USING A BOAT ABROAD
Things to consider:
If you want to go boating abroad you need to do some homework.
How long can the trailer be? How wide? How heavy?
How fast can you go? Are you allowed on all lanes of the motorway?
Is your boat weight allowed with those brakes or do you need an upgrade?
All of this information is needed before we leave domestic shores behind.
The safety equipment list may include:
Spare fuel tank
Anchor (if you don’t have one)
EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)
Driving licence (or better still, an International Driving Permit);
Form E111 for any medical help required abroad;
Your tow vehicle’s insurance, which will require a Green Card as well;
Breakdown cover for both the car and trailer;
Your ICC (International Certificate of Competence), allowing you to use the boat overseas. It will need to be CEVNI endorsed if you are using it inland;
Your own VHF licence, which must be of the DSC type if you have a radio with DSC capability.
You need to take originals rather than photocopies and make sure you have told your insurance company where you are going as most small boat insurance has a limited area of operation and it may need to be altered.
In addition your boat should also have:
A VAT-paid invoice for the boat.
Your insurance documents. Try to get them translated into the language of the country you are visiting (a legal requirement in some cases).
Registration documents. As a minimum an SSR (Small Ships Registration) or a Part One which shows ownership of the vessel. This number should be displayed on the boat.
The VHF radio licence. Remember that there are no longer discs with the licence. It’s just the paper part you need and although you can do it online you do need to print it out and carry it with you. It must cover all the radio equipment on board.
A red ensign for the boat to fly, showing that it is a British Registered vessel and that your ICC is valid.
A courtesy flag of the country you are visiting.
Now you finally put everything together don’t forget to actually drive and test the boat before you leave!
Original paperwork for your boat including registration document- fines can be levied if these documents are invalid or incorrect.
No International Certificate of Competence (ICC) required for coastal waters.
If you venture onto the inland waterways, you will need an ICC. The exception is if your craft is under 5m in length and not capable of more than 20kph.
Your ICC will have to be valid for inland waters which means you have to pass the CEVNI test and you will need a copy of the CEVNI rules onboard.
A VHF licence is required for all inland waterways. France is a signatory to the RAINWAT agreement therefore if heading inland your VHF should be ATIS capable.
Who to Inform
You won’t need to clear customs or immigration, but French customs have the right to, and often will, check your paperwork.
Information you should know
Purchasing red diesel for use by leisure boats in France is illegal, but if you bought your red diesel in the UK, a receipt marked duty paid should be sufficient to satisfy French authorities of its legality. However, there have been incidents, particularly in Avignon, when even this has not been accepted.
Your boat needs to be seaworthy and suitably equipped, otherwise the authorities are within their rights to stop you from sailing.
A holding tank is a necessity for new boats since 1 January 2008. A tank is not a required for older boats but they must still comply with rules which prohibit discharge in ports and designated anchoring spots i.e. use shore toilets. If you head onto the inland waterways, discharging is not permitted, but there is a tendency to turn a blind eye.
The Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are not part of the EU, so you will need to carry the ‘Q’ flag.
There are no specific ICC requirements.
Who to Inform
Customs differ between the states of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey (Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark).
In Jersey you will only have to clear customs if you have goods to declare or have non- European Economic Area nationals onboard.
If you are visiting the Bailiwick of Guernsey you must fly the ‘Q’ flag and clear customs. This can be carried out at St Peter Port, Beaucette Marina or Braye Harbour. Customs forms can be collected from the marina offices and are written out in duplicate. The yellow copy should be kept onboard and produced, if requested, when visiting other ports within the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Information you should know
Yachts returning to the UK from the Channel Islands will have to fly the ‘Q’ flag once 12 miles offshore and clear customs. Customs can be contacted via the National Yachtline on 0845 723 1110.
Passports are not required for British sailors, but you will need your passport number for your C1331 (pleasure craft on non-EU voyages) form if you sail directly between the Channel Islands and the UK.
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