Our breakfast seminars raised some interesting discussions. On Day One, we covered crucial information for the upcoming Med season, such as stamping protocols, chartering and VAT, and rules & regulation changes across various jurisdictions. Many thanks to our panellists: John Wyborn, Director at Bluewater and President of MYBA; Alex Chumillas, Managing Director at Tax Marine; and Andrea Farinaceo, Director of Operations at Argentario Yacht Services. Day Two’s topics were more contentious, looking at the possible repercussions of the current Russia-related Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) sanctions on yacht ownership structures; Know-Your-Customer Regulations, Flag States, Crew Contracts, etc. Our expert panel consisted of: Anthony Galea, Director at Vistra, Sebastián Díaz, Partner at maritime law specialists, Bufete Díaz & Associates; and Ian Petts, Director at Equiom Group. Due to a technical hitch, we have no recording of Day One, but the Day Two panel session is here, in full: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R0LTMOrm9o Many thanks too to our seminar sponsors: Termopetroli, Gym Marine, Coral Marine, Vistra, Bufete Diaz & Associates, Charter Itinerary, The Crew Network, Swisspath Yachting, Agencia Melia Vives, Bluewater, TaxMarine, Calero Marinas, Kingsber Crew Support
The Balearic Government has introduced new de-escalation measures, in effect now:● Night-time curfew now starts one hour later, at 23:00h, until 06:00h● Outdoor bar/restaurant terraces may open Mon-Thu from 20:00h until 22:30h● Mixing of households is now permitted without limitation, though overall restrictions on group/table sizes remain● Shopping centres may reopen on Sundays and bank holidays Please see below the latest situation in Spain, specifically the Balearic Islands:● No yacht restrictions, subject to arrival health declarations and PCR tests (<72 hrs)● All Spanish waters are open for cruising and recreation as normal● Hospitality is open on terraces until 17:00pm (and from 20:00-22:30h on Monday-Thursday only)● Curfew from 23:00 to 06:00h● Groups ashore may be no more than 6 anywhere, while max people per dinner/bar table is 4 persons● Limit on board is ten guests, plus crew. No limits now on household mixing.● Shops are open 7 days, with some capacity restrictions and closing at 21:00pm for non-essential items● Arrivals by air from South Africa and Brazil, including crew, must quarantine for 10 days, or release after 7 days with PCR● Non-Schengen tourism is not allowed, with some exceptions (incl Australia, NZ, China/HK, S. Korea)● We are aware that owners/guests on private flights have arrived successfully from outside […]
Since April 6th, seafarers arriving in the UK and staying more than two days have been obliged to undergo rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests during their stay. While remaining exempt from the 10-day quarantine/self-isolation rules that apply to other travellers, crew must submit tests on Day 2 and Day 8 after entering the UK. Tests can be carried out and submitted in a variety of ways. A list of Government-approved test providers is here. Seafarers must also complete a passenger locator form prior to flying to the UK. While a pre-travel (PCR) test is not essential according to the current rules, we recommend taking a voluntary test for your personal reassurance and to avoid any confusion with check-in staff unfamiliar with the rules. Seafarers remain exempt from having to complete a travel declaration form to depart from the UK. The UK government website for COVID travel regulations is here, though the wording could be an awful lot clearer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#seamen-and-masters-and-inspectors-and-surveyors-of-ships If you have any queries, please contact us.
A ban on disposable plastics in the Balearics came into force this month. The sale, distribution and use of disposable plastic products is now prohibited, such as non-recyclable coffee capsules, plates, cutlery, cups, trays, drinking straws, disposable wipes and rings for holding together drinks cans. Some single-use items are still permitted and will be for as long as the current state of alarm lasts.
