Registering fishing vessels

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Are you a professional fisherman? And do you use a fishing vessel for commercial fishing in European Union waters? Your equipment must comply with the rules. You must also register the fishing boat and have it inspected every year.

Registering a fishing vessel

You must register the boat (in Dutch, choose Inschrijving vissersvaartuig, Aanvragen) with the Dutch Register of Fishing Vessels (NRV) through the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. When registering your fishing boat, you apply simultaneously for the fishing licence you need to fish with your vessel.

You must also report any changes, such as conversion or renovation of your boat, a change in fishing technique, or a change of ownership in your registration (in Dutch, choose Registratie, Wijzigen). Do you remove the vessel from service? Then you must cancel your registration (in Dutch, choose Registratie, Opheffen).

If you need more information you can contact RVO.

IMO Number for foreign waters (EU)

Do you want to fish in non-Dutch, European Union waters? You will probably need an International Maritime Organisation number (IMO number).

Inspection and certification of fishing vessels

The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport, ILT) inspects your fishing vessel each year. Every 5 years your fishing boat will be subjected to a renewal inspection. Upon successful completion, you will receive new certificates for your vessel. Inspections must be completed at most 3 months before or after the anniversary date of the inspection. You have to make an appointment with ILT (in Dutch) for the inspection yourself. For more information you can contact ILT.

Reporting changes in fishing vessels

You are required to report changes in your fishing vessel to ILT. For instance if you fit your fishing boat with a new motor, or change its power (in Dutch). You must also report other changes, such as new construction, or renovation. (in Dutch)

Vessel monitoring system, VMS

If your fishing vessel is longer than 12 meters, you must have an approved vessel monitoring system (VMS). You must register (in Dutch) all new and approved vessel monitoring systems (VMS) with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and notify them of any changes. You do not have to register your VMS if you:

  • fish exclusively in coastal waters
  • fish exclusively in the IJsselmeer
  • use your fishing vessel exclusively for aquaculture

Automatic Identification System (AIS)

If you have a fishing vessel longer than 15 meters, you must have an Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board, which needs to be kept operational at all times. You need to register your AIS with the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure (Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur, in Dutch).

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