douanes, Gendarmerie, Police" when sailing in french waters?" and the answer was straightforward - proof of identity of every person on board, bill of sale for the craft and proof of insurance. (does not have to be translated into french since international language for maritime matters is english...) That's it.
In fact, when I specificaly asked if a SSR registation document was necessary, he said no, they have no say in what a british ship should be providing or having on board in form of papers or security as long as the craft complies with the british law. Since SSR registry is not compulsory in the UK, it is not compulsory in France.
When I asked him where I could find confirmation in writing of his comments, he said on the douanes web site so, will check on post later as right now I am busy. Cheers... Al

Many thanks! I'm sure a lot of people will be grateful for this, and if the information turns out to be on the douanes web site then that really would be fantastic.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 14:00
The offence is:-
Dt 60-799 du 2.8.1960 - Art 2.
Defaut de titre de navigation ou carte de circulation.

Failure to produce your registration document.

as a British ship you don't have to have one. But you have to produce adequate documentation to prove that you are a British ship, and that as such you don't have to have one.

Ok, but can you cite your source for this?

BirvidikBob
13-10-10, 14:25
1000FF for not having a current document. My part one registration had been due to run out so I had sent off the form & cheque for renewal but the new document had still not arrived by the time we were due to leave on our annual summer cruise. The previous document was valid until 2 days into the cruise. We went anyway - I'd never been asked for it. When we were boarded in Binic the reg was 10 days out of date.

Despite my explanations we were fined the aforementioned 1000 FF, in cash, no cards or cheques. They directed me to an ATM.

When I came to the Douaniers vehicle to pay I joined a queue of irate yotties of varying nationalities. They seemed able to find a reason to fine almost everyone.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 14:28
1000FF for not having a current document.

What was the offence?

BirvidikBob
13-10-10, 14:33
Couldn't tell you the exact offence (my French isn't too good). Despite my protestations they insisted that it was an offence not to have a current registration certificate on board. They intimated it was pay up or have the boat impounded until I did.

For what was then £100 I paid up rather than take on the might of French bureaucracy.

I never bothered to keep the receipt.

Tranona
13-10-10, 14:40
Not questioning you about whether you were fined or not, Bob, but are you sure of the year? The need to renew registration did not come in until 2000. Up to that time the "Blue Book" only needed updating for changes of ownesrhip. Mine is the same document from 1963 with the last change in 1980 until superceded by the laminated card in March 2000 (and renewed on two occassions since).

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 14:42
Couldn't tell you the exact offence (my French isn't too good). They insisted that it was an offence not to have a current registration certificate on board. They intimated it was pay up or have the boat impounded until I did.
I never bothered to keep the receipt.

Did you write the offence or the offence code in the log book? Do you recall if the receipt had the offence or an offence code written on it?

I assume you were British resident and they knew you were British resident. In fact surely they asked your address so they must have known you were British Resident?

Who issued the fine? Revenue or Police?

Are you sure you were Part one registered?

BirvidikBob
13-10-10, 14:59
Could be wrong on the year - it was around that time. Probably 2000 then as it was the first time I'd had to renew it.

What I wrote in the log book was expressive, but it wasn't the offence code.

How do you tell the difference between the revenue and the police? I was definitely under the impression that they were the Douaniers.

I was actually resident in Jersey at the time, but the boat was British registered, and it was (and is) definitely Part one.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 15:02
Could be wrong on the year - it was around that time. Probably 2000 then as it was the first time I'd had to renew it.

What I wrote in the log book was expressive, but it wasn't the offence code.

How do you tell the difference between the revenue and the police? I was definitely under the impression that they were the Douaniers.

I was actually resident in Jersey at the time, but the boat was British registered, and it was (and is) definitely Part one.

Many thanks.

chinita
13-10-10, 15:18
This thread is beginning to drift with obfuscation.

Would people please just answer the question - or not post at all.

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 16:22
I might be mistaking, but I doubt these fines had to do with ssr documentation. I think some of these old fines had to do with the vat paid or not before sometimes in the early nineties when, if you were a uk national or a french national (it happened to me...) on a british flagged yacht but residing in France, in french waters, after a certain ammount of time you had to pay the vat to the french customs.(most people were not, hanging on in the hope of a EU new ruling). Les Douaniers were quite intent on making you pay. The fines- Dot bla bla bla 1962-... were in my opinion "out of date" tickets as, there has been, as far as I know since then, two or three maritime code changes. (1974 and 2007) and I have been in the sailing community (both, professionaly and privately) and mixing with lots of french and british crews for over thirty five years and have never heard of anyone having been fined for not producing a ssr document. But then, I have not seen it all, done it all so...
On a british yacht, only british law prevails...

vyv_cox
13-10-10, 16:42
I can report that I was boarded by Douanes in Calais harbour in 2003 and was not fined because I had a registration document. The only paperwork they wished to see was my Part 1 registration and our passports. They were offered VAT paid paperwork, insurance, VHF licence, bill of sale, etc but showed not the slightest interest in any of them.

timbartlett
13-10-10, 16:46
I am waiting for a delivery hence cannot leave the farm right now and go to the Gendarmerie in Cherbourg, so I called them (13.10.10-1420hrs LT) at the Brigade Maritime (tel 02 33 92 55 29) and the answer to my question "which documents for a british flagged vessel can I be asked to show the french authorities, Affaires maritimes, Douanes, Gendarmerie, Police" when sailing in french waters?" and the answer was straightforward - proof of identity of every person on board, bill of sale for the craft and proof of insurance. (does not have to be translated into french since international language for maritime matters is english...) That's it.
In fact, when I specificaly asked if a SSR registation document was necessary, he said no, they have no say in what a british ship should be providing or having on board in form of papers or security as long as the craft complies with the british law. Since SSR registry is not compulsory in the UK, it is not compulsory in France.
When I asked him where I could find confirmation in writing of his comments, he said on the douanes web site so, will check on post later as right now I am busy. Cheers... AlOh dear. Tranona won't like that one little bit. Michaelchapman will probably be a bit miffed, too. But it's good news for the rest of us. Thank you very much.

Tranona
13-10-10, 16:55
On a british yacht, only british law prevails...

Sorry, Al, you seem rather ignorant on the subject. Might I suggest as primer you read the RYA material on their website which explains the background of the Law of the Sea and the requirement for registration. Then you will realise that this statement is just not true except in a narrow sense related to the concepts of "innocent passage" and "comity" neither of which are relevant to the subject of this thread.

You will discover that there are many situations where a British Yacht is subject to local laws, particularly when in Inland Waterways, but also when transiting ports in the territorial waters of the "Coastal" state. Common examples of this are the requirement to light duties and a a HP related tax in Portugal, be in possesion of a cruising log (DEKPA) in Greece and to pay an annual tax if you keep your boat in France. There are many others in different EU countries. Outside the EU a country can impose specific requirements on foreign vessels which wish to cruise in their territorial waters - Croatia and Turkey are two that are of particular interest to UK yachtsmen.

I think you are also mistaken about fines related to VAT. As far as I am aware (but stand to be corrected) there have never been fines related to VAT levied on private citizens, simply because private citizens cannot normally commit VAT offences. The most common exception is in relation to private importation into the EU where the individual is responsible for paying the tax. There are penalties for not doing so, but the primarey consideration of the revenue authorities is to collect the tax and it is a criminal offence not to pay it. so you may be right - but it would apply to boats being brought into France from (say) the Channel Islands, and my understanding is that the French customs still (correctly) actively pursue this. If, however the boat was purchased in Britain then any VAT matters are the responsibility of HMRC and the Douanes would have no interest, even if the boat was kept permanently in France.

Despite your apparent confusion on these issues, I hope you will be able to shed more light on the specific question of this thread.

Tranona
13-10-10, 17:09
Oh dear. Tranona won't like that one little bit. Michaelchapman will probably be a bit miffed, too. But it's good news for the rest of us. Thank you very much.

Why should I not like it? If you are happy to take the second hand account of a verbal exchange with one policeman, while rejecting the first hand accounts of people who have suffered the penalty that is OK by me.

So now, anybody faced with the Douanes demanding a penalty will be able to say something like

"Get off my boat, I am not going to pay you. I have a friend who asked a friend to ask a policeman if there are fines for not having my SSR and he said Non!"

Sounds more like a request for a short stay in a French jail followed by an anguished phone call to the British Consul!

All you have is a new piece of information that casts some doubt - but as in previous posts you have made great play on the fact (according to you) that police, particularly in other countries, routinely do not know or follow the law correctly, I would suggest it is rather unreliable.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 17:21
Oh dear. Tranona won't like that one little bit. Michaelchapman will probably be a bit miffed, too. But it's good news for the rest of us.

Tranona should be pleased to have his misconception cleared up in the manner he suggested: There is a very simple way of resolving the problem. Why don't you simply write to the French authorities.

I suspect Michaelchapman and Duncan Mack will also be rather relieved that they now have a reason not to cite their sources for the legislation they made up! (http://www.ybw.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2671461&postcount=138)

So everyone's happy in the YBW garden. :)

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 17:25
If you are happy to take the second hand account of a verbal exchange with one policeman

He's given the number so it's easy for you, or anyone else, to verify.


while rejecting the first hand accounts of people who have suffered the penalty that is OK by me.

Not one single person has been able to identify the "penalty" they suffered. If they could there would be nothing to argue about. Also, unlike AC's not one of their accounts can be verified.


So now, anybody faced with the Douanes demanding a penalty will be able to say something like

"Get off my boat, I am not going to pay you. I have a friend who asked a friend to ask a policeman if there are fines for not having my SSR and he said Non!"

Sounds more like a request for a short stay in a French jail followed by an anguished phone call to the British Consul!

Can you explain these three rather odd paragraphs?

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 18:55
Could be wrong on the year - it was around that time. Probably 2000 then as it was the first time I'd had to renew it.


If the need to renew came in 2000 then the document previous to the 2000 one would not have been marked with an expiry date. Unless I'm missing something.

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 19:05
why don't you just call this number in my earlier post, this is the direct line to the search and control maritime brigade in Cherbourg, (or in the" pages jaunes" -Gendarmerie Maritime of any middlesized french port) I am sure the officer there, or one of them speaks english and will be glad to confirm my words. You will never be asked to provide a ssr document as the british law does not requires you to hold one. I am no friend of Toad as I have never met or communicated with him, nor do I want to take part in any quarrel, just trying to inform people on this forum and reporting words from someone whose job it is to make sure the law is enforced. Now you can do whatever you want with it... As well as telling you of my own experience of having been checked in Boulogne, Le Havre, Paris, Le Frioul, Cassis and a few more places I do not remember the name of, and only produced my bill of sale and my insurance certificate (a photocopy of them...) and never ever had any trouble, not even a raised eyebrow. (but then again, I am tall, handsome, charming with a disarming smile and not afraid of a kalachnikov...) regards, al

Pye_End
13-10-10, 19:17
why don't you just call this number in my earlier post, this is the direct line to the search and control maritime brigade in Cherbourg, (or in the" pages jaunes" -Gendarmerie Maritime of any middlesized french port) I am sure the officer there, or one of them speaks english and will be glad to confirm my words. You will never be asked to provide a ssr document as the british law does not requires you to hold one. I am no friend of Toad as I have never met or communicated with him, nor do I want to take part in any quarrel, just trying to inform people on this forum and reporting words from someone whose job it is to make sure the law is enforced. Now you can do whatever you want with it... As well as telling you of my own experience of having been checked in Boulogne, Le Havre, Paris, Le Frioul, Cassis and a few more places I do not remember the name of, and only produced my bill of sale and my insurance certificate (a photocopy of them...) and never ever had any trouble, not even a raised eyebrow. (but then again, I am tall, handsome, charming with a disarming smile and not afraid of a kalachnikov...) regards, al

Toad has asked specifically for the legal authority on the matter in terms of the exact wording of the original law. Even though there is a certain reliance on the police for knowing the law, this still does not satisfy Toad's requirements.

If the legislation is not available on the web for all to see I cannot see any way that he to clear this up without resorting to a solicitor who deals with specific area - probably French, and requiring hands to be crossed with silver.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 19:31
Toad has asked specifically for the legal authority on the matter in terms of the exact wording of the original law. Even though there is a certain reliance on the police for knowing the law, this still does not satisfy Toad's requirements.

If the legislation is not available on the web for all to see I cannot see any way that he to clear this up without resorting to a solicitor who deals with specific area - probably French, and requiring hands to be crossed with silver.

Absolutely, and it's even worse than that.

If there *is* an offence. It's easy. One of the huge number of people who claim to know about it on YBW just have to say what it is and cite their source. Then all I have to do is verify it can be applied to British Flagged Ships that don't carry their original SSR. Easy peasy.

If there *isn't* an offense there simply is no resolution. Nobody knows or ever will know every French Law. No matter how many legal experts claim they don't know of any such law there will *always* be a possibility that there's some law on the statute books of France that few people know of.

In summary, since it's impossible to prove a negative my best hope of a resolution is if the law does exist. Given that over three years nobody's been able point to it, and the Cherbourg Rozzers have never heard of it, it doesn't look good for me. :(

Conachair
13-10-10, 19:54
I'm sure a lot of people will be grateful for this

Name them.






:rolleyes:

Pye_End
13-10-10, 19:57
If there *is* an offence. It's easy. One of the huge number of people who claim to know about it on YBW just have to say what it is and cite their source. Then all I have to do is verify it can be applied to British Flagged Ships that don't carry their original SSR. Easy peasy.:(

Having been done by the German police over another maritime matter (one that you disbelieved when it came up before), it seems to me to be very easy to put it all behind you, but still remember why you got it in the first place. I don't keep receipts for my shopping, so why keep something from some years ago - assuming the information is on them in the first place (and I certainly do not recall the original law on mine at the time)? I do not see why you find the experiences are so unbelievable, particularly since there is a commonality in many cases, and is backed up by the RYA's advice for going abroad. If you are faced with an on the spot fine by a foreign policeman in a foreign port whilst on holiday, or a trip down to their local police station, then it is human nature to pay up there and then, even if you have a strong suspician that they are wrong. This was certainly the case when I was 'done'.