SPAIN No yacht restrictions, subject to health declarations and PCR tests (<72 hrs) Hospitality is open only on terraces, until 5pm Groups may be no more than 6, from no more than two households, including on board Shops are open, with some capacity restrictions and closing at 8pm for non-essential items Arrivals by air from South Africa and Brazil, including crew, must quarantine for 10 days, or release after 7 days with PCR Non-Schengen tourism is not allowed, with some exceptions (incl Australia, NZ, China/HK, S. Korea) Curfew at 10pm ITALY Restrictions depend on colour classification (white, yellow, orange, red), though for the Easter period (Apr 3-6) the entire country is declared a RED zone No cruising permitted and crew may only disembark for essential shopping and medical reasons On shore, hospitality may open until 6pm, with curfew from 10pm Crew arriving from the Schengen area are not obliged to quarantine, but a PCR test (<48hrs) is required. A maritime health declaration is required for all yachts arriving from other countries Widespread speculation of this ‘red zone’ period being brought forward to March 28th FRANCE, CORSICA & MONACO Non-European flagged yachts may not enter or anchor in French waters Arrivals […]
With effect from 8th March 2021, all arrivals from South Africa in Spain will be required to quarantine for 10 days following arrival. Please note that seafarers are NOT exempt from this requirement, though are permitted to self-isolate on board. Quarantine must be spent at a designated accommodation, restricting movements and outside contact only to essential activities (eg. shopping for food, pharmaceuticals and essentials; visiting health services; causes of force majeure or emergency). You are advised to obtain an agent’s letter for your arrival, detailing where your quarantine will be spent. Health authorities may carry out inspections to ensure compliance, so you are advised to retain receipts or documentation to justify any movement from your quarantine accommodation. Arrivals may be released after providing a negative COVID test result, taken after 7 days of quarantine. Accepted tests are RT-PCR or other tests based on equivalent molecular techniques, as well as antigen tests that have a minimum yield of ≥ 90% sensitivity and ≥ 97% specificity. The quarantine requirement will initially be in force for arrivals from 00:00h on 8/3/21 until 23:59h on 21/3/21, though may be extended before the end of this period.
Global travel eligibility checker: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/#(note that all airlines’ policy is guided by IATA)Travel to Spain, general:For general travel to Spain: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP/7001Spain health declaration: https://www.spth.gob.es/Balearic health declaration: https://viajarabaleares.ibsalut.es/formulario/Travel to Spain from the UK (any nationality):Spain/UK travel ban (in force until 31-Mar): https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2021/01/01/pdfs/BOE-A-2021-1.pdf(note that crew joining vessels are exempt, subject to requisite docs)UK government COVID travel guidance for Spain: https://www.gov.uk/foreign…/spain/entry-requirementsBREXIT: NOTICE FOR BRITISH CREW IN SPAINPlease note the following stamping requirements, issued by Spanish immigration police today:Active British crew members already appearing on a crew list DO NOT need to visit immigration to stamp on board and out of Spain. Only when they leave the vessel either temporarily or permanently, must the crew list be updated with the authorities and passports stamped.Non-active crew members currently in Spain, not appearing on any crew list, ARE NOT required to have their passports stamped, until they join a vessel.In summary, any change in crew list involving British crew, requires a stamp*. A representative can visit immigration on crew’s behalf; they are not required to attend in person.*Except official residents of SpainSpain’s UK Travel Ban Excludes SeafarersA new BOE was issued on 1st Jan by the Spanish government, stating that crew are now exempt from the […]
Many non-EU flagged yachts in the Mediterranean complete an 18-monthly ‘VAT dash’ to Algeria, to clear out of the EU zone ahead of their TA deadline. This year, the clearance dash has been complicated by restricted movements of both yachts and crew, while UK-flagged vessels are having to plan around this for the first time. We have been advising clients to ‘clear out’ in Melilla instead. This can mean a longer sailing, but the extra time and fuel consumed is offset by the lack of any PCR testing and/or quarantine requirement if coming from and returning to other Spanish ports. Melilla is Spanish territory, obviating the need to complete immigration clearance. Upon arrival, authorities in Melilla will provide a recognised Customs Authorities Certificate, while captains can be sure that there are no unexpected ‘shake-downs’ or on-board inspections. Fees are transparent, while security and port facilities are of the highest standard. Local fuel tax is rated below the cost of VAT, while pump prices are among the lowest in the Med. Merlilla’s port has a commercial dock of 240 meters, suitable for yachts of any length, as well as space to moor 15 yachts of up to 50 meters, with a […]
