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Old 24-03-2014, 12:02   #46
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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With such powerful bonds, I find it hard that the US and EU can't come to some semblance of a civilized agreement.
You would think that , but I draw you attention to the huge furore thats the US demands on advance passenger notification created in Europe. The current US obsession with internal fortress US has created enormous difficulties in reaching such agreements. The US continually treats EU countries like parts of the third world. This then tends to bring on rebound actions.

9/11 had some very unfortunate effects, restrictions on travel being one of the major ones.

I don't see it changing any day soon. ( unless we all give Ukrainians free passage !)

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Old 24-03-2014, 12:04   #47
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Let me rephrase, what could they and/or likely do?
immigration have of course, considerable powers, and constitutional protections are usually not afforded to"illegal immigrants"

SO, in extremis, jail,deportation, fines and permanent bans from the EU.

BUT that has not been the case for "innocent overstays", especially amongst nice white anglo-saxon types cruising expensive yachts, etc etc etc ,

of course the US could simply apply to join the EU, ( your social spending nows is about the same ) I mean we have half the friggin place in here already and Vald is pushing the rest in as fast as they can!!!.
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Old 24-03-2014, 12:18   #48
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

I have to admit i have been sitting and laughing at this thread on how many times do we have to discuss what length of stay you can stay in Schengen countries, there are so many cruisers out there (non eu) who leave turkey and go across to greece and and sail around the Islands and then head up to Italy and where ever with out ever checking into that country i have a friend who since 19th of april last year has now spent 267 days in schengen countries and has been in Italy now continuously for past 94 days with out a problem no slap on wrists no fines no black marks in passport etc

Its a no brainer if you don't like the rules then go else where, where they suit you
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Old 24-03-2014, 12:27   #49
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

I agree, and thats what I said, oversight in the EU of yachts is very minimal, Its the biggest sailing boat area in the world . Hence the practical situation is not as draconian as the rules would suggest. You just have to accept the ambiguity. Some can handle that, others want everything written down in stone.

Sail on

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Old 24-03-2014, 12:32   #50
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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BUT that has not been the case for "innocent overstays", especially amongst nice white anglo-saxon types cruising expensive yachts, etc etc etc ,
I don't really believe cruisers are doing "innocent overstays", I bet they all do it on purpose. While we don't seem to hear of a lot of people getting into trouble, if this is potential revenue to countries I would bet they are going to start looking to collect it.

So I'm not sure I would be willing to just go and ignore it.
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Old 24-03-2014, 12:41   #51
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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I don't really believe cruisers are doing "innocent overstays", I bet they all do it on purpose. While we don't seem to hear of a lot of people getting into trouble, if this is potential revenue to countries I would bet they are going to start looking to collect it.

So I'm not sure I would be willing to just go and ignore it.
What is meant by innocent overstays , is that there is no intent to become an illegal immigrant. if you turn up overstaying , with your possessions in a sack, then the attitude is a little different.

The EU has a much less draconian immigration process then the US and especially in the Med on a sailboat boat , in countries like france, italy and spain, where you typically pull into a marina ( that has no immigration facilities) or anchor, there is effectively no control of "yachts"

Theres no revenue from chasing nice men in their yachts in reality and its not a big feature of daily life so to speak.

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So I'm not sure I would be willing to just go and ignore it
Yes thats the key, some do and live with it, and some want certainty, we don't do certainty very well !.


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Old 24-03-2014, 13:05   #52
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

Gentlemen,

It might be worth it for you to peruse the links I attached in the original post. The links talk about setting up an automated system for checking length of stay *upon exit*. While it's true that up to now in general officials closed their eyes on yachties, the automated system won't make this sort of distinction. Granted that most likely it'll be installed at airports and commercial passenger ports first, but how many of us fly during the course of our travels.

