Entry Delays At Cherbourg Post Brexit

Discuss customs rules, entry requirements, Covid testing, travelling with your pet, check-in times, early boarding etc
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gfb
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Entry Delays At Cherbourg Post Brexit

Post by gfb »

I would like to share the experience that my son and his 2 young children had this afternoon. Moderators please note that I am not making a political point. I will let readers of this post draw their own conclusions, but I thought to share this for information only
My son arrived in Cherbourg at 2pm today on Barfleur. Unfortunately an Irish Ferry arrived about the same time. Disembarkation was reasonable considering how full the ship was. All cars from Barfleur were directed to the loading lanes to wait passport control. Cars with French and Irish number plates (ie EU citizens) were waived straight through passport control (just like we Brits were when we were European). This was fair enough in my opinion. If I was French or Irish I would not appreciate being held up by non Europeans. The outcome was over an hour wait. He and his family are now mid way through three and and half hour journey to our home here in France.
Unintended (but predictable) consequences of Brexit, the sunlit uplands, and the votes of just over a third of eligible voters.
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Bournemouthlad
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Post by Bournemouthlad »

Yes, Brexit was the height of folly. Amazed that some people continue to defend it
Risberg
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Post by Risberg »

gfb wrote: 04 Aug 2023 15:37 I would like to share the experience that my son and his 2 young children had this afternoon. Moderators please note that I am not making a political point. I will let readers of this post draw their own conclusions, but I thought to share this for information only
My son arrived in Cherbourg at 2pm today on Barfleur. Unfortunately an Irish Ferry arrived about the same time. Disembarkation was reasonable considering how full the ship was. All cars from Barfleur were directed to the loading lanes to wait passport control. Cars with French and Irish number plates (ie EU citizens) were waived straight through passport control (just like we Brits were when we were European). This was fair enough in my opinion. If I was French or Irish I would not appreciate being held up by non Europeans. The outcome was over an hour wait. He and his family are now mid way through three and and half hour journey to our home here in France.
Unintended (but predictable) consequences of Brexit, the sunlit uplands, and the votes of just over a third of eligible voters.
As a Norwegian citizen I oppose the use of the word "European" as being a citizen of an EU member state. As a Norwegian I'm  European. And the blue flag with 12 yellow stars is the flag of the European Council, so Andorra also uses it, although they are neither members of the EU. Cyprus, on the contrary, although being a member of the EU, is Asian.
 
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Post by colinb »

gfb wrote: 04 Aug 2023 15:37 Unintended (but predictable) consequences of Brexit, the sunlit uplands, and the votes of just over a third of eligible voters.

Quite agree with the sentiment. But is the basic problem how long the French immigration are taking to process each passport?

Since Brexit we have travelled to Greece by air three times to small airports. As, usually, each planeload is processed as a group on entry, we have found that the staffing is switched to the Non EU booths as there are relatively few EU citizens aboard. The additional formalities have only taken fractionally longer than previously. On leaving Greece, again, the additional time spent in stamping your passport has only taken maybe 30 seconds or so. Overall the extra time spent on the new procedures has been pretty minimal.

Are the French simply staging a bit of a 'go slow' or are are they understaffing their immigration checks?

Before Brexit, we found that cars off ferries were sometimes waved through with just a cursory check or even no check but at other times a more comprehensive check was made. It was very hit and miss for no apparent reason.

Over the years I have never found the French immigration checks to be very conistent.
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gfb
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Post by gfb »

Risberg:
I accept the distinction you make and no offence was intended. The point of my post was to highlight as a British citizen of the consequences of the withdrawal of my rights as a citizen of an EU member state. I am European and will be always.
I was hoping to stimulate some discussion about others experiences
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Post by David »

To be honest, entry into France and the UK on the ferry has been a pain for a number of years predating Brexit as it was always a Schengen Border into France and the UK has had a strong border for years. Around about 10 years ago France stopped accepting a purple passport cover as enough evidence to enter !

Passport checks should still exist for the Irish and French, the only difference is that they have a right of entry and don't need stamps. If they were waved through it wasn't the correct procedure.

