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Pre Arrival:  Charts
Arrival:  DS Pilots
Communications:  Pre-Arrival
Pollution:  Pollution | Waste | Slops
Security:  Emergency
Local Info:  Time | Holidays
Report:  Report
General Information for France
Capital City: Paris.
Nationality: (noun) Frenchman(men), Frenchwoman(women), (adjective) French.
Population: 64,057,792.
International Direct Dial Code: 33.
Number of Internal Airports: 297.
Major Languages Spoken: French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish).
Currency: 1 Euro (EUR) of 100 Cents.
Exchange Rates:  (as of March 2018)
USD 1.00 = EUR 0.81
EUR 1.00 = USD 1.23
Exchange rates under licence from XE.com
Main Industries: Machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics, textiles, food processing and tourism.
Territorial Sea: 12 n.m.
Other Maritime Claims: Contiguous Zone: 24 n.m. Continental Shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Exclusive Economic Zone: 200 n.m. (does not apply to the Mediterranean).
Climate: Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral.
Natural Resources: Coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber and fish.
Natural Hazards: Flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean.
Terrain: Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east.
Average Temperatures: 
Month High Low
January 7° C 1° C
June 24° C 12° C
September 22° C 12° C
CHARTS:  Nautical charts and publications produced by Service Hydrographique et Oceanographique de la Marine (SHOM). Notices to Mariners and Navigational Warnings available online at
Notices to Mariners and Navigational Warnings available online at www.shom.fr/en/onlines-services/
DEEP SEA PILOTAGE:  See Cherbourg and Brixham
Visas:  Foreign visitors (except EEC nationals and Swiss nationals) are required to be in possession of visas before arrival in France.
Companies sending foreign crewmen to join vessels in French ports should arrange visas through French Consulates.
PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION:  River Information System:  All European inland navigation countries are working on the development of an integrated shipping guidance and monitoring system. The main objective of the RIS is to improve safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness of inland navigation by means of harmonised, interoperable and freely accessible aids and information systems for the interior waterways.
Inland ECDIS:  Making available reliable and up-to-date electronic charts which meet European standards. ECDIS contributes to the safety and efficiency of inland navigation and therefore the protection of the environment. Moreover it reduces the work load of the skipper compared to traditional navigation and information methods.
Electronic Ships Reports:  Vessel traffic services in Europe are linked to information gathering via various systems. To relieve the fairway-user as much as possible, a system of an electronic once-only report is being worked on. The skipper can then use one type of report that is valid for the whole of Europe.
Notices to Skippers:  To enable an automatic translation of the most important contents of messages in all languages of the participating countries, with a harmonised structure of data to enable integration of messages in the voyage planning systems. Also a standard for height of tide information will be made available. This information will be made available to the inland barge community, among other things by use of web applications.
Tracking/Tracing:  Tracking and tracing will form the basis for both Vessel Traffic Services and future RIS-services.
Details of national systems can be found at the following websites:
Country Website
Austria nts.doris.bmvit.gv.at  
Belgium nts.flaris.be  
Bulgaria www.bulris.bg  
Croatia vodniputovi.hr  
Czech Republic www.lavdis.cz  
France www.vnf.fr  
Germany www.elwis.de  
Hungary www.pannonris.hu  
Netherlands www.vaarweginformatie.nl  
Poland www.rzgw.szczecin.pl  
Romania www.roris.ro  
Serbia nts.risserbia.rs  
Slovakia nts.slovris.sk  
Switzerland www.port-of-switzerland.ch  
POLLUTION:  Spill notification should be made to the nearest CROSS.
WASTE DISPOSAL:  The MARPOL Convention rules apply to all reception facilities. Further information on reception facilities should be requested if required from the relevant port authorities. Should any deficiencies/inadequacies be observed in the system they should be reported to Direction des Ports et de la Navigation Maritimes, 3 Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris. All tankers must send a Waste Declaration for both solid and liquid wastes to the relevant port authority. Charges depend on the quantity and quality of substances to be delivered.
SLOPS DISPOSAL:  See Waste Disposal
System de Comptes Rendus de Mouvements (SURNAV): 
The SURNAV regulations are mandatory for all accidents at sea that occur within 50 n.m. of the French coast to which the following apply:
  1. All vessels carrying dangerous goods as defined in the IMDG Code, Chapter 17 of the International Bulk Carriers Code, and Chapter 19 of the International Gas Carriers Code.
  2. All vessels carrying polluting goods, noxious liquid substances and harmful substances as defined in MARPOL Annex I, II and III.
Masters, Owners and Charterers should refer to the Admiralty List of Radio Signals, Volume 6, for full details, contact information and report formats.
Centre Regionaux Operationnels de Surveillance Et de Sauvetage (CROSS):  All vessels of LOA 25 m. or more and smaller craft in attendance with these vessels must seek permission from the nearest CROSS station before navigating or anchoring in French territorial waters. This does not apply in an emergency, but the vessel's circumstances must be reported to the nearest CROSS station as soon as practicable.
CROSS provides permanent, full time, all weather surveillance of marine traffic off the French coast, and co-operates with foreign MRCC's and MRSC's.
CROSS has 6 regional surveillance and rescue co-ordination centres: Gris-Nez, Corsen, La Garde, Joburg, Etel and MRSC Aspretto.
Co-Ordination:  Each CROSS centre co-ordinates the following:
  1. Surveillance of marine traffic, especially within the 12 n.m. limit.
  2. Maritime SAR.
  3. Fishery surveillance out to 200 n.m.
  4. Monitoring the tracks of vessels carrying dangerous or noxious cargoes.
  5. Collation and storage of all relevant data for future use and/or onward transmission to other organisations.
The purpose of marine traffic surveillance is to enhance navigational safety and includes the policing of IMO approved Traffic Separation Schemes.
Information Broadcasts:  CROSS broadcasts information bulletins that include navigational and traffic information of interest to mariners and reports on the movement of vessels that appear to contravene Rule 10 of the (International) Prevention of Collision Regulations.
Masters, Owners and Charterers should refer to Admiralty List of Radio Signals, Volume 6 for full details and contact information.
Contact:  CROSS Gris-Nez (Manche Est - Pas-de-Calais). T: +33 3 2187 2187 (operations). F: +33 3 2187 7855.
CROSS Corsen (Manche Ouest). T: +33 2 9889 3131 (operations). F: +33 2 9889 6575.
CROSS La Garde (Mediterranee). T: +33 4 9461 1616 (operations). F: +33 4 9427 1149.
CROSS Jobourg (Manche Centrale). T: +33 2 3352 7213 (operations). F: +33 2 3352 7172.
CROSS Etel (Atlantique). T: +33 2 9755 3535 (operations). F: +33 2 9755 4934.
MRSC Aspretto (Mediterranee). T: +33 4 9520 1363 (operations). F: +33 4 9522 5191.
TIME:  GMT plus 1 hour in winter. GMT plus 2 hours in summer.
LOCAL HOLIDAYS:  1 January (New Year's Day); Easter Sunday/Monday; 1 May (Labour Day); 8 May (Victory Day); Ascension Day; Whit Monday; 14 July (National Day); 15 August (Assumption Day); 1 November (All Saints' Day); 11 November (Armistice Day); 25 December (Christmas Day).