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Old 19-04-2010, 16:45   #1
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Maximum Stay in the Mediterranean ?

How long can we stay in the Mediterranean as Canadians? I've heard as little as 90 days and as much as 18 of 24 months. Thanks in advance for any answers or suggestions of where to go to get one! Marina
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Old 19-04-2010, 17:58   #2
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There was some discussion on this in a different thread lately and it wasn't resolved. I read it as 18 months and can be extended if you put your boat in a registered storage yard or marina when your not there.

Your best bet is to read noonsite.com and maybe contact a Euro country consulate.
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Old 19-04-2010, 19:15   #3
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I think that there is a very important difference between how long you personally can stay (in one go) [90 days if you need a visa] and how long the boat can stay without attracting tax/import issues [18 months].
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Old 19-04-2010, 20:28   #4
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The above is legally correct. The boat must leave the EU every 18 months, but this can be a one day trip to Morocco or a visit to any non-EU country. We were asked for this information a few times in our 3 years in Europe (USA flagged boat).

The rule that you can only be in the EU for 90 days out of every 180 days is the law. But even though our passports were checked in different countries only once was the fact that we had way overstayed our 90 days and that time the official let it pass. I think this was the expereince of many other non EU cruisers.
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Old 23-04-2010, 11:36   #5
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You also need to differentiate between 'the Med', countries within the EU and countries within Schengen. To state the obvious, the Med is a big place, with shores in Asia, Africa and Europe. By shifting about you can stay as long as you like - but visa runs may force you to cross bits of the sea at bad times.

The EU broadly says 90 for non-EU citizens. And it may be worth noting that just because a non-EU citizen has right of residence in, say, the UK, they do not have rights elsewhere in the EU.

Some countries within the EU have signed the Schengen Treaty which in effect removes internal border controls for goods and people. Therefore if you are moving within Schengen countries you may be liable to spot checks but not to specific border controls. As Jim says, you may be checked and get lucky - or you might not.

Proving dates may get more complicated unless you make sure you have airline tickets/date stamps etc. Morocco certainly stamps your passport in and out of every port.

As Jim also says, this is a different discussion from how long your boat may stay in the EU, or in commission within specific countries, without attracting various forms of tax.

Of course, rules can also be changed, so checking on websites of specific countries is also very useful.
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Old 23-04-2010, 11:46   #6
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Originally Posted by marina.alex View Post
How long can we stay in the Mediterranean as Canadians? I've heard as little as 90 days and as much as 18 of 24 months. Thanks in advance for any answers or suggestions of where to go to get one! Marina
You can stay 180 days a year and no more than 90 days at a time in Schengen countries without a visa. Your boat is a different question. I am assuming your boat is Canadian flagged and no EU VAT paid.

Not all Med countries are part of Schengen. Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, and all the Northern African countries are not Schengen. So you can sail across and sit out your 90 days in one of those places, if you like.

Your boat is subject to EU VAT rules plus local rules. If you (person, not boat) are in Spain for more than 180 days in a year, you have to pay a special tax on your boat. Other EU countries may have similar rules. If your boat (not you) is in the EU for more than 18 months (I think) at a time, you have to pay VAT on it. But you can solve this problem by leaving the EU even for one day. Note that solves one boat tax problem, not your Schengen visa problem, which is a whole different can of worms.
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Old 23-04-2010, 11:48   #7
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It's 90 days out of 180, so crossing the border to restart the clock doesn't work. I think the best bet is to get a long stay visa. There are a few non-EU countries which are a part of the Schengren Agreement also.
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Old 25-04-2010, 14:07   #8
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Tax, etc.

I'm not sure about the tax situation for non-EU citizens; as an EU citizen the general rule is that staying (as a person, not as a boat) in an EU country for more than 180 days in any one calendar year effectively converts one into a tax resident of that country with all that that implies (which varies from country to country, as does the enforcement).
From the VAT and customs points of view my understanding is as noted on my website VAT on boats and EU customs regulations - French Inland Waterways, Rivers and Canals Information Guide by Grehan - largely taken from what appears to be an authoritative source (reference given).

[edit]
The UK is not in Shengen. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement
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Old 27-04-2010, 12:41   #9
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Thank you everyone for your comments...extremely helpful! The boat we are not concerned about as it will be in the Mediterranean for less than 18 months. It is us that I'm still trying to get confirmed information on. In particular, does the Shengen Agreement supersede individual country requirements? We will not be in any one country for more than 90 days, and each country (what we've checked so far) does not require a Visa if you will stay less than 90 days.
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Old 27-04-2010, 16:21   #10
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The legal position is that for tourist visas, (or visa wavier countries) its 90 days collectively in all the countries in the schengen area. ( effectively the EU, exclusing UK & ireland + some extra countries). Its not 90 days in each country. Basically treat the schengen area like the US, with the countries like the US states.

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We will not be in any one country for more than 90 days, and each country (what we've checked so far) does not require a Visa if you will stay less than 90 days.
Yes the schengen rules override local countries rules. in effect in signing schengen they modified their domestic ones. note that if you belong to the list of visa wavier countries it doesnt change the stay rules. its just that you dont have to apply in advance for a schengen visa, one will be stamped into your passport on first entry in a schengen area country. again its 90 days in 180 collectively in all countries, not 90 days in each country.

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It's 90 days out of 180, so crossing the border to restart the clock doesn't work. I think the best bet is to get a long stay visa. There are a few non-EU countries which are a part of the Schengren Agreement also.
there are no long stay schengen visas. such a thing does not exist. individual EU and schengen area countries ( note the EU has taken over the schengen agreement) may have specific extended visas. but these only apply specifically to that one country. it does not give you extended stays in any other country schengen or otherwise.. most extended visas are study or work related are hence cannot be accessed by cruisers. most are extremely difficult to get.

Dave
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:38   #11
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Marina, dockhead and goboatingnow have it spot-on.

There are spot checks, more frequent in some countires than others. (Portugal, Spain, Italy) In my experience they are more interested in boats flagged in tax havens that have overstayed their time and can be charged VAT, but that's not to say you may be fined if you personally overstay, or have your passports stamped, and consequently not allowed back in. Better to sail out of the EU after 90 days and spend the next 90 in Tunisia, Croatia, Montenegro or Turkey, before returning.
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Old 05-05-2010, 16:14   #12
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What is the maximum stay in Israel? Do I need to see other Arab countries first? I hear some will not let you in once you stay in Israel...
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Old 05-05-2010, 16:28   #13
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Rumor used to be that if you were traveling to somewhere "unfriendly" after, Israeli officials could stamp an inserted piece of paper, or something removable instead of directly into your passport? But the world has changed since the person who claimed this was there, about 15 years ago.
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Old 05-05-2010, 19:36   #14
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It's great to finally have this cleared up. I'm going to have to change my plans but fortunately not so bad. Gibraltar, Malta, Turkey, and Croatia are not signatories of the agreement so I can cruise those areas for a couple months before and after in order to get 5 months of cruising in per year.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:44   #15
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newt, if you google 'east med rally' or 'red-med rally' there's a lot of information there about the east med states, and yes there are some issues travelling between them.
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