 
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Post by Risberg »

gfb wrote: 04 Aug 2023 18:08 Risberg:
I accept the distinction you make and no offence was intended. The point of my post was to highlight as a British citizen of the consequences of the withdrawal of my rights as a citizen of an EU member state. I am European and will be always.
I was hoping to stimulate some discussion about others experiences

Yes, I got that, but I couldn't help making my comment, as I'm so sick and tired of the EU monopolising Europe. In Scandinavia they even call the blue flag with the yellow stars the "EU flag". And the French honestly don't regard non EU countries being European.

But one thing is EU and another is Schengen. UK was never a Schengen country, and neither is Ireland, as far as I know. Norway however is. 
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Post by David »

Risberg wrote: 04 Aug 2023 18:23 UK was never a Schengen country, and neither is Ireland, as far as I know.

Correct, Ireland has never been a Schengen country, partly as it was (and still is) in a common travel area with the UK. Thus Cherbourg is a Schengen boundary for passengers coming from the UK and Ireland.
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Post by Risberg »

David wrote: 04 Aug 2023 18:29
Risberg wrote: 04 Aug 2023 18:23 UK was never a Schengen country, and neither is Ireland, as far as I know.

Correct, Ireland has never been a Schengen country, partly as it was (and still is) in a common travel area with the UK. Thus Cherbourg is a Schengen boundary for passengers coming from the UK and Ireland.
That may be the luck of both countries, after Brexit. If the border between Ireland and the UK had been the Schengen boundary, that could have caused real trouble, especially in Northern Ireland. (Originally the intention was not to invite non EU members (except Switzerland) to Schengen, but the Swedes annonced that no way that the Scandinavian mountain range is going to be the Schengen boundary - either Norway is in or Sweden is out.)
 
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Post by elaine80 »

Delays due to more than one ferry docking at around the same time are nothing new.

In 2013 we arrived in Portsmouth on NEX just behind Normandie. We would normally have been on Normandie but it was leaving at 14.30 rather than 16.30 so leaving our campsite at 6am really didn't appeal. Our friends were in the tent next door and opted for the crossing on Normandie. Normandie docked ahead of NEX and we were one of the last 10 cars to clear passport control. I was in contact with our friends and they were well on their way to Cambridgeshire while we were still waiting to join the queue for passport control.
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Post by tumnus2010 »

Risberg wrote: 04 Aug 2023 19:04
David wrote: 04 Aug 2023 18:29

Correct, Ireland has never been a Schengen country, partly as it was (and still is) in a common travel area with the UK. Thus Cherbourg is a Schengen boundary for passengers coming from the UK and Ireland.
That may be the luck of both countries, after Brexit. If the border between Ireland and the UK had been the Schengen boundary, that could have caused real trouble, especially in Northern Ireland. 
It still has caused a fair amount of trouble..
 
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Post by crechbleiz »

I would like BF to introduce an EU/EEA/CH sticker system to ensure cars with qualifying passengers are sent to dedicated lanes irrespective of the registration of the vehicle.




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Post by colinb »

crechbleiz wrote: 04 Aug 2023 21:58 I would like BF to introduce an EU/EEA/CH sticker system to ensure cars with qualifying passengers are sent to dedicated lanes irrespective of the registration of the vehicle.

How would that work in practice?
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Post by crechbleiz »

colinb wrote: 04 Aug 2023 22:10
crechbleiz wrote: 04 Aug 2023 21:58 I would like BF to introduce an EU/EEA/CH sticker system to ensure cars with qualifying passengers are sent to dedicated lanes irrespective of the registration of the vehicle.

How would that work in practice?

Very simple. Booking number is attached to a reg number and the compulsory Advanced Passenger Information. So when checking in, affix a sticker of whichever colour. That works for cars carrying pets after all... 
And ultimately, cheaters can be pulled aside by the Police aux frontières exactly like at any airport. 
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Post by ryanh »

I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed by others so far on this subject. However I did think that both the UK, pre Brexit, and Ireland still today weren't part of the 'Schengen' area and so therefore passports were still required? Whether the French choose to check them or not is a different matter I suppose.

