Boating Abroad

Thinking of cruising abroad? It is important that you are aware of your obligations before entering another country's territorial waters.

UK–EU Relationship Since 2021:

Since 2300 hours UTC on 31 December 2020.

You have an obligation to report to UK Border Force when moving into and out of the UK by recreational boat.

You should expect greater scrutiny and requirements to report on arrival and departure, when moving between the UK and the EU and/or the Schengen area by recreational boat. 

If you are boating abroad and you find something is different or come across something new, please let us know by emailing

Territorial waters

If you are cruising the waters of another country, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, that country is quite within its rights to ask you to comply with its applicable legislation, rules and regulations. This may include, for example, requiring the skipper to prove his or her competence for that role; carriage of local publications or regulations is also often stipulated.

It is important that you are aware of your obligations prior entering another country's territorial waters.

Entry restrictions and requirements

The UK government publishes advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on health, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings. The country specific advice covers 226 countries and territories. Restrictions and requirements may change with little warning.

Noonsite provides a considerable amount of information that may help recreational boaters abroad.

Law of the Sea and Coastal State

An introduction to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which provides a framework for the use of the oceans.


Information on the paperwork you will need to carry with you if you are cruising abroad.

Entry and exit formalities

Information on entry and exit formalities including travelling with pets.


Information on commonly visited countries.

Advice on bringing your boat to the UK under Temporary Admission

Red diesel abroad

Information about red diesel.

Holding tanks

Information about the legislation relating to the discharge of black water from holding tanks at sea.

Inland waterways

More about European inland waterways.

Boating Abroad

Find out about the International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC).  What it is, if you need one and how to apply.

Exploring off the beaten track is very appealing but with it comes inherent risks which ought to be given due consideration before you set sail.