Sale of Berths Illegal? Some are Sold For as Much as 5000 Euros

Total Croatia News

There are many ads in newspapers and online of people trying to sell or buy a berth, sometimes even for five thousand euros or more.

How to deal with the illegal practice of selling a berth? Bunarina port manager gives few insights, reports on August 21, 2017.

‘Selling a berth, selling a boat with berth, buying a berth’ can be often found in advertisement sections in the newspapers or online. It’s no news that there is a shortage of berths, and that they are often sold and bought. But is that legal? The question is actually redundant because the berth is part of a maritime domain with which it is impossible to trade, seeing that one cannot become the owner of the piece of the sea.

Money for port construction

In theory, the sale of berths is prohibited by law. In practice, however, things are a bit different. People pay up to five thousand euros and more for berths in the sports harbours (ports owned by sports associations) or communal part of the ports. It is legal, or better put, tolerated only when a concessionaire asks from a future user to pay several thousand euros to conclude a contract on the permanent use of the berths, so as to become a co-investor in the construction of a future port. Although it is legally prohibited, the sale of berths is also tolerated, but that depends solely on concessionaire.

In Bunarina port in Pula, its manager Sandro Biletić claims that they have banned such a practice. Last year, every user of berth in Bunarina port was asked to present the boat registration certificate, in which the owner of the boat and the berth is clearly stated. In case the owner of the boat and the contract signer did not match, the contract would no longer be valid. “Such controls will be done every two years,” says Biletić.

Biletić also confirms that there have been attempts of selling berths, most often along with the boat, as it is otherwise impossible to do so. In Bunarina port, each berth is marked with the registration number of the vessel, with whose owner the contract was signed, so it is impossible that another vessel appears in its place. Therefore, the owner must also report any change of the moored boat or he/she risks the cancellation of the contract.

Co-ownership and attempts of circumventing the rules

There were also attempts of entering into the co-ownership on the boat, so as to circumvent the rules and regulations.The Bunarina authorities managed to overcome that problem as well.

“If for example, the owner of the vessel with which we initially signed the contract wishes to include a new co-owner, the new co-owner will be charged half of the berth price in the nautical section of the port, while the original owner pays half of the berth price in the sports harbour. Seeing that the price of the berth in the nautical section is much higher than the price in the sports harbour, people often give up on the co-ownership”, concludes Sandro Biletić.


Translated from


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