The recreational boating takes on, in Portugal, an increasing economic and social importance, since it is associated with the tourism industry. The Portuguese coast, with an extension of about 2.830 km, plus 620 square kilometres of interior basins, has adequate conditions for the practice of nautical activities. In the tourism industry, the largest industry in the world, nautical tourism which includes recreational boating is one of the highest growth rates. In Portugal, nautical tourism represents around 1,2% of the industry. In this context, recreational boating contributes significantly to the economic development and growth of a maritime culture.

The development of the maritime economy depends on the training and qualification of the qualified human capital. The growth of nautical recreation, involving an increasing number of boats and nautical sportsmen, justifies the need for a permanent adjustment of the legal regime in force in order to, whilst retaining the safety level required for vessels and their users, permit greater celerity and flexibility in the vessels registration process and certification of recreational sailors.

The process of training and evaluation of the recreational sailors, the issuance of their licenses and the accreditation and supervision of the training entities were approved by Decree-Law No. 478/99 of 9 November, regulated by Administrative Rule No. 288/2000 of 25 May.

Decree-Law No. 124/2004 of 25 May, approved the Recreational Boating Regulation, by providing for accreditation of the training entities in the Recreational Boating area by DGRM.

It was within this framework that Decree-Law No 93/2018 of 13 November created a new legal regime applicable to Recreational Boating by introducing measures of coherence with the standards established in Directive 2013/53/EU, as well as measures to simplify procedures and reduction of bureaucracy and also measures of democratization and reduction of costs, facilitating access to the nautical activities.


 Recreational Boating Board

The Recreational Boating Board (RBB) is the consultative organ of the member of the Government responsible for the sea-related issues, and will issue an expert opinion, where requested, on matters relating to recreational boating.