Checklist of 33 criteria

Blue Flag Certification is based on compliance to four main categories – Environmental Education and Information; Water Quality; Environmental Management; Safety and Services. A beach shall be certified as an International Blue Flag beach based on its achievement of 33 imperative criteria.

I   ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION
1  Information about the Blue Flag Programme and other FEE eco-label must be displayed
2  Environmental education activities must be offered and promoted to beach users
3  Information about bathing water quality must be displayed.
4  Information relating to local eco-systems, environmental elements and cultural sites must be displayed
5  A map of the beach indicating different facilities must be displayed
6  A code of conduct that reflects appropriate laws and/or regulations governing the use of the beach and surrounding areas must be displayed.

II WATER QUALITY
7  The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements.
8  The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis
9  Industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges must not affect the beach area.
10   The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for the microbiological parameter Escherichia coli (faecal coli bacteria) and intestinal enterococci (streptococci).
11   The beach must comply with the Blue Flag requirements for physical parameters.

III    ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
12   The local authority/beach operator should establish a beach management committee.
13   The local authority/beach operator must comply with all laws and/or regulations affecting the location and operation of the beach.
14   Sensitive areas must be managed
15   The beach must be clean.
16   Algal vegetation or natural debris must be left on the beach
17   Waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained
18   Facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials must be available at the beach.
19   An adequate number of toilet or restroom facilities must be provided
20   The toilet or restroom facilities must be kept clean.
21   The toilet or restroom facilities must have controlled sewage disposal.
22   There must be no unauthorised camping or driving and no dumping on the beach
23   Access to the beach by dogs and other domestic animals must be strictly controlled.
24   All buildings and beach equipment must be properly maintained.
25   Marine and freshwater sensitive habitats (such as coral reefs or sea grass beds) in the vicinity of the beach must be monitored.
26   A sustainable means of transportation should be promoted in the beach area

IV    SAFETY AND SERVICES
27   Appropriate public safety control measures must be implemented.
28   First aid equipment must be available on the beach
29   Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place.
30   There must be management of different users and uses of the beach so as to prevent conflicts and accidents
31   There must be safety measures in place to protect users of the beach and free access must be granted to the public
32   A supply of drinking water should be available at the beach
33   At least one Blue Flag beach in each municipality must have access and facilities provided for the physically disabled