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International Boating Waters


BoatWiki - Definitions

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Dec 23, 2023 - International boating waters can be defined as those navigable areas throughout the globe that do not fall under the jurisdiction of any sovereign countries. This means that maritime activities in international waters are governed by the conventions of maritime law as opposed to territorial regulations. International waters are often referred to as high seas, oceans, offshore waters, open waters or transboundry waters.

International Maritime Governance

International waters are basically governed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This agreement represents a legal framework for all international maritime activities as subscribed to by the standing members of the United Nations.

National Governance

Boats that are nationally registered, documented or flagged become subject to the respective country's legal rights and requirements, even while on international waters. This affords recognition and protections that are not otherwise available to what are known as stateless boats or those without a nationality.


Boating in international waters can be fraught with problems if not fully prepared from a technical perspective. One of the main factors is that of having the appropriate ships papers on board at all times while underway. Boaters should seek professional assistance if unsure of what this may entail for the intended cruising waters.

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Dec 23, 2023 - Page revised.



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