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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: From 23:00 UTC on 31 January 2020 the UK is no longer a member of the EU. However, the UK and the EU ratified a withdrawal agreement, which means that we enter a transition period during which the Union law is applicable to and in the UK, except where otherwise stated in the withdrawal agreement. In reality this means that the EU will treat the UK as if it were a Member State, with the exception of UK participation in the EU institutions and governance structures. The UK remains in both the EU Customs Union and the Single Market for the duration of the transition period. Goods with Union status remain in free circulation and can therefore remain in the UK or the remaining 27 EU countries with no time limit. Freedom of movement will continue to apply to nationals of the UK during the transition period, so there will be no restriction on how long you can spend in the EU. In other words, although the UK has left the EU, in day to day life, nothing really changes for the duration of the transition period. 

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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