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’ 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.”