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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

A temporary concession has been introduced for British or Channel Island nationals wishing to visit the ports of Saint Cast and Saint Quay in France.

The concessions will run for the 2022 summer season now under way and which concludes on 30 September, the RYA says.

Recreational boaters wishing to visit Brittany via the ports of Saint Quay or Saint Cast will be required to complete a modified Declaration of Arrival/Departure form.

On Arrival
Recreational boaters planning to visit either of the ports will be required to complete the Declaration of Arrival form, one form is necessary per boat. These must be completed and sent to the marina office email address displayed on the form. The marina office will then forward the completed document to the maritime authorities in Saint-Brieuc for processing.

Once the form has been validated by the authorities, a copy will be returned to the marina office, who will then return it to the boat concerned. This copy should then be kept on-board at all times during the period that the boat remains in the Schengen Area so as to be available in the event of a customs visit, on land or at sea. The boat will then be cleared to sail elsewhere in Brittany.

Boaters are advised note that if entry into the Schengen Area is via the Brittany ports of Saint-Quay or Saint-Cast, then departure from the Schengen Area of Brittany must also be via either of these two ports.

On departure
Recreational boaters wishing via the ports of Saint-Quay or Saint-Cast must download and complete the modified Declaration of Departure document. Similarly, one copy only is needed per boat and should be completed and sent to the email address of the departure marina. The marina office will then forward the completed document to the authorities in Saint-Brieuc. Once validated, a copy will be returned to the marina for onward transmission to the boat concerned. The boat will then be clear to leave the Schengen Area.

For further information, visit the Port D’Armor website, where you can also download a copy of the Arrival/Departure form.
 
Find further general information about cruising abroad on the Boating Abroad hub page. Further questions can be directed by email to [email protected]

Published in Cruising
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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has today (Tuesday 21 June) announced an extension of the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam trawl fleets to include the month of November 2022.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-up Scheme, with some modifications, and aims to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The scheme delivers on a recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – ‘Navigating Change’ (October 2021) and is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022, Minister McConalogue modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months — thereby freeing up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet.

However, vessels choosing to tie up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October

Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew.

As previously reported, the minister made a formal request to the European Commission to amend the approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie-up option.

An official response was received today with no objections to the scheme as amended, on the grounds that it is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

“I am pleased to have secured this extension of the time frame allowable for the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Tie-up Scheme,” Minister McConalogue said. “The third option of an August/November tie-up is key to the industry’s ability to manage and maintain the supply of fish to all its customers throughout the six month period of the tie-up scheme.

“This extension has been sought by industry and I welcome their responsiveness to learnings from the experiences of the 2021 scheme.”

The scheme will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and further details will be published by BIM shortly.

Published in Fishing
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The 19th and latest edition of the Irish Maritime Transport Economist, a report produced by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) on Ireland’s maritime freight industry, has been published today (Monday 23 May) and makes for encouraging reading for the ports and shipping sector.

This edition reports on 2021, a year marked by the reorganisation of Irish supply chains following the end of the Brexit transition period, and a rebounding of demand in port traffic as COVID-19 restrictions were gradually eased.

The year under review was one of significant change in the RoRo freight market. With the end of the Brexit transition period came a surge in the demand for services on direct routes between Irish ports and mainland European ports.

RoRo traffic on these services rose by 94% compared to 2020. This demand was driven largely by a reduction in the use of the UK Landbridge. RoRo traffic to ports in Great Britain declined by 22% as a result of the shift in Landbridge traffic and also the redirection of Northern Irish traffic from ports in the Republic of Ireland to services through Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint.

Direct EU traffic now represents one third of all RoRo volume, compared to 17% in recent years. In addition, LoLo traffic, the majority of which moves on direct routes to mainland Europe, increased to record levels, growing by 11% to just under 1.2m TEU’s.

Last year was also one of resurgent demand for Irish port traffic, as COVID-19 restrictions were gradually lifted and economic activity began its return towards pre-pandemic levels.

Break bulk traffic, made up largely of construction materials, rose significantly as Ireland’s construction industry regained momentum. Liquid bulk volumes increased gradually throughout the year and by the fourth quarter, were back at 2019 volumes.

In the RoRo passenger sector, numbers began to rise rapidly following the introduction of the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate which facilitated a return to international travel. 

And in the RoRo market, the number of weekly sailings to mainland European ports rose from 30 sailings per week to more than 60 at different points throughout the year. Two new entrants arrived into the RoRo market in 2021, such that now there are six shipping companies offering 13 different direct RoRo services to mainland EU ports, increasing capacity in what is a dynamic and competitive market. 

