Guernsey Boat Owners Association - Brittany and Normandy Marinas

26th October 2022

The Brexit rules require that Schengen border arrival and departure requirements for third (non-EU) countries to be applied. This is to ensure visitors do not exceed 90 days within the last 180 days.

This is a simple rule but has had a massive impact on boating in the Channel Islands.

The French government set up Official Ports of Entry (PPF) for the Schengen area, where you had to “check in” before proceeding to other marinas and “check out” at the end of your trip.

The closest ports were Ouistreham (Caen), Cherbourg, Carteret, Granville, Saint Malo, Saint Brieuc (Le Legue), Roscoff and Brest.


In 2022 we saw the following developments

May - Saint Cast and Saint Quay were made Temporary Ports of Entry until September 2022. You could check into one and out of the other. Granville was also willing to check in and out visitors, mostly aligned with the ferry timetable.

The customs from Cherbourg were initially willing to visit Carteret and Dielette to check people in and out. After a few weeks, this became Carteret only.

July - Dielette, Port-Bail and most of the marinas from Saint Vaast towards Honfleur, introduced the rule that you just had to send in the forms before your arrival and departure and they would return your stamped form. A much more practical solution. Strangely this did not include Carteret which still required a visit the Ferry Terminal building.

This is a brief summary of the massive changes and the enormous work people put into trying to get the rules changed and keeping boaters informed of the rules and processes as they changed.

What does 2023 bring?

This is an unknown at the moment.

We are hoping Dielette and the other Normandy ports will remain with the policy of allowing the sending of your forms in advance and we hope this will be extended to Carteret.

We hope Saint Cast and Saint Quay will follow a similar approach for the whole of the year.

The year 2023 marks the delayed launch of two new EU travel systems – the EES entry and exit system and the ETIAS tourist visa system.

The EES system – scheduled to come into force in May 2023 – is a way of keeping track of visitors within the EU and will apply at all external Schengen borders, while ETIAS – scheduled for November 2023 – is a €7 travel visa for tourists.

While the EES system means a few seconds of extra time on passport scanning at airports, it may be a lot more disruptive at ports as the passports need to be scanned and people provide facial scans and fingerprints. Time will tell how these initiatives are implemented and the effect they have on our boating from the Channel Islands.

So, no clear answers, but do follow Digimap Marinas for further information or follow the Facebook site “Cruising in Company – Guernsey”