The third in a series of Technical Notice relating to the end of the transition period was published by HM Government of Gibraltar earlier this week.
In the event that the UK and Gibraltar leave the EU without an agreement on 31 December (at the end of the transition period) 2020, procedures and requirements regarding passports and travel documents for travel within the Schengen Area (including Spain) will change significantly, commencing 1 January 2021.
WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT AGREEMENT
If no agreement has been met regarding Gibraltar's future relationship with the EU by 31 December, British passport holders, including holders of passports issued by Gibraltar, will be considered third-country nationals under the Schengen Border Code. As a result, the following points must be taken into consideration for travel to the Schengen area as from 1 January 2021:
- British passport holders must ensure that on the day of travel, the passport must have a minimum of 6 months before expiry and be less than 10 years old.*
- British Gibraltarians may not be able to travel to the Schengen Area (including Spain) using their Gibraltar identity card. For this reason, the preceding point is of particular importance.
- As from 2022, third-country nationals will require travel authorisations granted under the EU's European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). These will be valid for a total of 3 years at a cost of 7 EUR.
- EU Member State border authorities (including those of Spain) may ask third-country nationals to justify the purpose and intended length of stay within the Schengen area, as well as to produce proof of sufficient means of subsistence (e.g. valid booking confirmations, credit card/cash, etc.)
Even in the event of withdrawal without an agreement, it is likely that reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the EU will be made, meaning British passport holders will not need a visa in order to enter the EU (including Spain) and may be exempt from the aforementioned travel documentation.**
Individuals are advised to familiarise themselves with new rules and regulations regarding Gibraltar's departure from the EU in the case of uncertainty, in order to best prepare for the adjustment.
*The public are advised to use the following service on the UK Government website before travelling anywhere within the Schengen Area as from 1 January 2021:
** HMGoG will confirm the position definitively once those arrangements are agreed as expected.
The following countries are part of the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Passport holders are reminded to check the entry requirements for other countries that are in the EU but not in the Schengen area.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.