France, Brittany and Normandy: Entry Guide for Non-EU Yachts

A new process to allow entry into Normandy and Brittany for non-Schengen citizens (or Schengen citizens coming from a third country) is now in place. While it smooths entry with an online pre-arrival form, skippers do still need to visit the authorities in person and entry at a port of entry is advised.

Published 3 years ago

With the U.K. having left the European Union on January 1st, 2021, the procedure for U.K. boats entering the Schengen area has drastically changed. With much confusion amongst cruisers as to where and how to clear into neighbouring France, the Côtes d’Armor chamber of commerce in Brittany have made representations over the last few months to the regional maritime authorities for clarification on the subject.

Following the latest information they have received, they have prepared a guide for any non-EU yacht wishing to visit marinas in Brittany (and Normandy).

The aim of the guide is to clear up confusion after an announcement earlier this year that non-EU yachts could clear in at any port in northern France. This is most definitely not the case, and sailing in the first instance to a PPF on arrival in France is most definitely the right thing to do, if at all possible.

The entry guide is for non-Schengen citizens (or Schengen citizens coming from a third country).

In brief, entry into Brittany must be via a port of entry (PPF), but an arrival declaration can be completed and sent prior to arrival, speeding up the clearance process once you arrive in France.

The arrival form can be downloaded here – but can also be found on all port/marina websites.

If leaving the Schengen area on your departure from France, a departure declaration should also be completed and submitted online. This form is the same as above, or can be found on port/marina websites.

The recognised ports of entry (PPF) along the North Channel coast are:
Dunkirk, Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe, Le Havre, Honfleur, Caen-Ouistreham, Cherbourg, Carteret, Granville, Saint Malo, Saint Brieuc, Roscoff and Brest.

Our thanks to Keith Martin, CA Honorary Local Representative, for sharing this information with Noonsite.

EU boats and crew coming from another EU country do not have to clear Customs, although they have to report to Immigration. The situation is more relaxed when the traffic is between EU countries that have adhered to the Schengen Agreement, so boats sailing to France from Spain or Italy are not required to clear Immigration.

See France Formalities for more information.


Related News:

UK: New Entry Process for Boats Visiting France

Read and Post Related Comments

Related to the following Cruising Resources: , ,

You must Login or Register to submit comments.

  1. August 24, 2021 at 2:23 PM
    popeye313 says:

    Having returned from Normandy to The Netherlands on August 17th after having cruised from The Netherlands to Galicia, then La Rochelle, Ile de Re, Ile d’Yeu, Belle Isle, Lorient, Brest, Treguier and Le Havre, I would like to say that the only occasion I was asked for my Covid Pass was in a Le Havre restaurant. None of the marina officials asked me or my American crew for our passports or our Covid passes. My boat flies a US Stars & Stripes and usually we are visited by Douane or the Marchausee.

    In 2020, I sailed to Carteret, France and the marina there told me before arriving that I should have a letter from my Dutch marina stating that my US registered vessel had not left the Schengen region since 2009.

    Seems that the EU is sore at the UK for leaving and is punishing UK visitors whenever they have the chance. A British pal who owns a house in France had to fill out nine pages of forms to enter France from the UK by car.