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westy

Travelling to the EU after 31 January 2020

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Does anyone now know what the actual rules are re Health Insurance and customs duty arrangements?

There are some transition arrangements in place until trade agreements are in place.

It is my belief that;

1. EHIC is no longer valid and personal Health Insurance is now required.

2. Customs arrangements?

Either transition (no change) applies or rest of the world limits apply (duty free).

3. Do the existing arrangements for foodstuffs apply or are there duties and prohibitions to UK import, eg cheese, meats, fish for individuals for their own use?

I would be grateful for any factual advice.

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16 minutes ago, westy said:

Does anyone now know what the actual rules are re Health Insurance and customs duty arrangements?

There are some transition arrangements in place until trade agreements are in place.

It is my belief that;

1. EHIC is no longer valid and personal Health Insurance is now required.

2. Customs arrangements?

Either transition (no change) applies or rest of the world limits apply (duty free).

3. Do the existing arrangements for foodstuffs apply or are there duties and prohibitions to UK import, eg cheese, meats, fish for individuals for their own use?

I would be grateful for any factual advice.

EHIC will be valid until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). Customs arrangements will also be the same as the UK will continue to be part of the single market and customs union until the end of the transition period. There will be no changes before the end of this period unless a future trade relationship is negotiated and ratified before that date (unlikely)!

Edited by quibby

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You shouldn't rely totally on the EHIC  anyway as it only entitles you to the usual standard of the country you are visiting. In some EU countries the patient is expected to be fed by their family whilst in hospital and overall standards vary immensely.

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Personally, I'm not concerned so much about dury frees and such like as actually entering and leavig EU countries such as France. What are the new rules and procedures going to be? Will people need visas, ETIAS waivers etc?

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12 hours ago, Pilgrim said:

Personally, I'm not concerned so much about dury frees and such like as actually entering and leavig EU countries such as France. What are the new rules and procedures going to be? Will people need visas, ETIAS waivers etc?

No-one will know till after Dec 2020.

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Surely there will be no significant change as the Withdrawal Bill contains all the relevant information and clauses to protect citizens from both sides across Europe and a No-Deal scenario covering those areas is now virtually impossible. The only difference come December 2020 is what type of trading arrangements are in place at the moment of departure. The only significant impact I can see that having on people travelling with BF (or any ferry company/airline/rail operator) is whether Duty Free goods will be on sale. Ed. 

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Well, yes and no, as freedom of movement will be a thing of the past, and therefore checks of one sort or another will almost certainly increase, perhaps not everywhere or all the time, but inevitably there will be some delays and even difficulties I fear. For the EU you sign up to all the freedoms or benefit from none.

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I think there seems to be a lot of confusion between “checks” and “free movement”.  At the moment we have both checks and free movement, and soon we will have checks and no free movement.  Can’t see how removing free movement makes any difference to checks - at the moment, the checks just verify whether someone has free movement, but the fact they have free access doesn’t negate the need for checks.  In the future, right to access will be harder to come by, but there will be no more need for checks than the (already prolific) ones we already have.  Anyone who tries entering the UK through either Plymouth or Portsmouth will testify to that, as is regularly reported in this forum.

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I do not frankly think that France, for example, will impose much tougher controls on 1st January 2021, but a bullish attitude in trade negotiations is unlikely to prevent stricter application of legal checks becoming common. The mention of "duty free" above means that Customs will potentially need to be much tougher on inspection and application of limits, and this will inevitably slow things down.

The UK government's attitude and the behaviour of the great British public are going to be closely scrutinised by the media over here and I do have serious concerns based on past and current positions. Pray that I am wrong.

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Indeed - the “checks” I referred to above relate to the immigration checks that are alluded to by the “free movement” issue.  Free movement ending will have no bearing on the need for those checks, merely the eligibility criteria for passing them.

Customs checks are a different issue altogether, and the extent to which an increase in them will be required will be entirely a function of how the free trade talks go.

Again, it is important to avoid conflating different issues.  Any need for enhanced customs checks will be nothing to do with ending free movement of people.

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My first response was indeed a little hasty. A reaction to the attitude that "nothing will change" and "they  are not going to make anything harder for us as it is not in their interests". I used too broad a brush. Sorry.

I will try to come back with a clearer expression of what "could" happen and its potential implications for travellers.

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So, here goes .... I am largely quoting from discussions on a very different forum, so I will have to tone down some of the language.

<<They are in for a "bleep" shock then.

- Pay fee for a Visa exemption but no visa is subject to reciprocity. No deal = no reciprocity = visa will be required with probably a higher fee.

- European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) no longer valid. Travel insurance with cover for pre-existing medical condition, noting EHIC covers that.

- Driving International Driving Permit and a ‘green card’ - from vehicle insurance company showing EU third party cover and a GB sticker.

- Border control will require return or onward ticket and show you have enough money for your stay.

- Guarantee of free mobile phone roaming ceases.

