Since leaving the EU, boats arriving in France from the UK or Channel Islands are required to sail to one of a small number of “Ports of Entry” (mainly the ferry ports) and search out the relevant authorities – usually the Police aux Frontières – to register the arrival of their boat and crew.
This same process of going through Ports of Entry would also be necessary before departing France for the UK or Channel Islands (or indeed any non-Schengen country), presenting Cruising Association members, and other sailors coming from the UK to France, with a potential problem for many passages.
The Cruising Association, through its local representatives, has helped to make cruising to France easier, post-Brexit
Two of the Cruising Association’s Honorary Local Representatives (HLRs) have been aware of this extra challenge to cruising for some time and have been working with the local marinas, the marina associations and local officials to try and simplify it.
Now, as a direct result of their efforts, the French government has announced a process to allow entry at any French port. A form, Marina immigration notice for non-Schengen citizens, is now available from web sites which can be downloaded, completed and submitted by email to the local administrative Port of Entry prior to arrival. Providing all is acceptable, boats may then enter another port. This is already underway for Le Havre and other ports will follow on rapidly.
This is a significant improvement and removes a major hurdle for boats visiting France; something Cruising Association members and other boat owners will value.
Read another Brexit related article: RYA licensing arrangement in Spanish waters after Brexit