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Boat license category B: Croatia: new regulation for sport skippers

Croatia: new regulation for sport skipper changes license boat skipper category B

In Croatia, for recreational boating, you need a license (boat license) that allows you to steer a boat. The most popular of these is the license “Boat license category B”. But beware: a new regulation changed the license.

The Croatian license “Boat license category B” allows sports and recreational skippers to move boats and yachts up to a maximum of 30 GT under engine without restrictions on the water. Prerequisites are that the skipper is at least 18 years old, no more than 12 passengers are carried, and that the boat moves exclusively in the so-called navigation zone III.

Navigation zone III includes international navigation, i.e. all waters accessible from the sea, with a distance limit of 12 nautical miles from the nearest coast or island. The exam for the license “Boat driver category B” can already take people from the age of 16 years.

Watch out: a regulation changed the scope of the boating license

Recently, however, there has been a small but important change in the scope of this license. According to the new amendment, “category B” sport skippers can control boats up to 18 meters in length (instead of the previous 30 GT).

What at first glance does not sound particularly exciting, can have serious consequences for the skipper, namely if he does not meet the requirements of the amended license – intentionally or unintentionally, out of ignorance – because: here may face hefty fines.

Previously, the size of the boat or yacht was limited to 30 GT (gross tonnage)

The basis of the change is in essence the following: previously the size of boats, which may be moved with the “Category B” license, was limited to 30 GT. The dimensionless number Gross Tonnage (GT) denotes the size of a vessel. The GT (or NRZ, net tonnage) is also used to calculate the tonnage dues, the fees for port use (port fees), canal or lock passage and pilotage.

In practice, boat manufacturers and certification authorities in different countries define GT in different ways, which can lead to many misunderstandings. In order to bring clarity to the regulation, the competent authority now changed the rule: the “Category B” boat license now allows to pilot boats up to 18 meters in length, instead of up to 30 GT.

From now on, the boats and yachts must not be longer than 18 meters over all

The basis for the changes is a new “Regulation on Boats, Ships and Yachts” (Pravilnik o brodicama, čamcima i jahtama), which has already come into force. Although the regulation in question became effective as early as 2020, hardly anyone took notice of it due to the COVID-19 pandemic that subsequently became rampant.

Specifically, (in Article 48 (2) of the regulation, the words “30 BT” (GT) were replaced with “18 m”. This means that all those who have successfully passed the examination for this license must now be particularly careful when steering larger boats, because from now on the decisive factor is no longer the GT / GT, but exclusively the length (overall) of the boat or yacht, which may not exceed 18 meters.

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