- Pets need a passport requiring vet clearance organised at least 4 months in advance.

That is just private travel. Business travellers or employment reason for visiting a whole lot of other "bleep". Travelling by private vessel even more "bleep".

(None of this was in the Tory election brochure.)>>

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20 hours ago, westy said:

Does anyone now know what the actual rules are re Health Insurance and customs duty arrangements?

There are some transition arrangements in place until trade agreements are in place.

It is my belief that;

1. EHIC is no longer valid and personal Health Insurance is now required.

2. Customs arrangements?

Either transition (no change) applies or rest of the world limits apply (duty free).

3. Do the existing arrangements for foodstuffs apply or are there duties and prohibitions to UK import, eg cheese, meats, fish for individuals for their own use?

I would be grateful for any factual advice.

You need to rethink no1, you should have Health Insurance now.  The EHIC gives you the basic Health cover of the Country you are in i.e. in France it covers I believe 30% and you pay the rest, in Spain you pay nothing for basic Medical care in other Countries it varies.

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The EHIC generally covers a lot more than 30% in France. 60-75% is the range of state cover, as for French citizens and residents. You will normally need to pay up front a claim back once home.

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19 minutes ago, jonno said:

...and so the doomsday soothsayers begin again. Isn't there a BFE Club for this sort of thing?

Fine line Jonno.  A whole load of purely political posts were moved into it this morning.  Material relating to UK-EU travel is relevant to the forum so is bona fide.  However, I agree, it would be helpful if the tone now became one of matter of fact discussion of practicalities.  If we think that people are hiding behind superficially on-topic material to make what are really political points then we will still move them to the club.

Worth taking this opportunity to mention that the “club” was created to allow political discussion in a non-political forum as a special case situation in special circumstances.  When the UK leaves the EU on 31 January, the club will become obsolete and will close to new posting.

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Fine line Jonno.  A whole load of purely political posts were moved into it this morning.  Material relating to UK-EU travel is relevant to the forum so is bona fide.  However, I agree, it would be helpful if the tone now became one of matter of fact discussion of practicalities.  If we think that people are hiding behind superficially on-topic material to make what are really political points then we will still move them to the club.

Worth taking this opportunity to mention that the “club” was created to allow political discussion in a non-political forum as a special case situation in special circumstances.  When the UK leaves the EU on 31 January, the club will become obsolete and will close to new posting.

That's fair enough Gareth but there are no facts to discuss yet.

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Absolutely all for pragmatism Jonno, as you will note from my comments above regarding French authorities during early 2020, and I have simply tried to identify what is certain or likely if there is no trade deal. No political comment from me.

A question was asked by the OP and I have tried to assist.

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1 hour ago, colin said:

The EHIC generally covers a lot more than 30% in France. 60-75% is the range of state cover, as for French citizens and residents. You will normally need to pay up front a claim back once home.

Yes 30% is the figure. I was taken very seriously ill only three weeks after arriving home from France this year with a condition that could well have presented itself while I was abroad. I suspect the 30% would have been substantial hence the travel insurance. I never ever suspected that anyone was relying only on the EHIC but clearly I was wrong. 

As for the other questions - who knows? I suspect strongly that now a framework is in place realpolitik will take over since the logistical implications of anything other would give even the average careerist nonentity on the green benches food for thought. 

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Travel insurance dompanies usually stipulate that their customers travelling to the EU plus Switzerland, Norway etc. must carry a EHIC card. Be sure to check yours is valid, they do have expiry dates which can creep up on you but are easily renewed.

Like Millsy, I'm surprised that people would choose to rely on the card but a lot apparently do and suffer the consequences.

 

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Sorry if I got the 30% the wrong way around, I had a minor cycling accident and had a bill for part of it when I got home not enough to mess around with claiming on the insurance.

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3 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Travel insurance dompanies usually stipulate that their customers travelling to the EU plus Switzerland, Norway etc. must carry a EHIC card. Be sure to check yours is valid, they do have expiry dates which can creep up on you but are easily renewed.

Like Millsy, I'm surprised that people would choose to rely on the card but a lot apparently do and suffer the consequences.

 

I used to work for a funeral director and sadly too many people assume that having a EHIC is sufficient and that everything will run smoothly while they are abroad. Even putting aside that worst case scenario, it's not inconceivable for someone to have an accident resulting in a broken leg which requires them to be repatriated by air.

My working life has made me very careful about making sure that we have all necessary insurance in place before we go abroad. In another job, my duties included being fleet manager (I am an accountant who has always worked in industry in small companies so I have picked up some very varied roles over the years). One of our drivers was (unbeknown to me) taking a company vehicle to the Irish Republic for a trade event. A few miles outside Holyhead the gearbox on the vehicle went and the first I knew of his trip was when he phoned me to ask for permission to hire another vehicle to tow the trailer he was taking. He didn't have European breakdown cover or the necessary insurance and had he managed to get across the Irish Sea before the vehicle failed it would have cost the company a lot of money.

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