Significant Amendments Have Been Made in the Regulation on Maritime Tourism!

Significant amendments have been made in the Regulation on Maritime Tourism (“Regulation”) with the Regulation Amending the Regulation on Maritime Tourism, published in the Official Gazette dated October 19, 2022, and numbered 31988.
1. Commercial activities in inland waters for trips, sports and entertainment are included in the scope of the Regulation. Thus, tourism facilities operating in water areas such as lakes and lagoons have also become subject to the provisions of the Regulation.

2. In the Regulation, certain new concepts have been defined, certain definitions have been removed and certain definitions have been changed. Certain newly-added definitions are as follows:

d) Anchor: The term used to define the classes of marinas in the Regulation,

g) Operator of marine tourism vehicles: Natural or legal persons operating marine tourism vehicles by obtaining a tourism operation certificate from the Ministry,

k) Wintering: The parking of foreign flagged marine tourism vehicles on land or mooring at sea, including maintenance and repair, in a marine tourism facility certified by the Ministry,

l) Accommodation facility: An accommodation facility located within cruise ship ports and marinas, in accordance with the types specified in the Regulation on the Qualifications of Tourism Facilities, which was put into force by the Presidential Decree dated 31/5/2019 and numbered 1134,

3. Obligations to prepare the internal operating instructions regarding the management of marine tourism facilities, to hang this instruction in a visible place, to keep various information about the marine tourism vehicles benefiting from the facilities in electronic environment (Article 17 of the Regulation) and to appoint an operation manager (Articles 20 and 21 of the Regulation) have been removed.

4. The obligation of marine tourism enterprises to prepare an annual report (Article 52 of the Regulation) has been abolished.

5. Maritime tourism facility operators have been allowed to change the mooring places of the marine vehicles in the marine tourism facility in cases of extraordinary circumstances and force majeure, have the necessary repairs done on behalf of the owner or the captain and collect the costs.

6. If a marine tourism vehicle does not apply to the facility management within 2 (two) years from the expiry of the mooring contract and does not renew its contract, the marine tourism vehicle shall be deemed abandoned. As is known, such term was 5 (five) years before the amendment.

7. It is obligatory to employ certified personnel for first aid in marine tourism facility businesses.

8. Marine tourism facilities that have been granted permission by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure for the first time are obliged to obtain a tourism management certificate from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism within 1 (one) year from the date of obtaining this permission.

9. All applications for certification of marine tourism facilities shall be made via e-Devlet.

10. Marine tourism facility operators shall be obliged to notify the Ministry of their registered electronic mail (REM) account and electronic notification address registered and activated in the National Electronic Notification System (NENS).

11. In the event that foreign-flagged touristic marine vehicles are left in Turkey, it is obligatory to notify the customs and port authorities within 1 (one) month at the latest that these vehicles are under the operator’s responsibility.

12. The obligation to obtain a tourism investment certificate in order to invest in marine tourism vehicles has been abolished.

13. Boats for recreational purposes are divided into two as day trip boats and recreational boats. Accordingly, the vehicles that take passengers from the port for sightseeing, entertainment and tourism purposes and provide these passengers with swimming and sunbathing services are defined as day trip boats. Recreational boats, on the other hand, do not provide such services to passengers.

14. Certification qualifications of yachts have been rearranged. Primitive wooden ships registered by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and passenger ships with more than twelve (12) passengers will be able to be certified as yachts, provided that they are built in yacht type.

15. It has become possible to issue the cruise permit document electronically.