During the Monaco Yacht Show, the Monaco Yacht Club (YCM) invited yacht captains to another Captains Forum, organised in collaboration with Only Yachts.
The conference was attended by three pivotal associations: Groupement des Equipages
Professionnels du Yachting (GEPY), President Captain Jacques Conzales, Italian Yacht Master, President Captain Gino Battaglia, and Professional Yachting Association, CEO Captain Andy Crawford, and attracted over 100 people. They met to discuss the new Maritime Cruise Agreement introduced by France’s FIN (Fédération des Industries Nautiques).
Following the last Captains Forum on May 17, which was sold out, there was also a second session on France’s Decree N° 2017-307 of March 9, 2017, relating to the affiliation of seafarers – resident in France and working on a foreign-flagged vessel – to a French social security scheme, that came into force on July 1.
Since the implementation of the law, several reports suggest a steep drop in the numbers and frequency of yachts visiting the French Riviera over the past few months.
After several awareness-raising campaigns conducted by professionals, including captains’ associations in collaboration with the YCM’s Captains Club, Fabien Raffrey, Co-Director of FIN and Dominique Dubois, Head of the Maritime Affairs Department in Nice, spoke alongside Antoine Matthys, Director of the French International Register (RIF) to reassure those in the profession. They said the French government had heard them, and intended to take on board the needs expressed by the industry.
Although the decree is now in force and not suspended, it will be revised and reintroduced by summer 2018. Pending the amendments, some flexibility will be allowed in its application.
Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco and President of Cluster Yachting Monaco concluded: “Ten years ago, it was unthinkable to imagine seeing all those involved in yachting around the same table, alongside the various authorities in the sector reporting directly to the government – Customs, Maritime Affairs – to discuss the issues affecting their profession. And how satisfying to see all this happening here in Monaco.” (Source: Monaco Yacht Club)