In summary, since it's impossible to prove a negative my best hope of a resolution is if the law does exist. Given that over three years nobody's been able point to it, and the Cherbourg Rozzers have never heard of it, it doesn't look good for me. :(

Dear Mr/Ms French lawyer:

A number of boat owners have been fined for not having registration docs for their boat whilst visiting French ports. Please can you cite the legal authority for these incidents.

Yours

Le Crapaud

Makes sense to ask a professional if it means that much to you. Can't say it will effect my desire to carry an SSR when going abroad.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 19:58
Name them.

:rolleyes:

I am, I'm sure you are. Trahona is. Tim is. There's four.

Do you think anyone would *not* be grateful for the post?

timbartlett
13-10-10, 20:18
Dear Mr/Ms French lawyer:

A number of boat owners have been fined for not having registration docs for their boat whilst visiting French ports. Please can you cite the legal authority for these incidents.

Yours

Le Crapaud
And the reply would probably be along the lines of:-

Cher Monsieur
J'ai peur que je ne puisse pas répondre à votre question, car je ne sais rien au sujet de la loi maritime Britannique. Je me spécialise dans des accidents agricoles et le transfert de terre. Je vous propose contact un avocat Britannique pour le conseil sur la documentation de yacht.
Je joins ma facture.:D

timbartlett
13-10-10, 20:22
If you are faced with an on the spot fine by a foreign policeman in a foreign port whilst on holiday, or a trip down to their local police station, then it is human nature to pay up there and then,
Exactly. And when a policeman discovers that foreign yotties can be relied upon to cough up fixed penalties without asking awkward questions, it is human nature for him to call on a few foreign yotties if he's a bit low on his quota that month.

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 20:23
Having been done by the German police over another maritime matter (one that you disbelieved when it came up before), it seems to me to be very easy to put it all behind you, but still remember why you got it in the first place. I don't keep receipts for my shopping, so why keep something from some years ago - assuming the information is on them in the first place (and I certainly do not recall the original law on mine at the time)? I do not see why you find the experiences are so unbelievable, particularly since there is a commonality in many cases, and is backed up by the RYA's advice for going abroad. If you are faced with an on the spot fine by a foreign policeman in a foreign port whilst on holiday, or a trip down to their local police station, then it is human nature to pay up there and then, even if you have a strong suspician that they are wrong. This was certainly the case when I was 'done'.

Thinking a handful of people who have all been fined *completely* different amounts for an offence they don't even know is reliable evidence for *one single* fixed penalty, seems a little naive. Especially when we *know* some are innacurate.

Lets be honest, you're accepting that the penalty for one offence dropped by two-thirds one year then trebled the next. Likely?

I think any of the following are possible:

1) Language difficulty causing a total misunderstanding of the offence they've commited. (Explains the wildly different fines)
2) The Rozzers *thought* they were French Resident.
3) The rozzers just tried it on to get their conviction rate up - maybe they think Brits confess to anything and never refuse a fixed penalty? [1]

I bet there are countless more possiblities that allow people to walk away from a cash handover to foreign Policeman with a misunderstanding of what they've done.

Mistakes over fixed penalties happen in Britain, it's hard to imagine why they wouldn't happen in France.

Bit of a digression, but I'm astounded that the fixed penalty does not state the offence (even in code form). In fact I'm not sure I believe it. It's madness to not give the offender a carbon copy of exactly what the Policeman has written down. It protects the Policeman from having to sort out any arguments from the offender coming back and saying he was misinformed about the offence. For that reason, and the total lack of any further information I'm really not sure about Tim's source. [2]

[1] NOBODY claims to have been fined by a court. In every case people acted as their own judge and jury and took the fixed penalty. *They* decided they'd committed the offence, not the police.
[2] I knew I'd be able to disagree with Tim sooner or later!

Pye_End
13-10-10, 20:50
Reality v's law has already been discussed by you and others.

Therefore any reality is irrelevant in your quest, unless somebody happens to have some official paperwork with very relevant inforamation (ie citement of law) on it. Your belief/disbelief in people is a red herring. It appears we do not have a specialist French marine lawer here, so I can see no other option for you than to contact somebody in the system direct.

Where does that get you? If some French lawyer says that you are right - there is none, and yet people are still asked for an SSR, then most people will carry one, and when faced with on the spot fines will pay them. So what is the point of your quest?

toad_oftoadhall
13-10-10, 21:08
Your belief/disbelief in people is a red herring.

Agree, first hand accounts tell us nothing unless they provide enough information to identify the offence.

I only got lured into discussing the veracity of first hand accounts by your post at 20:57 which went into quite a lot of detail about them, considering you agree with me that they're a red herring.


If some French lawyer says that you are right

Right? Right about what? To be "right" I'd have to know the answer, and as I keep saying, I don't. What definition of 'me being right' did you have in mind when you chose that word?


So what is the point of your quest?

I wasn't aware there had to be one.

Pye_End
13-10-10, 21:24
Agree, first hand accounts tell us nothing unless they provide enough information to identify the offence.

I only got lured into discussing the veracity of first hand accounts by your post at 20:57 which went into quite a lot of detail about them, considering you agree with me that they're a red herring.

Think it pre-dates my post. See 1 and 2 for a start...



I wasn't aware there had to be one.

You seemed to agree in post 41 that this was what you were after.

So come on, why don't you seek professional help on this matter, and what will you do with the information once you have it?

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 21:52
Dt 60-799 du 2.8.1960 - Art 2. / ssr registration or documents to carry on board british yachts

looked all over the official Law books (one hour and a half of headache inducing bloody reading, when I am allergic to any law jargon...) using "vlex.fr "the law search engine and "the Douanes" website but could not find the relevent articles regarding documents to be carried on UK vessels, nor the above stated fine nomenclatura... very strange.
So I sent a email direct to the Douanes in charge of Navigation de Plaisance asking them the big question and requesting a written answer for everyone to see on this forum... so wait and see. rgds and fair winds...

Tranona
13-10-10, 21:58
Just a suggestion - You will probably find that the law (if it exists) does not apply exclusively to British (or non-French) yachts but to all yachts, otherwise it would contravene EU law on discrimination. It would probably not be "maritime" law perse but law on registration.

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 22:12
Just a suggestion - You will probably find that the law (if it exists) does not apply exclusively to British (or non-French) yachts but to all yachts, otherwise it would contravene EU law on discrimination. It would probably not be "maritime" law perse but law on registration.

I spent 20 minutes this afternoon on the phone with a gendarme maritime and he told me many times... the only law a british yacht has to comply to regarding documents is the british law... and that the only thing they can fine a british yacht for is overspeeding or drink-sailing or mooring/sailing where they should not.... call them yourself and "hear" for yourself, why should he tell me fibs when he is THE law enforcer? or http://www.douane.gouv.fr/page.asp?id=263#4 and at "ou par couriel cliquez ici" you ask your question and, even in english they will answer it...

michaelchapman
13-10-10, 22:22
Dt 60-799 du 2.8.1960 - Art 2. applies to the registration documents for French yachts.

All yachts in French waters are assumed conveniently by the authorities to be French unless they can produce satisfactory documentation to the contrary.

Exactly what this documention is, will vary from Gendarme to Gendarme, the day of the week, the side of bed he got out of, and probably to a large extent by the kind of attitude he got from the person being controlled.

Just telling the Gendarme that you need no documentation is not going to get you very far.

Check out the situation with Italian boats of less than 10M on when visiting France a few years back. They do not have to have registration either, and a lot of them got fined with the above offence (some of them fined 3000 euros for a repeat offence) and eventually a compromise was agreed that the Italian insurance certificate and the receipt from the purchase of the boat along with a French translation would suffice as proof that the boat is not French.

I doubt that what is considered sufficient documentary proof to prove that a yacht is British has been formally established.

Some one did mention that his insurance certificate was considered sufficient (as in France, a French insurance company will normally only insure something registered in France, hence they assume the same applies for an English insurance company).

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 22:45
is supposed to relate to french law regarding a fixed penalty concerning lack of titre de navigation but

http://vlex.fr/jurisdictions/FR/search?textolibre=Dt+60-799+du+2.8.1960+-+Art+2.

shows no result and since every article has to be "coded" and has to appear in the Journal Officiel de la Republique Francaise, it means it is not legal or maybe not legal anymore...(from the date, it is looking suspicious to me...)

my gut feelings are that (I am ashamed to say, being french myself) you have well and truly been "conned" by a bunch of either crooked real custom officers or good acting hoods pretending to be officers.
This is what make this thread interesting, lets get down to the bottom of it and spread the word...

Tranona
13-10-10, 22:58
I spent 20 minutes this afternoon on the phone with a gendarme maritime and he told me many times... the only law a british yacht has to comply to regarding documents is the british law... and that the only thing they can fine a british yacht for is overspeeding or drink-sailing or mooring/sailing where they should not.... call them yourself and "hear" for yourself, why should he tell me fibs when he is THE law enforcer? or http://www.douane.gouv.fr/page.asp?id=263#4 and at "ou par couriel cliquez ici" you ask your question and, even in english they will answer it...

I think this account is very simplistic and flawed. Once again the law is registration of ALL boats. There is actually no requirement in UK law to have ANY documentation or insurance so he is likely to come across British boats with no documents at all if what he says is correct. I think what he is telling you is that he cannot enforce specific laws such as the need to carry flares or liferafts, because that is what is covered by UNCLOS, but you are subject to other laws such as speeding, drinking etc when in France.

If you read any first hand accounts of British yachts being inspected by authorities in France (and indeed most other Eurpoean countries) the common theme is that they are ONLY interested in SSR (or other registration document) for the boat and passports for the crew. This is so consistent, that even if it not a legal requirement, there is clearly something deeply embedded in French officialdom that makes them ask for it (and appear to apply penalties if it is not available).

The fact that this position is supported by all the authoritative sources of guidance on the subject, and the UK government's willingness to create a register in reponse to French requests suggests it is more than a myth!

michaelchapman
13-10-10, 23:03
is supposed to relate to french law regarding a fixed penalty concerning lack of titre de navigation but

http://vlex.fr/jurisdictions/FR/search?textolibre=Dt+60-799+du+2.8.1960+-+Art+2.

shows no result and since every article has to be "coded" and has to appear in the Journal Officiel de la Republique Francaise, it means it is not legal or maybe not legal anymore...(from the date, it is looking suspicious to me...)

my gut feelings are that (I am ashamed to say, being french myself) you have well and truly been "conned" by a bunch of either crooked real custom officers or good acting hoods pretending to be officers.
This is what make this thread interesting, lets get down to the bottom of it and spread the word...

http://vlex.fr/vid/arr-immatriculation-navires-plaisance-25055675?ix_resultado=2.0&query[buscable_id]=FR&query[buscable_type]=Pais&query[textolibre]=60-799

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 23:26
I do think you should invest in a 45p phone call to this Gendarmerie number I mentioned earlier... The Law is the Law point. There is NO other possible interpretation other than what is writen in the "Code".
When I said to the officer - can I quote you, can you let me say on an international sailing forum that a british yacht in french waters does not have to be ssr registered and assume responsability if someone get fined?- his answer was loud and clear :
"as long as the british craft is legal in GB, it is legal in french waters..."
hence cannot be fined for not showing a document which it is not legally required to hold. My own experience over the years tend to prove he is right, I have been controlled tenth of times and never had a problem. May be, being french made it difficult for any would be "undelicat" officer to try and fill his pockets but I very much doubt anybody would try it...

BrendanS
13-10-10, 23:30
I do think you should invest in a 45p phone call to this Gendarmerie number I mentioned earlier... The Law is the Law point. There is NO other possible interpretation other than what is writen in the "Code".
When I said to the officer - can I quote you, can you let me say on an international sailing forum that a british yacht in french waters does not have to be ssr registered and assume responsability if someone get fined?- his answer was loud and clear :
"as long as the british craft is legal in GB, it is legal in french waters..."
hence cannot be fined for not showing a document which it is not legally required to hold. My own experience over the years tend to prove he is right, I have been controlled tenth of times and never had a problem. May be, being french made it difficult for any would be "undelicat" officer to try and fill his pockets but I very much doubt anybody would try it...

The vast majority of sensible people have argued this point for years on here in the various forums. A small vocal minority just take issue with any common sense argument, and find dozens of reasons not to listen to commonsense

al.carpenter
13-10-10, 23:39
http://vlex.fr/vid/arr-immatriculation-navires-plaisance-25055675?ix_resultado=2.0&query[buscable_id]=FR&query[buscable_type]=Pais&query[textolibre]=60-799


well done michaelchapman, you are a better researcher than me (I just pasted the fine with the 1960 date...) still, you were fined for an offence that you should not have been concerned with and I suspect the douaniers knew that...and, as usual, the uniform probably added weight to their arguments... and maybe, the fine did not even end in their own pocket...

michaelchapman
14-10-10, 05:14
well done michaelchapman, you are a better researcher than me (I just pasted the fine with the 1960 date...) still, you were fined for an offence that you should not have been concerned with and I suspect the douaniers knew that...and, as usual, the uniform probably added weight to their arguments... and maybe, the fine did not even end in their own pocket...

No no. Not me. I have never been fined. I have my part one registration to hand.

I know the importance of presenting official looking pieces of paper in France. If you don't have the right document, it seems to work to bombard them with a few others and explain that this is equivalent to that etc etc.

