Your tender may or may not require registration. The size and purposes for which it is used determines what registration options you have.

On a whole it is not a complicated process that requires costly inspections or surveys. No it is pretty much straightforward and can take any ware from a few hours to two weeks.

First things first. Before deciding which registration to choose for, decide on:


  1. what purpose(s) the tender will be used for
  2. which waters you will be navigating in


Once that has been determined, you can decide on any of the three free or low cost options you have to register your tender.



Free of charge tender registration

Depending the registration of the motherships, the tender can be included in the registration of the mothership and the no-cost solution would be to mark the vessel as “tender to [mothership name]”, provided that the tender is primarily used is for transportation between shore and mothership.

If the tender is used to explore part of the cost, inland waters and not within visible reach of the mothership, then a registration is advisable. Some countries around the Mediterranean like Turkey and Croatia, will require a local registration, if the tender has not been registered and is used for other purposes than transportation to and from the mothership.

+ no costs
– for transport to and from the mothership only
– not accepted in all countries



Lowest cost tender registration

Provided only the waters of Europe are frequented, the International Certificate for Pleasure craft (ICP) is a price friendly solution. The ICP is meant for boats sailing the inland waters of Europe. As tenders are primarily used for the purpose of transportation to the shores, the waters just off the coast are often considered as inland waters.

+ not expensive
+ registration within 5 days
+ no inspections or surveys required
– registered in an unofficial ships registrar
– requires renewing every two years
– strictly speaking, it is not permitted to fly the Dutch flag



Low cost tender registration

The French ships registrar is particularly attractive for vessels shorter than 7meters. Not only is the boat registered in the official ships registrar of France, which gives the tender the French nationality and the right to fly the French flag. No, it is also an interesting alternative because the registration does not require any periodical renewing. The registration is valid until the tender is removed from the registrar or when sold.

+ registered in an official ships registrar
+ not expensive
+ registration within 2 weeks
+ no inspections or surveys required
+ valid until sold or removed from the register, no periodical renewing required.
– tender has to be 7meters or shorter *
– engines <200 Hp *


(*) Tenders not meeting this requirement, are better off registering in another register, as in France you are then probably subject to annual taxes, depending on the length and age of the tender and the power of the engine(s).


A word of caution! The presented solutions are meant for tenders used for the purpose of a tender. The moment a tender is used for commercial purposes, or paid transport, a commercial registration will be required.