I do think the current arrangements will change, it is clearly a poor deal for the UK and the EU too. I think we will eventually end up with something more akin to Norway or Switzerland, but first we will need regime change in the UK to take effect.
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Post by SilverDot »

ryanh wrote: 05 Aug 2023 11:30 I do think the current arrangements will change, it is clearly a poor deal for the UK and the EU too. I think we will eventually end up with something more akin to Norway or Switzerland, but first we will need regime change in the UK to take effect.
We need different thinking on both sides as been described elsewhere on the forum.
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Post by Risberg »

ryanh wrote: 05 Aug 2023 11:30 I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed by others so far on this subject. However I did think that both the UK, pre Brexit, and Ireland still today weren't part of the 'Schengen' area and so therefore passports were still required? Whether the French choose to check them or not is a different matter I suppose.

I do think the current arrangements will change, it is clearly a poor deal for the UK and the EU too. I think we will eventually end up with something more akin to Norway or Switzerland, but first we will need regime change in the UK to take effect.

Norway is a member of Schengen and Switzerland has always been treated differently from other non EU members, due to its geographical position. When f.x. France in the 80's demanded visa from non EU countries because of terrorism (but not from citizens of North African states - where did the terrorists in France come from?) Swiss citizens were excepted.
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Post by vikingvoyager »

Our recent experiences on arrival in St Malo and Portsmouth have been ok - in both cases, we were the only arrival in port. 

I'm absolutely convinced that Brexit was a bad idea but I don't have a problem with the rules that we signed up to being enforced. It's annoying when there's a lack of staff or a simple lack of efficient process - as we witnessed in Portsmouth where UK Border Force were opening up and checking each camper and caravan only when it reached the final barrier (as opposed to roaming the queues).

To this end, it's another factor for us when looking at France - Portsmouth routes - I'd actively seek out an arrival at a quiet time in port.
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Post by chid679 »

We travelled into Cherbourg on 21st July on Barfleur (voyage report to follow). 

We departed Poole around 15 mins early and arrived into Cherbourg at 13.50. We were unloaded from Barfleur and had left the Port by 14.20 so no issues with Passport Control. From memory there were at least 4 lanes open at Passport Control possibly more and the process of checking and Stamping our Passport was very efficient. 

The only slight issue we had was that WB Yeats was on the berth next to Barfleur and was loading at the same time as we were unloading and berth 2 & 4 share a roundabout within the Port so there was a bit of a traffic build up as the Irish traffic was coming across our path. 

Since 2020 I have travelled through Roscoff, St.Malo and now Cherbourg. Plus I've travelled by Plane through London Stansted, Liverpool and Manchester.  Never been held-up for more than about 20 minutes clearing Border Control.
The worst delays we have ever had with Passport Control have been at Manchester and Portsmouth. On one occasion in 2019 it took 2 hours to through Border Control at Calais to get back to Dover. Whilst Brexit hasn't helped the situation it's not like the system was Perfect before. 
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Post by David »

chid679 wrote: 14 Aug 2023 11:13
Since 2020 I have travelled through Roscoff, St.Malo and now Cherbourg. Plus I've travelled by Plane through London Stansted, Liverpool and Manchester.  Never been held-up for more than about 20 minutes clearing Border Control.


 Ouistreham and Plymouth appear to be the worst on the Western Channel !
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Post by ExpressOlympia »

Portsmouth can be a challenge if a full load arrives from just one ship; it's a disaster if two arrive in quick succession. Plymouth last week was better-than-expected about an hour; I had anticipated much worse after it took 90 minutes one-time pre-Brexit! Sadly, whether arriving into the EU or back into the UK, when driving I always now anticipate at least 60 minutes. We never realised how good we had it before!

 
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Post by Des »

I find it odd that Irish cars were waved through. Over the years we've always had passport checks arriving in Roscoff seeing as we're coming from outside Schengen.

Last year it was significantly slower than we'd ever experienced before. 
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