Not aimed directly at you al. The root of the "problem" is that certain people think that something should exist that simply does not exist, nor need to exist.
The situation is "clear" in that Douanes believe they have the powers already so do not need a specific offence to penalise people for not having adequate documentation. It is clearly successful as a deterrent because so few people fall foul of it, and as you have discovered there is discretion - simply because the law is general and not specific in requiring a specific document.
So, don't waste your time looking, because almost certainly "opinion" from a lawyer will say exactly the same thing - just as the RYA found.
It is impossible to meet Toads request for a specific law, because it does not exist in the form that he would like. Equally it would not help finding the "tickets" because they are unlikely to give the level of detail he craves.
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Thread: advice about papers for my yacht
21-04-12, 11:24 #751Registered User
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- Nov 2007
21-04-12, 12:39 #752Registered User
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- Sep 2010
Congrats to Tim and Toad for their argumentative replies, soon you will be proven right... Al
Last edited by al.carpenter; 21-04-12 at 12:42.Traditional Boatyards are not the only place you find thick planks...
21-04-12, 13:41 #753
21-04-12, 14:25 #754Registered User
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- Nov 2007
Sorry al, no point in continuing this discussion. Your understanding of how the law works, both in France and UK is flawed. The law that we are considering delegates responsibility for to the Douanes to do a whole host of things, one of which is to check the nationality of visiting ships. It does not need to lay out specifically what documents it needs for this in each case. It is using the generally accepted international view that ships are registered in their flag state. This exactly what they told Sybarite (even if their convoluted explanation of the international treaties could be challenged).
Of course it may appear that officials are doing their own thing, but they are not. They are following the instructions of their superiors, but as it is not an absolute offence -say "every British Yacht must have an SSR or Part 1" a local officer may well use his discretion not to penalise somebody (as Tom Cunliffe found out - and no doubt many others). This method is clearly successful as there are so few cases of penalties BECAUSE the UK government made it easy for British based yachtsmen to comply.
You can be pretty sure that if the policy was not successful and hundreds of British yachts were turning up without documentation, they would seek to amend the law to make a specific document compulsory.
They have not done this which is why Toad has his problem. He would like the law to be written like that - but it is not. He and Tim might have a case to argue if there was any evidence that there were any injustice in this law and a challenge ought to be mounted using their well rehearsed arguments. The reality is that there is no reason for such a challenge unless an individual who has suffered a penalty feels sufficiently strongly about it to go down that route.
As I said earlier there is always ambiguity in general laws like this. You either learn to live with it or take action to remove it. As Tim is arguing elsewhere, there is a constant stream of new legislation, primarily aimed at defining more closely what the law means (as opposed to letting the courts decide). However, in many cases it just creates more ambiguity.
I could bore you with my recent experience of challenging a parking ticket where, despite what seemed to be clear instructions on how the permit should be used, it was ambiguous in my particular circumstances. The case went as far as the adjudicator before the council agreed to withdraw it. However, they have not revised the wording of the instructions to remove the ambiguity so somebody in the future could face the same issue.
So as I suggested, don't waste your time and effort trying to achieve something that is unachievable. You will get the same answer as Sybarite when you get to the top. If, as Sybarite suggests the head office is monitoring this thread they are probably laughing at all these Rosbifs arguing over such an insignificant part of their law.
21-04-12, 15:31 #755
As I said before, the first person I contacted at the HQ told me that the only person who had the necessary authority to state the official position was, in fact, the person who replied to me.
If your local representative, who is following this discussion, firmly believes that the HQ position is incorrect, I expect he will draw this to the HQ's attention and I will receive an amended response.
But, don't hold your breath...
Did you send a copy of this letter to the lawyer, Ariel Dahan? It's a simple enough question.