BREXIT effects for crew traveling to Spain

With the United Kingdom officially exiting the European Union on January 1st, 2021, the entire world will have to deal with its lasting implications. While economic, social, and political matters will see much change after Brexit comes into force, travel and tourism will also face significant changes after the transition period that will end this year, on December 31st.

When Brexit comes into effect, all British nationals will be non-Europeans and therefore treated as such in terms of restrictions of movement and entry requirements into the Schengen area.  If no further agreements are reached, all British nationals will no longer enjoy unrestricted lengths of stay in the Schengen area but instead be limited to 90 days in every 180 day period, and, very important to note, with no need to hold a Schengen visa to enter.

When it comes to yachts and its crew in particular, Brexit will have an impact in terms of travel and immigration procedures, which will immediately come into force on January 1st, if no further agreements have been reached before.

1.  If I am a British crew member already embarked on board a yacht in Schengen territory (ie: Spain) on January 1st, how long will I be able to remain in EU? What will I need to do?

All British crew members already embarked on a vessel in the Schengen area will be able to remain indefinitely within a 10km radius of the vessel’s location as long as they are officially embarked and employed onboard, and stamped out of Europe in their passports.

On the other hand, all British crew currently onboard a yacht in the Schengen zone and wishing to disembark after January 1st will be subject to disembarkation protocols, which means getting their passport stamped INTO Europe in order to disembark and travel within the EU or return to the UK.

To find out more about the exact immigration protocols to be followed from this date on if you are already embarked, we highly recommend you contact your local EVO office as procedures may change depending on your current port.

2. As a British seafarer, what will I need to do to embark a yacht that is already located in EU waters?

From 1st January 2021 British crew will be subject to official protocols in front of immigration authorities when embarking a yacht moored in the Schengen area, which means getting their passports stamped OUT of the Schengen zone once embarked in order to stop the days running on their passports while embarked.

As previously mentioned, exact protocols to be followed may vary in each port, therefore we highly advise to contact us for further information on a case-by-case basis.

3. Considering the COVID- related restrictions currently in force, under which circumstances will a British citizen be able to travel to Spain?

After Brexit comes into full effect on 1st January, United Kingdom will be considered a third country, and as such, COVID-related restrictions currently in force related to non-essential travelling may apply as the European Commission has confirmed that no exceptions will be made for the UK and the same rules will apply as to other third nations.        

Please click here for full information about COVID-related travel restrictions.


**As of today, due to the high contagion rate increase, an exceptional Ministerial Order has been approved by the Spanish Government, which states that from December 22nd until January 5th, at least, flights departing from the UK towards Spain can only carry Spanish nationals, Andorran nationals or registered residents in Spain or Andorra.**

**EDIT 13/01/2021: Please note that on 1st January 2021 the Spanish Government published an update to the restrictions for using the direct travel corridor UK-SPAIN allowing an exception for seafarers traveling to embark vessels in Spanish waters, providing they show justification of their seafarer status and obligation to resume onboard duties.  Nevertheless, we are finding that some groundstaff in the UK and airline companies are not recognizing this exemption and are recommending that seafarers in the UK delay travel or find alternative routes to the vessel.**

Contact your Evolution office for guidance and assistance or send us an email to

Latest NEWS: Protocol for seafarers arrivals to Spain

Following last week´s latest announcement about the new requirement from Spanish Authorities for travellers coming to Spain by air or sea to present a negative PCR test result if coming from risk areas (listed below) starting today 23rd November, we are now able to confirm as follows:

Seafarers are EXEMPT from presenting a PCR test result when travelling to Spain for the purpose of joining a vessel on the condition they can prove their seafarer status and embarkation on a vessel moored in a Spanish port.

After several checks with Health Authorities, who were waiting further instructions from Health Ministry, we have received final official confirmation today about this exemption. In order to prove their seafarer status, it is not specified what documents the crew member must carry, but from our recent experience and in accordance with the travel documentation required during the State of Alarm, we highly recommend that the following documents be ready to present:

  • Passport.
  • Seaman’s Discharge Book and SEA.
  • Letter from Captain indicating crew and vessel details, port of embarkation and date of embarkation.
  • Crew list and Copy of Ship’s Registry.
  • Agent Letter corroborating vessel location and crewmember status in Spanish.

As a very important note, please be informed that even if PCR test is not compulsory, crew members must fill the FCS (Health Control Form), to be presented before embarking and/or once arrival to a Spanish Airport,  and Spanish Health Authorities may decide that extra controls are required, if:

  • After reviewing the FCS Form they consider further examination is necessary.
  • When they pass by the temperature check, it appears to be 37,5ºC or higher.
  • After visual inspection the crew member may seem ill and Health Authorities consider that it is necessary to do an extra check.

