Getting ready for BREXIT

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Voni
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Voni » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:16 pm

The EU have published a new document covering preparedness for BREXIT.

“ The European Commission has today adopted a Communication to help national authorities, businesses and citizens prepare for the inevitable changes that will arise at the end of the transition period. Changes will occur to cross-border exchanges between the EU and the UK as of 1 January 2021– irrespective of whether an agreement on a future partnership has been concluded or not.”

Section II outlines what will happen in any outcome.

The document is here

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/fi ... t_en_0.pdf


The document covers various topics. Some info you may know already but taken from the publication:-

“As of 1 January 2021, UK nationals travelling to the European Union and the Schengen area will be treated as third-country nationals, and therefore subject to thorough checks at the Schengen area border. This means that intended stays on the territory of EU Member States cannot have a duration of more than 90 days in any 180-day period, and UK nationals will have to meet the entry conditions for third-country nationals. They can also no longer make use of the EU/EEA/CH lanes reserved for persons enjoying the right to free movement when crossing the border.

Visa requirements
During the transition period, UK nationals are treated like Union citizens. Therefore, they are not subject to any visa requirements in the European Union, in particular when crossing Schengen borders.
Recent EU preparedness legislative measures have ensured that, as of 1 January 2021, UK nationals will remain exempt from the requirement to be in possession of visas when crossing the European Union’s external borders for short-term stays (up to 90 days in any 180-day period). This visa exemption does not provide for the right to work in the Union and is subject to the reciprocity mechanism applying to third countries, i.e. it could be suspended if Union citizens would cease to be given visa-free access to the United Kingdom for short stays.
Visa rules will also change for certain third-country nationals residing in the UK when they travel to the Union. For example, as of 1 January 2021, UK residence documents will no longer exempt the holder from airport transit visa requirements in the Union, and school pupils residing in the United Kingdom will no longer automatically benefit from visa-free access to the Union when going on school excursions.

Travelling with pets
During the transition period, pet owners resident in the United Kingdom can use the ‘EU pet passport’ to facilitate travel in the European Union with their pets.
As of 1 January 2021, an EU pet passport issued to a pet owner resident in the United Kingdom will no longer be a valid document for travelling with pets from the United Kingdom to any of the EU Member States. The requirements for pets accompanying those travelling from the United Kingdom in the future will be set by the Union.

Driving licences
During the transition period, Union law on the recognition of driving licenses across the European Union applies. Therefore, currently, holders of UK-issued driving licences can continue to drive in the EU without additional documentation.
As of 1 January 2021, driving licenses issued by the United Kingdom will no longer benefit from mutual recognition under Union law. The recognition of driving licences issued by the United Kingdom will be regulated at Member State level. In Member States that are Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, this Convention will apply. For further information the responsible authority of the respective Member State should be consulted.

Roaming
During the transition period, Union law on roaming applies with respect to the United Kingdom. Therefore, currently, the regulation ensuring roaming without additional charges applies vis-à-vis and in the United Kingdom.
As of 1 January 2021, access for United Kingdom consumers to Roam-Like-At-Home in the European Union will no longer be guaranteed by Union law; nor will it be guaranteed for Union consumers travelling to the United Kingdom.
Both United Kingdom and EU mobile operators will thus be able to apply a surcharge on roaming customers.”

Alf
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:56 pm

Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Alf » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:11 pm

Information campaign to support UK nationals in Greece

https://bit.ly/33eAL5f

Alf

Philb
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Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Philb » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:42 pm

We surely won the jackpot.

Kamisiana
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Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Kamisiana » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:28 pm

Philb wrote:We surely won the jackpot.


We surely did, 55 Billion the other week not going into the EU virus slush fund from the UK :D

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Kilkis » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:53 pm

Alf wrote:Information campaign to support UK nationals in Greece ...


I think the key thing now is what the Greek government does rather than what the UK government does. See this web page and click on "I am a UK national living in Greece. What should I do to keep my residence rights after Brexit date? When should I do it? Once the Greek government get round to updating that we will know what to do.

It is now 4 years since the EU Referendum. If there are people who don't know that they need to get a Residence Certificate by now I doubt if a new information campaign is going to help them. It's not terribly complicated, just do what it says in the grey box? Possibly get an IDP if you don't want to change your UK driving licence.

