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Country Specific Advice (Members only) 

Please note: the information in this section regarding individual country advice is locked down to RYA Members only.  Please login or register in order to access these pages.

UK leaving the EU: The UK has triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which provides a mechanism for the voluntary and unilateral withdrawal of a country from the EU, and is now negotiating the arrangements for its withdrawal from the EU. Until the UK's withdrawal negotiations are complete, in terms of the advice regarding boating abroad on the RYA website, UK residents remain EU residents, the UK remains in the EU for VAT, Customs and Excise purposes and there should be little noticeable difference when sailing between the UK and other EU countries.

A vessel must comply with the regulations of its flag state wherever it is in the world. In addition when cruising the waters of another country (as explained on the page Law of the Sea and the Coastal State), that country can require you to comply with its national legislation (as applicable to foreign flagged vessels).

For each of the countries listed, details of the regulations we understand apply to visiting UK flagged pleasure craft are provided in a restricted access pages for RYA members.  

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information the RYA provides relating to boating abroad, no responsibility is accepted for the results of any errors or omissions.

The information applies to UK registered boats owned by private individuals, taken abroad by them on a cruise of limited duration.  Rules about residency vary from country to country but as a general rule you are likely to be regarded as resident if you stay in a country for more than 183 days (approximately 6 months). This may therefore be a good steer for people concerned about acceptable visit durations.

If you choose to base your boat abroad, have both property and your boat in a country, become resident abroad,  cruise a company-owned yacht or use your vessel commercially (including offering it for charter), the rules may differ considerably from those applicable to private vessels on short visits. Specialist advice should be sought from the authorities (or a lawyer) in the country concerned.

Different countries and even local areas within countries will have their own regulations. It is essential that you find out what these are, as failure to pay taxes for example can result in significant fines when the authorities become aware of your non-payment. Not knowing the regulations is no defence for non-compliance and you may find that in addition to the national regulations there are local variations or applications you need to be aware of. To do this you will need to contact the relevant national and local authorities.

Although the RYA endeavours to provide information on foreign rules and regulations where it is available, the RYA is not in a position to give comprehensive advice on matters relating to non-British registered boats, residency abroad or boats that become subject to domestic legislation in the coastal state they are visiting.

Some regulations are more strictly applied than others and local interpretation may be more or less rigid than stated. When visiting, if you find that regulations or practices differ from those described in these pages or should you find yourself thinking "I wonder if the RYA is aware of this?" please email us your experiences. The RYA Cruising Department will be pleased to receive the information. 

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