- Over the recent 5-7 years we have managed to perform significant work to ensure favorable regulation of yachting and tourism in Russia. Quite a lot has been done in this field by the Ministry of Transport and other state authorities, but there`s still room for improvement.
For example, inland water ways have been officially opened for sport sailing ships. Foreign yachts have already appeared on our rivers, though I would not say there are many of them.
Russia has created quite encouraging environment for yachts going through formalities at seaports, checkpoint s now offer special procedures. According to earlier practice, yachts coming to Russian ports could not leave the designated berths, while today they can take part in sport competitions within a territorial sea without particular problems.
Special conditions are provided for simplified crossing of the state border for yachts not bound for foreign ports but leaving the territorial sea to take part in certain events.
Still, there are issues to be settled. They are in the competence of both Transport Ministry and other bodies. In short, there are three principal points.
The first one: attracting foreign yacht to Russia on a long-term basis for participation in competitions or just for voyages. We are to settle a number of customs issues to ensure a sort of a simplified regime. Purchase of yachts in foreign countries is also associated with the customs.
The second one: there is a need for a simplified border regime. Border services of all regions have issued regulations for navigation of small size vessels and sport sailing ships. Their requirements are quite tough and, in our opinion, are not always reasonable.
For example, navigation along the Black Sea coast of Russia is not allowed at night. It is difficult to comprehend the need for such a ban in the 21st century, when digital technologies and state-of-the-art aids to navigation are in common use.
The third point is within the competence of the Transport Ministry. Unfortunately, we have not done everything related to certification of crewmembers. Certification system should undergo modernization to become simple and favourable for skippers and masters of sport sailing ships. We want to let them not only participate in races but also work, including working abroad.
I think, yachting is going to see legislative improvements in the nearest year.
As instructed by Victor Olersky, Deputy Minister of Transport – head of Rosmorrechflot, we hold on-site meetings with yachtsmen. Such meetings have already been held in Sochi, Novorossiysk, Sevastopol with the latest one held in Saint-Petersburg. In the nearest time we will go to Vladivostok. That will provide us with a complete picture, full understanding of what has to be done for yachting development in Russia.