Music will have to be turned off between midnight and 9:00 a.m. on the decks of yachts and other vessels and on board cruise ships sailing or docked at the ports of the Balearic Islands.
Aware that certain nighttime activities on the decks of cruise ships and yachts can be a nuisance and cause episodes of noise pollution, the Balearic Island Port Authority has issued a new set of port rules (published in the Official State Gazette of April 19, 2018) specifying the time restrictions for noise-causing activities while sailing, entering, leaving or staying at the anchoring and berthing spots in the ports of Palma, Alcudia, Maó, Eivissa and La Savina.
Noise in nighttime hours is noise pollution according to Noise Law 37/2003. The law defines noise pollution as the existence of music, noise or vibrations, regardless of their origin, which imply a nuisance, risk or harm to individuals, to the pursuit of their activities or to property of any type, or which have a significant impact on the environment.
The port authority is allowed to authorize certain activities, exceptionally and occasionally, at very specific events, and always within the permitted limits, on the docks farthest away from residential areas.
Within its powers, the Balearic Island Port Authority has also established the infringements and penalties regimes for breach of the rules. So, from now on, any infringement of the rules may be treated as a minor infringement (article 306) of those stipulated in the revised State Ports and Merchant Shipping Law, which could involve fines of up to €60,000 (article 312).
Because these infringements concern port uses and activities and are related to the time a ship or yacht stays at the port, liability lies with the shipper, owner or master and, if applicable, on a joint and several basis, the shipping agent.
María Marelza Cózar, asociada sénior de la industria de Transporte y Marítimo.