The Italian legislation regarding the maritime sector is quite comprehensive. The most important legislation is the Italian Code of Navigation that regulates shipping. Vessel registration in Italy falls under the regulations of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Italy hosts several ship registries located within different ports authorities. Italy enabled Act No. 457/1997 and Act No. 30/1998 that established an International Registry.
The Italian International Shipping Registry is divided into three sections. The first section of this registry deals with ships owned by EU and Italian companies or individuals. The second section is for vessels registered in non-EU countries that are taken over by an EU or Italian company or individual. The third section is dedicated to the vessels registered by non-EU citizens or companies that have been temporarily suspended by a non-EU registry as a result of an Italian bareboat.
Boats registered in the International Registry are subject to special provisions about fiscal and labor conditions, according to Act No. 457, but they must also comply with the provisions of the Italian Registry.
The first step when registering a boat in Italy is to file an application with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in Rome, where the applicant will request the registration of the boat, the transfer of the boat’s name and the transfer of the international call sign. The two last requirements are for second hand boats only. Based on the application, the Ministry will issue an authorization for a provisional deed of nationality for the boat.
The provisional deed of nationality will be enclosed together with the copy of the application to the Ministry in the application to the Harbor Master of the port where the boat will be registered. The Harbor Master will then refer the application to the Italian Consulate that will release the deed.
If you need help with preparing the documentation for boat registration, you can rely on our Italian lawyers.
In order to obtain the boat’s provisional deed of nationality, the owner must submit the following documents:
Based on these documents, the Italian Consulate will send the documentation together with the certified copy of the provisional deed of nationality to the Ministry. After the Ministry verifies the documents and then forward them to the Harbor Master that will register the boat.
If you want to register a vessel and need assistance during the process, you can contact our law firm in Italy.