French Ports Commmunique

The Directorate General of Customs and Excise Duties (DGDDI -La direction générale des douanes et droits indirects), the National Federation of border police (DNPAF – La direction nationale de la police aux frontières, the French Federation of Marinas (FFPP – La fédération française des ports de plaisance), have all signed a national protocol of co-operation facilitating the arrival of sailors arriving from abroad.

The “Schengen border control” states that frontiers can be passed through at specific passage points (PPF – points de passage frontaliers) at fixed opening times only. Regarding therefore the length of the French coast, the inappropriateness of certain PPF infrastructures for welcoming sailors, as well as the post-Brexit difficulties, the FFPP, the DGDDI and the DNPAF, have established a more robust platform in order to ease communication and information flow (including follow up), granting 53 marinas – non-PPF ports – permission to welcome boats coming from abroad.

For this to happen:

  • the persons present on board the boat must (1) inform the Harbour authority before arrival and (2) be authorized to arrive at said port ;
  • the persons must hand in the specific form, giving details of the persons on board as well as the technical characteristics of the boat. This information must be given to the Harbour authority 24 hours before arrival when the trip is less than 24 hours long, and at the latest when the boat departs from a port which is outside of Schengen countries. The port authority will immediately transmit such information to the designated PPF port.

Within the framework of this protocol, the marinas concerned will undertake to send all such information concerning the persons aboard wishing to enter French territory to the border authorities. Carrying out such checks on people at borders – itself a fundamental mission –  falls within the exclusive domain of the specifically designated border guard, namely the services of DNPAF and DGDDI. This protocol does not concern French overseas territories who are not concerned by the Schengen agreement.

FFPP President Michaël Quernez’s reaction :

“This protocol is the fruit of much hard work undertaken by the FFPP and its administrators. I wish to thank the very constructive approach carried out by the DGDDI and the DNPAF who within a complex geopolitical situation listened with care and attention to the concerns expressed by the harbour authorities. Effectively, many sailors, notably the English, in a post-Brexit world, were no longer coming to France, nor indeed were French sailors visiting the UK. This situation meant there was a huge drop in visitors to our ports and our shoreline. This present protocol has in a robust and pragmatic manner eased the entry and departure of sailors within the Schengen countries. It shows a strong commitment by the harbour authorities and the FFPP who have worked to ensure this protocol will last.

For a full list of ports, please click here!