Is it applicable to leisure boaters?

The RYA have raised concerns over the UK Government’s e-Borders programme.

The programme is already being rolled out in the commercial travel sectors, but the RYA do not believe it is entirely applicable to recreational boating.

RYA legal boss Gus Lewis says: “The RYA do not support the UK Border Agency’s proposals to extend the application of the e-Borders programme to recreational boaters and consider that any sea border security programme should be intelligence-led rather than involving blanket monitoring of all cross-border movement.”

The RYA believe that any proposal to secure the UK sea border in relation to recreational boating will only work if it does not:

? impose unfair or unreasonable restrictions on boaters

? criminalise law-abiding citizens when they take action in the face of adverse conditions

? impact on the safety of navigation.

It must therefore be simple and have the support of boaters to be effective, they say.

The Government made its commitment to e-Borders in its 2005 General Election Manifesto to implement an electronic borders security programme.

The RYA have been in talks on the subject from the outset, and say: “There are few people that would object to the principle that the Government should seek to secure the UK sea border against terrorist and organised criminal activity. However, the serious concerns are over the mechanism that the Government appears to intend to adopt.”

Gus says: “Our role is critical. We need to stay engaged with the Agency in order to best serve our members and the recreational boating community as a whole. Without our engagement it may, through ignorance of the recreational boating sector implement a completely inappropriate scheme that could be disastrous for us all”.

Click here for more on the RYA’s lobbying on e-borders and other matters.