Brexit FAQ

Our most asked questions answered

  Brexit FAQ  

Read answers to the most common questions we're asked from our new students in regards to Brexit

Frequently asked questions


Check your passport. - as from 1 January onwards, British travellers will need at least six months left on their passports in order to travel to Europe.. Your passport will also need to be less than 10 years old, even if it has six months or more left.

Border Control

From New Year's Day, UK nationals arriving at EU border controls might also need to show a return or onward ticket, show they have enough money for their stay, and use separate lanes from EU citizens when queuing. If you are planning to stay in an EU country for longer than 90 days you may need to apply for a visa or permit.


At present, it is still unclear whether British travellers will be barred from visiting EU countries from 1 January due to the bloc's COVID-19 restrictions. Non-essential travel is currently only allowed into the EU from a very limited number of non-EU countries who have low coronavirus infection rates. Once the Brexit transition period ends, rules permitting free travel within the bloc cease to apply to Britons.

Remember! If you have to cancel your sailing trip with us for ANY reason related to Covid-19, you will never lose any money paid. Instead you will be issued with a voucher which can be redeemed at any time in the future with no expiry date. It is also transferable to friends or family.


Make sure that you have appropriate travel insurance - with healthcare cover - before heading abroad. This is because, beyond 31 December, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid for most people. Currently, a prescription made out by a UK doctor is valid in all EU countries. This may no longer be the case beyond 31 December.

Driving in the EU

If you want to drive whilst you are here you should get an international driving permit (IDP). This can be bought from the Post Office for £5.50.

You should also carry a "green card" - which is proof of motor insurance - when driving in the EU, including in Ireland, from 1 January. These can be obtained from insurance providers six weeks before travel.

Taking your pets abroad

Ok so you probably wont be bringing your cat sailing with you but if you are here for an extended period and want to bring the family pet then you will need to make some additional arrangements. These include having a pet passport, having your pet microchipped, and having your pet vaccinated against rabies. However, from 1 January, it is unclear what rules will apply to Britons taking their pets abroad to the EU, meaning pet passports could no longer be valid.

Using your mobile phone while in the EU

Currently, there are no extra charges for data roaming on mobile phones when Britons travel to an EU country. However, this could change from 1 January depending on the terms of the UK's future relationship with the EU. This means Britons cannot continue to use mobile data services when roaming unless they actively choose to continue spending.

Some mobile operators - Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone - have said they have no current plans to change their mobile roaming policies next year. Meanwhile, the government has legislated to protect Britons from unexpected charges from 1 January, with a £45 per month limit on mobile data usage charges while abroad.

Legislation also ensures that consumers will continue to receive alerts when they are at 80% and 100% data usage.

Operators will be required to take reasonable steps to protect their customers from paying roaming charges for inadvertently accessing roaming services.

RYA Licenses

Finally a word about RYA licenses and the International Certificate of Competence. The issue of these licenses, and their acceptance by countries around the world is nothing to do with the European Union and therefore will not be affected by Brexit. The RYA continues to be recognised worldwide as the highest standard in certification for recreational boaters.

The International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC) is not an EU document. It is issued under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport Resolution 40. It is this resolution which details how and to whom the ICC may be issued, the syllabus requirements, the layout of the certificate and it also lists the countries which have notified the UNECE Secretariat that they have accepted the resolution. The UK Government has accepted Resolution 40 and has authorised the RYA to issue the ICC on its behalf.

If the EU was to develop a skipper licensing directive or regulation for private pleasure craft at some point in the future, acceptance of the ICC in EU countries might change. But at this stage we have no reason to suspect that acceptance of the ICC, in countries that have adopted Resolution 40, might change as a direct consequence of the transition period ending.

Marbella Sailing School is not just about being out on the water. Part of the RYA curriculum includes theory-based courses and vital skill training including First Aid & VHF Courses.

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Calle Guadalete 9C, Local 1
29603, Marbella,
Malaga, Spain

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