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Changes in Aruba’s Watersport Permit Regulations: Updates and Implications for Maritime Activities

Changes in Aruba’s Watersport Permit Regulations: Updates and Implications for Maritime Activities

New Guidelines for Watersport Permits

Changes in Aruba’s Watersport Permit Regulations: Updates and Implications

Minister Ursell Arends recently organized an informative session to discuss new regulations governing watersport permits and commercial boats in Aruba. The session focused on the introduction of propeller guards and additional onboard personnel requirements.

Stakeholders provided various perspectives on the new regulations during the session. Discussions included considerations regarding the implementation of propeller guards and the requirement for additional onboard personnel.

Recent updates have been made to the regulations surrounding watersport permits, specifically regarding applications for new or replacement boat permits, as well as the expansion of existing permits for passenger transport and boat rentals. These changes fall under Article 18 of the Landsbesluit Openbare Wateren en Stranden and are set to streamline processes and enhance safety within the maritime sector.

Replacement Permits

All new applications for boat permits are currently on hold until further notice. This suspension is necessary to allow for thorough investigations within the maritime sector. However, applications submitted before January 1, 2024, for the replacement of boats will be processed as usual.

If a company needs to replace a boat with a similar one, the Maritime Authority will conduct the necessary investigations and handle the administrative adjustments in line with current procedures and regulations. This ensures that replacements are managed efficiently while maintaining compliance with maritime standards.

Expanding Existing Permits

Expansion of permits can take several forms, including extending aquatic activities, increasing the number of boats available, or expanding the operational area of a company. Applications for expansion submitted before January 1, 2024, will be processed accordingly.

Companies that exclusively offer boat excursions, snorkeling, diving, and fishing trips have the opportunity to expand their permits by adding one boat to their operations, provided they meet all legal requirements. It’s important to note that a company can only expand its permit by adding a maximum of one additional boat.

Additionally, the permit holder must obtain liability insurance as mandated by Article 19 of the Landsbesluit Openbare Wateren en Stranden AB 1987 no. 124. Proof of this insurance must be submitted to the Maritime Authority with every renewal.

Enhanced Safety Measures

Starting January 1, 2025, all commercial boats involved in aquatic activities must be equipped with a propeller guard. This measure is aimed at increasing safety for all participants. Furthermore, for activities that involve transporting passengers, such as tubing, banana boat rides, or parasailing, it is mandatory to have a second crew member on board. This person, known as an observer, co-pilot, or spotter, will supervise the participants and manage communication with the pilot or captain using manual signals.

Prohibited Activities

Anchoring boats or other objects at shipwrecks, coral reefs, or marked landing zones/buffers, such as Antilla, is strictly prohibited. This measure is in place to protect these sensitive areas and ensure the safety of all maritime activities.

These regulatory changes are designed to improve safety, streamline administrative processes, and ensure that all watersport activities comply with the latest standards. For further information and updates, please refer to the Maritime Authority.

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