Brexit update

As you know, BREXIT came into effect on 1 January 2021 and is impacting travel and immigration procedures.

We, therefore, urge all British nationals to check their individual situation before travelling to a vessel in EU-waters. Below is a brief summary of the issues.

Unless some special arrangement is made, UK residents working on yachts that go into the EU will be in the same position as seafarers from other non-EU countries.

That is to say that they are entering the EU as seafarers aboard a foreign vessel and so do not require a visa. Like other seafarers, they may be allowed to go ashore but this will be regulated by the local rules regarding shore access for non-EU seafarers.

In some ports, they may be restricted to port limits, the local town limits or some other boundary while in others there may be no restrictions.

UK-resident seafarers travelling to an EU country to join a vessel should be able to do so as a 'tourist' but it's possible they will have to obtain, in advance, a transit visa to do so. Once there, they MUST ensure that when they join the vessel their passport is 'stamped out' to show that they have left that country and joined the vessel. This is essential to ensure that 'the clock is stopped' on their right to be in the country as a tourist for 90 days in any 180 days.

Non-EU seafarers should always, when going ashore, carry an up-to-date Seaman's Book / Discharge Book as proof that they are employed aboard the vessel and so entitled to be there.

When leaving the vessel, whether to go on leave or at the termination of their employment, they will need to be 'stamped' from the vessel into the country. This 'starts the clock' again and they will be subject, as before, to the 90 days in any 180 days limit.

This guidance is provided by the PYA Member Assistance Service team in good faith but seafarers are recommended to seek up-to-date advice from local sources before setting out to join any vessel.

We will be following up with further information shortly.