Incidentally, the last control was done by VHF - they asked to me essentially read off the registration document every one of the figures on there. They also wanted to know where I was coming from (a port in France) and where I was going to (a port in Spain) They seemed happy after that.

Once it looked like I was going to be boarded by Gendarmes from two cutters, a Spanish one and a French one. I was heading into a small bay under sail and they came up on my port side. It looked like they expected me to be motor sailing because they did not give way until the very last moment. They then went and stood off outside the bay for a while and once I was tied up to a mooring buouy, they seemed to lose interest and then motored off at high speed together.

If you don't have a registration document, you will have a hard time in French and Spanish marinas who will always want to see one.

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 05:56
All yachts in French waters are assumed conveniently by the authorities to be French unless they can produce satisfactory documentation to the contrary.

Cite your source for this.

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 06:16
If you don't have a registration document, you will have a hard time in French and Spanish marinas who will always want to see one.

So no legal requirement then? Just a very useful thing to have.

French Marinas do not always want to see an SSR. You're just wrong about that.

Conachair
14-10-10, 07:39
I am, I'm sure you are. Trahona is. Tim is. There's four.

Do you think anyone would *not* be grateful for the post?

Grateful for what?
It has no relevence to sailing, why would anyone sail across the channel without at least a SSR. Really stupid thing to do and just asking for trouble.

Obscure legalitys may be on interest to some, I'm just here to watch the bickering :)

bendyone
14-10-10, 07:44
Real life experience, just done a day trip to Dover and back (I keep the boat in Calais) , Boarded in Calais 2008 on the way back to the marina, Inspected SSR and passports, asked for insurance certificate (local by-law) Keen to know the make of the engine??? and had a quick look around opened a few lockers etc. The only slight stumbling block was Port of registry, in the end I said Plymouth and everyone was happy. No questions about VAT at all.

timbartlett
14-10-10, 07:45
Grateful for what?
It has no relevence to sailing, why would anyone sail across the channel without at least a SSR. Really stupid thing to do and just asking for trouble.

Obscure legalitys may be on interest to some, I'm just here to watch the bickering :)
So you support the imposition of illegal penalties by junior officials?

al.carpenter
14-10-10, 08:05
michaelchapman
quote
Once it looked like I was going to be boarded by Gendarmes from two cutters, a Spanish one and a French one. I was heading into a small bay under sail and they came up on my port side. It looked like they expected me to be motor sailing because they did not give way until the very last moment. They then went and stood off outside the bay for a while and once I was tied up to a mooring buouy, they seemed to lose interest and then motored off at high speed together.
unquote

when one sails on such a beautiful BCPC as "Alexander T" one is bound to attract a lot of attention and after all, even customs officers can have good taste... and you probably have more than once been checked just to satisfy the curiosity of a connaisseur gendarme or gabelou...
Congrats on your boat choice. If only I could afford her...

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 08:27
Grateful for what?

For new information.

Conachair
14-10-10, 08:58
So you support the imposition of illegal penalties by junior officials?

Only once. In Dakar. He was very big and had a gun. But he only ripped me off for a fiver and was all smiles afterwards.

Actually twice, Tangier the fridge was emptied of flavoured youghurt for the guys' kids. He left me the wine. :)

Me stance is why bother looking for trouble by crossing to France without a ssr or part1 reg for the boat? Why look for trouble, have the bits of paper to shut up the officials then have a nice lunch. That's how most people do it.

vyv_cox
14-10-10, 09:06
Only once. In Dakar. He was very big and had a gun. But he only ripped me off for a fiver and was all smiles afterwards.

Actually twice, Tangier the fridge was emptied of flavoured youghurt for the guys' kids. He left me the wine. :)

Me stance is why bother looking for trouble by crossing to France without a ssr or part1 reg for the boat? Why look for trouble, have the bits of paper to shut up the officials then have a nice lunch. That's how most people do it.

Absolutely right. There are no 'illegal penalties' for those with the sense to take a document costing buttons with them. I doubt that there is anyone even contemplating sailing in foreign waters who doesn't know that a registration document is required. The cases quoted universally describe occasions when the document had lapsed, was a photocopy or had been left at home.

This is an utterly pointless thread.

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 10:06
when one sails on such a beautiful BCPC as "Alexander T" one is bound to attract a lot of attention and after all, even customs officers can have good taste... and you probably have more than once been checked just to satisfy the curiosity of a connaisseur gendarme or gabelou...
Congrats on your boat choice. If only I could afford her...

I think we can all agree on that.

If I was a French Seabourne Rozzer, I would be also be making a bee-line for a stunner like "Alexander T".

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 10:12
There are no 'illegal penalties' for those with the sense to take a document costing buttons with them.

"Good morning Sir, I'm a bent copper. I was going to make up a fake law to defraud you of money. Now I notice you have an SSR I won't."

I suspect the bent copper would simply say "Good morning Sir, I'm a bent copper. Although your papers are in order I notice your flares don't meet local bylaws and, lucky for you, there is a fixed penalty option for that offence."

An SSR cannot protect you from 'illegal penalties'.


This is an utterly pointless thread.

Yet, in spite of that, you have contributed to it several times. I'll leave others to judge the usefulness of those contributions.

vyv_cox
14-10-10, 10:46
Yet, in spite of that, you have contributed to it several times. I'll leave others to judge the usefulness of those contributions.

Is twice several? Each time to point out that there is no problem if you carry the document.

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 11:04
Is twice several?

Sorry, probably my mistake. I thought you'd made three posts.


Each time to point out that there is no problem if you carry the document.

Thus missing the whole point. Perhaps you think the thread is pointless *because* you'd missed the point?

tcm
14-10-10, 12:49
hum, in answer to the question "what was the offence code" i dunno. I think they were armed and ready to spend all day discussing everything if i wanted to do that, probably including telling me to "wait there" in a cell or wherever while they had lunch ..... and i wanted to get on with having a holiday rather than kicking off about a fine of about £100.

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 12:57
i wanted to get on with having a holiday rather than kicking off about a fine of about £100.

A false dichotomy if ever I saw one. Not that it really matters. The incident doesn't identify the offence - the reason why isn't really important.

tcm
14-10-10, 13:21
It isn't a false dichotomy - EITHER you pay right now and that's it all over ...OR you can kick up a fuss and waste lots of time.

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 13:32
It isn't a false dichotomy - EITHER you pay right now and that's it all over ...OR you can kick up a fuss and waste lots of time.

I wish I hadn't got myself into this irrelevance, but I have, so sorry.

Yes it was a false dichotomy. You said the reason you didn't find out the offence was because the choice you had was either a) not find what the offence was or b) 'kick off'. There's a middle ground of politely asking or even simply paying up and then looking at the receipt.

As I say it doesn't really matter *why* you didn't find out what the offence. The fact is you didn't so we don't know.

This really makes no odds and I wish I hadn't responded, so sorry again.

tcm
14-10-10, 13:36
sheesh, you really must be one of the dullest posters on here - thorough yet... uninteresting, uninformative and often downright rude and ignorant!

Tranona
14-10-10, 14:06
sheesh, you really must be one of the dullest posters on here - thorough yet... uninteresting, uninformative and often downright rude and ignorant!

However, he does fill the yawning gap where Gordon Brown was in the list of people you would least like to meet in a pub.

tcm
14-10-10, 14:40
However, he does fill the yawning gap where Gordon Brown was in the list of people you would least like to meet in a pub.

Harsh, but fair...

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 14:48
why would anyone sail across the channel without at least a SSR.

Well one reason would be that (according to Sailfree and others) Charter firms often provide a photocopy of the SSR rather than the original. Not that I see what that has to do with the question - I doubt many people would want to cross the channel without a change of clothes but there's no law requiring it. (Cue a load of people saying there is such a law, making up evidence and challenging people to prove the negative.)

al.carpenter
14-10-10, 16:56
the point is... (and please do not take it wrongly, I've lived in the UK for 17 or 18 years of my life and loved -most- of it, plus, my wife is "very british" and we have been together 34 years so I have a fair practice of your way of life) as a people you seem to be very easily "taken for what you are not" if you know what I mean. You are very law abiding but stangely, while you do not want a identity card, you fill in census forms every so many years, you have post code that puts you roughly within 25 meters of a location, you hold the world record for street video cameras, speed radars etc... you take every thing that is thrown to you with just a grumble but do as you are told. In other word, you seem as a people, rather ... "good listeners and followers" (this being my own opinion and not to be taken as "The Truth" and french people has as many negative points... look at what is happening nowadays -but I love it!). The things I hear that are happening to english people in France, Sardinia, Sicilia etc... or read in forums are unbelievable. So I think that, when someone like one or two on this thread stand up and say - that's enough!- lets not be made fools of ourselves, it sounds a good idea to me... The more people are aware of the law and can stand up to someone trying to con them, the less twisted people will try their tricks on british yachties.

Pye_End
14-10-10, 18:10
The more people are aware of the law and can stand up to someone trying to con them, the less twisted people will try their tricks on british yachties.

I remain unconvinced by your argument, for two reasons.

Firstly that of legislation - out of the two contries who requires compulsory boat registration? And then there are the stories of flares, liferafts etc. which makes me believe that the French marine legislation is rather 'ahead' of ours. Long may it continue.

Secondly, the more fuss we make about there being a hole in the French legislation, if one exists, for registration/fines etc. I can see only one result - the hole will be filled. Save your battles for the things that matter.

SSR is cheap and easy, so why not go with the flow?

al.carpenter
14-10-10, 18:45
all I am saying is stop paying fines you should not even be charged with... they are not legal. You are not to give hard earned money to people who are only charging you because they know very well that you are not going to challenge them...

toad_oftoadhall
14-10-10, 18:50
And then there are the stories of flares

Jesus, as one urban myth dies another raises its ugly head.

http://i56.tinypic.com/15mjmmt.jpg

Pye_End
14-10-10, 19:20
Jesus, as one urban myth dies another raises its ugly head.

http://i56.tinypic.com/15mjmmt.jpg

Did I say anything about UK craft being involved?

charles_reed
15-10-10, 05:20
I was fined FF 100 in Carteret on Friday July 19 1991, reduced to an administrative charge of FF10, when I produced the SSR at the Douaniers' 35' later.
As I'm not as obsessional as Toad, the receipt has long since gone into the wastebasket.
One has to admire anyone so entrenched in his own misbegotten opinion as to be able to ignore others' commonplace experiences.

Barnac1e
15-10-10, 06:00
Originally Posted by Tranona
However, he does fill the yawning gap where Gordon Brown was in the list of people you would least like to meet in a pub.

Harsh, but fair...
What nonsense, not fair at all. He is entertaining and literate. Who else could keep this thread bouncing along in such an obsessive way, it is my morning's delight to read the inevitable next set of postings. You lot too seem to be caught up in it all so if you feel like that just don't click on this thread.

And what's more, he has a point.

toad_oftoadhall
15-10-10, 08:21
I was fined FF 100 in Carteret on Friday July 19 1991, reduced to an administrative charge of FF10, when I produced the SSR at the Douaniers' 35' later.
As I'm not as obsessional as Toad, the receipt has long since gone into the wastebasket.

My spider sense is telling me there's no point in asking you what offence resulted in this £9 fine with £1 admin charge.


One has to admire anyone so entrenched in his own misbegotten opinion as to be able to

Are Cherbourg Police entrenched in their own misbegotten opinion as well? (Incidentally, I'm totally open minded. If you post verifiable facts I'll check them.)


ignore others' commonplace experiences.

Is it really a case of me ignoring them or is it more the case that not one contains the slightest detail that would allow anyone to find out any information whatsoever about this offence? These "commonplace experiences" haven't lead you to any tangible information about this offence, why should they have lead me to anything?

Edit:

Hang on. I thought I recognized the name. A few days ago you made this offer:


I'll find you the original French legislation which you can download and translate at your leisure.

Why are you accusing me of ignoring "commonplace experiences" when you yourself are ignoring the actual legislation which would clear this up once and for all?

al.carpenter
15-10-10, 11:00
I was fined FF 100 in Carteret on Friday July 19 1991, reduced to an administrative charge of FF10, when I produced the SSR at the Douaniers' 35' later.
As I'm not as obsessional as Toad, the receipt has long since gone into the wastebasket.
One has to admire anyone so entrenched in his own misbegotten opinion as to be able to ignore others' commonplace experiences.

Hi Charles Reed,
next time you have a problem like this (or any other reason) in Carteret, call me... I live five minutes away from the Harbour and I will be glad to help... €1,35 is too much to pay to a "joker" officer. I know that nowadays it is the price to pay for a coffe at "La Cale a Kiki" on the quay but it is a question of principle. Fair winds.
PS, anybody on this forum who has a translation problem and cruising the Cotentin peninsula is welcome to get in touch, I will be glad to help as I spend most of my time in France those days. Regards, Al

Grehan
15-10-10, 20:49
Although this has turned into a bit of a squabble (the reasons for which seem a bit obscure) I've got to say that the original question and the responses it has provoked have been interesting and thought-provoking. "It's been an education", as I think Vinny Jones says in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Thanks all.

fireball
15-10-10, 22:07
It has been quite an interesting thread ....

Conclusion I have come to is that whilst it (on balance of probability) isn't a legal requirement for a british flagged vessel to carry or produce original registration papers to the French whilst in their waters, it is a lot easier to produce them and not try to argue your way out of a fine.

Each of my visits to a French port has resulted in the production of my passport and SSR to the marina office - even then they weren't that bothered - I have yet to have the privilige of a boarding ... but when it does happen, my papers are in order and they will be welcomed aboard with a smile.

charles_reed
16-10-10, 06:15
My spider sense is telling me there's no point in asking you what offence resulted in this £9 fine with £1 admin charge.



Are Cherbourg Police entrenched in their own misbegotten opinion as well? (Incidentally, I'm totally open minded. If you post verifiable facts I'll check them.)



