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post #1 of 26 Old 04-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Sailing in the EU

I know many sailors from outside the EU would like to cruise the Med but are you put off by the rules and regulations and the length of time you can stay without having to leave the EU?
Should there be an exemption for cruising sailors?

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post #2 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

I assume the genesis of the ruling was an effort to curb illegal immigration, which several EU countries have a growing issue with. Nevertheless, I'm sure no one thinks that cruisers are a significant source of this.

The primary concern over illegal immigration is typically the displacement of jobs. However, in countries that mandate the administration of medical care, it can get expensive for their citizens to pick up the tab when the illegal immigrant leaves without paying the tab. I don't know this, but I suspect the EU has a policy similar to the US, where anyone that walks into a hospital must be treated regardless of ability to pay.

Their is a flat out industry in the US, where people are paid to house an immigrant on a tourist visa who is weeks from delivering a baby. They go to the hospital when they are due, have the baby with the best of medical care for Mom and the child and then return home without paying. Airfare, room and board are a fraction of the cost of the delivery and post-natal care.

Again, I doubt cruisers are the source of much of this, but all get swept up when there is a problem.


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post #3 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

No, I see no reason why the EU should make an exception. The U.S. rules for visiting sailors and boats are so strict as to make any EU rules for visiting boats lax in comparison. Just think, even with a cruising permit foreigners to the US must call in each and every time the anchor is raised and lowered.

I'll state it differently, I know many people back in Europe who have travelled much of the world but are put off by the US immigration rules, even for short-term tourists. They state that they are treated like criminals (fingerprints, retinal scans, interviews) when visiting there and won't go anymore.


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post #4 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
.....The U.S. rules for visiting sailors and boats are so strict as to make any EU rules for visiting boats lax in comparison....
The US boarders are enormous and, in some cases, sparsely populated by comparison to any individual EU country. Neverthless, I believe the EU limits a cruiser to 90 day out of every 180, when you can get up to a year in the US (180 days being more common).

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They state that they are treated like criminals (fingerprints, retinal scans, interviews) when visiting there and won't go anymore.
No doubt we're still stinging from 9/11. We are often treated the same way when returning to our own country. However, its as much a matter of the unskilled worker that needs virtually no education to be a TSA officer, than it is actual policy.


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post #5 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
No, I see no reason why the EU should make an exception. The U.S. rules for visiting sailors and boats are so strict as to make any EU rules for visiting boats lax in comparison. Just think, even with a cruising permit foreigners to the US must call in each and every time the anchor is raised and lowered.
When I great foreign-flagged cruisers here in Annapolis I feel moved to apologize for the burdens placed on them by my country. It is most unfortunate and clearly provides no real addition to our homeland security.

US treatment of foreign nationals is demonstrably why Americans in the South Pacific have so many more restrictions in French Polynesia than cruisers from other countries.

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post #6 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
No, I see no reason why the EU should make an exception. The U.S. rules for visiting sailors and boats are so strict as to make any EU rules for visiting boats lax in comparison. Just think, even with a cruising permit foreigners to the US must call in each and every time the anchor is raised and lowered.

I'll state it differently, I know many people back in Europe who have travelled much of the world but are put off by the US immigration rules, even for short-term tourists. They state that they are treated like criminals (fingerprints, retinal scans, interviews) when visiting there and won't go anymore.
This is especially short sighted when you realize how much of our economy is based on tourism.

I saw another story recently about a poll of recent visitors to the US, most of whom said they won't come back because of three hour waits at customs, missed flights and draconian practices.

It appears our government is badly broken in many ways right now...

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post #7 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
When I great foreign-flagged cruisers here in Annapolis I feel moved to apologize for the burdens placed on them by my country. It is most unfortunate and clearly provides no real addition to our homeland security.