Most crew members will be familiar with the blue book that many yachting professionals carry alongside their passports, but not everyone has one. Or at least, not until now. In recent months, many yacht crew have been asking us about applying for one, now that international travel has become more complicated. So, if you haven’t already, should you get one and why? Let’s explore what a Seaman’s Book is and what its benefits are. What is it? The Seafarer’s Identity Document (SID) is known by several names: Seaman’s Discharge Book; Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book; Seaman’s Service Record/Book; Seafarer’s Card. It is a record of career certification and experience and is essential for crew working on commercial and merchant vessels. It can be a requirement of owners/managers of larger yachts. Can you travel with it? The SID is a quasi-legal document that supplements your passport and visas. It does not replace the passport and cannot be used to enter another country if arriving by air or overland. It does, however, identify you as a seafarer (ie. an essential worker) in the eyes of airlines and immigration officials. It also provides access to marine flight tickets, though some airlines will accept […]
Now that the UK has left the EU, there are some extra hoops for British passport holders to jump through when arriving in, or leaving, the EU. British crew members in Spain (or France) who already appear on a crew list are not required to visit immigration in order to stamp on board and out of the EU. Only when they leave the vessel either temporarily or permanently, must the crew list be updated with the authorities and passports stamped. Non-active crew members currently in Spain, not appearing on any crew list, ARE NOT required to have their passports stamped, until they join a vessel. In summary, any change in crew list involving British crew now requires a stamp*. A representative can visit immigration on crew’s behalf; they are not required to attend in person. *Except official residents of Spain Official travel resources: Global travel eligibility checker: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/# (note that all airlines’ policy is guided by IATA) Travel to Spain, general: For general travel to Spain: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP/7001 Spain health declaration: https://www.spth.gob.es/ Travel to Spain from the UK (any nationality): Spain/UK travel ban (in force until 13-Feb): https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2021/01/01/pdfs/BOE-A-2021-1.pdf (note that crew joining vessels are exempt, subject to requisite docs) UK government […]
Spain has relaxed its ‘use and enjoyment’ rule for charters beginning in Melilla, enabling the country’s exclave on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast to reduce its VAT rate to just 0.5% this coming season. The rate is available to yachts that have ‘Union goods’ status, on any flag. Melilla is part of Spain, but is not in the Customs Territory of the EU (TAU) or the Territory of VAT application (TAIVA). This also makes it a useful point in finalising Temporary Admission, as part of the Inward Processing Regime (RPA). As Melilla is part of the Territory of Application of Special Taxes (TAIIEE), it is also advantageous for tax-free refuelling and provisioning. Aside from the financial benefits of using Melilla as a base, the city is an appealing destination in its own right, while offering some fascinating cruising possibilities along Morocco’s unspoiled coastline. Read all about Melilla in ‘The Y Yachting Itineraries’, here. Melilla also has its own small airport — conveniently, directly next to the port — for private flights, while a number of daily scheduled flights provide ample international connections via mainland Spain. Larger private planes can use nearby Nador, just outside the city’s perimeter. By sea, Melilla lies 125 […]
