Home Office to hold sPCR Engagement Event

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04 Apr 24
A man and a woman are sat at the helm of a boat.

From 18 April '24, the Government will be introducing a Universal Permission to Travel (UPT) requirement, which means that anyone who is not a British or Irish Citizen and does not already have permission to enter or remain in the UK will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to enter the UK. This will apply to everyone including people arriving in the UK on a pleasure craft. 

Submit a pleasure craft report (sPCR), which is the primary mechanism for reporting to Border Force and HMRC if you are sailing to or from the UK in a pleasure craft, is being adapted to include Universal Permission to Travel (UPT) Response Messages. These messages will tell the person responsible for making the report on sPCR whether the individuals on their boat have permission to travel to the UK or if they should be in possession of a visa. 

Since sPCR was launched, in response to a request from the RYA, HMRC has extended the criteria and has allowed more vessels to report as a pleasure craft than was originally intended. Reporting using sPCR was originally limited to private vessels being used for recreation purposes when arriving in the UK (including company owned vessels used for private recreational purposes). Following encouragement from the RYA, HMRC decided to additionally allow reports as pleasure craft from:

  • those that are being hired or chartered but are only being used for private recreational purposes; and
  • vessels that are being used specifically for training purposes by any business, club or charity — they may be carrying paying passengers, but the individuals onboard will be involved with sailing and operating the vessel. 

A report as a commercial vessel is required if the vessel is taking fare paying passengers from one point to another and the passengers do not play any role in the operation or sailing of the vessel. You should also report as a commercial vessel if you are carrying any goods for industrial or commercial purposes. 

Interactive event

Ahead of the addition of the UPT Response Messages to sPCR, the Home Office are hosting an engagement event on 09 April at 3pm (BST) for skippers, operators and agents who send passenger Information to the Home Office through sPCR. The Interactive event is intended to provide further support and clarity regarding the introduction of UPT Response Messages and is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The event will be relevant to anyone who is likely to submit a report using sPCR to prior to travelling to the UK on a pleasure craft with anyone who is not a British or Irish Citizen who does not already have permission to enter or remain in the UK onboard. 

Further information

For more information or to save your space at the engagement event, visit the event’s Eventbrite webpage.

For more information on arriving in the UK on a pleasure craft visit GOV.UK.

If you have any queries, please email the Home Office Carrier Engagement team.