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Old 12-04-2013, 16:25   #226
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

I'm not sure if you "MUST" have health insurance. In the UK, urgent care of any kind is given out free of charge and no questions asked. If you plan to have a liver transplant during a port call, then of course, that's a different matter. I don't know about other EU countries.

A quick Google confirms that this is not just practice, but the official policy of the NHS in the UK:

"Emergency treatment

Regardless of how long you’re staying or your nationality, you’re entitled to free emergency NHS treatment from:
a primary care practice, such as a GP surgery
an A&E department
an NHS walk-in centre"

Am I entitled to NHS treatment when I visit England? - Health questions - NHS Choices

You have to pay if you are treated as an in-patient (ibid), that is, if whatever happens to you is so bad, that you end up hospitalized for it. But not for walk-in, walk-out emergency care, which is simply free.

I think it might in some cases be reasonable to self-insure for that, depending on your particular financial situation, and how far away your main health care system is,and how healthy you are.

I would wildly guess that other European countries have similar situations.
Yes and no, in Germany even though I was blue-lighted in , I had to pay for two nights accommodation ( this was about 12year ago) even though all the tests etc were free ( I think it was-bout 600 )

Nowadays for Europeans the E 111 card covers all that anyway.

Dave
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Old 12-04-2013, 16:31   #227
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I have done that in other countries. Long stay visa was exceptionally easy to obtain in Australia and very easy to obtain in Turkey. This thread is about what the OP asked. Seems a lot of people think that because I answered positively to his question (Yes, the rules are off-putting) that I am whining (or whinging or winging as the Brits and Ozzies use the term). My husband and I have already made our plans for the rest of our time in the Med so I am not looking for ways to get around the local requirements, although others have made many suggestions in this thread. I am not whining; just stating the situation as I see it and experience it. Hey, it's their country (actually supposed to be countries but want to be treated as one country in this regard) so they can do whatever they want and we will comply to their laws. Doesn't mean we have to like it; just that we comply.

Again, IMHO, American sailors would enjoy the Med experience more if they fly over and charter numerous times rather than sailing across.....unless they want to go to Turkey and stay there with a very easily obtainable long-stay visa. Or unless they like cold weather and want to go to England for winter.

Enough on this topic. It has gotten quite tedious.

Judy
Chartering is an extremely expensive and limiting option, its fine for a week or two in Greece or Turkey, but not practical to do extensive med coverage , its no substitute for having your own boat and covering the med in say 2 seasons, this can be done with 6 months in 12 so for a 18month trip , you can in fact stay legally 12 months in the Schengen , leaving 6 months to over winter /explore non Schengen.

Dave
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Old 12-04-2013, 16:37   #228
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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Off topic, but interesting! The chap with the rowboat -- a local hero -- had an outboard, but I'm not sure it lasted the whole way . . . still an extremely impressive feat of seamanship to get across the Channel in a small open boat -- it's not exactly the most benign piece of water in the world . . .

I love WWII history and always visit relevant museums wherever I go. The best ones are in Russia, logically, since most of the fighting took place there. But one of my most favorite ones in the West is the tunnel-museum on Jersey. This is unique because the Channel Islands were captured from the Germans with very little fighting, compared to other places, and a great volume of materiel and artifacts and buildings were left astonishingly intact. This museum -- and David can obviously tell you all a lot more about it than I can -- is built in a complex of tunnels which were used as an underground hospital by the Nazis, and which was captured intact including all the furniture and equipment. Other artifacts were brought from all around Jersey, and voila -- an amazing picture of how the Germans and Jerseymen lived during the occupation. They even have an intact Enigma machine in perfect condition. And a collection of Nazi motorcycles.

Highly recommended for cruisers who find themselves in the area!
Ya I agree, that is a cool story DOJ. Check out the 'Island at War' series from BBC. Not sure if you've seen that DOJ, but Dockhead, I also enjoy history and that is the only program I've ever seen that was set in the islands. Might not be good from an islanders perspective but interesting from my perspective, knowing little about the area save for all my beloved Jerseys and not-so-beloved Guernseys. Dockhead thanks for the tip on the museum- I'll file that away for my future adventures.
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Old 12-04-2013, 16:40   #229
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Chartering is an extremely expensive and limiting option, its fine for a week or two in Greece or Turkey, but not practical to do extensive med coverage , its no substitute for having your own boat and covering the med in say 2 seasons, this can be done with 6 months in 12 so for a 18month trip , you can in fact stay legally 12 months in the Schengen , leaving 6 months to over winter /explore non Schengen.

Dave
Expensive is relative to how much money you have.

I get the feeling Judy and the Mister aren't hurting.
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Old 12-04-2013, 19:44   #230
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

@dockhead: UK is not schengen.. and yes, emergency care is free in some/most countries , but most expect you to pay for an emergency flight out of there the next morning.

@K V B: You can travel freely, but it ain't legal to spend more than 90 of 180 days in other schengen countries , even if you have a one year VISA to France or Italy.

@goboatingnow: Yes , with a tourist visa , you can only stay for 90 days, but this is for nations outside the VISA waiver system.
With a C/D-card (School/family VISA) or a bluecard(work permit) you can stay for the full year in the relevant country and legally travel in the rest of schengen area, acording to the VISA waiver program regardless of wich country you come from.

You do need a residence in all countries, I think.. but it's cheap to rent a room in the mideterranean countries at the moment.. I plan to do so, even if I don't have to.

