Stricter requirements for operating personal watercraft
22-12-2017 09:00

When new regulations become effective from 1 January 2018, operators of personal watercraft must complete a theoretical as well as a practical test.

As part of the Danish Government’s efforts to enhance the safety of those using the sea for recreational purposes, the Danish Maritime Authority will now require operators of personal watercraft and the like to hold a special personal watercraft license.

Next year, everyone who wants to operate a personal watercraft must have passed a theoretical as well as a practical test to acquire a personal watercraft license. However, persons who already have a certificate for yachtsmen will only need to pass the practical test.

If you already hold a valid yachtsman certificate that entitles you to operate a personal watercraft, you can continue to do so. However, you have to pass the practical test for operators of personal watercraft and acquire the personal watercraft license within a period of two years in order to continue to operate your craft.

Director Rasmus Høy Thomsen from the Danish Maritime Authority:
”Personal watercraft are special due to their high speed and unique manoeuvring capabilities. With the new regulations, yachtsmen will have the competences required to operate these craft safely and show consideration of their surroundings.”

The tests are expected to be offered from early next year before the start of the sailing season.

Please observe that all operators of personal watercraft and the like must be able to present a valid personal watercraft license. Violations of the new provisions are punishable by fine.


  • Personal watercraft licenses are introduced from 1 January 2018.
  • You must have turned 16 years to acquire the license.
  • The theoretical test must include knowledge about:
    • The distribution of responsibility on board
    • The obligation to give way
    • Local navigational provisions
    • Behaviour and safety on and around the craft
  • The practical test must include the following:
    • Preparing for operation
    • Leaving and approaching land
    • Using safety equipment
    • Using navigational regulations
    • Taking precautions in case of falls over board
    • Operating at different speeds
    • Making evasive manoeuvres and emergency stops
    • Displaying safe behaviour and continuously evaluating risks



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