In a press release, the Federal Association of the Water Sports Industry (BWVS) reports that the Federal Ministry of Transport has rejected the request to extend the exceptional period. From October 1st, skippers will have to pay a fine if they do not have a radio certificate for the VHF system on board.
So far it was enough for a crew member to have such a license. The decision from Bonn hits the charter industry particularly hard.
The regulation was passed in 2005 and has been considered an administrative offense ever since, although it was not subject to a fine. This sentence was suspended after violent protests from the industry. Until recently, many observers expected that this exemption would be extended, since the vast majority of charter skippers do not have a license, but a radio is installed on all charter ships - it is even mandatory for boats over 12 meters in length. “We expect a significant drop in bookings for the next season. Around two thirds of our charter customers do not have a radio certificate and will orientate themselves abroad”, says the chairman of the working group for charter boats (AKC) and largest fleet operator on the Baltic Sea, Reinhard Klemme.
According to the BWVS, the Federal Ministry "justified its decision with the de facto extension of at least a further six months until the beginning of the next season and with the time that would arise if the ordinance were changed".
Skippers who want to get a radio certificate more quickly are offered alternatives to training based on the German model. Courses for radio certificates from the British Royal Yachting Association are now being offered in Germany. The courses include a day of theoretical and practical training with a concluding multiple choice test. The time required for the German certificate is at least three times as much. According to the BMVBS, the British certificate must be recognized in Germany. This also applies to the radio certificates from other EU member states, provided that the international agreements on this are observed. Further information can be found at www.yachtsport-schneider.de and www.pbmarinetraining.com