Xavier Ramis, the director-general of ports and airports, said yesterday that the government will increase fines for charter boats that are not correctly registered in the Balearics. He explained that serious infringements at present attract fines of between 500 and 10,000 euros and that the most serious offences can result in fines of up to 100,000 euros.
Ramis explained that there are 2,722 boats on the new Balearic registry for charter hire.
In addition to being registered, an operator has to make a declaration of responsibility for the business activity and will have to comply with a series of rules that are to be drafted this winter and which will come into effect next summer.
Most of the boats on the register are Spanish, although some are British, German or from outside the EU. In the case of the latter, they must be more than 14 metres in length.
Ramis added that over the past three years the regional government's ports authority, Ports IB, has opened proceedings on sixty occasions for various infringements. Since 2012, he observed, there has been an 86% increase in "intrusion" in the charter sector, i.e. boats that are not properly registered.
The Balearic association for maritime businesses, representatives of whom Ramis met yesterday, reckons that while there are the 2,722 boats on the register, there are another 2,700 which are operating illegally.