In Germany there are three different official bodies were a pleasure craft can be registered. The choice is for a large part determined by the length of the yacht and its purpose.

A pleasure craft that cruises the Mediterranean, is not registered in the same registry as a yacht of 14,5m that navigates the inland waters of Europe alone.

>15m or seaworthy

and internal waters
of Europe

The registration of a yacht with a length that does not exceed the 15 meters and is only used to navigate the internal waters of Europe, can register in two different registries. A regional or national registry.


Time needed to process the application for registration can vary greatly. The national registry aims at registering a vessel within 15 days. Some regional registries also need a week or two and others take a bit more time.

the seas

When a yacht is either longer than 15 meters and only used to navigate the internal waters of Europe, or is seaworthy and is used as such, then the registration process is conducted by the court.


There are a number of courthouses that have been appointed to administrate the registration of pleasure crafts, each having their own requirements.


Here again, the process time can vary from 15 working days to a full month, depending on the court.


Because there are three different appointed administrators that register pleasure crafts, you can imagine there are also differences with regard to the required documents to be supplied.


Some accept a copy of an ID card or passport; others require the copy to be verified by a public notary. There are registrars that accept a copy of the purchase contract; others ask for the original.


In the case of boats longer than 15m or seaworthy, the different courts have their own requirements with regard to documents to be supplied.

The advantages of

yacht registration in Germany

All EU nationals with an EU issued passport can register their boat in the German ships registrar. This also applies for boats owned by a company registered in the EU. One is required to either reside in Germany or have a correspondence address in Germany.
Taxes & levies
In principle no levies are issued during or after the registration process. There are some regional registrars that might impose a non significant annual fee.
Surveys & inspections
No periodical technical inspections arerequired, if and when your yacht is <24m and is no commercial registration.
Navigation zones
There are no navigational restrictions, depending on the type of regisitartion.
The process
The registration process is relatively short and takes between 15 and 30 days, depending on the season and which appointed authority processes the registration.
Internationally recognised
The flag of Germany is ranked Nr. 11 in the Paris MoU ‘White List’