Prepared: 10th December 2020 In advance of the Caribbean season, we present an overview of the COVID situation in most of the region’s most popular yacht destinations. Regulations are subject to change, so in order to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, we would always recommend using an accredited AYSS member yacht agent wherever possible. In the Caribbean, AYSS agents can be found in the following locations: Antigua, Bermuda, BVIs, Costa Rica, Dominica, Panama, St Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These agents will help you navigate your way around their and their neighbouring islands. Island-hopping is complicated this season by divergent regulations, such as in the French island bubble and CARICOM, whose mutual arrangements have been suspended temporarily. It should be taken as read that each destination has COVID sanitation regulations in place, such as health screening, restricted capacity, curfews, mask-wearing and other hygiene measures. Please consult each destination’s official website for details regarding health provisions, testing facilities and insurance requirements. For general tourism destination information, including seasonal weather and activities, the UK tour operator, First Choice, has a useful tool, here. ANGUILLA Open to pre-approved visitors, who must provide a negative PCR test result (<5 […]
Under WHO health regulations issued in 2007, the Europe-wide requirement for Ship Sanitation Certificates had been applied by Spanish authorities, until now, only to commercial vessels over 500 GT. We have been advised by the Balearic branch of the Department for Health (‘Sanidad’) that with immediate effect, the SSC, or ‘Certificado de Control de Sanidad a Bordo’ is now a legal requirement for any yacht (over 400GT ) visiting or stationed in the Balearics . The SSC covers items such as air, water, aircon, oil and waste systems, medical facilities, food sanitation and bathing facilities. Each vessel must be able to present a valid SSC to Sanidad, logged on the SHIPSAN platform. For any queries or to arrange your inspection, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish police issue new guidance for issuance of transit visas Spanish immigration police have issued new guidelines for the issuance of Schengen transit visas to seafarers departing the zone or travelling to join another vessel within the territory. Stipulations requiring a negative PCR test result prior to being admitted at destination country has been leaving crew in visa limbo in recent weeks. Having presented at Spanish airports for departure with transit visa in hand but without the requisite PCR test, crew can be denied boarding of their flight. The result is that crew are being left stranded in Spain illegally, unable to return to their boat and unable to travel onwards. To prevent this from happening, immigration officials have instructed authorised port agents to verify each crew member’s itinerary and the need, or not, for a PCR test at hand, PRIOR to applying for a transit visa. If you intend to fly home, or to any destination that requires a PCR test, you will be unable to obtain a transit visa from Spanish authorities without producing a test result that meets the requirements of your destination country. Compliance must be verified by an authorised consignatory port agent.
Last week Spain re-opened its borders to tourists from the EU/Schengen zone, as well as a select number of non-European countries, including the United Kingdom. Without quarantine or COVID-testing requirements, Spain is one of the most easily-accessible places for yachts and for private flights, with up to 50 arrivals at Palma’s private LEPA terminal daily! What’s more, Mother Nature has enjoyed the rest that lockdown has provided, with our beaches and calas in pristine condition, and Balearic waters looking even more crystalline than usual. What’s more, summer is here and no rain is expected for the whole of July! Restaurants and bars and beach clubs are open, with masks required to be worn only in confined spaces where distancing is impossible. Smaller clubs are open, offering table service. Just leave your dancing shoes on board, as dance floors are closed. Reports of long delays for arrivals into Greece, for example, are no issue here in Mallorca, with all ports and marinas operating normally. Guests and crew are free to disembark and enjoy the island as normal. How safe are the Balearics? The first tourists to arrive in Mallorca this summer, from Germany, in a pilot programme last month, scored hygiene measures here at […]
Looking beyond the imminent Mediterranean cruising and charter season, you may need to complete your TA and exit EU waters later this year. Consider doing this by visiting Melilla. Melilla is part of Spain, but is not in the Customs Territory of the EU (TAU) or the Territory of VAT application (TAIVA). This makes it a useful point in finalising Temporary Admission, as part of the Inward Processing Regime (RPA). Why not spare yourself the usual ‘cost of doing business’ in Algeria, with the associated inconvenience, and instead enjoy Melilla’s renowned hospitality and professionalism! And, in the event that coronavirus is still a cross-border problem to contend with, you will also avoid the need to quarantine upon your return to Spain. Oh, and as Melilla is part of the Territory of Application of Special Taxes (TAIIEE), you’ll find it very advantageous for tax-free refuelling and provisioning too! Contact us for assistance or information.
