Travel to France post Brexit
Published 17:57 on 13 Dec 2020
It is almost a certainty we are going to have a no deal Brexit (although I notice at the time of writing the latest headline says there is hope of a deal) and the complexities that will bring, including our trips in the boat to France. I have been in contact with Jersey Customs and their current advice can be seen using this link
They have gone out to the French authorities for more specific advice, but the French authorities have been unable to respond until any possibility of an outcome from the negotiations has expired. The Jersey Customs website will be updated as information becomes available.
There will be new passport rules, after 31 December 2020; if you are a British passport holder (including those passports issued by the Jersey Passport Office) you will be considered a third country national under the Schengen Border Code and will therefore need to comply with different rules to enter and travel around the Schengen Area. This is the link with the rules
You will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180 day period.
This calculator is a useful tool to ensure you do not go over:
The calculator simplified:
1) Imagine the last day you plan to be in the Schengen area on any trip
2) Look backwards in time for 180 days
3) If the number of days in Schengen equals 89 then you need to get out tomorrow
Arrival in to Schengen will be recorded and passport stamped to start the 90 day clock. The number of days will be checked on departure. Failure to check out may appear as an overstay on next entry. This may result in a fine or refusal of entry.
You can go for longer, but you will need to apply for a Long Stay (Type D) National Visa for each country you intend to visit. It must be applied for before leaving and will probably require a visit to the relevant embassy in London. France is one of the easier countries with different procedures for between 4 and 6 months and 4 and 12 months.
The RYA and the Cruising Association are campaigning to persuade National Governments to create 180 day tourist visas.
It is going to be far more important to plan ahead. Happy boating in 2021.