Kindly see below the countries listed as “risk areas”, for your best information:

Countries and territories in the EU/EEA:
Austria – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Cyprus – Czech Republic – Denmark (except Faroe Islands and Greenland) – Estonia – France – Germany – Greece (except the regions of Kitri, Ionia Nisia, Dytiki Ellada and Sterea Ellada) – Hungary – Iceland – Ireland – Italy – Latvia – Liechtenstein – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Malta – The Netherlands – Norway (except the regions of Rogaland, Møre og Romsdal, Nordland, Viken, Innlandet, Vestfold og Telemark, Agder, Vestland, Trøndelag and Troms og Finnmark) – Poland – Portugal (except the Azores) – Romania – Slovakia – Slovenia – Sweden

Countries outside the EU/EEA:
Albania – Andorra – Argentina – Armenia – Aruba – Bahrain – Belize – Bosnia & Herzegovina – Cape Verde – Colombia – Costa Rica – French Polynesia (France) – Georgia – Gibraltar (UK) – Guam – Jordan – Kuwait – Lebanon – Libya – Moldova – Monaco – Montenegro – Morocco – North Macedonia – Palestine – Panama – Puerto Rico – Russian Federation – San Marino – Saint Martin – Serbia – Switzerland – Tunisia – Ukraine – United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom – United States of America

Kindly note that this list is to be revised every 15 days, and entering into force 7 days after the revision to allow enough time for protocols to update.

For your better reference, download  below a document we have prepared with full information and procedures to follow for the arrival into Spain of crew and guests/contractors via air or sea (ferry).
In regards yacht arrivals, as procedures may change depending of the port, please be so kind to contact your local Evolution Office for further information or send us an email at

Download the Seafarer and General Travelers Arrivals Protocol in Spain. COVID-19

Essential tips for having a TPA in Spain

TIPS  –  How to do your refit / works onboard VAT exempt?

If you are planning to undertake refit works, we can provide you, as authorized Customs Agents, an importation procedure for exemption that is called Inward Processing, in Spain “TPA”.

We can give you assistance in all the Ports no matter where you are berthed in Spain. Provide of all the assistance needed in order to proceed with VAT exemption and also all taxes affected to the repairs or to an improvement of the vessel, according to the law 2913/92 (CEE) inside EU, and in particular in Spain art. 24.1 of the VAT law.   

While you are under TPA, the boat is not using the temporary time frame allowed to non-EU vessels, so your 18 months period would be suspended as well.  We will be notifying your position to customs and you need to have in mind that you will need to notify customs if you want to change berth, do sea trials and as well declare the parts you want to move/dispose or sell.

Main and mandatory condition to close this TPA is that you must exit EU directly from your berth position after finalizing to a non-EU port for exportation of all the goods/repairs.

We know that the TPA procedure might be overwhelming and we understand the importance of having a reliable advisor who is able to guide you from the opening to the closure of the TPA for your vessel.

On this basis we are able to give you the answer to all the frequent concerns such as

  1. How much is this going to cost me?
  2. How long does it take to open a TPA?
  3. What kind of goods, works and services can be included in my vessel exemption?
  4. What are the advantages for the owner?
  5. What about if my plans change?

If you are interested or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us to the following address:

Get your B1B2 visas for crew

Get your B1B2 visas for crew

Although times are still uncertain, many vessels are preparing for a Caribbean season and therefore needing B1B2 visas for their crew. 

Even prior to COVID, there are many horror stories out there of visa refusals, mostly due the lack of information and preparation prior to their interview, which lead the Embassy not to be convinced about the applicants’ purpose for entering the USA.

Add on top of this, the difficulty of the current global situation – with so many changing travel restrictions and fewer visas being authorized, it is of vital importance to have trusted and well-founded advice to guide you correctly through all the steps to ensure a successful application.

US embassies in Europe closed their agendas for a time over the summer and there is now a backlog of appointments – many are publishing the next availability well in to 2021, even as far as August!  Despite this, so far this season, Evolution has successfully arranged over 80 appointments for crew members applying for a B1B2 visas in Madrid, all within a time frame to suit their boat´s agenda despite the calendar posting no availability in 2020.  Some even have been confirmed within a week´s notice and all those who have had their appointments have been granted the desired visa.

Our experience of this process over the past few years guarantees Evolution as your perfect partner to ensure a swift application process and increasing considerably the chances of success.

Let us know if we can assist with your Visa B1B2 appointments at

Christmas Treats around Spain

Christmas Treats around Spain
Does the image of Christmas bring up a tree, or at least some decorations?  Perhaps the exchanging of presents, and a yearning to be close to friends and family. Those of us fortunate to be finishing the year in this way can also look forward to a certain level of indulgence. Yes, food and drink are certainly a central aspect of Christmas in Spain! Here are some of the seasonal treats to look out for.

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