As the new small boats marina nears completion, HM Government of Gibraltar has today published the Small Vessels (Mooring Controls) Rules 2016.

The Rules include the criteria for the allocation of berths at the Mid-Harbour Small Boats Marina.

The Rules provide the order of priority to be given when allocating berths at the new marina. As previously announced, priority will be given to those who previously had vessels at Western Beach and whose boats have been on land or whose registration documents have been renewed on an annual basis. Owners of vessels at Watergardens will be given the option of moving to the new marina. After the allocation to these two groups, berths will be allocated in the order of the waiting list maintained by the Gibraltar Port Authority.

The new marina includes facilities for disabled access to a number of berths. These berths will be allocated by the Captain of the Port, in consultation with the Director of Equality, having regard to the level of disability of the owner of the vessel and where the circumstances justify such allocation.

The Mid-Harbour Small Boats Association is established by the Rules. The Association will be responsible for the running of the new marina but not for the allocation of berths which will remain the  responsibility of the Captain of the Port. A caretaker committee of the Association will be appointed by the Captain of the Port until its members elect the committee.

The Rules set the level of fees to be paid at the new marina. There will be an initial fee payable on the allocation of a berth together with an annual fee which will depend on the size of vessel with a minimum annual fee of £365 (equivalent to £1 a day).

The Rules also establish the Small Vessels Advisory Board which will report to the Minister for the Port and advise the Captain of the Port on matters concerning mooring facilities for small vessels.

The Board will also be able to hear complaints from holders of or applicants for permits.

In an important innovation, the Rules provide that berths may not be allocated to individuals who are in arrears with the Gibraltar Government or Government Agency, Authority or company in relation to any debt. Any applicant who would otherwise be entitled to a berth is required to clear the debt before being allocated a berth.

Allocation of berths at the new marina will start immediately with applicants receiving a letter from the GPA. The allocation of berths will comply strictly with the criteria set in the Rules.

Successful applicants will be advised of the date on which they can take up their berths. This will take into account the completion and handing over of the marina by the contractor and appropriate arrangements being in place for the caretaker committee of the Mid-Harbour Small Boats Marina to be able to operate the marina.

Minister for the Port, Paul Balban, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the long awaited project, a major Government manifesto commitment, is coming to fruition. He said that the publication of the Rules now allows the process for the allocation of berths to commence and that very soon 700 boat owners will be able to enjoy first-class facilities at the new small boats marina.

The Minster conveyed his thanks to the Deputy Captain of the Port, Manuel Tirado, the Director of Strategic Planning, Projects and Business Development, Chris Riddell, and their teams for their hard work to date on this project.