Cruising down the Danube? Find out what documentation could affect your boat

Hungary – Documents for the Danube

Last October we were re-entering the EU at the Serbian / Hungarian border on our Irish flagged boat Aquarelle.

In spite of our careful checking of regulations beforehand, we found that the Hungarian river police would not accept our Irish Documentation as the certificate of registry did not have a “valid until” date.

As a result of this, we made a point of visiting the national offices that deal with regulations to find out what was necessary in each country 

Note this is not the official position but my interpretation having asked questions of officials.

Boat documentation requirements Hungary

  • If the boat is less than 6.20 long and the engine power is less than 4kW or 5.5HP no documentation is required.

Any boat between 6.20 and 20m requires the following documentation:

  • ICC – International Certificate of Competence for the skipper.
  • Registration document issued by a National Authority or an association approved by the government.  
  • Inspection Certificate (Note: An Inspection Certificate is only acceptable if it is issued by a
    government agency. It will not be accepted even if it is from an
    accredited surveyor. It must have a time limit of less than 10 years in
    the case of a new boat, thereafter 5 years.)
  • Insurance is recommended but is not required, however some marinas insist on it.

VHF radio:

  • There is no requirement to have a VHF radio. If one is fitted it does not need to be ATIS enabled.
  • There is no requirement to have a VHF Operator’s Certificate or VHF licence.

Boats over 20m are not classified as recreational, but commercial and therefore require a professional skipper: i.e. a pilot. However this is usually overlooked.

  • There is no time limit on the period that a visiting boat may stay in Hungary.
  • There are no additional documents required for non-EU boats.

The official position regarding the wearing of life jackets is as follows:

  • Persons under the age of 14 years on boats under 6.20m must wear a lifejacket.
  • All persons who cannot swim and are on boats under 6.20m must wear a lifejacket.
  • All boats must have sufficient lifejackets for all those on board, unless the boat is tied to a jetty or wharf.
  • NB Buoyancy aids are not considered as lifejackets.
  • All lifejackets must conform to ISO 300 395 or 396.

There is no requirement regarding the discharge of black or grey water, unless the vessel is carrying more than 50 passengers.

Please note that the regulations regarding Lake Balaton are very different. If you wish to navigate there contact:

National Transport Authority.Nemzeti Közlekedési Hatógság
H-1066 Budapest, Teréz krt 62

  • Tel +36-1-4741795

If red diesel is used for heating or power generation, be aware that it is not possible to purchase it in Hungary.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Germany - Documents for the Danube
  3. 3. Austria - Documents for the Danube
  4. 4. Slovakia - Documents for the Danube
  5. 5. Hungary - Documents for the Danube
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