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Royal Yachting Association concerns on e-Borders acknowledged

by Louise Nickolls/Sail-World Cruising on 15 Oct 2013
.. .
It's a start. Royal Yachting Association's (RYA's) concerns on e-Borders programme for the British leisure boating and sailing sector have been acknowledged in the latest report on the e-Borders programme.

In his report on the Home Office’s e-Borders programme the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine CBE QPM specifically acknowledges the concerns raised by the RYA in relation to the maritime leisure sector.

'We maintain our long-held view that the e-Borders reporting methodology is simply not designed to accommodate the unscheduled activities of the recreational boating sector.' Gus Lewis, Head of Legal & Government Affairs.

'We welcome the acknowledgement in this report of the legal and practical issues that the RYA pointed out to the e-Borders team several years ago but it is concerning that the Chief Inspector did not seek to address these issues when formulating his recommendations.'

Despite explaining in some detail the 'incompatibility between the e-Borders scheme and EU free movement and data protection legislation' and the 'legal and practical issues hindering the collection of passenger data' and specifically acknowledging the concerns raised by the RYA in relation to leisure craft, the report offers no suggestions as to how these issues might be addressed.

Instead it goes on to recommend that the Home Office: ‘Introduces a reporting and risk assessment process for GM [General Marine] traffic based on the e-Borders system and a process to provide for interception of vessels on a risk basis’.

'The Home Office has from the outset expressed its desire to implement the e-Borders programme in the maritime leisure sector so, in this respect, the Chief Inspector’s recommendation is nothing new.

'We will continue to oppose the implementation of a regime in which all cross-border voyages to and from other EU states by recreational craft are required to be notified to the UK Government in advance of the voyage,' concludes Gus.

You can read the report in full at: http://icinspector.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/An-Inspection-of-eborders.pdf.

Read more on e-Borders and other issues that the RYA is working on at www.rya.org.uk/go/currentaffairs.

About the RYA:
Love boating? Then why not join the association that promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating. Join today and support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Take advantage of free advice and support on all aspects of your boating, as well as enjoying a range of fantastic personal member offers. Find out more by emailing member.services@rya.org.uk or visit www.rya.org.uk
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