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Navigation in French waters – who can do what
A recap of the rules implemented by the Préfecture Maritime de Méditerranée
In brief, yachts flying the French and most EU flags* can navigate freely in French territorial waters while non-EU yachts and yachts sailing from non-EU ports have the right of ‘quick and continuous’ innocent passage through French territorial waters.

Moreover, EU flagged yachts (Schengen countries) may navigate French internal and territorial waters and anchor along the coast and make stopovers, even during curfew times. This means they can anchor between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. but crew members/guests cannot go ashore, except for safety or medical reasons.

Non-EU flagged yachts can navigate and transit along the French coasts but may not anchor except in the case of force majeure. However, they can go to a port if they have a confirmed berth and to a shipyard if they have scheduled repair works and have a contract in place. The port authority must authorize entry.

For the present, EU flagged yachts (Schengen countries) may carry out commercial activities - charters and charter related activities (such as stopping or anchoring) – prior to authorization from the Port Authority.
* Only Schengen area flags; this excludes Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland, Romania. The UK is excluded while Switzerland is included.