Registration time to be cut from two years to five days

A significant upgrade for the marine leisure sector in the Philippines has been initiated with the launch of a new Registry of Recreational Boats by MARINA (the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority). The new system will reduce the licencing time for such craft from around two years to just five days.

Registration of recreational vessels, be they yachts or other craft, is mandated under Marina Circular Number DS-2019-01 issued on May 23, 2019. This Marina circular defines recreational boats as vessels of up to 46m (150.9ft) or less, with a capacity of up to 10 tonnes of cargo.

MARINA identifies recreational vessels as being used exclusively for leisure or tourism development purposes, either commercially or privately. This defines the difference between recreational vessels and 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 establishing a recreational boat registry started shortly after he assumed office, when yacht builders raised the issue of the slow process of vessel registration. He said: “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 MARINA, Secretary Tugade noted that the registry will also serve to develop marina- and cruise-related projects in the country. He suggested that locations such as Cebu, Davao, Panglao in Bohol, and Palawan are viable sites for such projects. Yachts and other recreational vessels can anchor at these possible marinas, and even secure registration there.