Commenting on the 19th edition of the IMTE, Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for International and Road Transport and Logistics, said: “I commend all stakeholders who contributed to the Brexit response and would like to express my appreciation for their efforts in maintaining Ireland’s connectivity to both GB and European markets.

“Ireland’s maritime industry was instrumental in maintaining a strong, connected economy throughout the monumental challenges of Brexit and COVID-19. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the ports and shipping sectors and express my thanks for the invaluable services they provide.”

Liam Lacey, director of the IMDO, commented on the year ahead: “There are many reasons to be positive about the future of the Irish shipping industry. Demand is expected to rise further in 2022 as the effects of COVID-19 dissipate, and the period of greatest Brexit-related uncertainty passes.

“However, many new challenges lie ahead. The IMDO will continue to monitor these closely and report on the impacts for the Irish maritime industry.”

The Irish Maritime Transport Economist, Volume 19 is available to read and download on the IMDO website HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue today (Wednesday 11 May) announced a 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-Up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam-trawl fleets.

The scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-Up Scheme, with some modifications, and aims to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“The object of the scheme is to enable a reduction in quota uptake so as to improve quota availability for the fleet overall throughout the remainder of the year,” Minister McConalogue said.

“The €24 million scheme I am announcing today delivers on a key recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change (October 2021). In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022 I have modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months.

“This enhanced tie up opportunity will free up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet.”

Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew.

In order to maintain the supply of fish to processors and fishmongers, vessels choosing to tie-up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October.

The scheme will initially be expected to operate over the period June to October, but the minister will be asking the European Commission to amend the approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie up option.

The scheme will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and further details will be available from BIM at bim.ie/fisheries/funding/

Published in Fishing
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Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has reported strong take-up of a new support scheme to help fishing boat owners adjust their businesses in a post-Brexit market.

Under the scheme, depending on the size of their boat, grant aid of between €2,700 and €4,000 is available for fishing vessel owners on completion of a tailored training programme. This includes a variety on online business and marketing modules.

The new scheme, administered by BIM, is based on recommendations contained in the final report of the Seafood Task Force established last year by Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue.

Another scheme recommended by the report — to mitigate the impact of Brexit by promoting the blue economy in coastal communities — was announced by the minister in recent days, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Ireland’s inshore fishing sector comprises about 1,800 vessels, which catch a range of fish and shellfish species and usually operate in waters close to the coast.

The sector had exported up to 90% of its catch. However, the effect of Brexit and associated new fishing agreements has had an impact on export trends because accessing or transiting through the UK market is now more complex.

BIM’s chief executive Jim O’Toole has warmly welcomed the strong sign-up of a large amount of inshore fishing vessel owners to the new scheme.

Speaking at this weekend’s Irish Skipper Expo in Limerick, he said: “We are delighted to see such significant support and interest in the scheme. These numbers have been growing exponentially in recent days, so we urge everyone to register on the BIM website before next Thursday’s deadline of March 31st.

“The training modules to be undertaken ahead of receiving the grants include digital skills, sourcing alternative market opportunities and developing new business ideas and plans. We believe they will better equip this sector to face and deal with the challenges they are encountering.

“I would like to commend how resilient the sector has been in the last two years, and despite the many obstacles ahead, they are determined to overcome them. Supports like this are currently crucial.”

To register for the Brexit Inshore Support Scheme or see further information, visit the BIM website HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has announced a new Brexit mitigation scheme to promote the blue economy and to be delivered through the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs).

Announcing the scheme in his opening address at the Irish Skipper Expo in Limerick today (Friday 25 March), Minister McConalogue said it is “designed to assist coastal communities to overcome the impacts of Brexit and grow and diversify their local economies by promoting the growth of the wider blue economy”.

He continued: “The Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme will have a €25 million budget for the years 2022 and 2023, funded under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve. The scheme will offer grants of up to €200,000 for entrepreneurial initiatives by micro and small enterprises operating in the blue economy, within the 10km coastal remit of the seven FLAGs.

“Stimulating entrepreneurial activity in the blue economy will provide a post-Brexit stimulus to the economies of our coastal communities.

“The scheme will support capital investment projects and business mentoring and capacity development by enterprises engaged in the blue economy and also upskilling and training to support individuals to build on their existing skills and knowledge to develop new complementary skills that will enable them to exploit economic opportunities in the blue economy.”

