RYA warns boat owners face ‘enormous financial disruption’ post-Brexit

The Royal Yachting Association has released a Brexit summary to round-up the issues for recreational boaters moving into the post-Brexit era in 2021 (currently looking like a no-deal situation). With headings such as ‘inconsistent advice from HMRC’ and statements like ‘the RYA estimates that up to 33,000 British people who go boating in Europe could be affected by customs and VAT issues which would be applied to them retrospectively’ it makes pretty sobering reading.

‘At the moment’, says the statement, ‘many thousands of British boat owners are facing enormous personal and financial disruption to their lives despite adhering to the law of their country. In many instances, it may even force them to sell their boat’.

Immediately following the 2016 EU Referendum, the RYA says it started to assess the issues and implications for the recreational boating sector arising out of Brexit. It became clear that there would be complex customs and VAT implications for some boat owners, those spending long periods in Europe would become subject to Schengen Area rules and there would be new border control regimes, both in the UK and EU27 countries. There was also the need to understand the changing situation for recognised training centres and instructors working in the European Union. The RYA has pursued a programme of representational activity to continually engage with politicians and government officials to try to get answers to the great many questions raised by members and many stakeholders.

‘Brexit – Where Things Stand for Recreational Boating’ (https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/current-affairs/Pages/Brexit.aspx#0) overviews the work that the RYA has been doing to bring clarity and details the current RYA position on each issue.

“We have all followed the latest drama of the trade deal negotiations on the daily news recently, but the reality is that sectoral issues have not featured in the high-level discussions involving politicians and negotiators on both sides,” says RYA director of external affairs, Howard Pridding. “That is why the RYA has endeavoured to seek answers from government officials on the key issues for boaters. As 2020 draws to a close, we have put all that we know together in one document on our website.”

“The early months of 2021 are going to deliver uncertainty and many challenges as we enter a post-Brexit era. The RYA government affairs team will be continuing to represent members’ interests and strive to find the clarity that is currently lacking in many areas and we will keep members informed of developments through our website and RYA social media channels.”

3 responses to “RYA warns boat owners face ‘enormous financial disruption’ post-Brexit”

  1. Richard says:

    This is heartbreaking. I am SO sad about this.
    And frankly I don’t want to see another comment along the lines of “well the EU27 are just being spiteful…”
    Actually they are just being human. And sometimes being human treads on the toes of others. The ONLY way to get around this is to all club together under one umbrella organisation, call it EUROPEAN UNION, with the emphasis on UNION, and then everyone, – sometimes grudgingly but never mind, – gets along under the same rules. No political system gets anywhere close to perfect, barely satisfactory in fact, but it’s still better to be one of the gang, than isolated, marginalised and scorned. But I expect I’m preaching to the converted! What boater in their right mind would have voted for this?!

  2. David de Vere says:

    Well all those who voted to leave, are now facing the consequences of their actions. Brexit has created considerable extra work to those involved in both importing and exporting to the EU, let alone the extra costs of having to appoint a freight forwarder to handle it all.
    However, as an old salt, I can remember the old days when we first joined the EU and all the UK boat owners keeping their boats in France and Spain etc on a ex vat basis were worried sick. However, and this is important, those European countries who had a vast number of UK owned boats in their marinas, woke up to the fact that they needed those berth holders, and devised means to allow those boats to remain without further vat etc costs. I suspect the same will happen again. European marinas do not want to loose all those British boats. Let us all wait for the flack to drop down and I am sure reason will prevail.

  3. Keith says:

    I have spent the last 5 years working on my beautiful 45′ junk rigged yacht with the intention of taking her to the Mediterranean.
    She will be finished this winter just in time to go absolutely nowhere.
    Your think I would be furious but I voted for Brexit not based on what was right for me but what I believe it’s right for the next generation of Britain’s.
    And guess what is do exactly the same again. Europeans are for the most part wonderful, friendly people just like most of us, but the European Union is a corrupt power hungry disgraceful group of individuals with no care of interest in people of any nation.
    Goodbye to them and good riddance.