Is it really a case of me ignoring them or is it more the case that not one contains the slightest detail that would allow anyone to find out any information whatsoever about this offence? These "commonplace experiences" haven't lead you to any tangible information about this offence, why should they have lead me to anything?

Edit:

Hang on. I thought I recognized the name. A few days ago you made this offer:



Why are you accusing me of ignoring "commonplace experiences" when you yourself are ignoring the actual legislation which would clear this up once and for all?
Answers to your questions, Toad:-

1. Failure to produce the SSR on demand.

2. To correct your misapprehensions, the Police (local municipal authority) or the Gendarmerie (national police) are not involved - it's purely the Douanes or Customs and Excise. Carteret is a long way from Cherbourg, which has no administrative link with the port.

3. I have better things to do (I'm working my boat back, single-handed, from Rethimion in Crete to Mesologgi on the Greek mainland) than waste time on nit-picking with you.

Your lack of experience and blinkered approach ignores the all-important fact that it's not the legislation, but the way the local authorities interpret that legislation that really matters.

I would enjoy watching you trying to argue the case with a Douanes officer, in the manner you've adopted on this thread. Your fate would be rapid and, probably, a salutary experience for you.

PS a summary of the French legislation is available in Bloc Marine - why don't you start arguing with them?

charles_reed
16-10-10, 06:25
Hi Charles Reed,
next time you have a problem like this (or any other reason) in Carteret, call me... I live five minutes away from the Harbour and I will be glad to help... €1,35 is too much to pay to a "joker" officer. I know that nowadays it is the price to pay for a coffe at "La Cale a Kiki" on the quay but it is a question of principle. Fair winds.
PS, anybody on this forum who has a translation problem and cruising the Cotentin peninsula is welcome to get in touch, I will be glad to help as I spend most of my time in France those days. Regards, Al
Many thanks for the offer - the incident occurred in the early days of my travels away from the Channel Islands and the Norman coast.

Since then I've discovered that the Douaniers are a convivial bunch, if you recognise the stripes on their sleeve. I actually made quite good friends with the office in la Rochelle, off-duty drinks and lots of valuable local info.
Interestingly, in Mediterranean France, the Douanes attitude is far more relaxed. It's the marinas who want your registration SSR (to determine how much to charge) and your proof of insurance (in case you bash another yacht).
Methinks they've met a few Brit yachties, up north, with attitudes similar to those which Toad appears to display.

toad_oftoadhall
16-10-10, 06:35
I'll find you the original French legislation which you can download and translate at your leisure.

Thanks. I'd like to accept this offer.

maxi77
16-10-10, 08:26
It has been quite an interesting thread ....

Conclusion I have come to is that whilst it (on balance of probability) isn't a legal requirement for a british flagged vessel to carry or produce original registration papers to the French whilst in their waters, it is a lot easier to produce them and not try to argue your way out of a fine.

Each of my visits to a French port has resulted in the production of my passport and SSR to the marina office - even then they weren't that bothered - I have yet to have the privilige of a boarding ... but when it does happen, my papers are in order and they will be welcomed aboard with a smile.
I did try to show my papers in Cherbourg but they weren't interested at all, so didn't bother after that. In some places where there was a tourist tax they were interested in how many of us there were, but otherwise no interest. We were boarded in Port Medoc and found the officers to be polite freindly and not without a sense of humour. They checked everything apart from the dog passport.

In Spain and Portugal most marinas do the reporting for customs and immigration so full documentation is required, it does however avoid having to spell everything out to them as they just copy the info from your documents into the computer system.

timbartlett
16-10-10, 16:29
I would enjoy watching you trying to argue the case with a Douanes officer, in the manner you've adopted on this thread. Your fate would be rapid and, probably, a salutary experience for you.
It would be interesting, because it would ultimately end up going to court -- which would, at least determine whether the law actually exists. But that does seem a rather self-defeating way of finding out whether the law exists -- I don't suppose you would suggest killing someone to find out whether there is a law against killing people!

If you are happy to submit to any demand made by any official, regardless of whether it is legitimate or not, and regardless of how much it costs, then of course that is your prerogative. OTOH, there are many cases of officials attempting to impose penalties that have no legal basis whatsoever, and I find it rather depressing that so many people apparently regard this as perfectly acceptable.

I certainly don't understand why so much vitriol is being heaped upon Toad who is, after all, only trying to establish whether this law actual exists.

So far, despite lots of people insisting that it does, and some saying how easy it is to find it, no-one has yet produced any actual legislation to support their argument. Paraphrases, yes. General advice, yes. But no actual law.

vyv_cox
16-10-10, 17:02
no-one has yet produced any actual legislation to support their argument. Paraphrases, yes. General advice, yes. But no actual law.

That's true, but it is asking a lot. I couldn't produce a reference to any equivalent legislation in this country, let alone another.

Tranona
16-10-10, 17:09
So far, despite lots of people insisting that it does, and some saying how easy it is to find it, no-one has yet produced any actual legislation to support their argument. Paraphrases, yes. General advice, yes. But no actual law.

I thought that is what you and Toad were going to do.

It really is a bit daft asking British Yotties to quote French law at you. You have been given a source of the various French laws on the subject (BLOC) and have made no attempt to find out whether they are relevant.

Although we have seen the pretty reliable examples of fines being levied - and you have even seen the receipt, so it is not a figment of somebody's imagination,I suspect there are so few examples coming out of your request because relatively few people read these fora and more likely because any sensible person carries the documentation so the number of penalties is very small. One common feature in the examples where fines are levied is that the culprit was not ignorant of the requirement, but had forgotten to take it with them or it was out of date.

Toad has been going on about this for THREE YEARS and has been consistently advised to seek confirmation from competent authorities rather than haranguing others for not being able to produce something he could quite easily find himself if he made the effort.

mike_bryon
16-10-10, 19:09
Tim, you asked people to put their hands up and when they did you weren’t satisfied.

We have different priorities. I have voted with my keel and left for example corrupt or incompetent bureaucrats and their laws in my wake. If I am not welcome somewhere then I don’t go there or I go somewhere else. You and Toad feel strongly about it so fight it if to your hearts content but I will be surprised if you get a large following on the livaboard forum.

timbartlett
16-10-10, 22:58
You have been given a source of the various French laws on the subject (BLOC) and have made no attempt to find out whether they are relevant.That is like claiming that Reeds is the definitive statement of UK legislation !


Although we have seen the pretty reliable examples of fines being levied I don't think Toad has ever doubted that the penalties have been levied. I certainly have not. But I find it very odd that no-one is able to identify the law that they are alleged to have infringed, and no-one has been fined by a court.


Toad ... has been consistently advised to seek confirmation from competent authorities Al Carpenter has approached the appropriate authorities, and has been told that the French have not and cannot impose compulsory registration on British boats, and Jaba has pointed out that the french government has reminded its officials in some parts of the Med that they are not allowed to demand registration from Italian boats.

rather than haranguing others for not being able to produce something he could quite easily find himself if he made the effort.I am inclined to agree with Fireball, that the balance of probability, on the evidence we have seen, is that there is no such law. And if it does not exist, then it is nonsense to suggest that anyone could find it "easily": no matter how much effort he makes, he will never find something that does not exist.

If it really is as easy as you suggest, why don't you just post the relevant link (I am sure it would be somewhere on http://vlex.fr/jurisdictions/FR)?

I entirely agree that having a registration document on board minimises this particular source of aggro. But I really don't see why you have such a strong objection to anyone asking the question.



If you can tell us what was the alleged offence and which law you were supposed to have infringed, better still.

And if you can find a link to the actual legislation, that would be perfect.Tim, you asked people to put their hands up and when they did you weren’t satisfied.People have, indeed, "put their hands up". But I was hoping that someone might be able to identify the law that they had pleaded guilty to infringing. So far, that has not happened. I understand the "pay up and move on" attitude, but I remain astonished that the only people who have ever questioned its legality have been Italians ! What is it about us British that makes us so bl00dy submissive?

mike_bryon
17-10-10, 01:11
“astonished that the only people who have ever questioned its legality have been Italians ! What is it about us British that makes us so bl00dy submissive?”

And what’s so astonishing about Italians questioning a law and what makes you think the British are exceptionally submissive and please don’t include me in the ‘us’.

In my opinion you are relying on some ridiculous nationalist generalisations and that means you can only arrive at mistaken conclusions.

charles_reed
17-10-10, 04:27
Naiveté abounds.

By flying the national ensign, when abroad, one agrees to comply with local law.

The French, demand that all boats are registered and have documentation to prove it. Their Douaniers have power to levy on-the-spot fines.

By all means let Toad and Tim go and argue the toss with a French Douanes official, stand up for their rights and demand the relevant legislation. Then stand back and watch the outcome...

Re the Brits being submissive - it's a comment made to me by many of my continental friends - Netherlands, French, Italian - that we'll (Brits) put up with any officially-imposed indignity and do nothing about it but increase our level of grousing to each other.
Strikes me this thread is a marvellous example of just that - catharsis by complaint.

Please Toad, do us all a favour - take the matter up with the relevant French, Netherlands etc governments and come back to this board with a full report.

Tranona
17-10-10, 09:45
That is like claiming that Reeds is the definitive statement of UK legislation !

If it really is as easy as you suggest, why don't you just post the relevant link (I am sure it would be somewhere on http://vlex.fr/jurisdictions/FR)?



The reference to BLOC is because all the relevant legislation and guidance for what is required is listed there. Not suggesting that makes it law, but does sort of suggest such laws exist - or are they (like the RYA, the CA etc) just making it up?

I have no pressing need to get formal confirmation from the French authorities that these sources are right - I believe they are.

However, poor old Toad is at a real loss, because for all his posturing he seems not to have the slightest inclination to check these sources himself - only demanding other people do it for him!

So if you want to move forward from the current accepted position that such a law exists and people have been penalised by the Douanes over a considerable period of time for not having the correct documentation you need to do something positive. You can speculate all you like that the law does not exist, or if it does it can be challenged, or it doesn't exist and the Douanes are bent or incompetent - or any other reason that comes into your head. The fact remains that the only new piece of information that has come out is that one policemean (not Douanes) suggests it is not an offence. He also (via your informant) gave you a website to contact the Douanes for advice. Stunned by the silence from you on this front.

I think the vulgar expression is "Put up or shut up"

timbartlett
17-10-10, 10:41
And what’s so astonishing about Italians questioning a lawNothing. The thing that is astonishing is that the other nation that seems to be significantly affected (the UK) has not questioned it.

what makes you think the British are exceptionally submissive and please don’t include me in the ‘us’.This thread, and many others, in which British people (apparently happily) accept any diktat handed down by any official (no matter how junior) as though it were law -- even to the extent of handing over "penalties" for alleged "offences".

In my opinion you are relying on some ridiculous nationalist generalisations and that means you can only arrive at mistaken conclusions.I'm not quite sure what you mean by "relying on some ridiculous nationalist generalisations", but I assure you that I am not relying on anything.

When someone is able to refer me to the french legislation that requires British vessels to carry registration documents in France, I shall rely on that. Until then, I rely on nothing.

timbartlett
17-10-10, 10:51
I think the vulgar expression is "Put up or shut up"Exactly so.

You (and others) have asserted that there is a law. I (and others who have looked) can't find it. That, of course, is exactly what one would expect if the law did not exist.

You have asserted that it is "easy" to find, yet you steadfastly refuse to tell us where, and send us, instead, on wild goose chases such as Bloc. That too, is exactly what one would expect if the law did not exist.

If you can't or won't contribute the information that you claim to possess, why don't you just drop out of this thread? Put up or shut up.

capnsensible
17-10-10, 11:09
Self Importance will never sbstitute a passport, visa, car, boat or aeroplane registration. The vast majority of people are clearly sensible enough to travel abroad with documents to avoid POTENTIAL problems.

There is only one soap box country, the rest do not give a t0$$ for argumentative whingers.

Tranona
17-10-10, 11:22
Exactly so.

You (and others) have asserted that there is a law. I (and others who have looked) can't find it. That, of course, is exactly what one would expect if the law did not exist.

You have asserted that it is "easy" to find, yet you steadfastly refuse to tell us where, and send us, instead, on wild goose chases such as Bloc. That too, is exactly what one would expect if the law did not exist.

If you can't or won't contribute the information that you claim to possess, why don't you just drop out of this thread? Put up or shut up.

It is NOT a wild goose chase. The laws are listed there. Have you checked them out? It may end up with you finding the laws do not apply, or there is not a penalty, but the point is you have not checked them out.

I don't know, and have never claimed to know exactly what law applies. All I know is the evidence that such a law exists is overwhelming based on peoples' experiences and the advice of many authoritative sources dedicated to giving advice to yachtsmen.

If you think all this is wrong then quote your reasons for saying it is wrong.

And, please, no more bent copper stories.

jimbaerselman
17-10-10, 13:23
I apologise for not reading all posts, so this may already have been mentioned. The fines occur not because there is a law covering the situation, but because this is a Catch 22 question. It arises in all countries which have compulsory registration.

1. Local law requires all local vessels to carry current registration documents.

2. If a vessel does not carry a registration document, it must be able to prove that it belongs to a class of vessel and country that does not require registration.

3. The only universally acceptable such proof is a registration document.

Of course, a court may well accept your appeal against an on the spot fine, and will probably find for you. If you wish to hang around that long, accrue the alternative evidence, obtain translations, pay the Advocate . . .

capsco
17-10-10, 15:19
I apologise for not reading all posts, so this may already have been mentioned. The fines occur not because there is a law covering the situation, but because this is a Catch 22 question. It arises in all countries which have compulsory registration.

1. Local law requires all local vessels to carry current registration documents.

2. If a vessel does not carry a registration document, it must be able to prove that it belongs to a class of vessel and country that does not require registration.

