New Regulation of Maritime Navigation has just been published (Royal Decree 186/2023) with the aim of modernising the navigation regime for ships sailing through the maritime waters in which Spain exercises sovereignty or jurisdiction. The text was drafted by the Directorate General of the Merchant Marine (DGMM). This new Regulation will enter into force by next 11th April except for its Chapters 2 (Vessel´s dispatch), 3 (role of dispatch and crew), and 4 (crew recruitment and dismissal) which will enter into force by July, 1st , 2024.

The Regulation shall govern the following issues,

(a) The dispatch of ships (Articles 5 to 18).

(b) The role of dispatch and manning (Articles 19 to 20).

(c) The regime of recruitment and dismissal of the crew members (Articles 21 to 26).

(d) The regime for authorising ships to enter and remain into Spanish waters (Articles 27 to 30).

(e) Out-of-bounds operations (Articles 31 to 39).

(f) Measures applicable to ships in transit making discharges of polluting cargo in Spanish waters (Articles 40 to 42).

(g) Anchoring of ships and navigation conditions (Articles 43 to 46).

(h) The regime of infringements and penalties (Articles 47 to 55).

The Regulation is to update and improved a series of procedures related to navigation in Spanish maritime areas, to ensure the best possible compliance with the rules on safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment. Consolidating scattered regulations in a single text also contributes to greater legal certainty and better knowledge of the rules in force, thus increasing transparency and efficienc