Minister McConalogue also announced the implementation of a further recommendation of the Seafood Task Force: a Brexit Inshore Marketing Scheme designed to assist the inshore fisheries sector to mitigate the impacts of Brexit by growing value in existing markets and developing new markets.

“As part of this scheme, I have approved Bord Bia’s marketing plan for 2022 for inshore fisheries products and this will focus on supporting the sales and promotion of inshore species such as Irish crab, lobster, whelks, inshore herring/mackerel and line caught hake and pollock on both the domestic and export markets,” he said.

“The plan was developed by Bord Bia in consultation with industry stakeholders and the main inshore exporters and processors. The 2022 marketing plan will have a budget of €615,000.”

Continuation of both schemes after 2023 will be examined as part of the development of the forthcoming Seafood Development Programme, as recommended by the Seafood Task Force.

Further details will be available from Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Published in Fishing

The iShip Index outlining trends within Ireland’s shipping industry grew by 5% in 2021, the Irish Maritime Development Office says.

The IMDO’s iShip Index is a quarterly weighted indicator that accounts for five separate market segments, representing the main maritime traffic sectors moving through ports in the Republic of Ireland.

These comprise unitised trade which includes lift-on/lift-off (LoLo) and roll-on/roll-of (RoRo), and bulk traffic which includes break bulk, dry bulk and liquid bulk.

The IMDO says 2021’s figure is the fastest rate of growth in the index since 2017, and represents a return to the volumes of freight handled in 2018 and 2019 after the suppressive effect of the COVID-19 on port traffic.

Just over 54 million tonnes of freight were handled at Irish ports in 2021, a 2.8 million-ton increase compared to 2020, the IMDO says.

In the dry bulk market, a 10% annual increase compared to 2020 was almost entirely driven by coal. This trend is reflected in port traffic volumes, as imports of coal through Shannon Foynes Port Company rose by over 1.2m tonnes.

In the liquid bulk market, growth of 7% was driven by oil, Ireland’s largest source of domestic energy. Imports of petroleum rose in all three of Ireland’s Tier 1 ports in 2021 as demand for domestic and aviation fuel rose in line with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Lastly, break bulk traffic across Irish ports rose significantly in 2021, increasing by 12%. This was driven by a return to construction activity in the domestic and international markets after severe restrictions within the sector throughout 2020.

In the unitised freight market, performance in 2021 was defined by two main characteristics. Firstly, 2021 recorded a surge in demand on direct services between the Republic of Ireland and mainland European ports, driven by the post-Brexit transfer of traffic away from the UK landbridge.

LoLo traffic, measured in Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), rose by 12% to 1.17m TEUs, the highest annual volume on record. RoRo traffic on direct routes grew by 94% to an unprecedented level of 383,000 RoRo units.

The second predominant trend that emerged in 2021 was the increase in RoRo traffic at Northern Ireland’s ports.

Through consultations with stakeholders and through detailed analysis of time series trends of RoRo traffic on the island of Ireland, the IMDO says it is clear that haulage companies based in Northern Ireland have transferred significant volumes of business away from RoRo services in ports in the Republic of Ireland.

The IMD suggests that this, along with the move away from the UK landbridge, explains the decline in RoRo traffic between Irish and UK ports in 2021. These volumes declined by 22% in 2021.

Overall RoRo traffic in the Republic of Ireland declined by 3% this year, offset by the surge in traffic on direct services. RoRo traffic in Northern Ireland grew by 12%.

In all, freight volumes through the Republic of Ireland recorded robust growth in 2021, and have returned to levels consistent with those before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Brexit has had a significant impact on the composition of the Irish RoRo market and has led to unprecedented volumes in the Irish LoLo market.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has announced the establishment of a Common Fisheries Policy Review Group to examine issues pertinent to Ireland and the fishing sector in the next review of the CFP by the European Commission, scheduled to be completed at the end of this year.

Chaired by John Malone, former Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, the group will have a steering committee comprising Micheal O’Cinneide, former director of the Marine Institute and Environmental Protection Agency, and Mr Donal Maguire, former director in Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The group will involve representatives of stakeholders including producer organisations, the National Inshore Fisheries Forum, the aquaculture and seafood processing industries and co-ops. It will also include representatives of environmental NGOs.

Its purpose is to examine the issues that arise for Ireland in the context of the CFP review, to advise the minister on priorities for the negotiations and to identify strategies most likely to influence the outcome of the review.

The minister will ask the group, in making its recommendations, to focus on supporting the social and economic health of Ireland’s fisheries-dependant coastal communities, economic development in the seafood sector, delivering long-term sustainability of fish stocks and maximising protection of habitats and the marine environment.

