Since 1 August 2020 the new Polish maritime law has made the Certificates of Registry issued by the Polish motorboat and sailing association redundant. That is to say until 30 months after the date of issue of the Certificate of Registry.


All Polish yacht registrations are now being processed by any of the 373 appointed government bodies under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure. Certificates issued by the two boating associations therefore have to be reregistered and one can choose to keep the number as issued by the boating associations or have a new registration number issued.


The registration process

The new Polish yacht registration process is more sound, in our opinion, than the previous one.  The fact that photographs of the hull-number are to be submitted, and preferably the engine number to, reduces the chances considerably of fraudulent registrations.

For example we had a registration request for a sailing boat (of a German make) which was just over 3 years old, but were the CIN-number miraculously got lost, due to eroded pivots. You probably do understand that we could not honour this request for registration.

Registering a yacht in Poland goes smoothly, provided all documentation is present and all seven Polish language forms are filled-in properly. Once the request for registration has been submitted, it takes about 7 days for the provisional Certificate of Registry to be issued. Note that this merely confirms that the vessel is in the process of getting registered and is no guarantee that it will get registered.


Polish Certificates of Registry 2.0

Roughly 30 days after submission of the request for registry the Certificate of Registry is issued in the form of a credit-card sized plastic card. Besides that data of the vessel and her owner, there is a hologram in the top right corner and a compass-rose etched in the centre of the card. The compass-rose is visually hardly detectable, unless you hold it against the light in a certain angle.


Polish registration card explained

How they managed to crop so much information on such a sized card I do not know, but the graphic designers doe deserve a compliment. Although I must admit that aging eyes do have a some trouble reading the explanation on the back side of the card. Therefore a more elaborate explanation on what is mentioned or may be mentioned on the card and insight on the interpretation of the mentioned data.


Front (recto)
A1 The registration number of the vessel either starts with PL (inland waters) or POL (sea water) and a combination of 6 letters and numbers.
A2 The 14-digit INI/WIN identification number of the vessel


PL   = Poland

PL1 = Polish administrative unit that issued the certificate

@    = unit number consisting out of five numbers and letters, with the exception of I, O and Q

X      = the month of registration, identified by the letters A (=January) to L (=December) *

0      = year the vessel was registered

A3 Name of the boat
A4 Polish homeport
A5 Area of usage, indicated by :

M  = sea and inland-waters
Ś    = inland-waters

A6 Type of registration

JR = recreational
JK = commercial
R  = fishing

A7 Type of boat

M = Motorboat
Ż   = Sailing boat
IN = Other

A8 If the primary propulsion of the vessel is mechanical, the power in kW is indicated.  In the case of a sailing boat, with or without an auxiliary engine, PNM is stated.
A9 Length of the hull
A10 Beam
A11 Draft
A12 Number of hulls
A13 Maximum number of persons allowed on-board
A14 Design category / maximum wind force / wave height
B1 Date of registration
B2 Internal reference number only of use to the Polish ships registrar.
B3 Here the entity that issued the certificate is identified. It goes too far to mention all 373 issuing bodies.


Back (verso)
1 W = Owner
A = Operator
C2 First name
C3 Surname
C4 Number of owners
QR-Code On scanning the QR code, the registration and identification number is shown. How cool would it have been if all details of the vessel, her engine(s) and her owner(s) would have appeared on scanning the QR Code!


All in all a great improvement compared to the plasticised certificates previously issued.