US treatment of foreign nationals is demonstrably why Americans in the South Pacific have so many more restrictions in French Polynesia than cruisers from other countries.
I think that many US Customs and Border Protection staff need more training, both in terms of knowing their own rules and in customer service for lack of a better term. To give one example (I could mention my own adventures with CBP but won't), we were in Plymouth, MA and the local harbor police, who apparently don't have enough to do, have a policy to report all foreign boats to CBP. There was a German boat there that had just been relaunched after being out of the water at the Brewer yard having spent probably $25k on upgrades and storage. They were told that their cruising permit had run out while they were on the hard and they were illegally in the country and had to leave immediately or their boat would be seized. Their cruising plan for the year (they only cruise one month and then get hauled for 11 months) was to go as far as the Hinckley yard in Maine and get hauled so they could contribute more to the US economy. Instead they were going to cruise in Nova Scotia and get hauled there. In contrast, we got hauled in Florida and the Customs office at Fort Pierce airport kept our boat reg and cruising permit, but stopped the clock on the permit until we returned after hurricane season and picked up our docs. Different rules or just different (mis)understandings of the rules. To add an irony to the situation, the German guy owned a company that had a subsidiary in Michigan. He deserved to be treated better.

How about this for a customer service idea. When you through the immigration check at Beijing airport, there are five buttons on the front of the booth where the officer can't see them. They range from a big smiley face to a big frowny face. The choose the button to express your opinion about how you were treated by the officer. Of course, that is in a Communist, authoritarian country so what can you expect.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

I am surprised at all the false impressions about cruising in the EU.
We are US citizens who have lived aboard our US Documented Boat in (and outside) the Med including N. Africa for years.
We are preparing to return in May/June for an extended stay (years).

Just a few points:
Less expensive and less hassle than the US.
18 months allowed at a time before the boat before must pay VAT.
If boat is legal then those living aboard are legal (same 18 month rule)
Renewable 18 months if leave the EU.

The good source for EU rules is Mid Atlantic Services
Horta Azores.
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
...I believe the EU limits a cruiser to 90 day out of every 180, when you can get up to a year in the US (180 days being more common)...
Yes to the first part, incorrect on the second, the US does not grant a 1 year tourist entry, it grants 3 months with a possible extension to 6 months, if one remains more than 180 days out of the last 360 the person becomes liable for U.S. taxes on their worldwide income and may not remain unless a different visa is applied for and accepted. Many retirees therefore remain under 180 days in order to keep their savings from Uncle Sam, my parents and others I know included.

To get back to the original question, I cannot think of any place that makes cruising easier for foreigners than the EU - I just used the USA as an example of a country that places many more restrictions on visiting yachts and foreign nationals as this is primarily a US-centric forum and Americans value freedom and are quick to point out the lack of freedoms in other countries, yet conveniently oversee any inequalities at home, and the lack of foreign cruising boats in a country as big as USA and with such wonderful cruising grounds is a prime example.

Had the OP not been active on another forum and posted the same question there and here, I would have suspected a troll, since the formulation of the question by using "put off" is almost incendiary.


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Last edited by Zanshin; 04-01-2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Added paragraph
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Sailing in the EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Yes to the first part, incorrect on the second, the US does not grant a 1 year tourist entry, it grants 3 months with a possible extension to 6 months, if one remains more than 180 days out of the last 360 the person becomes liable for U.S. taxes on their worldwide income and may not remain unless a different visa is applied for and accepted. Many retirees therefore remain under 180 days in order to keep their savings from Uncle Sam, my parents and others I know included.

.
Well as a Brit who has visited the US by plane, boat and RV I have always been given 180 days on entry.

I toured North America in a RV for a while and talked to many overseas visitors re the US immigration regs. I had understood that 180 days was the norm and had given up on getting a US drivers licence this time around. I had got one on a previous vist and it makes getting US auto & RV insurance easier and MUCH cheaper. But since 9/11 you need a 1 yr stamp on your passport before a drivers licence is possible. [Texas and NM for sure.] I met fellow travellers who had explaind what they were doing to immigration and had got the magic 1 year and hence had applied for and got drivers licences.

Commenting on the OP it does seem theat the EU and specifically the Schengen countries are making it difficult for cruisers with a max of 90 days in any 180.

See below ESP THE LAST BIT!

Quote:
Nationals Who Can Remain Longer than 90 Days in the Schengen Area Without a Visa

Nationals of New Zealand are permitted to spend up to 90 days in EACH in several of the Schengen Area countries due to prior bilateral agreements.
These countries are:- Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark (including Greenland), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
See New Zealand Travel Advice

This may well apply to the nationals of other countries, such as Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, South Korea and the USA, but Noonsite has not yet been able to get confirmation of this arrangement.
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