Announcing the review group today, Wednesday 9 February, Minister McConalogue said: “This forum will be able to draw on the expertise in my own department, the Marine Institute and BIM, to provide the necessary policy, scientific and technical support.

“I am very pleased that John Malone has agreed to chair this group and that he will be ably supported by Micheal O’Cinneide and Donal Maguire on the steering committee. I have asked BIM to provide the secretariat to the group and to engage Michael Keatinge, retired BIM deputy CEO and an expert in fisheries analysis, to act as rapporteur drafting the report of the group.”

The minister added: “The seafood sector has faced challenges over the recent past, arising in particular from Brexit. The work of the Seafood Task Force — Navigating Change — focused on the implications of Brexit and recommended 16 separate support schemes at a total estimated cost of €423 million.

“I am, in a structured way, progressing the implementation of those recommendations. A voluntary whitefish tie-up scheme has already been implemented, a Brexit Adjustment Scheme for the inshore fisheries sector is also operating and other schemes are being finalised.

“The Taskforce Report also identified opportunities to help address the unequal burden sharing in the EU/UK agreement, that resulted in Ireland carrying an unequal and unfair burden of EU fish quota transfers to the UK. I am actively pursuing every opportunity at EU level to address the issues.

“Now it is timely to place the focus on the EU Common Fisheries Policy and with the assistance of this review group, to prepare Ireland’s case and priorities for the upcoming EU review.”

The European Commission has launched an online questionnaire as part of its public consultation on the preparation of this report. The commission has stated its intention to close its consultation process with a stakeholder event before the summer of 2022.

The minister has asked the review group to complete its work by June to ensure that Ireland’s priorities are clearly set out and inputted into the formal commission process.

Minister McConalogue said that he is issuing invitations to the relevant stakeholder organisations for nominations to the group and expects it to get to work once all nominations are in place.

Published in Fishing
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As of 1 January this year, pleasure craft travelling from the European Union (including Ireland) to Northern Ireland are subject to new customs reporting requirements.

Pleasure craft are defined as craft used for the sport or pleasure of the owner. Pleasure craft can also be used by the immediate family or friends of the owner on a voyage for which the owner does not receive money.

If you carry any goods for industrial or commercial purposes, your vessel becomes a commercial vessel and is no longer a pleasure craft.

Pleasure craft are currently required to submit reports for journeys between NI and countries outside the EU. This is known as ‘outward clearance’ and ‘inward reporting’ and it allows the UK Government to risk assess journeys and identify potential customs and immigration violations.

Due to the UK’s exit from the EU, inward reporting will now also be required for pleasure craft travelling from the EU to NI. A minor exception exists from pleasure craft travelling from Ireland to NI as passenger reports will not be required.

Reports can be submitted electronically as per the e-c1331 Excel form as detailed within Notice 8; at the bottom of the form select the option ‘North (Region)’ which ensures that in addition to the form going to the national yacht line team, it also goes to Border Force agents in NI.

The official notice from HM Revenue & Customs is attached below.

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Following reports earlier this month of the UK Government’s intention to waive the three-year condition for Returned Goods Relief, it’s now been confirmed that from 1 January 2022 new legislation will give certainty to UK-based recreational boat owners post-Brexit.

Boat owners returning their vessels to the UK can claim relief from import VAT under Returned Goods Relief (RGR) if they meet all the conditions for the relief. One of these conditions is that the goods or effects must normally be re-imported into the UK within three years of the original date of export.

The changes are in response to concerns set out by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) over the past two years, ensuring that legislation and UK Government guidance is aligned with previous practical application of RGR rules by making it clear that:

  • the normal three-year time limit will be waived for personal effects which are being returned to the UK for the personal use of a UK resident person, without needing to prove that the effects could not be returned within the normal time limit due to exceptional circumstances; and
  • that a boat is treated as ‘personal effects’ for the purposes of this waiver.

Katherine Green and Sophie Dean, HMRC Directors General, Borders and Trade, commented: “We are pleased to be able to provide assurance to the sector that there will be no requirement to pay a second amount of UK VAT if vessels have been outside the UK for more than three years.”

Mel Hide, RYA’s director of external affairs, said the confirmation “is outstanding news for UK recreational boater owners and we welcome it as a pragmatic outcome in response to the considerable amount of time and effort that the RYA has put in to secure this result”.

Guidance on Returned Goods Relief will be updated from January once the legislation has been introduced, the RYA adds.

Published in Cruising

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