European Commission urged to take action by the boating industry and MEPs

European calls for the nautical industry © EU Navfor

The yachting industry and MEPs are asking for the support of the European Commission through the publication of open letters. Short-term support measures and long-term responses for the recreational craft economy are submitted to decision-makers.

Joint initiatives for the European boating industry

While the time has come for national deconfinement measures in all countries of the continent, the European Union has a key role to play in the months and years to come. This is the message that the European Boating Industry Lobbying Association (EBI) and a number of MEPs wanted to get across. While the elected members of the Strasbourg parliament are looking into the logistics of boat delivery, EBI is proposing a series of short and long-term support measures for the yachting industry.

Actions expected from the EU by European yachting

In a document published on 30 April 2020 and signed by 20 national associations of the European boating industry, European Boating Industry wanted to question the European institutions on the needs of the sector to face the health crisis linked to the coronavirus and its economic consequences. The association lists a series of measures expected by the professionals:

  • In the short term:
    • financial support through delays in the payment of charges and reductions in concession rates
    • coordinated EU-wide support for companies whose main activity takes place outside their country and the EU, such as charter companies in the Mediterranean
    • introduction of credit notes in lieu of refunds for tourist travel
    • pressure from the European Union on its members to keep borders open and guarantee supply and delivery chains
    • european protocol for a return to production and reopening of risk-based tourism activities (marinas, boat rentals, etc.)
    • Permit for non-EU vessels to return to national waters in order to anticipate the season
  • In the medium and long term :
    • Public/private promotional campaign with EU support for the 2020/2021 season focusing on rentals, marinas and water sports
    • EU support for promotional activities (BtoB and BtoC fair)

Attention to boat delivery issues

For their part, a group of several MEPs wrote to European Commissioner Thierry Breton to alert him to the difficulties in delivering recreational craft in Europe. Some countries have made delivery by lorry compulsory. The MEPs call for manufacturers to be allowed to choose the mode of transport by authorising sea delivery or collection by the customer.