France and Greece now easier to enter after non-EU leisure craft rule changes

France and Greece now easier to enter after non-EU leisure craft rule changes

New rules surrounding the entry for non-EU leisure craft will make British entry to France and Greece significantly easier. Hugo Andreae reports

Changes to the rules governing non-EU leisure craft arriving in or departing from France and Greece will make life considerably easier for visiting British boats.

Thanks in no small part to the efforts of the The Cruising Association (CA), which has spent years lobbying the European Commission and national government departments to make these changes, all owners of British craft will soon be able to benefit from their actions.

Rules for entering France by boat

From June 1 a new protocol will apply to small boats entering France from outside the EU/Schengen area. Now, instead of having to enter via a handful of major ports granted Points de Passage Frontaliers (PPF) status, such as Calais and Cherbourg, British boats will have a much wider choice of 53 harbours and marinas around the French coastline, which have been newly approved as ports of entry.

This includes many popular destinations along the Brittany and Normandy coastline such as Carentan, Binic, Carteret and Quibéron.

Skippers of boats planning to arrive in or depart from France will need to email a specific form to their chosen PPF port or marina in advance of arrival or departure. These forms will then be processed by officials locally so the stamped papers can be picked up on arrival or simply emailed in the case of departure.

The new much longer list of PPFs and more detailed advice is available on The Cruising Assocation’s website at

Brittany has always been a popular cruising destination for British-owned boats

Rules for entering Greece by boat

The Greek Government also changed its laws regarding foreign-flagged vessels on 24 May. Although such vessels will still have to get a Transit Log on arrival in Greece, those that can demonstrate their boat has Union Goods status – proof of EU VAT having being paid – are now being issued with UTLs (unlimited transit logs), which alleviates the need to check into and out of every controlled port.

The new rules do not impact vessels that are not recognised as Union Goods. These will still be issued with limited Transit Logs that are only valid for 18 months and still need to check in and out as before.

The CA has expressed its gratitude to the Greek Minister for Shipping and to the British Embassy in Athens for its assistance.

For more details of these new UTLs go to

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