Driving through Europe with your Topper
Travelling to Europe as a private individual from the UK with a boat in tow should not now be any different to previous years. Border Officers have now seen many boats and caravans crossing the border since Brexit and are now more ambivalent towards them. Historically some border officials have been difficult and have asked for papers that are not necessary as they relate to yachts sailing across the Channel, not those towed behind a car. This should now not happen.
As long as you have your driving licence and passport which has the same given and family name as the boats papers then all should be well. You do not need a VAT receipt or a carnet - which is only a requirement for the commercial delivery of boats. You do however need the boat insurance, and it would be useful to take the original invoice from Topper International if you still have it. Basically, any paperwork which identifies your particular Topper should it be questioned would be useful. If you are taking someone else’s boat with you, it may be prudent to have them with you, or at least to make sure you have all their papers and even written permission to take the boat into and return from Europe.
We would suggest you avoid taking anything that is still in its wrapper! If your boat is searched and they find brand new items then they may ask for proof of ownership. We have spoken to sailors who have already attended events in Europe and the advice above has largely come from them. Yes, there have been some horror stories but they were largely down to individual customs officers not knowing what the actual paperwork requirements are post Brexit or to individuals taking out a boat without the correct papers in their name.
You will also need:
- at least 6 months left on your passport, and the passport must not be more than 10 years old.
- to display a UK sticker on the rear of your vehicle, from 28th September 2021 this has changed from a GB to a UK sticker see Govt advice on driving in Europe here.
- your V5 car registration document for driving in Italy.
For general advice on driving requirements in Italy and the maximum trailer width and weights, see the RAC advice here.
Vaccination requirements for Italy.
With regard to the current Covid requirements for travelling to Italy for the Topper Worlds at Riva del Garda, see the recent information from CNN