.manitu
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Old 12-04-2013, 23:56   #231
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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@K V B: You can travel freely, but it ain't legal to spend more than 90 of 180 days in other schengen countries , even if you have a one year VISA to France or Italy.
But there is no way for the authorities to actually check that. Once you are inside the Schengen area there are no longer any immigration controls. There is no way for some Italian or Spanish official to know that you've already used up your 90 days...
After the signing of the Schengen treaty we started to see airports getting divided in "domestic" and "international" sections in smalls countries too, just as already existed in bigger ones. So I flew to Spain once in the late 90ies, to discover upon arrival at my hotel in Barcelona that I actually didn't have a single piece of ID on me... Since 9/11 they again ask you for an ID at the airport, but that is not part of an immigration procedure, it's a security thing. Anyway, I've stopped flying within Europe anyway. There are no ID checks when travelling by train within the Schengen area.
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Old 13-04-2013, 00:30   #232
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

Last year we went from Jersey via Brittany to NW Spain and Portugal. After reading various threads on this forum I was very concerned that we entered France officially as I was worried about being "illegal" in Spain and Portugal.

The French immigration agents couldn't have been more helpful but seemed amused that we were worried about getting our passports stamped and in the three months we were in Spain and Portugal no one expressed the slightest interest in our immigration status.

Some marinas wanted to see our passports, some didn't, but those that did only wanted them for ID purposes and our French entry (i.e. Schengen) stamp was of no interest.

I'm not suggesting that anyone shouldn't do everything possible to enter the EU legally, and I will do the same again, but certainly, for the areas we were in, some concerns seem a little over-blown
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Old 26-04-2013, 13:56   #233
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I just don't have the time to cruise.I just go sail my boat and enjoy myself. I have a big pair of scissor's to cut any red tape and my visa card can cure most problem's.lol
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Old 13-05-2013, 00:22   #234
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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There is no need to go anywhere to reset the VAT clock. In practice , if you are in the EU for this type of time, you alomost inevitably have (a) gone outside teh EU territorial limit and (b) moved country. Since there is no register of TIR , no oversight, no inspection, You can just draw a line on a chart etc. The official has to prove you where inside for that time otherwise. ( The directive does not specify that you must prove anything).

Look, for non EU boats, VAT just isnt an issue,period ( it never was anyway) , it brought up by people that perceive issues that arnt there , or listen to internet gossip or mis-construe other issues as VAT issues.

Just listen to the first experiences of US cruisers on this forum that have been there.

Dave
You've never heard of any VAT issues first hand? Well, that may change. We own a US flagged boat, have sailed the Med for over 7 years. We have always followed the 18 month VAT rules and always keep receipts. We have been boarded by the French at least 10 times over the 7 years to show proof that we have in fact been out of the EU. We were last out in Channel Islands 11 months ago, left our boat in Portugal this winter and just received a bill from the Portuguese Government telling us we owe VAT for our boat as well as our dinghy. We'll see how it goes...
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Old 13-05-2013, 02:09   #235
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

good luck with that mate, keep us updates how it goes. In my experience the Portuguese were the most concerned with dotting the i's and crossing the t's with visa /registration/passport details
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Old 13-05-2013, 03:24   #236
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I guess in theory what you do is turn up at the offices of the folks who sent you the bill (Customs) armed with boat paperwork (and bills for mooring outside the EU), plus likely own Passports / Visas / documents showing you are resident elsewhere (if they show you have also not been in the EU!) to demonstrate that no VAT is due on the boat as it has not been in the EU long enough and you are not an EU resident (including by accident!).

In theory!, let us know how it goes in practice.

What you are likely having to do is demonstrate that you are not one of the (many?) folks (EU and non EU) who have been in Portugal for years on a boat and regard a fair share of tax payable as solely the duty on beer consumed.......
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Old 13-05-2013, 03:57   #237
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

Portugal is in the middle of a big clamp down on ex-pat boats, partially as a result of the economic situation and partially because officials are trying to justify their position. Its not a good country to get entangle with officialdom.

( They also seem to trying to bill everyone irrespective often based on poor records)

As for the french checking you 10 times in 7 years, Im quite frankly stunned, You must be on a watch list or something. Ive never heard of anything like that especially for non EU boats ( as there are so many exemptions its never worth checking).

dave
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Old 13-05-2013, 10:03   #238
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

We have about 10 people trying to help right now, trying to get supporting documentation from various other EU countries stating their VAT policy. No one has been successful as of yet - no one wants to (or can't) give out their VAT rules on paper. The marina in Jersey gave us a great letter stating that we were in their marina last May and that the Channel Islands is out of the EU. This proof, plus many quotes of the EU regulations have been sent to Customs in Portugal. The marina staff where our boat is located is trying to help, but nothing has been resolved yet. The next step maybe a premature flight back to Portugal, hiring a lawyer and contacting the US Embassy.

As for France, this is a known issue in our sailing circles. We used to laugh at our other Non EU flagged friends when they were boarded (one was even underway) - until it started happening to us. In the South of France, we were checked on our VAT status 3 times in 2 weeks. Simply showing them our marina receipts from Croatia was usually enough to get them to leave. On occasion, they will also search the entire boat, but this was rare. I have watched Customs travel from non EU boat to non EU boat in a anchorage in Nice, checking for proof.

Schengen we don't take too seriously, but VAT, we always get out within the 18 months, with a paper trail.
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Old 13-05-2013, 10:47   #239
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I thought VAT rules were country-specific, not EU specific.
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Old 13-05-2013, 11:12   #240
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

We thought that they were put out by the EU Commission - just interpreted differently by each country, if not each individual customs agent
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