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 […]
Brexit: UK-flagged yachts and VAT Having left the EU customs territory from the start of 2021, the UK is now considered a ‘third country’, affecting the VAT treatment of UK-flagged yachts in EU waters. Likewise, the treatment of EU-flagged yachts entering British waters is also affected. The change means UK-flagged vessels are now treated by the EU like any other non-EU flagged pleasure craft. A UK resident buying a new boat from a UK dealer for export A resident of the UK can buy a new yacht from a dealer in the UK ex-VAT, as long as the boat is delivered to the buyer outside of British waters. If bringing the boat into the EU, it can be imported under the Temporary Admission (TA) regime without paying VAT for up to 18 months. The boat can not charter or change ownership while in the EU under TA. Taking a UK VAT-paid yacht into EU waters The yacht is entitled to enter EU waters under TA, provided that the owner and/or captain are UK residents and the owner is on board upon entry. (Vice versa, EU residents may enter British waters under TA VAT-free for up to 18 months). Where a […]
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 […]
In this episode, we report on the challenging 2020 summer season in the Mediterranean and the forthcoming winter in the Caribbean. Featuring Nani Mas of Port Adriano and Tom Filby, Captain of popular charter yacht, M/Y Axioma.
The move affects travellers coming from more than 60 countries from 23rd November, including most EU member states. The negative PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Spain and must be issued in English or Spanish, in paper or electronic format. Who is affected? This measure applies to travellers coming by sea or air, not to arrivals through land borders. Exemptions may apply for yacht crew demonstrably in transit to a boat that is departing imminently, or from a boat to outside Spain, departing without delay. Exemptions will also apply for arrivals who may have been unable to undergo a PCR test within the 72 hour window, having been continuously at sea or arrived from a departure point where tests are unavailable. In each instance, arrivals seeking an exemption are advised to check with us and we will consult with the local health authority for a confirmed exemption for your circumstance. High Risk Countries For European countries of origin, Spanish authorities will rely on the risk map by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC). For countries outside this area, the reference point will be the 14-day cumulative coronavirus incidence for every 100,000 inhabitants, […]
As official ‘consignatario’ port agents, ESTELA is authorised to offer Cast-to-Master service. Owners and managers can send money to us by bank transfer, enabling captains to withdraw cash on demand, as and when they need it. CTM is available in all ESTELA locations. For more details about our CTM service, please contact us. email@example.com
With national lockdowns and border closures on the increase, international travel is again becoming more complicated. While seafarers are generally exempt from restrictions designed to curtail tourism, carrying a travel letter from a licensed ‘consignatario’, setting out your reason for travel, can be helpful when boarding flights and crossing borders. For more information or to request your travel letter, please get in touch. Equally, when stamping off your boat and re-entering the Schengen zone, we can assist with the documentation required by Spain’s immigration police. firstname.lastname@example.org
So confident of the Canaries’ potential as a superyacht destination are we, that ESTELA Shipping have now opened an office in Lanzarote! In partnership with Calero Marinas, we have appointed Monica Iren Lungard as our local representative, to support our superyacht clients and provide the same high standard of service that ESTELA already offers in Palma, Gibraltar, Barcelona and Panama. Monica joined Calero as an administrator two years ago and has been living in the Canary Islands for eight years, the past six of which in Lanzarote. She has also lived in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, giving her great insight into what the islands have to offer. A Norwegian national, Monica speaks fluent English and Spanish. She can be reached by telephone/WhatsApp on: +34 660 54 89 74 or by email at: email@example.com
For yachts planning on spending the winter in Europe, consider berthing in Melilla. The Spanish city on the North African Med coast offers a multitude of benefits to visiting yachts, for short or long stays. Just 95 nautical miles from Almería, Melilla’s airport is only 2.5 kilometers from the city with direct flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Seville and Almería. The port enjoys state-of-the-art security, with 400 berths, 12m draft and a dock of 240m, suitable for yachts of any length. There are fifteen moorings to accommodate yachts of up to 50 meters. For yachts up to 50m LOA and 10m beam, a 30-day stay costs just €2,263. The 90-day rate falls to €6,790, or €21,969 for a full year. For smaller yachts up to 30m LOA and 7m beam, these rates are respectively €978, €2,933 and €9,491, inclusive of taxes. Melilla is part of the EU, but not of the Customs Territory of the Union (TAU) or the Territory of VAT application (TAIVA), making it a useful point in the exit of TAU, for the purpose of finalising ‘Temporary Admission’ (RIT) and the Inward Processing Regime (RPA). Neither is Melilla part of the Territory of Application of […]
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
Any non-European crew requiring a visa in order to fly in and join a yacht will know that Spain has not been the optimal Schengen zone country to arrive in first. Spanish authorities have in the past offered only Transit Visas with two-day validity to travel through the zone. However, this changed earlier this year… While there was no fanfare at the time, the introduction of a new Schengen Visa Code in February meant that Spain joined other Schengen members in issuing 90-day, multi-entry Schengen visas! No longer must you plan to arrive first in France, Germany or elsewhere for your 90-day ‘golden’ visa, to enjoy the freedom to move freely around Europe or leave and re-enter in your time off. Another change the new code brought in is that you can now apply SIX MONTHS in advance of your intended arrival, compared with three months previously. This means that you can start planning your 2021 season already and get your visa in place. (The latest you can apply for it is 15 calendar days before your trip) For assistance with your 90-day Schengen visa application and to obtain the required invitation letter, please contact us at email@example.com
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.
