THIS IS HOW TRAVEL TO THE EU WILL CHANGE FROM 2021
But the government has now revealed more about the scale of changes that will take effect at the end of the implementation period.
The transition can theoretically be extended by two years, but the government has said it will not take up this option. So starting from New Year’s Day 2021, travellers will face significantly tougher rules.
These are the key changes.
Anyone getting a UK passport during 2020 will be able to use it for the full 10 years; before 1 January 2021 it will have the same power as a European Union passport.
But in 2021 two stipulations will come into effect that could cause problems for travellers.
The first is that the EU will regard British passports as expired once they have been valid for 10 years. This is a potential problem because for many years until 2018 the UK had an excellent tradition of allowing credit for “unspent” time when renewing a passport.
That was fine while Britain remained part of the European Union. But from the start of 2021, your passport will be deemed by the EU to expire exactly a decade after it was issued.
Secondly, the UK government says that British travellers to the EU from 2021 must have a minimum of six months’ validity remaining for travel to Europe.
As a result of the two policies, some travellers will find that a passport with almost 15 months to run is not regarded as having sufficient time remaining before expiry.
For example, a passport issued on 30 June 2011 could be valid to 30 March 2022.
But the EU will regard it as expiring on 30 June 2021. That means someone trying to travel on 1 January 2021 would not have six months remaining and could be denied boarding a flight.
From 2021, British travellers entering European Union countries will not be able to use the dedicated passport lanes for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.
Frontier officials will be able to deny admission if they are not satisfied about the traveller’s financial resources.
This does not apply for travel to and from the Republic of Ireland. The Common Travel Area involving the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands transcends European Union rules.
At present goods can be taken freely to and from the European Union. From 2021, the same customs rules that apply in the rest of the world will cover travel to and from the EU.
That means duty-free shopping from EU countries will return, but there will be strict limits on the number of items that you can bring back from Europe without paying tax.
Travellers from Ireland to the UK will be able to buy duty-free goods, unless they are travelling to Northern Ireland.
Business travellers who take equipment or samples to the European Union will need to pay £326 for an ATA (“Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”) carnet to cover the goods from 2021 onwards.
There is no certainty about whether UK driving licences will continue to be valid in Europe, or if one or more international driving permits (IDPs) will be required.
But the government says motorists will need a “green card” – a certificate extending their travel insurance to Europe.
“Allow one month to get this from your vehicle insurance company,” is the official advice.
Although the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) stays in effect until the end of the year, there is no clarity about whether some kind of reciprocal agreement on medical treatment will continue.
Travel insurance premiums are likely to rise if there is no EHIC replacement.
The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU will end, but some providers have said they will continue to offer the privilege.
The Pet Passport arrangements will be scrapped.
Pet owners who wish to take their dog, cat or ferret to the EU are told: “Pet travel: allow at least four months to arrange.
“From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need to follow a different process, which takes four months.”
So a pet owner hoping to travel on New Year’s Day 2021 would need to start planning on 1 August 2020.