Bringing your boat to the UK under Temporary Admission

Boating Abroad

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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Eligibility for Temporary Admission

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.

  • The boat must be registered outside the UK.
  • The owner must be resident outside the UK.
  • Whilst the boat is in the UK it must be used by a non-UK resident (some exceptions to this are outlined on
  • The boat must be identifiable (e.g. by its registration number, name or hull identification number).

If you meet these conditions you should be allowed to bring the boat into the UK for up to 18 months.

Trailing a boat to the UK

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.

Boats arriving in the UK under own propulsion

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.

Submit your voyage plan online

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.

  • You should submit your voyage plan
  • You should submit your voyage plan at least two hours, but no more than 24 hours, before you depart if your intended destination is in the UK.
  • You can draft a voyage plan anytime. You can also save boat details and the details of people you sail with in advance, to save time when using the service.

What to do on arrival

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:

  • Fly the yellow ‘Q’ flag on entering UK territorial waters
  • Contact the National Yachtline
  • Inform the Yachtline that UK VAT has not been paid on the vessel
  • Tell the Yachtline if you have people onboard who need immigration clearance
  • Comply with any instructions you are given

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 need to keep a record of where and when the boat arrived in the UK.
  • You also need to keep a record of when the boat leaves the UK.
  • You should keep these records for 4 years after leaving the UK.

What to do on departure from the UK

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.

Leaving your boat in the UK

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:

  1. that the vessel will not be used in your absence
  2. where it will be kept

Send any enquiries to


National Temporary Admission Seat (NTAS)
Ralli Quays, 3 Stanley Street, Salford, M60 9HL

Email: | Telephone: 03000 579 055

Fluid situation

There may be changes to this information over the coming months as an update to the 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.

Feedback on this service can be submitted directly here. A link to give feedback can also be found at the top of the sPCR page on .