Skipper without licence on internet, 1st trial in Quimper

Entering Concarneau

The owners of passenger ships are suing a Breton skipper who was practising without a licence on boat rental platforms on the Internet. A major challenge for professionals, as legislation evolves.

Trial of the skipper in Quimper

Our colleagues of the Telegram report the trial of a skipper before the criminal court of Quimper on 22 January 2018. The 49-year-old sailor was prosecuted for concealed work and improper use of a pleasure craft for personal use. It offered its services on the Samboat and Click&Boat websites for coastal sailing from Sainte-Marine. Simply holding the sea permit, he did not hold the 200 master's certificate required to board paying passengers. Moreover, he did not declare any income related to his boat, his main activity being the mushroom harvest, our colleagues specify.

Call for exemplary judgment

In his requisition, the prosecutor insisted on the educational vocation of the procedure, which is a first in France. He requested a 6 000 € fine, of which 1 000 € was suspended for the offence and 1 000 € for the contravention.

For its part, the ARMAM association, which groups together the owners of passenger ships, considers that it is facing unfair competition. According to them, the skipper offers services equivalent to their own, without declaring or insuring passengers. She claims ?20,000 in damages for moral damage.

The judgment was reserved as of February 26, 2018.

Regulatory developments

This trial is taking place at a time when regulations for passenger transport are evolving. The Order of 28 December 2017 on the issue of the restricted certificate of competency to operate small vessels, the certificate of competency to operate small vessels and the certificate of competency to operate small sailing vessels creates new titles for seafarers. While the new certificates will be easier for sea licence holders to obtain, they require training and do not exempt the activity from reporting. Nevertheless, ARMAM is concerned in a letter sent on 12 January 2018 to the Directorate of Maritime Affairs about"the dangerousness of such a device enabling a person who has undergone minimal and inexperienced training in the maritime field to take charge of passengers in such a sensitive environment"

The Quimper trial underlines the abuses against which regulation must fight.

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