Success for CA in EU visa campaign

The Cruising Association’s (CA) Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) has been in discussion with the EU over the interaction between the Schengen rules allowing UK citizens entry to the Schengen zone for 90 days in any period of 180 days (the 90/180 days rule) and visas/residence permits granted by individual Schengen countries.

The CA says the EU has now confirmed that days spent in an EU country where you have a visa/residence permit granted by that country do not count as days spent in the Schengen zone in calculating either the 90 days or the 180 days in the Schengen 90/180 calculation.

For example: UK citizen Smith spends 90 days cruising in Denmark and then travels to Sweden entering under a Swedish 180 day visitor permit. After 180 days in Sweden, Smith returns to Denmark and then sails to Norway returning to the UK within 90 days of the second entry to Denmark.

Because the days spent in Sweden under the residence permit count as days outside Schengen, Smith’s cruise is permitted under the Schengen rules.

Currently Sweden and France are the only Schengen countries with cruising grounds that offer 180 day visas/residence permits to UK citizens. Some other Schengen countries offer resident visas but generally these are not appropriate for cruisers due to complications with tax residency, VAT, requirements as to minimum days etc.

There are still areas of uncertainty around exit and entry formalities throughout Europe. RATS continues to monitor the various situations.

It should be noted that the rules set out above do not apply to an extension of a Schengen visa which can, in certain rare circumstances (which include humanitarian reasons, force majeure and medical reasons), be applied for before the expiration of the Schengen 90 days. The holder of any such extension is only permitted to remain in the country where the extension is granted and, prior to the expiration of such extension, is required to leave the country and travel directly to a destination outside the Schengen zone, says the CA.

The Schengen zone consists of the following 26 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

This result is part of the CA’s 180-day Visa Campaign in which, as reported as Marine Industry News, Robin Knox-Johnston has lambasted Brexit as being unfair and resented.