Warwick

Tim
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Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Tim » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:50 pm

Kilkis wrote: ... It's not terribly complicated, just do what it says in the grey box? Possibly get an IDP if you don't want to change your UK driving licence.
Warwick


My understanding is that UK issued IDP's are only available to UK residents. One of the criteria required to apply for one is a UK address. If you live in Greece, my guess is that a UK issued IDP is not valid, as you would not be entitled to it. The law seems quite straightforward on this (for once). You should hold a valid driving licence issued by whichever country you live in. More seriously, perhaps, if you are living in Greece and driving on an invalid licence, you may well be invalidating your insurance.

Tim

Jeffstclair
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Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Jeffstclair » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:28 pm

Yes Tim that is what I understand , if you live in Greece you should have a Greek licence ..it seems the easiest thing for most folk is to swap ..however some UK citizens who live here have a UK licence with an address of a friend or family member. I suppose for them if they could pass as a tourist an IDP might be a solution...seems a lot of bother imho...

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Kilkis » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:29 pm

Tim, everybody living here permanently and driving on a UK licence is doing so through a UK address. UK licences are only issued to UK addresses so UK IDPs are only issued to UK addresses, i.e. the same address as the licence is issued to. They are using addresses of friends and relatives. DVLA does not seem to care. They are only allowed to issue licences to UK addresses but they don't care if you actually live there.

I drove on a UK licence in Greece from 1997 to 2005. I sold my house in the UK in 1999. I think that, apart from myself, every single person I know is still driving on a UK licence and all of them have obtained IDPs. It is an offence in the UK to not update your address if you move and you can be fined for it but the licence is not invalid. If anybody is ever questioned all you need to say is that I spend some time in Greece and some time in the UK and that is the address where I live when I am in the UK.

Personally, for anybody who does live here permanently, I would suggest getting a Greek licence, because that is what the law intends, but nothing is going to happen if you don't.

Warwick

Tim
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Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Tim » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:49 pm

Kilkis wrote: Personally, for anybody who does live here permanently, I would suggest getting a Greek licence, because that is what the law intends, but nothing is going to happen if you don't. Warwick


.... up until the point you're involved in a serious accident and there's a third party claim against your policy. Then your insurance company discover you're driving 'not in accordance with your licence' and they drop you like a hot potato. Then you're in the c**p. Not worth taking the risk, imo.

And worth bearing in mind that after the end of this year, you will no longer be able to swap licences from UK to Greek without taking a Greek driving test.

Tim

Kilkis
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Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Kilkis » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:44 pm

You are correct that the law intends you to have a licence issued in the country where you "live" but as far as I am aware there is no offence that defines exactly what that means. I have also queried in previous threads if a UK licence is still valid if you live in Greece but the answer seems to be "Yes". The law, based on an EU Directive, is more about telling countries what to do, i.e. Country A can only issue a licence to an address in Country A. The EU Directive says that you can continue to drive on a licence from another EU country for as long as that licence is valid, i.e. hasn't expired. It's been checked by many people both from DVLA and UK police. The licence is still valid.

If you are stopped on a UK road by a UK policeman and the licence isn't in the "correct address" then you are guilty of a road traffic offence for which you can be fined but it does not invalidate the licence. I visit the UK. When I go I stay with my family. If I still had a UK licence, which I don't, I would simply get it issued to my son's address. When I am in the UK that is where I "live". It just happens I don't spend a lot of time in the UK. There is no 183 day rule for driving licences to the best of my knowledge.

The biggest problem is for the over 70s who have to renew their UK licence. They can self certify that they are still fit to drive but a random selection will be asked to provide a medical certificate. I believe that medical certificate has to be issued by their GP, because they have your medical records and know all your medical conditions. If you are no longer registered with a GP then you are stuffed. I don't think you can just rock up at a private doctor and ask them to issue you with a certificate.

I agree that it will be much harder to exchange a UK licence for a Greek one after the end of 2020. I am not recommending that people don't change it. I changed mine. It was no big deal. I've renewed it 4 times with no real hassle just little niggles. If people don't want to change it that is their decision. All I'm saying is that if they don't change it they need to get an IDP. If they drive in Greece after the end of this year on a UK licence without an IDP then they are breaking the law.

Warwick

Keltz
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Keltz » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:27 pm

GOV.UK site on driving licenses states...