3. The only universally acceptable such proof is a registration document.

Of course, a court may well accept your appeal against an on the spot fine, and will probably find for you. If you wish to hang around that long, accrue the alternative evidence, obtain translations, pay the Advocate . . .



That seems to me to be a very accurate summary of this issue.

timbartlett
17-10-10, 15:42
Self Importance will never sbstitute a passport, visa, car, boat or aeroplane registration. ...There is only one soap box country, the rest do not give a t0$$ for argumentative whingers.This has nothing to do with "self-importance" or "argumentative whingers". It is a simple matter of trying to establish a fact. I still fail to see why you and Tranona seem to find that so offensive. And until we know what the law says -- if, indeed, it actually exists and says anything at all -- then there is nothing to argue with or whinge about!


I (and others who have looked) can't find it. That, of course, is exactly what one would expect if the law did not exist.It is NOT a wild goose chase. The laws are listed there. Have you checked them out? It may end up with you finding the laws do not apply, or there is not a penalty, but the point is you have not checked them out.This is a good example of the fundamental problem here. You have no evidence that I have not "checked out" the references you have given, yet you choose to believe it -- even though you have quoted the post in which I specifically said that we had looked for the law but had not found it.

Jim B's Catch 22 post sums it up -- although I would question the assertion that a registration document is the "only acceptable" evidence of nationality. It's probably the only universally acceptable evidence, but the combination of a bill of sale, the owner's passport, a UK radio licence would probably be accepted by a court, even if they were not accepted by a local jobsworth with a quota to meet.

al.carpenter
17-10-10, 16:08
the few posts above help me understand why a few millions of brits in the streets claiming a war in Irak is not legal are still led into invading this country... why so many immigrants are trying to get into the country and are able to claim benefits in two or three different cities (seen with my own eyes) or two or three of them working in the industry on the same clocking card (seen with my own eyes) or work illegaly on the farms in Norfolk or Suffolk or in renown food factories for peanuts wages well under the legal minimum, with the Authorities well aware of these facts (seen with my own eyes) without any problem. That's probably why you make so good soldiers, you are good at doing what you are told without even trying to challenge the facts as long as a "leader" has decided for you.
If the leader is an idiot (like the one in charge of France at the moment... watch him being kicked out in the next few weeks...) it does not matter, let's follow him anyway.
To come back to the subject of the thread, if you are glad to donate your money to the french without questioning whether you really have to, then as a french, I thank you for this generous gesture. A french law enforcing officer will not be able to fine a british yacht for not producing a SSR document, not legally anyway which does not mean that he will not try, knowing that he can, because you are not going to challenge him to get a few hundred pounds out of your pocket straight into his own (if he happens to have found an old 1960ies fines dockets) or in most cases in the state pocket which is just as bad.
If, when on board my own GB flagged yacht an officer had not been satisfied with what I gave him or, as a matter of fact I have given the authorities tenth of times and never once a SSR reg, I would have politely asked him to sort the matter with Buckingham Palace or, if Her Majesty the Queen was too busy to talk to him to take the matter with the british consul in the nearest town. Somehow they never tryed it with me. Believe you me, they are well aware that they cannot fine you for that matter. Speeding, trespassing, mooring, drinking offences ok, no problem. No SSR docs... NO NO NO. Any way, just before getting out of this thread which is becoming in my opinion frustrating to read as, as everyone knows... "knowledge is power" I would recomend anyone in doubt to call any gendarmerie or customs office and ask them the question... I did and got my answer. And no, the "BLOC MARINE" is no maritime code and address french yachts which do have to be registered. And for you own govern and contrary to what was mentionned above, Carteret is not far from Cherbourg, only 22kms by road and is in the Cherbourg maritime district, furthermore, "Police" is not a municipal force.
The "Police" is a national civilian armed force in charge of law and order in cities. Training takes place in national police academies and its authority is the departement de l'interieur (Home Office). The "police Municipale" is a local force and merely City Council employees taking orders from the Mayor.
The "Gendarmerie Nationale" is a military force dealing with suburbans and countryside (small towns and villages) and coastal or aerial matters of law and order. They are armed law officers and trained in army colleges and are under the authority of the armed forces department (MOD), the ministere des armees and,
regarding some offences the ministere de l'interieur... "Douanes" deal with goods and people in and out of the country. "Affaires maritimes" deal with anything that floats around the coast and registrations, licences etc and answer to the prefet maritime. "Police de l'air et des frontieres" deals with people mouvements in airports and borders or what is left of them... Hope this helps. Fair wind to all and do not forget your SSR registration docs...

timbartlett
17-10-10, 17:08
By flying the national ensign, when abroad, one agrees to comply with local law.That is utter, absolute bo11ox.
By flying your national ensign when abroad, you are declaring your nationality -- i.e. you are identifying the flag state to whose laws regarding registration, manning, safety equipment etc. you conform.

toad_oftoadhall
17-10-10, 17:24
If a vessel does not carry a registration document, it must be able to prove that it belongs to a class of vessel and country that does not require registration.


Where does it say that in French law? Seems far more plausable to me that the onus would be for the local plod to prove it's a French Boat, not for the boat owner to prove that it's a British Boat. Either way, the direction of the onus will be stated in the legislation itself once it's presented.

Anyway, nobody has suggested there's a law that requires a boat merely to prove it is a British Flagged vessel. The offence described relates specifically to failure to produce an original registration document.

toad_oftoadhall
17-10-10, 17:29
I'll find you the original French legislation which you can download and translate at your leisure.

Thanks. I'd like to accept this offer.

DownWest
17-10-10, 19:25
Blimey, you guys still at it??

Toad, one thought, under the code Napoleon, you are guilty until proved innocent. So the production of a document to prove your reg, rather than them having to prove otherwise is likely the norm. Don't forget that most of europe (certainly the bits that I have lived in) require one to carry proof of identity. Usually an ID card. Here, they don't issue IDs to foreigh nationals, so I have to carry my passport ( still have a paper driving licence). My wife, not a EU national, carries her 'cart de sejour' (residents permit). I more than once had to vouch for people at the local police shop, who had forgotten their ID and been stopped in a routine 'control', then been hauled off .
I understand what you are trying to do, BUT, isn't easier to just carry the docs?
A

If I have missed posts, sorry, left this one after a couple of pages, it looked a bit like a few from way back....

toad_oftoadhall
17-10-10, 19:36
Toad, one thought, under the code Napoleon, you are guilty until proved innocent.

I'm not convinced. Everyone would be in prison. Although there may be some specific offences where the onus works the other way round. Maybe this is one. Until we see it we won't know.


I understand what you are trying to do, BUT, isn't easier to just carry the docs?


But will seeing this legislation prevent anyone from carrying docs? Supposing (and I can't imagine how) someone manages to prove the negative and shows there is no fixed penalty in France for failing to carry an original SSR. Would that prevent anyone from carrying the docs?

Tranona
17-10-10, 21:58
This is getting sillier by the day.

Can I summarise where we are now?

There seems to be a law in France that requires yachts to be registered. Don't think that is in dispute. Michael Chapman has posted the reference and it is listed (along with other legislation affecting boating in France) in BLOC.

If you know anything about French Law you will know that it is codified, and if you are required to register your boat and you do not, then there will be a penalty. Because of the codified system the penalty will be automatic and may well be prescribed. Any of you that have been caught speeding in France will know about this. It is less easy to challenge the penalty because of prescription unlike in UK law where the courts have to prove you were in the wrong.

So, the question is whether this law applies to yachts that are not French owned but in French territory. The evidence seems to suggest it does as there are numerous accounts of people being penalised for breaking this law, including from recent threads an account that it applies to Italian vessels, but by concession only those over 10m in length.

The law seems to be enforced by Douanes whose responsibility is much wider than the equivalent in the UK. The accounts from people who have been penalised are very consistent - it is the result of inspection of documents by Douanes. On the other hand we have a report that Gendarmes do not enforce this law on foreign/British yachts - but this may be irrelevant as it is Douanes that seem to have the responsibility.

So, for those of you that still have doubts, you need to firstly establish that the law exists to your satisfaction, which means following up the references you have been given. That will tell you what the offence is, but may not necessarily tell you who it applies to. It is unlikely to say it applies to French owned vessels only, but is more likely to be silent on its scope. This would be consistent with what we see in practice - that is the authorities assume it applies to everybody unless specifically exempt. This approach would be consistent with normal French legal principles. If you believe that although not stated, the law should not apply to non French vessels then you will need to persuade the French government to specifically exclude them. Otherwise the authorities will continue to act as they seem to do now.

It is not a question of right or wrong or of fairness and victimisation - French law does not work in that way. You are, however, a long way from knowing what is correct, because, like me, you have not read the law, only made your own assumptions about what it is , or you would like it to be (or not). I base my assumptions on the evidence as I see it - yours seems to be just your belief about what it ought to be rather than what is!

So, back to my original advice. Read the law as it is. If you can't do that directly, then seek qualified legal advice from France. Then you will have something concrete upon which to base your arguments rather than just making them up as you go along.

jellyellie
17-10-10, 22:57
What I wrote in the log book was expressive, but it wasn't the offence code.

quote of the thread, for sure! made me chuckle.

al.carpenter
17-10-10, 23:12
this is not getting sillier by the day... it is getting sillier by the minute... and hilarious too. What are you running on? Martinique Rhum??? or Scotch stuff???

timbartlett
17-10-10, 23:34
Read the law as it is.

The offence is:-
Dt 60-799 du 2.8.1960 - Art 2.
I've read the "law as it is" (as referenced by Michael Chapman). It says:-

Ne sont pas soumis aux dispositions du présent décret :

1° Les navires de mer circulant ou stationnant entre la limite transversale de la mer et, en amont, le premier obstacle à la navigation de ces navires déterminé en application du décret-loi du 17 juin 1938 susvisé ;

Which part of "Ne sont pas" don't you understand?

I'm not a fluent french speaker (or reader) so the first time I looked at this, I got to the bit that says it doesn't apply, and stopped there. Having now read it through more carefully, I am not at all convinced that "un titre de navigation maritime" actually means "registration certificate", anyway! In the context of this particular loi, it appears to refer to a CE inland waters safety certificate.

mike_bryon
18-10-10, 00:33
This tread is not entitled ‘refer me to the French legislation that requires British vessels to carry registration documents in France’

What I mean by relying on some ridiculous nationalist generalisations is for example Tim’s remark about “What … makes us so bl00dy submissive?”

“Italians !” Why the exclamation Tim if not some ridiculous nationalist generalisation?

timbartlett
18-10-10, 01:35
This tread is not entitled ‘refer me to the French legislation that requires British vessels to carry registration documents in France’No, it is not. But the very first post does say "If you can tell us what was the alleged offence and which law you were supposed to have infringed, better still. And if you can find a link to the actual legislation, that would be perfect." So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that I was hoping to be given a clue about where to find this elusive law.


What I mean by relying on some ridiculous nationalist generalisations is for example Tim’s remark about “What … makes us so bl00dy submissive?”Well the majority opinion on this thread seems to be that if an official says "You've broken the law, pay me X Euros", you should immediately pay the X Euros, without asking what law you are supposed to have broken or getting a receipt. And this is far from unusual: there have been plenty of other threads (particularly in the Lounge) in which a significant proportion of opinions seem to be that when an official says jump, you should not as why. You shouldn't even ask "how high": you should just jump and keep on rising until you are given permission to come down. If you are not of that opinion, then I am pleased. If only there were more of us.


“Italians !” Why the exclamation Tim if not some ridiculous nationalist generalisation?The exclamation mark came at the end of a sentence, not a single word. And as I have already explained, the sentence expressed surprise is that only one nationality appears to have questioned the legality of these penalties. If it had been the americans, or spanish, or polynesians, instead of the italians, I would have said so. And I would still have used an exclamation mark to express surprise that they were the only ones to do so. There is nothing racists or "national stereotypical" about it.

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 06:16
So, back to my original advice. Read the law as it is.

Good advice. The problem is none of the people who say they have seen it and can link to it can't say what/where it is. (Possibly because it doesn't exist.)

Tranona
18-10-10, 09:17
Good advice. The problem is none of the people who say they have seen it and can link to it can't say what/where it is. (Possibly because it doesn't exist.)

Once and for all, Toad, look at the laws that are quoted in BLOC. Read every one of them. Tell us what they say (or don't say) then we will all know you have actually looked - rather than claiming you have.

I simply cannot understand your warped logic that underpins your non-existent argument in the face of the evidence, nor why, if you are so concerned about it you do not seek professional advice.

You have had so many goes at trying to cajole people to do or say something you want with absolutely no success, while ignoring the obvious solution to your problem..

As so many people have said - If you believe the law does not exist then provide your evidence - absolutely none so far against all the evidence and advice that it does.

Of course, you may be right, but simply saying you are right convinces nobody. Just based on the responses to these threads, only two other people have joined your "side". That might be telling you something!

timbartlett
18-10-10, 09:38
I simply cannot understand your warped logic that underpins your non-existent argument in the face of the evidence, What "evidence" is that?
Which part of "Ne sont pas" don't you understand?.

jimbaerselman
18-10-10, 09:38
2. If a vessel does not carry a registration document, it must be able to prove that it belongs to a class of vessel and country that does not require registration. Where does it say that in French law? Seems far more plausable to me that the onus would be for the local plod to prove it's a French Boat, not for the boat owner to prove that it's a British Boat. Either way, the direction of the onus will be stated in the legislation itself once it's presented.

I was making a logical argument, not quoting laws.

I was referring to ALL countries which require their national boats to be registered. I think it is safe to assume that laws requiring registration of certain classes of vessels exist in most countries, without having to take the trouble of identifying the specific laws for each country.

The logical argument is then that you then have to prove your vessel is NOT owned/registered in the country you are visiting if you do not carry a certificate.

