When the UK left the EU on 31 January, we entered a transition period, designed to provide time for the new relationship between the UK and the EU to be agreed while ensuring that we will only need to adapt to new rules once a future deal is agreed. Although Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU makes provision for the transition period to be extended, it is currently due to end at 23:00 UTC on 31 December 2020. 

The future UK / EU relationship is still being negotiated, but to help ensure you are as prepared as possible for the end of the transition period the RYA has updated its Brexit guidance for recreational boaters. The guidance, which can be found under the Current Affairs section of the RYA website, offers recreational boaters an overview of the issues of concern to the RYA and provides answers to member’s Frequently Asked Questions. The FAQ cover a broad range of subject areas, such as access to the Schengen area, the use of RYA certificates abroad, and boat registration.

 A key concern for many is that, at present it seems likely that the length of time they can spend in the Schengen area will be significantly restricted. However it appears to the RYA that the UK will be offering EU visitors more flexible and longer stays than the Schengen area will be offering UK Citizens. With this in mind a new briefing note has been published on the RYA website which members can download and use to help bring this matter to the attention of their local Member of Parliament. It is crucial that this issue is raised so the Government can use the transition period to negotiate reciprocity in this regard for UK Citizens.

Also of concern to recreational boat owners is the future customs status of their boat. Our FAQ explain that the location of a boat at the end of the transition period is likely to be important. Additionally our guidance on EU returned goods relief has been updated and is now accompanied by an explanation of EU temporary admission. 

As developments during the transition period progress, the RYA continues to work hard to ensure that Government understands and takes account of the activities of our members as it negotiates the UK's future relationship with the EU. 

You can find further information on how you can prepare for the UK to leave the EU by visiting GOV.UK and reading the 'Get ready for new rules in 2021' guidance. By answering a series of questions on the site regarding your personal circumstances, you will then be directed to the information most relevant to you.  

If you are a member of the RYA and require further information regarding Brexit, then please email the RYA Cruising, Legal and Government Affairs Team, via brexit@rya.org.uk.