A Royal Yachting Association update following discussions with Home Office officials
There are no immediate plans to introduce an e-Borders-type system for the recreational boating sector.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has issued this update following discussions with key Home Office officials about the current situation on the e-Borders system for leisure boating.
It follows confirmation last week that the e-Borders checks and screening processes had been absorbed into the Border System Programme.
Gus Lewis, RYA head of legal and government affairs, and Stuart Carruthers, RYA cruising manager, attended the launch of a new Border Force Cutter, HMC Protector, at HMS President in London earlier this week.
Here they had the opportunity to talk to the Home Secretary Theresa May, Home Office officials and senior Border Force personnel.
Gus said: ‘The RYA’s understanding is that the Government still has no plans to introduce compulsory reporting of all intra-EU cross-border voyages by recreational craft as part of its new Border System Programme in the immediate future.
‘However, it remains a possibility that such a reporting regime might be introduced at some time in the future.
‘In this respect there has been no real change to the situation that has existed for the last 10 years. The Government never published a comprehensive explanation of how the e-Borders scheme would in practice be implemented for recreational boaters.
‘Nevertheless, we have continued to engage with the Government and officials at every opportunity to highlight our concerns over the implementation of such a reporting scheme in our sector and we are pleased that, for the time being at least, the Government appears to recognise these concerns.’
HMC Protector is one of five cutters operated by Border Force to protect UK waters and coastline. They operate 24 hours a day, all year round, responding to intelligence-led information and patrolling high-risk areas.
Their primary function is to intercept drug shipments and other restricted or prohibited goods being trafficked by sea.
Protector, which replaces HMC Sentinel following decommissioning in 2013, will be located in Portsmouth and will operate around the UK coastline.
Having successfully completed sea trials in the autumn she now joins her four sister cutters Seeker, Searcher, Vigilant and Valiant.