The only universally acceptable proof is a foreign certificate.

Tim has pointed out the possibility of carrying a paper trail. Douane are unlikely to accept this, since there are more issues than just the owner's nationality and where the boat was purchased which determine whether or not the boat should have been locally registered. One such is whether you (the person) qualify as a local tax resident - through having spent more than 183 days in a year in the country. And Douane are entitled to assume you are a tax resident unless you prove otherwise. A number of IW waterway residents have been caught in this trap.

Working your way through this proof will take time and money - usually more than any threatened fine.

As a matter of interest, many French nationals who are also tax residents of France find it more convenient to register their vessels in Belgium or on the SSR.

Tranona
18-10-10, 09:54
What "evidence" is that?.

You have seen it yourself in the form of a receipt for a penalty - or did you just invent that?

All you and Toad do is repeat your "belief" and ignore anything that does not fit with your belief, often to the extent of making up spurious reasonings why you should not accept what people tell you.

I do not understand how you can dismiss such overwhelming evidence just because you believe something different - but then hanging onto beliefs is nothing new.

It would be nice to have an authoritative statement that you are right, which is why I suggest you look for one. I would be the first to congratulate you for your efforts.

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 09:58
I was making a logical argument, not quoting laws.

Rightly or wrongly, I'd like to know what the law says. To be honest, if there *is* an onus on each boat owner to prove his boat is a British Flagged vessel then everyone's ****ed since an SSR doesn't prove that at all. There are countless examples of people who fraudulently obtain an SSR by claiming to be British resident or failing to give up their SSR when they cease to be British Resident. The French must know there are no checks on applicants at all.

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 10:01
All you and Toad do is repeat your "belief".

I can't speak for Tim but I don't have a "belief". I merely have a question I don't have the answer to. Nothing more than that.

If you show me the legislation I'll tell you whether I "believe" it or not.

jimbaerselman
18-10-10, 10:04
Rightly or wrongly, I'd like to know what the law says. To be honest, if there *is* an onus on each boat owner to prove his boat is a British Flagged vessel then everyone's ****ed since an SSR doesn't prove that at all. There are countless examples of people who fraudulently obtain an SSR by claiming to be British resident or failing to give up their SSR when they cease to be British Resident. The French must know there are no checks on applicants at all.There is no onus to prove a vessel is flagged in any specific country. There is an onus to prove it is not due to be registered in the country you are visiting. That means you have to prove it belongs somewhere else.

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 10:13
There is no onus to prove a vessel is flagged in any specific country. There is an onus to prove it is not due to be registered in the country you are visiting. That means you have to prove it belongs somewhere else.

The problem with that theory is that nobody has found any legislation to say that the onus works that way round.

It's seems highly likely to me that the onus would work the other way round. - In order to prosecute you as a French Boat they need to prove you are a French boat.

It seems almost laughable to me that a French court could sit there and pretend that 4 blokes from Liverpool in a boat kept in Haslar and bought in Ipswich were on a French Vessel. Especially since if those blokes, having been convicted as a French boat, *tried* to register their boat in France they wouldn't be allowed to! In fact I'd be willing to bet it's never happened.

Barnac1e
18-10-10, 10:14
Just based on the responses to these threads, only two other people have joined your "side". That might be telling you something!

I suppose I may be classed as one of the people – but I haven't exactly joined any “side” as I am not really competent to contribute, never having cruised French waters. My only contribution was to object to the vilification of Toad, whom I think has been tolerant and restrained in the face of exchanges that have been more typical to the Lounge.

For me, Jim has expressed the most cogent explanation with his Catch 22 situation but Toad, Tim and Al have a point in their assumption that fines have been levied unlawfully when proof of ship's origin could be supplied by owner's domicile and/or nationality with passport or other identification in the absence of MCA Part I or Part III registration. Of course, for the pragmatists among us, it is madness to set sail from one's home waters without at least a SSR – but that is not the point at issue.

The agreement reached by French authorities with Italian sub-ten metre boats is interesting. As a parallel, in Croatia, which clearly publicises the requirement for registration amongst its mandatory entry documentation, all Italian leisure craft have an official engine (not ship) registration – even a small outboard I bought came with this document – and this seems to suffice for the Croatian entry port authorities as the days seem long gone for the purists who cruise solely under sail.

al.carpenter
18-10-10, 10:29
I suggest you do the following... You look in "Pages Jaunes" (Yellow Pages) for DOUANES FRANCAISES or GENDARMERIE MARITIME (Brigade Maritime Cherbourg tel 02 33 92 55 29) and dial the number then you say

-PUIS JE PARLER A UNE PERSONNE PARLANT L'ANGLAIS S'IL VOUS PLAIT?

if the answer is NON you say

- BONJOUR, JE SUIS ANGLAIS ET NE PARLE PAS TROP LE FRANCAIS ALORS S'IL VOUS PLAIT PARLEZ DOUCEMENT. JE DOIS VOYAGER DANS LES EAUX TERRITORIALES FRANCAISES AVEC MON VOILIER QUI EST SOUS PAVILLON BRITANNIQUE. DOIS-JE LEGALEMENT PRODUIRE UN CERTIFICAT DU SSR ETANT DONNE QUE LA LOI DE MON PAYS NE M'IMPOSE PAS CE DOCUMENT. OUI? NON? MERCI. AU REVOIR.-

you do not have to go into long palabres, just keep an ear open for oui or non...

cost of a normal phone call so, cheap enough and fast...
easy as that, and then you let us all have the answer...
and we do not have to read such stupid things such as the code Napoleon and guilty until proven innocent when the "présomption d'innocence" is exactly the contrary, or to think that a fine docket (hence a law form...) stating a 1960 law article is legal when there has been at least three code maritime restructures since...(someone has found on Vlex that there has been a 1999 date on the fines and I believe there has been a 2007 edition of the code...) is not a con...

Timbarlett and Toad oftoadhall are 100% right and without any shadow of a doubt. The others are are just wrong and I challenge any one to prove the contrary... I am not denying others have been fined but am affraid to say that they have been victims of unlawful fines. If this thread could, by the number of readers make future potential victims aware of their rights, then it will have served its purpose... fair winds.

Tranona
18-10-10, 10:39
There is no onus to prove a vessel is flagged in any specific country. There is an onus to prove it is not due to be registered in the country you are visiting. That means you have to prove it belongs somewhere else.

Whilst in general that is true under the UN convention. However, I think the argument is different in France. It is about the need to be able to produce a registration document on demand, just as in being able to produce your car registration documents. Registration from the perspective of the UN convention only applies in coastal waters, whereas registration also seems to be required in French inland waters

From all the advice given to motorists, French police can (and do) apply a penalty if you do not have your car registration document. This as you know is not the case in UK, but it would be a foolish person who did not take their documents with them - just as it is foolish not to take your documents with your boat.

The argument is whether French authorities can legitmately impose the requirement on UK owned boats (or cars) under legislation that seems to apply to French owned boats (and cars). Nobody here is qualified to have a definitive opinion, but authoritative bodies charged with giving advice to yachtsmen seem to think the legislation applies. The Douanes do because they penalise British Yachtsmen for not having the required documentation.

This is nothing new - it dates back nearly 30 years when the Convention came in and the SSR was introduced to meet registration requirements. In all that time the majority of people have complied and as far as I know the requirement has never been formally challenged.

Now we have a person or two that think it is wrong - not because they have been penalised and wish to challenge the penalty in a court of law - but just it seems because they think it is wrong. So, rather than finding out through the conventional way, they ask for views from lay people on this forum - and unsurprisingly they get lots of responses confirming (in the poster's view or direct experience) that penalties are applied. Only one, a report of a conversation with a French Gendarme seems to cast any doubt. He provided a source through which his view might be confirmed - but the "doubters" have not bothered to do so.

So, rather pointless continuing well rehearsed arguments when the resolution lies elsewhere - but the dissenters don't seem to want to go there.

timbartlett
18-10-10, 10:44
You have seen it yourself in the form of a receipt for a penalty - or did you just invent that?If you look at what I actually said, you will see that it is you who are doing the inventing, not I:-


Or better still ask your mates at the RYA for their adviceI just did. And I spoke with someone who had been done for E150 on the spot penalty. But the receipt did not identify the legislation involved.I said I "spoke with someone"-- not that I had seen the receipt. The existence of a receipt merely proves that a penalty has been collected -- not that it was legitimate.

All you and Toad do is repeat your "belief" and ignore anything that does not fit with your belief,I came into this discussion with no preconceived belief. As the discussion has gone on, however, I have become more and more convinced that registration is not compulsory for UK vessels visiting France. The complete failure of you and your supporters to offer any evidence has been a major contributory factor!

It is almost certainly true that registration smooths your passage, but that is not the point.

Having a bank card makes life a lot easier -- but it is not compulsory!

Tranona
18-10-10, 11:43
[QUOTE=timbartlett;2677746]I said I "spoke with someone"-- not that I had seen the receipt. The existence of a receipt merely proves that a penalty has been collected -- not that it was legitimate.
I came into this discussion with no preconceived belief. As the discussion has gone on, however, I have become more and more convinced that registration is not compulsory for UK vessels visiting France. The complete failure of you and your supporters to offer any evidence has been a major contributory factor!

[ QUOTE]

That is the whole point. Fines are being levied - you cannot deny that, there are too many examples. I absolutely agree that is not evidence on its own that they are legitimate, because nobody seems to have challenged their legitimacy. So, until someone does you must consider them legitimate because they are facts not beliefs.

For myself - I can't speak for my "supporters" they are quite capable of speaking for themselves, I have viewed the totality of the "evidence" from a whole range of sources and have come to a conclusion that in the absence of a denial from an official source the penalties are legitimate.

Just what is it that convinces you? I have seen nothing, except al Carpenters conversation with a gendarme that gives any suggestion that the fines are not legitimate. He offers you the opportunity to check out what he reports with the Douanes. Have you done this? If so please report what you found out.

timbartlett
18-10-10, 12:44
Fines are being levied - you cannot deny that, there are too many examples. I absolutely agree that is not evidence on its own that they are legitimate, because nobody seems to have challenged their legitimacy. So, until someone does you must consider them legitimate because they are facts not beliefs.The fixed penalties are facts. I don't think anyone has denied that. But there is no evidence at all to suggest that they are legitimate.
It is possible that they are deliberate fraud, and it is at least as likely that they are genuine mistakes. Why is it so difficult to believe that some low-grade officials are not familiar with the minutiae of a foreign country's legislation? (i.e. that some french waterborne traffic warden can't quote chapter and verse of the UK's 1995 Merchant Shipping Act (or whatever it is).


I have viewed the totality of the "evidence" from a whole range of sources and have come to a conclusion that in the absence of a denial from an official source the penalties are legitimate.Are you coming round to accepting that there is no positive evidence that the penalties are legitimate?


Just what is it that convinces you? I have seen nothing, except al Carpenters conversation with a gendarme that gives any suggestion that the fines are not legitimate. He offers you the opportunity to check out what he reports with the Douanes. Have you done this? If so please report what you found out.Well, he portrays it as a bit more than a casual conversation with the desk sergeant at the local cop shop. And as I have no problem accepting what he says, I see no reason to go checking it. He has invited you to verify it -- but I take it that you haven't bothered.

The only piece of actual legislation that anyone has offered (with enormous confidence, I might add) turned out to be something that only applied to Inland waters and even then only to pleasure vessels significantly larger than the average yacht. And which might not have been referring to registration documents as such, but to Declarations of Conformity.

The total lack of any evidence to support the legitimacy of these penalties is what I find most convincing.

Now, can we please stop going round and round.
When you've got some evidence, just let us know.

al.carpenter
18-10-10, 13:41
just in case anyone thinks I am telling lies about the contel with the Cherbourg Gendarmerie Maritime and the substance of it, I invite you to call them and add that, when he confirmed a fine for not producing a SSR reg document was definitely not possible/legal in french waters by any of the french law agencies, you guess that, before reporting on the forum I asked him many times if I could give this assertion on an international forum since I realise that puting something in writing for everyone to see on line does engage my responsability somehow and would not have posted his answer if he had not assured me of being right. He was not just a pen pusher at the switchboard... first the person answering me put me through the specific GENDARMERIE MARITIME then the second person I talked to after aknowledging the nature of my enquiry put me through to the person in charge of the actual seabourne brigade whom name I cannot remember but he was not unsure or hesitant in his answer. I repeat, on a british yacht, only british law can be applied and the only fine you can incure is a speeding, mooring/sailing where it is prohibited, drink-sailing. Point. No need for a SSR. But I am not stupid enough not to recommend having one... just stand up for your rights if this situation arises again in the future...

Tranona
18-10-10, 13:54
So, does that mean you have not followed up your informant's lead to check out your suspicions?

Your dimissal of Douanes applying penalties and giving official receipts as "some low grade officials who are not familiar...." beggars belief. Do you really think these professional people are in this category? - and you still don't check out the organisation?

Still not sure what achieving your goal of trying to prove that penalties imposed on others are not legitimate is all about. Are you and Toad going to assemble an Armada of unregistered yachts and descend on major French ports? To what end?

All a bit of a nonsense really. One person gets the idea that, because there is no legal requirement to register a yacht in the UK this should also mean that when visiting other countries evidence of registration is not required and those countries might impose a penalty. Seems a huge leap from one reality to another speculation. But then I was brought up in the tradition of logic rather than fantasy.

It would be very different if you came along with "I have an opinion from a leading French lawyer that these penalties are not legitimate" then people might listen. Or, "I have an assurance from the Chief of Douanes that no evidence of registration is required and I will discipline any of my officers who try to extract money from British Yachtsmen on trumped up charges". Over to you.

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 14:14
Do you really think these professional people are in this category?

