You should refer to the governments following guidance to see if you need an ETA or a visa to enter the UK
The UK is launching an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme. This is part of the government’s plans to strengthen the UK border through digitisation.
The ETA scheme will apply to most visitors to the UK who do not need a visa for stays of less than six months, and who do not have any other immigration status prior to travelling.
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When you arrive in the UK from abroad with your boat, the default position is that import VAT and duty are payable on the current value of the boat. This will be the case unless you are entitled to relief. One such relief is Temporary Admission.
To be eligible for Temporary Admission you must be bringing your boat to the UK for private use.
If you meet these conditions you should be allowed to bring the boat into the UK for up to 18 months.
If you are eligible for Temporary Admission and you are trailing a boat you intend to re-export to the UK for a holiday or to take part in a sailing regatta on arrival in the UK you can make a declaration by conduct by driving through a green channel at the port of arrival. If you are trailing the boat to the UK on the owner’s behalf you must have written consent from the owner.
The boat should be registered in the name of someone established outside GB/Isle of Man. If the boat is not registered, it should be owned by someone established outside GB/Isle of Man.
This information should be read in conjunction with the UK Government's guidance which provides a simplified interpretation of that guidance to help boats visiting the UK under Temporary Admission understand their obligations.
Conflicting information is currently published by the Government relating to eligibility for Temporary Admission. The information on customs rules for sailing your pleasure craft to from and within uk waters relates to eligibility for Temporary Admission to the UK whereas the reference document for Temporary Admission: eligible goods and conditions for relief talks about eligibility in terms GB and the Isle of Man. The information that follows is based on the information contained in Notice 8. It should be treated with caution if you are visiting the Isle of Man or Northern Ireland.
A new digital Submit a Pleasure Craft Report (sPCR) service was launched by the UK Government on 25 July 2022. Further information about the service can be found under Entry and Exit Formalities.
If you have successfully submitted a voyage plan using sPCR, you may be told that you do not need to complete some of these steps.
When you arrive in the UK:
If you arrive in the UK without submitting a voyage plan in advance using sPCR you will need to report your arrival using the pleasure craft report (sPCR) fallback template (an excel spreadsheet which can be sent by email) or form C1331 which must be printed and sent by post once you arrive in the UK, so you will need an envelope and you will need to buy a postage stamp.
You must report your departure from the UK. You can do this by submitting a voyage plan on sPCR or using the alternative reporting forms detailed above.
You do not need to record your departure if your intended destination is in the UK, even if you need to leave territorial waters to reach that destination.
It is possible for you leave the UK whilst your boat remains here however you must contact the National Temporary Admission Section (NTAS) to confirm:
Send any enquiries to
National Temporary Admission Seat (NTAS)
Ralli Quays, 3 Stanley Street, Salford, M60 9HL
Email: NTAS@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk | Telephone: 03000 579 055
There may be changes to this information over the coming months as an update to the gov.uk guidance is expected. Please check for the latest advice before departing for the UK.
sPCR is a new service and is under continual improvement. People visiting the UK and reporting their arriaval and departure using sPCR as asked to give feedback on this service to help identify changes that would improve it.