The Government plans to progress with its original plan on e-Borders
The RYA has expressed its disappointment in the announcement by the Government that the e-Borders scheme will come in to effect in 2014.
The Government is yet to detail exactly how the scheme will work for recreational boaters but it will be based on a system where those wishing to make a journey to or from the UK will need to report it on a dedicated website up to 24 hours before departure.
The RYA says: “We continue to maintain that implementing the e-Borders programme in the recreational boating sector would be an inappropriate, disproportionate, ineffective and inefficient mechanism for securing the sea border.
“The RYA has serious concerns that the e-Borders reporting methodology is simply not designed to accommodate the unscheduled activities of the recreational boating sector.
“In the absence of a carrier ticketing system, a passport ‘control line’ and attendant law enforcement assets, a system that relies on self-reporting by the law abiding majority is unlikely to present any meaningful challenge to those intent on avoiding detection at the border and the rationale for applying e-Borders controls across the geographic sea border is thus flawed.”
The Government has also failed to clear up the conflict between a scheme like e-Borders and the EU Treaty which states that people within the EU are entitled to free movement between countries.
Gus Lewis, head of government affairs for the RYA says: “If the e-Borders programme is to be implemented in the recreational boating sector then in our view the most appropriate, proportionate and cost-effective solution would be for only those persons who are not UK or EU citizens and who are on voyages outside the common travel area to be subject to a requirement to provide their details to the UK Border Agency.”
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