Well given one of them issued a fine in a currency that didn't exist, and another issued a fine for an out of date document that didn't have an expiry date written on it and no two of them ever fined anyone the same amount you do have to question their ability as customs officers. Or were they policemen? Nobody seems to know. :)

I get the feeling that there are some vulnerable people in this thread who would literally pay cash to anyone who asked for it and not even check the receipt afterwards to see if they've been ripped off. Staggering. (If true.)


then people might listen.

I doubt Tim cares if anyone else listens. This isn't about winning an internet squabble, it's about find out if this law exists and exactly what it requires.

For some people ignorance isn't bliss, we actually want to know stuff.

vyv_cox
18-10-10, 14:23
I get the feeling that there are some vulnerable people in this thread who would literally pay cash to anyone who asked for it and not even check the receipt afterwards to see if they've been ripped off. Staggering. (If true.)


Which world is it that you live in? I have not been fined, as I make it a point to carry the documentation advised by the RYA, CA and every other yachting organisation. However, I have been boarded. The officers are large, in uniform, carry guns and are intimidating. They are quite obviously 'official' and I only barely speak their language, so argument with them would not be easy. I don't see myself as particularly vulnerable but I don't doubt that if one of them found me not to be carrying some required piece of documentation I would pay any fine without hesitation. And probably be pleased to do so.

timbartlett
18-10-10, 14:42
So, does that mean you have not followed up your informant's lead to check out your suspicions?What would be the point? Have you followed up your informant's lead to check out your suspicions? No: you left it to me.



Your dimissal of Douanes applying penalties and giving official receipts as "some low grade officials who are not familiar...." beggars belief. Do you really think these professional people are in this category?Yes, I do. The ones that go round handing out fixed penalty notices are not at the top of the tree, any more than police superintendents go round nicking people for speeding. And when you bear in mind that there are well over 100 maritime nations in the world, all with their own regulations regarding registration and do you really expect anyone to be familiar with all of them?


Still not sure what achieving your goal of trying to prove that penalties imposed on others are not legitimate is all about.That is not my goal. I want to know the facts. That, to my mind, is a valid goal in itself. And I am becoming pretty pi55ed off by your determination to stand in the way of it. If you have evidence that will help (in either direction) why are you so reluctant to do provide it. And as it seems you do not have any evidence, why are you so determined to shout down those who do?


All a bit of a nonsense really. Indeed it is. So instead of repeating the same nonsense time after time, why don't you shut up and go and annoy someone else?

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 14:53
I have been boarded. The officers are large, in uniform, carry guns and are intimidating. They are quite obviously 'official' and I only barely speak their language, so argument with them would not be easy. I don't see myself as particularly vulnerable but I don't doubt that if one of them found me not to be carrying some required piece of documentation I would pay any fine without hesitation. And probably be pleased to do so.

You're vulnerable. You're even scared of the guns. Viv, they will NOT shoot you.

The only two options you can think of in the case of being offered a fixed penalty for an offence you don't understand as 1) Start an argument with the rozzers or 2) Pay up without even subsequently checking the offence.

For that reason you're *exactly* the sort of person that falls for con tricks, and then lets the perps subsequently get away with it.

A 10 year old could list countless alternatives to those two rather unhelpful options. Indeed not everyone carries 150EUR in cash or in the bank so some people must be denied the fixed penalty even if they are prepared to accept guilt. The French rozzers/revenue guys will have a procedure to deal with that and it will not involve prison for £9 fine! They will be calm and professional. This is France, not Nigeria. Don't worry.

Personally I'm too chicken to admit anything abroad. If I did decide to risk admitting something I would keep the document and write down as much detail as possible about the people and vessel involved then chase it subsequently. It can't hurt, and might help. Nobody has done that in this thread. Easy bait for the dishonest.

I sometimes wonder if it's coincidence that I've always found foreign officials to be friendly, helpful and cheerful whilst a handful of people on here seem (claim) to piss them off to the point where they get arsed around?

timbartlett
18-10-10, 14:54
... I don't see myself as particularly vulnerable but I don't doubt that if one of them found me not to be carrying some required piece of documentation I would pay any fine without hesitation. And probably be pleased to do so.Sounds pretty vulnerable to me.
You just hand over money to anyone who looks official and speaks in a foreign language?
Tell, me, what is the point of legislation if you are just as likely to be punished for not breaking the law as if you do?
Isn't this the beginning of the end of the rule of law?

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 14:59
Sounds pretty vulnerable to me.
You just hand over money to anyone who looks official and speaks in a foreign language?

It's almost the definition of vulnerable.

ColdFusion
18-10-10, 15:05
Toad and Tim

Playing devil's advocate here... What would you do if confronted by large, armed 'officials' who board your boat speaking in a foreign language and demanding a fine/charge/penalty/call-it-what-you-will?

timbartlett
18-10-10, 15:33
Toad and Tim

Playing devil's advocate here... What would you do if confronted by large, armed 'officials' who board your boat speaking in a foreign language and demanding a fine/charge/penalty/call-it-what-you-will?

If they are genuine officials who believe that they are acting in accordance with the law, they will have no problem in writing down the details of the offence. In fact, I would expect them to do so without being asked.

I like to think that I would then have the guts to say "see you in court". (I've done it several times in the UK, and usually win) Of course, I would be more likely to have the guts to say see you in court if I knew the facts ....

... and that, of course, is what this thread is all about. Most people who have paid these penalties have done so because they do not know what they are pleading guilty to, but believe that the officials must be right. If they knew for sure that the officials were wrong, I doubt whether they would be such soft targets.

PS IMHO, there is a big difference between a fine and a penalty. A fine is demanded by a court after due process of law. A penalty is demanded by an official, without presenting evidence or legal argument.

PPS I'm assuming, from the context, that they were claiming a bogus penalty. If it was a genuine one -- for anchoring in a prohibited anchorage, fishing in a no-fishing zone or whatever, then Id pay up. I can't expect officials to obey the law and play by the rules if I don't do so myself.

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 16:08
What would you do if confronted by large, armed 'officials' who board your boat speaking in a foreign language and demanding a fine/charge/penalty/call-it-what-you-will?

I'd be friendly and professional. I'd appologise and say that I didn't have any cash on me. I very much doubt it would go further than that even if there really is an offence.

If it did go further and there really was no opition, frankly I'd be friendly & politely go down the court route. I don't know what that would entail. Hard to imagine it being an arrestible offence. If it was, frankly I'd still go down the court route. Brit on remand abroad for losing a meaningless bit of paper - the Daily Mail would pay me £50,000 for the story.

In the highly unlikely event that I felt cornered into admitting something and paying a fine I'd keep the receipt and double check later that it was legit. If it wasn't I'd contact everyone I could to at least get the people who did it disciplined so future suckers didn't get fined. I suspect a refund might even be possible.

In reality I'd assume the cost of chasing someone abroad for a minor offence made it something they wished to avoid. (Same in the UK. There's only one motoring offence pursued abroad.)

I would NOT argue, indeed I see no need to. It makes no odds to them if I take the fixed penalty or not. They will see people with no means to pay the fine from time to time. I'd just be one of them.

Of course, none of this is relevant to my question.

ColdFusion
18-10-10, 16:34
Thank you, both, for your constructive replies.

I would (also) like to see a definitive answer to the original question posed. At the moment I think the nays have it by a whisker but the quantity of anecdotal evidence of 'fines' being imposed for not having registration papers points to there being a problem of some kind with our French friends. Perhaps the magazines could investigate further on our behalf?

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 16:51
Perhaps the magazines could investigate further on our behalf?

I think a "legal myth busters" article would fill a page or two and cost very little to write. From the length of this thread a lot of people would read it.

Flares: Busted.
VAT: Busted.
SSR: ???

I really don't know why YM haven't already done it. I suspect there might be a very good reason.

jaba
18-10-10, 17:45
As much as I’ll love this thread going on indefinitely, I will post here a translation of a page on the official site of the Italian Coastguard (military sea police) regarding the less-than-10-meter-long yachts stating that

“Following the meeting at the (Italian) Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on 5.11.2004 between the (Italian) Directorate General for Navigation and Inland and Ocean freight, the General Command of the (Italian) Coastguard and the Customs' Attaché of the French Embassy, we came to the final resolution of the issue of the navigation of Italian pleasure boats in French territorial waters. Under this agreement, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise of France confirmed that the Italian owners of pleasure craft to travel to French territorial waters must have on board, available to the Control Authority, the following documents: - bill insurance for civil liability whith, among other things, the name of the owner of the vessel - the vessel bill of sale, if available, - if the vessel was used by someone other than the owner or if the insurance policy was made out to others, simply a statement from the owner of the craft or the holder of insurance issued to the person using the vessel.”

Imho this proves that
1 – At least one country (Italy) recognizes the French right to check the foreign flagged boats papers and request certain documents.
2 - It’s not a matter of law (which is the reason why in my opinion you don’t find any), but of an executive branch decision/policy.
I suggest you investigate with your own UK body (Coast Guard? Foreign Office?...) or directly write to the French Customs, to ask for their official position and policy regarding UK flagged yachts transiting in France.
I’m afraid there's no other way, (apart maybe from the direct experience of being on the receiving end of a fine ;-)),.

Best
j
http://www.guardiacostiera.it/diporto/faq.cfm?PageNum_Recordset1=4&argomento=documentazione

toad_oftoadhall
18-10-10, 18:18
bill insurance for civil liability whith, among other things, the name of the owner of the vessel - the vessel bill of sale, if available, - if the vessel was used by someone other than the owner or if the insurance policy was made out to others, simply a statement from the owner of the craft or the holder of insurance issued to the person using the vessel.”

So if the owner is aboard the only document they must have is insurance.

Which is exactly what the French Plod told Al Carpenter.



At least one country (Italy) recognizes the French right to check the foreign flagged boats papers and request certain documents.

I don't think that's ever been in dispute. The question has never been 'Do the French have a right to make any law they fancy.' the question has always been "Have the French actually made such a law."


It’s not a matter of law

I find it hard to accept that a fine can be levied by a state without a law. But let's assume that instead of a law there's some kind of agreement of some fines that aren't laws. They'd still need to state those rules/fine amounts somewhere. Where?

timbartlett
18-10-10, 18:30
“Following the meeting at the (Italian) Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on 5.11.2004 between the (Italian) Directorate General for Navigation and Inland and Ocean freight, the General Command of the (Italian) Coastguard and the Customs' Attaché of the French Embassy, we came to the final resolution of the issue of the navigation of Italian pleasure boats in French territorial waters.
Sounds to me like an italian official and a french official (or maybe groups of them) got together and the meeting went like this:-
It: "Can we sort out this yacht problem?"
Fr: What's that then?
It: Some of your officers have been penalising our yachtsmen for not having registration documents
Fr: What's wrong with that?
It: But Italian boats don't have to have registration documents unless they are over 10m
Fr: Oh ****, don't they? That means it's illegal for our guys to ask for them.
It: Yes, that's what we thought.
Fr: No problem: we'll send a circular round to all our officers right away. Tell you what, though: it would be really nice if you could get your yachtsmen to carry insurance.
It: No problem! Well dress this up as though we've won a big concession from you, and compulsory insurance is the price of the concession.

al.carpenter
18-10-10, 18:31
As much as I’ll love this thread going on indefinitely, I will post here a translation of a page on the official site of the Italian Coastguard (military sea police) regarding the less-than-10-meter-long yachts stating that

“Following the meeting at the (Italian) Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on 5.11.2004 between the (Italian) Directorate General for Navigation and Inland and Ocean freight, the General Command of the (Italian) Coastguard and the Customs' Attaché of the French Embassy, we came to the final resolution of the issue of the navigation of Italian pleasure boats in French territorial waters. Under this agreement, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise of France confirmed that the Italian owners of pleasure craft to travel to French territorial waters must have on board, available to the Control Authority, the following documents: - bill insurance for civil liability whith, among other things, the name of the owner of the vessel - the vessel bill of sale, if available, - if the vessel was used by someone other than the owner or if the insurance policy was made out to others, simply a statement from the owner of the craft or the holder of insurance issued to the person using the vessel.”

Imho this proves that
1 – At least one country (Italy) recognizes the French right to check the foreign flagged boats papers and request certain documents.
2 - It’s not a matter of law (which is the reason why in my opinion you don’t find any), but of an executive branch decision/policy.
I suggest you investigate with your own UK body (Coast Guard? Foreign Office?...) or directly write to the French Customs, to ask for their official position and policy regarding UK flagged yachts transiting in France.
I’m afraid there's no other way, (apart maybe from the direct experience of being on the receiving end of a fine ;-)),.

Best
j
http://www.guardiacostiera.it/diporto/faq.cfm?PageNum_Recordset1=4&argomento=documentazione

Hi, this is what I have done for the 12 or 13 years that I have owned and kept two of my yachts in France. Every time I was asked documents, the bill of sale and the insurance certificate were good enough. They were not SSR registered and never once has this been questioned... or caused any problem, let alone a fine...

jaba
18-10-10, 20:47
Toad says: "I find it hard ... without a law". Well, I am no expert but in Italy, for instance, you can have fines imposed with bylaws, regulations, decrees etc. You don't need a "proper" law, as per approved by Parliament. No idea about France, though.
Toad says " They'd still need to state those rules/fine amounts somewhere". I think you are (probably) right, that's why I suggested to ask the French Customs. And that is what I would personally do if I were British and did not want/like/wish/accept to carry a SSR registration. I could very well discover that there is no need of SSR. Or the contrary, though ;-)
Timbartlett: I find your dramatic reconstruction very entertaining and perfectly sensible, (apart from a French official admitting in front of Italians -or any foreigner for that matter - that what they did was illegal. That I am not able to believe).