Whether you like slick supercar videos, watching pro gamers play Call of Duty, or enjoy practical content such as online cooking or yoga classes, YouTube has it all. The world of superyachts is no different, with many crew and enthusiasts creating brilliant content in a variety of styles, designed to entertain and provide insight into yachting and life on board. One vlogger in particular whose style we like is ‘eSysman’. This senior technical officer continues the day job, actively working on board, and prefers to remain nameless. When not on board, this industry insider manages one of the more insightful YouTube superyacht channels, https://www.youtube.com/c/eSysman/videos The channel is packed with original content and packages that cover everything from new yacht launches, accident analyses, yacht specifications, crew life, and protocols on board. Another feature is regular Q&As, where this industry veteran answers questions from the channel’s subscribers, which can range from technical queries to gossip about bosses’ mistresses. Whether you are in the superyacht industry, or looking to enter it, you will find something here to entertain and enlighten you.
Yes, it’s finally here! Delayed for several weeks by the small matter of a global pandemic, but the fourth edition of our annual yachting guide, ‘The Y’ 2021 is now available. If this is the first edition of our guide you have seen, each year we feature different destinations and fresh ideas for things to see and do on your travels. As well as recommendations for where to go, we provide useful and important information and detailed maps, which are also available online. Many yachting plans for 2020 will have been changed, deferred or cancelled due to the coronavirus, so in this edition we present some alternative itineraries designed to extend your Mediterranean season well into autumn or even winter! We present some interesting holiday ideas without an Atlantic crossing, so owners and guests need not miss out on time on board. Perhaps the biggest surprise you’ll find in these pages is what the Canary Islands have to offer cruising yachts and their guests. Long established as a stop-off for passing transatlantic traffic, this archipelago boasts enormous biodiversity and natural beauty, as well as cultural and architectural variety. The icing on the cake is a year-round warm climate and more Michelin-starred restaurants per square inch than you’ll find in many yachting hotspots. […]
September is looming into view already, signalling the final weeks of the usual Mediterranean season. But this season has been anything but ‘usual’, with many trips curtailed or cancelled altogether, due to the wretched coronavirus. So, here’s a suggestion for owners and charterers to spend some bonus time on board this year, in a safe destination and with warm weather. Without crossing the Atlantic. The Canary Islands have much to offer cruising yachts and their guests. Long established as a stop-off for passing transatlantic traffic, this archipelago boasts enormous biodiversity and natural beauty, as well as cultural and architectural variety. The icing on the cake is a year-round warm climate and more Michelin-starred restaurants per square inch than you’ll find in many yachting hotspots. Click here to read the Canary Islands chapter of the latest edition of ‘The Y Yachting Itineraries’. Hard copies of the guide are now available, so please contact us for your copy.
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.
Spanish borders are once again OPEN to tourists and visitors arriving from within the EU and Schengen zone, without the need to quarantine! Private flights into Palma de Mallorca kicked back into life on Sunday, while yachts stationed here have started greeting their owners after a long, three-month separation. If your owners or guests are due to arrive from further afield, we should have more news later next week. In the meantime, we may be able to find you a workaround, so don’t hesitate to contact us. Spanish waters, and those beyond, have also been reopened for cruising. Yachts that had kicked off their season in Croatia and Italy are heading back to the Balearics, to enjoy the natural beauty that has benefited from the breather that the lockdown presented. Our beaches are looking beautiful and the lockdown has done the precious seagrass the power of good and Balearic waters are clearer than ever. Only last week 132 sea turtle eggs were laid on Punta Prima beach in Menorca, for the very first time! This season has been a long time coming and we can’t wait. If you are coming our way, get in touch, we’ve missed you!