"Driving if you move abroad

You need to get a local driving licence if you move abroad. Check with the driving licence authorities there to find out how to apply.

In some countries you can exchange your UK licence without taking another driving test."

From the 1st of January 2021 we will be living under rules defined by the Withdrawl Agreement negotiated by EU/UK.

That treaty clearly states it applies to those legally resident in the EU by end 2020.

I think the words "legally resident" are key as this effectively removes all previous loose arrangements on country of residency, health care liability, state pension increases, tax status and non-Greek motor car usage and driving licenses.

I have heard so called experts advising not to worry that you don't need to do anything as you can use prior receipts from public services to prove your residency.

Anyone not following the official advice leaves themselves open to loosing their right to live in Greece under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

This forum is great for discussing such things but has no legal responsibility to ensure the advice given is correct.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Getting ready for BREXIT

Postby Kilkis » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:02 pm

Keltz wrote:...I think the words "legally resident" are key as this effectively removes all previous loose arrangements on country of residency, health care liability, state pension increases, tax status and non-Greek motor car usage and driving licenses...


As far as Greece is concerned "legally resident" appears to be defined has having registered as living in Greece and having obtained a Residence Certificate, i.e. Βεβαίωση εγγραφής πολιτών Ε.Ε (beige) or Έγγραφο πιστοποίησης μόνιμης διαμονής πολίτη Ε.Ε (blue). Not all EU countries have this as a legal requirement although they all have the capability in their national law since it derives from an EU Directive. As far as I am aware driving licences are not covered by this Directive so having the wrong driving licence does not affect your "legal residency".

Under the Directive that does cover the issuing of driving licences my understanding is that you can continue to drive on a licence from another EU country as long as that licence is valid, i.e. has not expired. I continued to drive on my UK licence here for a period of 8 years. I came to Greece in 1997 and my UK licence would have expired in 2016 so I could have legally kept driving on it up to that expiry date. In the end I decided to change to a Greek one in 2005 but there was no compulsion to do so. Driving licences are not totally controlled by EU law and countries can deviate from some of the requirements in the EU law so it is possible that there is a Greek law that requires you to change it after a specified period of time. For example there might be a Greek law that says you can only drive on a licence from another EU state up to the age of 65 since Greeks have to renew at 65. If there is such a law I am not aware of it but, in any case, I would not have broken it.

It does get into murky waters if somebody who lives here permanently has a UK licence that expires and they renew it in the UK using an address of a relative or friend. There is nothing in the EU law that says you must change it because you have changed your residency but the EU law does require you to change it to one of your country of residency if it needs to be renewed.

Use of an EHIC to get a beige Residency Certificate is not necessarily wrong. The EU Directive and the Greek law requires you to get a beige certificate if you stay in Greece for more than 3 months. The NHS provides healthcare to UK residents, i.e. people who live in the UK for more than 183 days per year. Therefore it is perfectly possible for someone to be in Greece for between 3 months and 183 days, to require a beige Residency Certificate, to still be eligible for healthcare from the NHS and so be eligible to an NHS issued EHIC. The same logic applies to tax residency.

When it comes to the blue Residency Certificate we again get into murky waters. The Article that gives the right to a Permanent Residence Certificate states that, my highlight in red:

    Union citizens who have resided legally for a continuous period of five years in the host Member State shall have the right of permanent residence there.

Continuous means that they have not left the country in any of the previous 5 years for more than 6 months, with a couple of exceptions. Clearly if you apply for a blue Residency Certificate you are clearly saying that you have lived here for more than 183 days in each year in which case you cannot also be UK resident, the NHS is no longer responsible for your healthcare and the EHIC is not valid. Similarly I think many people will find that their accountant has declared them as non-tax resident by stating that they live in Greece for less than 183 days in each year so in applying for the blue certificate you are telling the Home Office part of the Greek government that you live here for more than 183 days in each year and the Tax Authority part of the Greek government that you live here for less than 183 days in each year. Not a problem unless or until the two bits of government decide to talk to each other. Whether issuing the new Biometric Residence Cards will provoke such a conversation we have no way of knowing. If it does it is pretty clear that the Greek government wants us here so the worst that will probably happen is that you will need to change tax residency and if you do you get the bonus of the 7 % rate.

Warwick


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