In conclusion, I reckon that there is some (big?) latitude of creation & interpretation of rules by the Douanes administration (this latitude could be perfectly legal under French law) and at the same time, I suspect, an (unwritten?) agreement of sorts with some UK body from which originates the Rya statement about the SSR. Maybe they wrote to the Douanes and received that answer... (in fact one could very well ask them where they got that info).
Absolutely IMHO, of course.
best
j

Tranona
18-10-10, 21:49
What would be the point? Have you followed up your informant's lead to check out your suspicions? No: you left it to me.




How many more times do I have to tell you that I don't have an "informant". Unlike some people I read and assess what is writen or stated (and there is a lot) about the subject and form my own opinion.

You were given a specific source that it was claimed would resolve your doubts and you have failed to follow it up. What more can I say?

Remember once again it is you that has the doubts, not me!

timbartlett
18-10-10, 22:51
You were given a specific source that it was claimed would resolve your doubts and you have failed to follow it up. What more can I say?Al Carpenter found the source, contacted them, and told us all what they said. I have no problem with that. I see no need to phone and get the bloke to repeat it all to me.
It's not that I "failed" to follow it up, it's that I saw (and still see) no need to.

I take it that you have still not checked any of the "facts" that you have endorsed so enthusiastically?

BrendanS
18-10-10, 23:01
I thought you were a journalist? Don't you ever check sources?
You give a hard enough time to anyone else that is lazy in source gathering, and beating up people that make assumptions.

al.carpenter
19-10-10, 03:20
fyg, I have emailed DOUANES FRANCAISES and expecting a written answer anytime soon, which I will post on this forum, so why not be patient? What I do not understand is why the agressivity and bitterness towards somebody who is only trying to help people in not getting ripped off by, lets put it this way, "officers who are often not even knowing that they have no say in what a british yacht has to carry in way of registration" and let it be known that if it happens in the future, stand up for your rights and do not hand out money illegally, this in the interest of everyone. (as have done the ritals...)

toad_oftoadhall
19-10-10, 05:39
What I do not understand is why the agressivity and bitterness towards somebody who is only trying to help

I don't understand the agression and bitterness either. You've provided a verifiable fact. You've been totally open about your source. Everything you've done in this seems to have been aimed at providing information and allowing others to check up on what you've found.

I'm astounded at the 'ignorance is bliss' attidude on ybw.

Few people put their tender on the SSR. Yet if the RYA are stating law, rather than merely good practice, dinghies must be on it. (http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/boatingabroad/Pages/boatingabroadpaperwork.aspx)

Don't people want to see this legislation and, if it also applies to dinghies, make sure they register their tenders as well?

So for that reason alone, I'd say ignorance isn't bliss. (There are countless other reasons as well IMHO.)

al.carpenter
19-10-10, 05:58
well, to me, it is even a question of principle. Why should you give in to someone who has no right whatsoever to levy a fine on a british yacht? Of course it is easy to make them happy by showing a SSR document but why should you be firm on one point like not wanting an Identity Card and at the same time wanting to show a document that a "uniformed bully" just happen to want regardless of the Law? This is a paradox... Well, let them in their masochism if that's what they want.

Blue5
19-10-10, 07:22
fyg, I have emailed DOUANES FRANCAISES and expecting a written answer anytime soon, which I will post on this forum, so why not be patient? What I do not understand is why the agressivity and bitterness towards somebody who is only trying to help people in not getting ripped off by, lets put it this way, "officers who are often not even knowing that they have no say in what a british yacht has to carry in way of registration" and let it be known that if it happens in the future, stand up for your rights and do not hand out money illegally, this in the interest of everyone. (as have done the ritals...)

As one following this thread from a distance I think if peeps can see an official bit of paper stating its not neccesary they would be happier to argue the case from a position of strength.

I am afraid reading through French law and trying to translate its true meaning is not a skill too many on here posess, hands up as one of them, English is bad enough!!

As you say if the officers themselves do not know the law, without any form of written backup you are no doubt at a disadvantage and I can see the logic that a lot will decide its easier just to carry the documents.

I think a lot of the aggression in this thread is born out of frustration, hopefully when you post your definitive reply they can all kiss and make up.

al.carpenter
19-10-10, 10:28
Hi. NDH. You DO NOT have to read through french law since it is not applicable on a british flagged yacht....... ONLY british law does and if your boat is legal in UK without a SSR reg then it is legal in France as they cannot ask you for a document your very own government has not made compulsory by law. Do you want me to say it in german or spanish to make it clearer? All the customs reply I am waiting for will show, is that they do not have authority to ask for a document in France if it is legal in the UK not to have one...
When I say further up that the officers will fine you because they do not know the law, I am trying to be kind of "kind" to my compatriots... if you know what I mean... I cannot believe that since I first had a british flagged yacht in 1985 or 1986 in french waters and this for about thirteen years, four of them the last ones and having been controlled many many times, I have never even once been asked for anything else than my bill of sale and insurance certificate. 5 X south to north round canal trips, sailing the Channel, Atlantic and North Sea coasts of France.
You see, in our culture, probably because we are a latin catholic country, it is kind of genetic this behaviour. If you are in position of force, with in front of you someone you know very well will not challenge what you say or do, we tend, not all of us of course, but many I am afraid to say, to "act the cockerel" and it being the mascot of the nation is not innocent. The italians got in the same situation with unregistered crafts under 10mtrs, and they sorted it out to their advantage. Shout louder and we will listen.
On any french forum if I had writen the two or three earlier posts criticizing your people in this way, I would have had reactions twice the length of this thread. I know very well that you either don't give a damn what I am saying or swear in your beard about yet another arrogant french ******* and you probably are right but ... not a sound. This to demonstrate my point. I sure did not mean to hurt you in anyways, I have very good relationships with most of the brits I know but it gets me mad and frustrated no to be challenged, rightly or wrongly. At least, lets feel alive...and kicking.
When I say, citing a french law officer that on a british flagged yacht only british law prevails it means just that. That clubs, organisations, magazines recommend to be SSR registered, fair enough but if you, by any chance are not, you are not to be fined in french waters EVER.

Pye_End
19-10-10, 15:57
Hi. NDH. You DO NOT have to read through french law since it is not applicable on a british flagged yacht....... ONLY british law does and if your boat is legal in UK without a SSR reg then it is legal in France as they cannot ask you for a document your very own government has not made compulsory by law.

Is it compulsory to have insurance on a yacht in the UK? Marinas usually require it, but I am not aware that it is law?

So if you are right there are very few document that they need sight of that they can haul you over the coals for, if any at all. So why do people get asked to show them?

Grehan
19-10-10, 16:01
Bonjour Al.
Having been on board, in France, quite a lot over the years we've only ever encountered one instance of 'acting the cockerel' - an officious toe-rag (equivalent in French?) who told us not to moor somewhere it was fairly obvious we could. "Respectez-moi, je suis le loi" We later found out he was a well-known *rsehole, prone to drink and a member of the local trip boat 'mafia' - disliked by Anglais and Francais alike.
Otherwise we have (nearly) always found French people to be friendly, civilised and courteous (that's why we're here!) and that 'officials' (people with some kind of authority) (including supermarket cashiers!) respond positively to polite respect, one-to-one, looking them in the eye. Legacy of the Revolution, Citoyen - Egalité! Even if faced with a "Non", a request for assistance from the respected 'official' as to the method to get to "Oui" often works like a charm.
Frankly, whatever the rights or wrongs, or My Rights, or Their Rights, if a Douanier or Policier wants to see my SSR he can, with pleasure. I'm quite interested to find out - eventually? - ever? - what the verifiable legal position is (BTW thanks for mailing the Douane), but I really don't give much more than a fiddler's fck and I wouldn't re-start the Hundred Years War over that.
Maybe I would to get Aquitaine back, though . . :)
Bien cordialment.

[edit] Liberté
One is probably at perfect liberty not to show a marina (for example) one's insurance certificate. They are equally at perfect liberty not to provide you a berth . . . In a similar vein, I think it is a VNF Regulation that one has to have a registration number displayed on the boat (we've occasionally been asked for it by lock-keepers as we pass through) - that's their regulation for using their waterway network. Maybe one doesn't have it, maybe one doesn't use the inland waterways, it's the same coin. Similarly with the latest ATIS situation - the UK doesn't allow it, yet France, Germany, Holland and Belgium now require that ATIS be featured in any VHF transmission. .

Pye_End
19-10-10, 16:02
Few people put their tender on the SSR. Yet if the RYA are stating law, rather than merely good practice, dinghies must be on it. (http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/boatingabroad/Pages/boatingabroadpaperwork.aspx)

The RYA text includes phrases such as 'should enable you to satisfy a foreign customs official'; 'essential'.

If they are taking the view that they want you to be able to go over there and not end up at the local court/cashpoint/policestation etc etc. then it is good advice. As you say - 'if the RYA are stating law' is the critical question.

al.carpenter
19-10-10, 17:30
it is the fines that bothers me most. Of course there are very few crooked officers and few of them honestly thinking that they have to be presented with a ssr reg but, as a matter of fact, if my memory is right, every single time I have been boarded, the procedure started...
officer - morning sir, can I have a look at your passport and the yacht documents?
me - of course officer, here is my ID and here are the bill of sale and the insurance certificate.
officer - fine, thank you, good bye.
end of story.
It is the fact that some yotties have been fined that is troubling me, since a fine is (Proces-Verbal) a serious act, a verbal prosecution... who in his right mind would want to be punished for something that the person punishing him has no legal right to do...for a non existing offence.................????????

Pye_End
19-10-10, 19:01
it is the fines that bothers me most. Of course there are very few crooked officers and few of them honestly thinking that they have to be presented with a ssr reg but, as a matter of fact, if my memory is right, every single time I have been boarded, the procedure started...
officer - morning sir, can I have a look at your passport and the yacht documents?
me - of course officer, here is my ID and here are the bill of sale and the insurance certificate.
officer - fine, thank you, good bye.
end of story.
It is the fact that some yotties have been fined that is troubling me, since a fine is (Proces-Verbal) a serious act, a verbal prosecution... who in his right mind would want to be punished for something that the person punishing him has no legal right to do...for a non existing offence.................????????

Ok understood, but you did say:


Affaires maritimes, Douanes, Gendarmerie, Police" when sailing in french waters?" and the answer was straightforward - proof of identity of every person on board, bill of sale for the craft and proof of insurance.

Which I suggest is at odds with:

You DO NOT have to read through french law since it is not applicable on a british flagged yacht....... ONLY british law does and if your boat is legal in UK without a SSR reg then it is legal in France.

For that matter, why do we need to carry proof of identity as well?

Oliveoyl
19-10-10, 19:42
it is the fines that bothers me most. Of course there are very few crooked officers and few of them honestly thinking that they have to be presented with a ssr reg but, as a matter of fact, if my memory is right, every single time I have been boarded, the procedure started...
officer - morning sir, can I have a look at your passport and the yacht documents?
me - of course officer, here is my ID and here are the bill of sale and the insurance certificate.
officer - fine, thank you, good bye.
end of story.
It is the fact that some yotties have been fined that is troubling me, since a fine is (Proces-Verbal) a serious act, a verbal prosecution... who in his right mind would want to be punished for something that the person punishing him has no legal right to do...for a non existing offence.................????????

A few years back we were stopped on a French autoroute, end August traffic, fairly nose to tail, max 100 km/h. A radar had apparently flagged us at over 120, so had sent out motor bike plod to flag us onto the next layby. Which was full of non-French vehicles.
Threw a wobbly, requested photo evidence of our "infraction" (like wot in home country!) - refused! My sarky comment that only non FR cars had been pulled over was met with the threat of a night in the cells.
You just don't argue with the men in blue

al.carpenter
19-10-10, 21:11
A few years back we were stopped on a French autoroute, end August traffic, fairly nose to tail, max 100 km/h. A radar had apparently flagged us at over 120, so had sent out motor bike plod to flag us onto the next layby. Which was full of non-French vehicles.
Threw a wobbly, requested photo evidence of our "infraction" (like wot in home country!) - refused! My sarky comment that only non FR cars had been pulled over was met with the threat of a night in the cells.
You just don't argue with the men in blue

let me tell you that as from today (it will not happen soon as my next boat is merely a couple of pages of offsets, a beautiful drawing on paper, and about 8500 hours of hard work away......) if threatened by a french officer of a fine for this particular offence of not producing a ssr reg, they can fine me all they want, hang me, torture me, I will go down with the gendarme I had a 20 minutes chat with 2 or 3 days ago (phone number, date and time on the post) but they will not get a euro out of me.
More seriously, if I know that I am right, I will argue and fight. To tell you the truth, regarding offences, even for the ones I know very well that I am in the wrong I will argue, but nicely. I have so far, touch wood, always managed to get out of it (I am talking about driving offences as I have otherwise never been in trouble with the law) by being polite, respectful of the authority, calm and realising the consequences of my actions, swearing I'll never do it again and I have, but for a couple of times where nevertheless I got off more lightly than they first stated, been let off with a slap on the wrist.... Pfffffff!!!!!! Most cops I ever had to deal with were nice normal guys, on land and on sea.

chinita
25-10-10, 20:39
OK, after 172 posts on this subject, how many have admitted to have been personally fined for not having an original SSR Certificate?

maxi77
25-10-10, 22:29
OK, after 172 posts on this subject, how many have admitted to have been personally fined for not having an original SSR Certificate?

I think the answer is very few, as most people do check and plan ahead and have the documentation with them. During a month in France I was only asked for documentation once whe boarded in a marina by the Douanier. On the other hand I had to show my Part 1 every where in Spain and Portugal, though I suspect a copy would have sufficed.

Aty the end of the day I just want a quiet life so take the line of least resistance, life, certainly at my age is far to short to tilt at windmills, though those who wish to do so have my full blessing, as long as they don't expect me in the rescue party.