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Conditions to comply with

Who can register a vessel?

General registration under the French Flag [1]


Crew composition

At least 25% of the crew of a vessel registered under the RIF must be European Union citizens (% is based on minimum safe manning document). The captain and his relief must be European Union citizens and either be French nationals or have knowledge of the French language and French maritime legal matters, validated by an equivalence committee.

This is a "professional exam" valid for an unlimited period.

  • Minimum safe manning
  • All vessels registered with the RIF are subject to a minimum safe manning document. This is prepared by the RIF’s "Guichet Unique" at the shipping company’s request. The minimum safe manning varies according to the type of vessel ans its commercial operation.

  • Seamen’s qualifications
  • The certificates required are solely those issued within the framework of the STCW convention as amended.

    Applicables labour law

    The system applicable on boeard vessels registered with the RIF is stated in book VI of the fifth part of the transport code. Two scenarios need to be distinguished.

    When a seafarer’s employment agreement is established with a seaman resident in France, the applicable provisions are identical to those of the national flag set out in book V of the fifth part of the transport code and in national law.

    For an agreement entered into with a seaman non-resident in France, the legislation that governs the establishment of the seafaer’s employment agreement is subject to the law chosen by the parties. Irrespective of the law chosen by the parties, the employment agreement must be established in compliance with the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention.

    [1article 219 of the French Customs Code