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Union Goods status for recreational boats 

The RYA wants recreational boats to retain Union Goods status once the UK has left the EU.

The RYA has an important role to play in working with the UK Government to ensure that it understands the impact that loss of Union Goods status would have on UK recreational boating activity particularly for those who wish to visit or base their boats on EU waters.

The ability for recreational boats together with their equipment and other contents to navigate free of customs procedures and time limits throughout the waters of the European Union is currently dependent on them having Union Goods status.

As the Government clarifies its intentions concerning the UK’s future relationship with the EU VAT and Customs area, the RYA will continue to engage with Ministers and officials to clarify the future status of recreational boats and to minimise any adverse impacts or unintended consequences once the UK leaves the EU.

The RYA wants to achieve

  • Recreational boats that currently have the status of Union Goods are able to retain an equivalent status after the UK leaves the EU, no matter what exit settlement the UK Government negotiates.

The RYA has successfully

  • Encouraged HMRC to assist recreational boaters in evidencing the Union Goods status of their boats by issuing forms T2L.

The RYA position

The RYA believes that recreational boats currently having the status of Union Goods should be subject to minimal fiscal and administrative burdens when navigating within EU waters after the UK leaves the EU.


The RYA is maintaining its regular dialogue with HMRC, as well as other relevant departments and agencies, to ensure that its position is taken into account by policy-makers.

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