There have been many discussions in the past week about quarantine requirements for yachts arriving in Spain from the Caribbean. By the letter of the law, as issued by the central government, all seafarers are exempt, without exception. This ruling does not discriminate between private and commercial vessels, as professional qualifications are IMO-compliant for both categories. However, having approached Maritime Health Authority in Mallorca, there is no consensus about the applicability of exemption and consider that ALL arrivals must be quarantined for 14 days regardless. Importantly, this includes those that arrive here having sailed for at least 14 days non-stop, prior to arrival. However, through our working relationship with the Port Authority of Melilla, we have managed to obtain definitive quarantine exemption for our clients, issued directly by Ministerial order, leaving no room for misinterpretation. So, if your yacht is due to arrive in the coming weeks from across the Pond, the smart move is to stop first in Melilla. There, we can furnish you with a Ministerial quarantine exemption and provide you with some of the lowest-cost yacht fuel in the Med and get your summer season off to a good start. Contact us for assistance or information.
May 11, 2020 Today, Monday, May 11, the de-escalation for recreational navigation begins for Spain’s autonomous communities moving to Phase I, including the Balearic and Canary islands. The Order TMA/400/2020, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE, here https://boe.es/boe/dias/2020/05/10/pdfs/BOE-A-2020-4912.pdf), establishes limitations regarding the permitted number of passengers on board recreational vessels and geographical limitations. In accordance with this new Ministerial Order, it is worth highlighting, among others, the following requirements to practice recreational navigation in each phase: PHASE I – You can already practice “recreational navigation”, by people living in the same province, island or autonomous city in which their boat is moored.– Jet skis and pleasure boats or vessels may not depart more than 12 miles from the port or mooring facility from which navigation begins.– Occupancy on board may not exceed 50% of the certified capacity of the boat, unless all occupants reside at the same address, in which case 100% of capacity may be used, to a maximum of 10 persons.– In the Balearic Islands, navigation by boats used for recreational or sports purposes by their owners or authorised persons is allowed.– Permission for owners or authorised individuals to visit boats for security and maintenance checks is extended […]
Cruising to Monaco next week for the #MonacoYachtShow? Any yachts sailing from Spain or the Balearics to the non-EU waters of Monaco need to obtain clearance to exit the EU from border authorities for immigration purposes. Upon return, documentation must likewise be presented in order re-enter. Likewise, if your boat is heading to the Caribbean this winter, or anywhere else outside the EU, don’t forget that you must clear out before you depart! Contact us at Estela to prepare and submit your docs, at email@example.com
The Twitter feed of the Balearic Islands’ Ministry of Agriculture, the Environment and Regional Planning (CAIB) has been working overtime the past few weeks. The Ministry tracks, names and shames yachts that fall foul of the area’s strict anchoring laws, designed to protect the environment. Posidonia seagrass is considered to be the world’s oldest organism, at some 100,000 years old, and is responsible for the beautiful, turquoise waters that we all love so much. The Balearics boasts the largest Posidonia reef anywhere in the Mediterranean, so the local authorities are, rightly, very protective of this wonder of nature. Aware that private boat owners are mostly affluent individuals or corporations, fines for anchoring on Posidonia can be truly eye-watering, while the ultimate sanction for the most egregious offenders can include a custodial sentence! The good news is that any fine or sanction is entirely avoidable. As Balearic experts, Estela Shipping keep abreast of local rules and regulations, ensuring that our client Captains know to avoid anchoring in forbidden locations. So much so, our annual superyacht handbook, ‘The Y’ 2018/19, contains an entire section on Posidonia and other regulations. ‘The Y’ is free, so to obtain your copy just drop […]