BREXIT GUIDE FOR TRAVEL FROM THE EU TO THE UK
The UK’s transition period for exiting the EU ends on the 31 December 2020. There will be new travel requirements in place for UK citizens visiting Europe and for EU nationals visiting the UK.
We recommend following the official UK government guidance before travelling to the UK. This can be found here.
At DFDS, it’s business as usual. You can rest assured that your ferry crossing will go smoothly and that you can book your upcoming trips with confidence.
Passengers will continue to be able to enjoy the comfort and safety of travel by ferry to and from the UK, regardless of the UK’s agreement with the EU post 31 December 2020.
After the transition period there will likely be some changes to travel requirements to the UK which we have highlighted below and in the following sections. The guidance is designed to help you travel with confidence into 2021 and beyond.
Will Brexit affect my booking?
No. Brexit will not affect your booking and you can still travel with confidence with DFDS.
You may need to check the following:
- Your passport has at least 6 months validity
- You have travel insurance which covers your healthcare
- You have the right driving documents and insurance for your vehicle
- Pet travel is organised if you are looking to take your pet to the UK with you as you need to contact your vet at least 1 month before you go
More details about this can be found in the sections below and on the official government website here.
Will my current passport be valid for travel to Europe after Brexit?
Existing red European passports issued to British citizens will continue to be valid for up to ten years (for an adult) from its original issue, or five years for a child.
British traveller’s passports must meet 2 requirements:
- Less than 10 years old on the day you enter the EU. Please check the date of issue on the passport.
- Valid for at least 3 months after the day you depart the EU. Bearing in mind the above the passport should not be more than 9 years 9 months by the time you depart EU. This may differ for travel to and from countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area. Find out more here.
If you are unsure whether or not your passport is valid, you can use a tool from the UK Government to check its validity: https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-for-travel-to-europe
Travel to the Republic of Ireland from the UK is subject to separate Common Travel Area arrangements, which only requires photo ID as a valid travel document to travel between the countries..
Can EU citizens still travel to the UK with an ID Card?
What you need to enter the UK
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen:
Irish citizens can continue to enter and live in the UK.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. In other cases, find out if you need to apply for a visa to enter the UK.
You can cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can continue to use the automatic ePassport gates to pass through the border on arrival.
Since 1 October 2021 you cannot use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK unless you:
- have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man’s settlement schemes
- have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit, or the equivalent from Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man
- have a frontier worker permit
- are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
- are a Swiss national and have a Service Provider from Switzerland visa
In these cases, you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025.
If you’re waiting for a decision on your application for settled or pre-settled status:
You can still use your EEA or Swiss national identity card to enter the UK if all of the following are true:
- you’ve applied for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man’s settlement schemes
- you’ve been issued with confirmation your application is valid
- you’re not applying as a joining family member
Other types of cards
British citizens can continue to use a Gibraltar identity card to travel to the UK.
Irish citizens can continue to use a passport card to travel to the UK.
You must have the correct documents to show at the UK border if you’re travelling to the UK. You cannot use any documents to enter the UK that are not listed here.
How can I renew my passport?
If your UK passports is 10 years old or over, or if it has less than three months validity for travel, you will need to renew it before you travel. The easiest and quickest way to renew your passport is to use one of the online services: https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport
You should allow up to 10 weeks for your new passport when applying from the UK. Updated processing times for overseas applications will vary.
If you are visiting the UK make sure you:
- bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you
- have travel insurance that covers the duration of your trip – an EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance because it does not cover everything
The government advises visitors to the UK to take out travel insurance. This means that you can reclaim any healthcare costs you are required to pay from your insurer.
Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare coverage to make sure you can get the treatment you need during your visit.
European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)
There will be no changes to healthcare access for residents of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who visit the UK before the end of 2020.
You can continue to use your EHIC until the end of 2020 as you do now. Make sure you bring your EHIC with you when visiting the UK
Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel to the UK.
__School travellers entering the UK and Visa requirements __
Check UK government guidance for school children entering the UK as part of a school group, which covers school children who are of a non-EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.
This explains the steps leaders of school parties must take before bringing school children to the UK as part of a school group from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, if they would normally need a visa to enter the UK.
In the event of a No Deal driving licences may no longer be valid by themselves, and an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be necessary.
Anyone travelling immediately before or after March 29th, should consider obtaining the relevant IDP before travelling, as a precaution. The cost of an IDP is £5.50 and can be made via the Post Office.
For more information and guidance on driving in the EU go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-drive-in-the-eu-after-brexit
Can I still take my pet on holiday with me?
Yes, and ferries are a particularly pet-friendly means of transport often offering dedicated facilities for pet owners.
When the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the UK will become a Part 2 listed third country in the EU Pet Travel Scheme.
This means the EU Pet Passport will no longer be valid for pets travelling from the UK to the EU. A Health Certificate for your pet will need to be issued 10 days before entering the EU which will be valid for return within 4 months. A new certificate will be required each time you travel.
For pets travelling from the EU into the UK, the EU Pet Passport will still be accepted.
Detailed guidance from the Government on pet travel after the transition period ends can be found here.
Click here for further information on the current PET Travel Scheme: http://apha.defra.gov.uk/External_OV_Instructions/Export_Instructions/Certification_Procedures/Small_Animal_Exports/index.htm
Click here for our advice on travelling safely with your dog: https://www.discoverferries.com/travel-information/taking-dog-ferry/
Will there be long queues at ports for tourist traffic?
We are confident that passengers travelling from Europe to the UK for leisure purposes will not experience many changes to the way they currently travel through the ferry ports, as long as you have the correct documentation (valid passport, insurance, driving permit etc.)
When travelling to the United Kingdom and from there back to Europe, there may therefore be longer waiting times at border checkpoints due to customs checks.
Bringing goods into the UK
You can bring some goods from abroad without having to pay UK tax or ‘duty’ (customs charges), as long as they’re for your own use.
If you’re coming:
- from a European Union (EU) country you can bring in an unlimited amount of most goods
- from outside the EU you can only bring in a certain amount without paying duty or tax - up to your duty-free allowance
Bringing goods into the EU
From 23:00 on 31 December 2020, you can no longer take products of animal origin into the EU in your luggage, vehicle, or person. This includes any products containing meat or dairy, or plants and plant products. There are certain exemptions to this rule for quantities of powdered infant milk, infant food, confectionary, specialised foods and pet feed. If your item is not exempt, please consume or dispose of these items before reaching the EU border, otherwise you may be fined or prosecuted by the EU.
Merchandise in baggage
There will be a new process at airports, roll on roll off ports and Eurostar terminals from January 2021. This will allow traders to declare merchandise in baggage being imported from the EU to the UK in advance.
Controls on cash
Individuals travelling from the EU to the UK with £10,000 or more in cash will need to make a declaration. Find out about taking cash in and out of the UK.
For the time being, there are no roaming charges to pay. However, if roaming charges are introduced, EU mobile operators are obliged to inform their customers of any roaming costs incurred when travelling to the UK.
Please check with your mobile phone provider before your trip.
From January 2021 if you are travelling from the UK to the EU and vice versa you will be able to take advantage of duty-free and tax-free shopping on board your ferry.
Our Ferry Routes