It pays to be careful.
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Old 24-03-2014, 14:28   #53
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Schengen rules have changed

I wouldn't quite worry about SiS 2 , VIS or EURSUR just quite yet. !! ( or tomorrow either ! )

Given the lack of a requirement ( with one or two exceptions ) for exit clearance for yachts I can't see two and two being added up to four any day soon ( or 90 either ) lol

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Old 24-03-2014, 14:46   #54
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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Theres no revenue from chasing nice men in their yachts in reality and its not a big feature of daily life so to speak.
Exactly. Technically, whenever we leave the inland waters of The Netherlands, we leave the Schengen area. As soon as we pass the sluice and head for sea, we have to bring our passports and a crew list. Officially we have to report (by telephone or any other way) at the customs office every time when we get in again. So far the theory.

In practice, some sailors bring their passports, most don't (except when sailing to another country, then it's required) and only very few carry a crew list. I have never heard of anyone ever report in at the customs. Most wouldn't even know where to report. Given the hundreds of boats who head out for sea in the high season, I think our customs officers are *very* glad that we don't. However, there are regular reports of yacht being checked by the Coast Guard at full sea, mainly to stop drugs trafficking. Mind you, I am not telling you that a non-Schengen yacht should not report in, but as said above, the rules are not enforced very strict.

There is an old Dutch saying for this situation: "The soup isn't always eaten as hot as it is served"
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Old 24-03-2014, 15:03   #55
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

I think what many from outside the EU and especially those in the US, looking into the EU , perhaps see rules and ponder. What I think most don't realise, especially those that haven't visited the med under sail or in fact anywhere in Europe, is the sheer amount of boats and boat movements, especially in the summer. This is the planets biggest concentration of such vessels.

Hence,in reality, maritime authorities really don't want to be bothered, sure on occasion stuff happens, but often its related to something else.

Thats not to say you can fall foul, certainly you don't "wave things in their face" so to speak.

BUt the reality is that on there ground , these rules are not strictly enforced nor do the authorities want to. I mean have we actually ever had a first time account of a Schengen violation issue for a yachtie


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Old 24-03-2014, 15:26   #56
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
BUt the reality is that on there ground , these rules are not strictly enforced nor do the authorities want to. I mean have we actually ever had a first time account of a Schengen violation issue for a yachtie


dave

I believe we did have a thread last year, and it wasn't pretty! Seems all that is needed is to run across a port official with a hair up their rear.

I'm just trying to be informed and don't want to play roulette with it.
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Old 24-03-2014, 16:07   #57
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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I believe we did have a thread last year, and it wasn't pretty! Seems all that is needed is to run across a port official with a hair up their rear.

I'm just trying to be informed and don't want to play roulette with it.
Then I missed it or did it happen ?

In my experience of clamp downs, its usually something else that caused an issue and it rippled into these types of things.

I mean think about it, In Europe , especially in the western med, if you actually can get a berth, you go into yacht marina, you do not enter a commercial harbour. In a yachts marina, the pleasant girl on reception thats a photocopy of your passport ( for ID), Your registration ( so they can determine your length to bill you ) and your insurance details ( cause the marina needs it). Of all the things that might stop you is actually the insurance!.

AT no point have you yet met an immigration authority. So unless you go off searching for him or her, you'll never likely actually check in. There you stay until the budget blows up ( 2-3 days) and you're of with a smile.

Half the time your on anchor in a bay, none is looking for your passport.

Yes if you want to stay for long periods then it can become an issue. But to cruise round the Med, The reality is as was pointed out a few posts ago, the people actually doing it are just laughing at this debate.


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Old 24-03-2014, 16:50   #58
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

some real world experience...

arriving in Portugal, not so likely yo be checked at anchor as other countries, but all marinas have a marina desk, and adjacent to the desk a full time immigration desk. They WILL check your foreign passport and they WILL count the days inside the schengen zone. They will also probbaly give you a lecture about how you have X amount of days left and if you overstayed I don't doubt they would eject you on the next flight along with fines, vessel impounding etc.

Arriving in Spain, the marinas don't have immigration on site but they are required to notify immigration. They will ask you to stay on board till the immigration officer arrives to check your documents. Spain is also more likely to board you while at anchor or sailing as they have a more on water staff and a lot of customs vessels patrolling the areas. Spanish officials generally seem very friendly and are mainly interested in completing there paperwork quota, unlike the Portuguese who seem very eager to bust someone.

