Who can apply?
For beaches, the municipality can apply for the Blue Flag. For marinas, the marina owner can apply. For sustainable boating tour operators, it is the company who applies for its boats.
For the Blue Flag for boat owners, the application process information.
The responsible local authority files the application form (with enclosed documentation) and sends it to the National Operator. The National Jury evaluates applications for compliance with the Blue Flag criteria and gives an approval or rejection on the national level. In special cases the National Jury can recommend a dispensation.
Approved applications and dispensation cases are forwarded from the National Jury to the International Jury. The International Jury carries out an evaluation and decides which beaches and marinas to award the Blue Flag for the season.
To be eligible for the Blue Flag a beach/marina has to fulfill all imperative requirements. In addition, the fulfillment of a maximum number of guideline criteria for beaches and marinas is taken into account.
Beaches are reminded that approved bathing water data from the previous years has to be submitted with the application documents.
Award for one season
All Blue Flags are awarded for one season only. By renewing awards each season, the programme ensures that beaches/marinas are constantly living up to the criteria.
Continuous Compliance with the criteria during the season
The local authority is obliged to ensure compliance with the criteria whenever flying the Blue Flag.
During the season, the National Environmental Protection Agency monitors the bathing water quality data. The National Organisation performs audits of all its sites at least once per season. Furthermore, Blue Flag International sends international auditors to conduct announced or unannounced audits at the Blue Flag sites.
Visitors and guests at Blue Flag beaches, marinas or boats are also good observers of compliance with the Blue Flag criteria at the sites, and we always welcome and investigate constructive complaints.
In all cases of non-compliance with imperative criteria, the Blue Flag will be immediately withdrawn for the whole season.