Brexit Sailing Issues Addressed in Cruising Association RATS Webinar

The key Brexit issues affecting the sailing community have been addressed in a recently held Brexit Special Webinar entitled "Brexit Issues for Cruisers", the contents of which was researched and presented by members of the Cruising Association (CA) Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS).

Over 300 members of the CA from 13 different countries tuned into the webinar on Saturday 5th December and there has since been huge demand for the webinar to be made available to the public. The CA and RATS are delighted to now share the webinar publicly (below), excluding the Q&A segment which attracted around 150 questions and is available exclusively on the CA members’ version. A PDF of the presentation slides is also available below.

The webinar programme focuses on the main difficulties facing cruising sailors as a result of Brexit:

  • Introduction: Robin Baron (Chair)
  • People issues including immigration (entry/exit), Schengen 90 days, health: Trevor Page
  • Vessel issues including boat VAT: Roger Bickerstaff
  • CA Brexit webpages: Robin Baron

CA President, Julian Dussek, said "At a time when the Brexit arrangements are still unknown it was a delight to watch the RATS Brexit webinar. The complexities and implications of our leaving the EU were explained with great clarity.

"I am extremely grateful for the enormous amount of work that RATS has been doing for the CA, both in compiling the Brexit pages on the website and for putting together the webinar. I am now much more knowledgeable about what I will have to do next year, and what not to do."

The recording of the webinar and PDF of presentation slides must be viewed and read in conjunction with the Disclaimer below, and on the understanding that it is based on information available at the time of broadcast on 5 December 2020. As such, any of the detail provided may be superseded at any time and the video or PDF of the slide presentation will not be updated to reflect any changes.


Brexit Sailing Advice

Members of the CA have access to the full Brexit-related advice covering both the range of issues and the country-specific details through these exclusive 'Related Links' menus.

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Brexit Issues for Cruisers Presentation

Video recording from webinar


Click or tap the image for the PDF of presentation slides

Brexit Cruising Information for Members


Brexit Issues For Sailors

As set out in the presentation plus the extra Brexit information for members of the Cruising Association, Brexit affects many aspects of sailing and cruising activities for anyone sailing within or to the European Union from the UK which is now considered a "third country".

Personal Issues for Sailors After Brexit

We have been used to full freedom of movement not just in the EU but the Schengen area. There are now rules to be managed for 90 in 180 day visa-free access to the Schengen area with port entry and exit formalities such as processes and paperwork, plus potential long stay visa and residency options.

Boat Issues for Sailors After Brexit

The VAT status for boats is complex following Brexit with both the EU and HMRC setting out rules but with some grey areas depending on boat location at the time of Brexit and even over the last few years. For yachts and motor boats with UK VAT paid status trips to the EU will be limited following Brexit to avoid VAT becoming due again. Boats wishing to return to the UK need to consider their VAT status for Returned Goods Relief (RGR).

Post Brexit Formalities

As part of and as well as the Brexit issues identified above sailors need to manage the formalities of travel abroad for boats and people following Brexit such as paperwork (passports, C1331 form, VAT, ownership, VAT proof, qualifications/certificates, equipment etc.) for entry and exit both abroad and the UK (e.g. National Yachtline).

Other Brexit Issues

As a result of Brexit there are also changes in other areas including health insurance, repatriation, pet transport, driving insurance and licensing.

A few of these Brexit issues for sailing will vary from country to country within the EU and Schengen areas.

Member and Brexit Forums

CA Member forums (by sailing area e.g. Channel, Mediterranean, Baltic) and Member Brexit forums are discussing the actual implementation as it will be and is being experienced to compare solutions such as which insurers for boats and personal health are most suitable, how formal the actual processes are and what problems may need to be overcome.

15 December 2020



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