French are somewhere between the Spanish and Portuguese and have a similar size customs fleet to the Spanish. You are very likely to be boarded at anchor or en route and they will check your documents. They will count your days inside the zone and explain how many days you have remaining.

Italians, much less likely to board you but some ports have a large immigration staff on site. They will board any foreign vessels and ask you to come to the office with documents and paperwork to check. They tend to argue among themselves about how the forms should be filled in, waving their hands about in typical Italian style. This can be a bit unnerving as its always in Italian or very broken English when they nominate the one with the best English to explain something or ask a question. Usually in the end they get frustrated and throw their paperwork in the bin..

After 2 seasons sailing in the Med I think we were boarded and checked about 5 times by the French, 5 or six by the Spanish, none by the Italians or Portuguese as they tend to handle things on land. I am positive if my documents weren't in order I would have been deported, probably with a 5yr ban from reentering the EU.

The first season we managed with a 12 month french visa which was difficult to get, but made easier as Jen is French. The second season we went to Croatia after 3 months in France and Italy. This year is undecided but I will apply for a cart de sejour for France.

It really is a PITA but it is also worthwhile...

Applying from Australia for a 12 month visa is pretty difficult as well. You have to fly to Sydney after making an appointment, then a meeting in France, Doctors checkups, and 1000 euro later you might have a Visa.
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Old 24-03-2014, 17:56   #59
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

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After 2 seasons sailing in the Med I think we were boarded and checked about 5 times by the French, 5 or six by the Spanish, none by the Italians or Portuguese as they tend to handle things on land. I am positive if my documents weren't in order I would have been deported, probably with a 5yr ban from reentering the EU.
Jeppers, I haven't seen that many boardings at sea in the Med in 20 years sailing there. I anchored in bays for days with cruisers I know hadn't checked in, no-one bothered.

I cant remember the last time Ive seen a immigration desk at a marina in france, Ive never seen an Italian one, despite been all over the place, Spain often has no-one too. Ive not seen any Spainish on-water staff neither ( only close to major ports)

Yes in Portugal and in Greece, there are the remnants of rubber stamp officials everywhere. As also when you go into commercial ports, you do come in contact.

I find it hard to believe your experience is usual. did you piss someone off. talking to others I never seen a cruiser boarded as much as you.

Ive been boarded of Atlantic France a few times, but always cause it was off season and a yacht is suspicious and it was always drugs.

Portugal is a problem for paperwork in general, grrrrrr

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Old 24-03-2014, 18:57   #60
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Re: Schengen rules have changed

Yeah Dave I think the major difference is the flag you are flying doesn't attract as much attention. We have an AIS transponer on board and I think that actually lessens suspicion from the authorities. At sea they can check our details without us even knowing and most people doing illegal activities wouldn't be transmitting vessel details and position. Ports closer to entry/exit routes tend to be more officious.

The Italian example I used was departing Otranto for Croatia is a large coast gaurd office that interrogated every new arrival, as well as Arriving in Italy from Croatia at Trani we had police, customs and coast guard all on board arguing among themselves about the legalities. Fortunately we had a lot of assistance from a local translator who knew more about the rules and regulations than the officials.

The last French boarding was sailing off the calanques they came alongside while we were en route, passed over a fishing net to take the vessel documents and after reviewing them told us they wanted to board when we arrived at our destination. They followed us for 45mins till we dropped anchor and came aboard for a quick inspection. They were nice enough and again explained the Schengen rules.

In most cases they have been friendly enough and we always have all our documents together in a folder with copies of all in case they request them, but I believe they are all well versed in the Shengen rules and wouldn't be so nice if they found you to be outside those rules.

We sailed the last 2 seasons from March to November, so averaging 2-3 boarding's per year isn't really much. We usually have a chat and ask about nearby anchorages etc. We probably anchor 80% of the time.

Portugal and Gibraltar were the only countries interested in our French dogs Pet Passport and vaccination certificates...
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