A spokesman from the GNR’s fiscal division has launched a strong defence of the force’s recent unannounced inspections on boats to check for payment of the so-called ‘boat tax’, applicable to boats remaining in Portuguese waters for more than 180 days. “It was never our objective to target these inspections on foreign tourist boats. The inspections were carried out all over the country, including the Azores and Madeira, and in no other location were there any problems at all. We are fully entitled to carry out this action – we do have to inform anyone first, or seek authorisation to carry out these inspections. It was not an exercise in sensitivity,” explained the spokesman. He went on to say that officers inspected a total of 316 boats throughout the country – of these only 23 were not Portuguese owned. The GNR claims they know whether boats are in the country for more than 180 days by checking registers of entry into national territory.