By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has created its Registry of Recreational Boats which will cut the licensing time of yacht owners from the usual two years to just five days.
The registration of recreational vessels, such as yachts, is mandated under Marina Circular Number DS-2019-01 issued on May 23, 2019. The Marina circular defines recreational boats as vessels of up to 150.9 feet or 46 meters or less, with a capacity of up to 10 tons of cargo.
Marina defines recreational vessels as being used exclusively for recreational or tourism development purposes, either commercially or privately. This defines the difference of recreational vessels from other types of smaller vessels, such as ferry boats.
“For the first time in the history of the country, we have the Recreational and Leisure Maritime Vessels Code to cut the licensing time of yachts and recreation boats,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade announced during the recent launch of the Cavite-Manila Ferry Service at the Cavite City Port Terminal,.
The process of creating a recreational boat registry started shortly after he assumed office, when yacht builders raised the issue of the slow process of vessel registration, he noted. “While they can make a yacht in less than 30 days it takes almost two years to get the yacht licensed, they complained. Now, it will just take five days.”
Aside from ensuring that recreational vessels are properly registered with the MARINA, Secretary Tugade noted that the registry will also serve to develop marina- and cruise-related projects in the country.
The transportation chief himself has identified Cebu, Davao, Panglao in Bohol, and Palawan as viable sites for such projects. Yachts and other recreational vessels can anchor at these possible marinas, and even secure registration there.