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Sailing to and from the UK

Sailing To And From The UK

International recreational vessel arrivals: Anyone who owns or is responsible for a leisure craft that sails to or from locations outside the UK is required to provide vessel, citizen, and goods documentation. 

Coming to the UK as a visitorENTERING THE UK FROM THE EU/EEA 
New rules on entering the UK from the EU/EEA came into effect from 1st January 2021 for EU/EEA citizens that do not already hold permission to enter or have an existing right of entry to the UK. 

Recreational vessels seeking entry to the UK, including those arriving from the EU/EEA, must call the local Border Force Office for the relevant arrival location in order to be granted permission to enter the UK: 

• You must call this number: +44 (0)7557 205925 (Border Force South) before disembarking your vessel. 

• All mariners (including GBR citizens) are expected to call this number prior to or upon arrival at a port or marina for passenger / crew clearance. 

• You do not need to call if you have existing permission to enter or remain or have a right of entry to the UK.

• You must have received notification of your permission to enter the UK prior to disembarking your vessel; this may be granted remotely (without physically seeing a Border Force Officer). 

• Failure to obtain permission to enter the UK may result in you entering the UK illegally and being subject to enforcement action. 

Check the information on GOV.UK: Visiting the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.

You must call the HMRC National Yachtline: +44 (0)300 123 2012 to make an arrival report for UK customs purposes and to declare your vessel status (VAT paid, goods). Check the information on GOV.UK: National Yachtline.

UK customs rules are also changing; international recreational vessel arrivals are advised to check the information on GOV.UK: Bringing Goods into the UK

If you arrive from outside the UK (and this includes the Channel Islands) the ‘Q’ flag must be flown, where it can readily be seen, as soon as you enter UK waters (the 12 nautical mile limit). Do not take down the flag until you have finished reporting to the customs authorities. Failure to comply will make you liable to a penalty.

Before leaving the UK (which includes going to the Channel Islands), you must advise the Border Force of your intentions by posting form C1331 (the address it must be posted to can be found on the form). Check the information on GOV.UK: Declare pleasure craft on voyages leaving or arriving in the UK (C1331).

Full details of all the new procedures can be found on GOV.UK: Notice 8: sailing your pleasure craft to and from the UK. Anyone who owns or is responsible for a leisure craft that sails to or from locations outside the UK is required to provide vessel, citizen, and goods documentation.

Photo: Cowes Week 2018. Credit Cowes Week / Paul Wyeth.

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