Italian Parliament Is Making Progress To Save The Yachting Industry

The Italian Finance and Industry Commission at the Senate has expressed a favorable opinion to an important amendment to the “Law Decree Ucraina”,  which will allow extra -Schengen seafarers to remain embarked onboard yachts and ships for more than 90 days. The problem of the 90 days time – limit (the so-called 90/180 days rule) arose following the European Court of Justice Decision of February 5, 2020 (Case C – 341/18). Such a decision, relating to an interpretation of Article 6 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 (“Schengen Borders Code”), produced the effect that seafarers embarked on board of long -term mooring ships had to physically exit the Schengen area within the 90th day after the Entry stamp had been affixed on their travel documents, regardless of the duration of their employment agreement.

This decision has a deleterious effect on the yachting and refit industry because extra-Schengen crew members are obliged to leave the Italian territory after 90 days (and for the following 180 days) regardless of the duration of their employment agreement. Hence, long-term mooring in Italian waters has become impossible for non-Schengen crew members, with the following detrimental impact on the whole yachting industry.

For the above reasons,  a strong opposition movement led by National Associations of Italian Shipyards, Refit Yards, Shipping Agents, and Shipowners is putting pressure on the Italian institutions requesting to review the interpretation of such rule.

Consequently, if the Senate approves the amendment to the “Law Decree Ucraina”, seafarers will be allowed to perform their services on board for all the time needed.

The approval of this amendment by the Senate will constitute an important step for the Italian Yachting industry, especially considering that other EU countries are not strictly implementing the 90 days rule, thus inducing yacht owners to select destinations other than Italy in case of long–term mooring.

For more information on this, please contact:
Gianfranco Puopolo
Partner & Head of Yachting Team