Easy French flag registration for pleasure boats in France

Do you need help with administrative procedures for a pleasure craft (yacht, sailboat or jet-ski) in France?

Administrative procedures have never been fun, and even less so when it comes to yachting, which often involve several related procedures, and/or several countries. 

For instance, registering a flag in France may involve import customs procedures or the obtention of a “VAT paid”-certificate depending on the seller’s nationality or country of establishment in case of a company, and/or the country where the vessel was previsouly registered in case of a second-hand boat. The buyer’s country of establishment, nationality and tax residence also determine the feasibility of registering a French flag, and the possible need to domicile in France for private ownersPost-brexit transactions involving the UK (UK flag, UK seller or buyer) imply a new set of exceptions and complicate the rules. In some  cases, a certificate  of non mortgage will be required by the French autorities. Changing one or more engines will entail further requirements. In most cases, pleasure boat owners will also need to apply for a MMSI/ANFR radio license
Conversely, boat owners who prefer to keep a foreign flag and apply for a boat passport – they will have to pay a yearly fee  (“taxe annuelle”, ex-DAFN) to navigate in France.
Finally, the sale of a pleasure boat registered in France will require a
flag cancellation.

A number of these procedures have recently  been transferred from French Customs Authorities  to local Maritime Affairs , Finance Authorities and  commercial courts in 2022. Government has also setup an online portal to facilitate certain procedures. 

If you know exactly what you need, fair enough, this official portal will do the job. 

However, when the procedure involves international aspects, it can be complex to determine the right way to proceed, and any mistakes can lead to delays and possible  extra costsGood luck – you can always contact a specialist to try undo what has been done wrong! 

Fortunately, there is a shortcut to such administrative adventures in France. Our sister company MATHEZ FREIGHT, whose office in Cannes has been handling over 35 000 such procedures for domestic and international clients in the past 70 years, is now offering professional assistance through its online portal: Demarches-Plaisance.Net

  • Flag registration, transfer of ownership of pleasure boats in France
  • Domiciliation in France (for the owner of the pleasure boat) 
  • Customs declaration / VAT clearance for import/exports of pleasure boats
  • Cancellation of French flag 
  • Radio license (ANFR/MMSI)
  • Boat passport
  • Calculation of Annual Tax  (ex-DAFN) for pleasure boats. 
Users are guided through the online forms and can upload the required documents so that Tom & Anna, specialists in yachting procedures , can  carry out the necessary formalities with the French autthorities on their behalf.  

Visit the online portal:

Or contact Tom & Anna also speak English 🙂


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