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Driving to and from France/UK

Driving to and from France/UK

Old Jul 24th 2022, 2:08 am
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Default Driving to and from France/UK

Hi, I have to go to the UK next month and wondered what it is like re customs going into the UK from France and back again, has anyone has done the trip recently? I know it's a mess at the moment in Dover, I'm hoping things will have improved by the time I'm due to travel. I'm also travelling Dieppe/Newhaven, return. Also any covid meassures still in place. Anyone with any recent experience willing to share I would be most grateful.

The visit is just for a two to three week holiday.

Last edited by bons; Jul 24th 2022 at 2:24 am.
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Returned to the UK via Portsmouth at the beginning of June.
There are no Covid restrictions or requirements when you enter the UK.
The ferry company may have Covid related restrictions.
No customs issues - just passport checks.
I am not up-to-date with French entry requirements but my last arrival in France they checked vaccination status and stamped passport.
HTH
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Isn’t this practice of stamping the passport of French resident UK nationals on re-entry to France going to create problems at some point? Will there come a day when you’re trying to re-enter France (because you live there) and the “computer says no” because it thinks you’ve broken the 90-day rule?

Various friends have proactively shown their French residence permits at the border to try to preempt any stamping of their passports. But they got stamped anyway.
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

There is a new Shengen visa system to be introduced in 2023 which will replace passport stamps.
The UK has been talking about a similar system for the UK which will do away with passports and use facial recognition.
Don't hold your breath - it may not happen.
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

If you only have entry stamps and no exit stamps I don't see how the computer can possibly calculate how many days you've been in the EU. Not enough data.
Plus if you have a titre de séjour you're not subject to the 90/180 rule in the first place and I don't see how anybody can seriously accuse a person of breaking a rule that doesn't apply to them.
All a stamp shows is that this person crossed this border on that date. Which you did. So I don't really see the harm in it.
And as Cyrian says, this is only a stop gap process because the new system is looming.
That'll be fun.
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

But say you’re back and forth a lot so the computer has records of both entry and exit dates. There could certainly be sufficient data.

I know - and you know - that if you hold a residence permit you’re not subject to the 90/180 rule. And hopefully a human immigration officer with half a brain would know that too.
I’m just not sure I trust a computer to know it. Probably because I’ve had quite a few cases recently where officials have allowed computers to override their own brains. Such as railway staff telling me to get on the wrong train because their phone told them it was the right one.
Anyway. Hopefully I’m catastrophising and all will be well!
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Sorry I should have made it clear. The stamping doesn’t bother me.
It’s that I don’t entirely trust the system to capture the different possible situations.
And that’s before we get into more complicated but perfectly plausible scenarios such as a British man travelling back and forth to France with, say, an Irish wife. He’s not subject to the 90/180 rule as long as he travels with her but can we trust a computer to know that? I hope so.
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964
But say you’re back and forth a lot so the computer has records of both entry and exit dates. There could certainly be sufficient data.
But if the computer has those records, then it will have them regardless of whether or not the passport is stamped.
The computer may show that a person has been in the EU for more than 90/180 but it is up to the customs official to assimilate that information and take any appropriate action. It is not the computer that is going to ask you to come with it to a little office to clarify your situation, it's the official on the gate. If that official is looking at a titre de séjour they would need to be pretty dumb to start accusing you of overstaying. Of course people sometimes get it wrong but border officials are selected and trained, and understanding what a residence permit signifies, is rather basic I would have thought..

I can't help feeling that Brits are getting angst-ridden over this simply because it is all new to them. But in fact the French immigration system has been dealing with TCNs with and without titres de séjour, with their family menbers of assorted nationalities, eligible or not eligible for the visa waiver, since way way way before Brexit. It is not a new system and I can't see that Brits will come up with any scenario that hasn't already cropped up with Americans or any of the other nationalities with visa waiver programmes.

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Old Jul 24th 2022, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

As I said, it’s not the stamping. The stamping is irrelevant. I suppose it’s a more general apprehension on my part about a creeping overreliance on technology. As long as there’s a human immigration officer there to take me off to a little office, I’ll go happily.
But I’m increasingly coming across cases in everyday life where a computer has made a decision and got it wrong and there’s no easy way to challenge it.
Admittedly, just minor annoyances for now.
For example, try contesting a parking ticket in Strasbourg even though you know you’re in the right. Easier just to pay it.
Or - during lockdown - argue with a policeman whose phone is telling him you’re more than 1 km from home (when you’re not).

Sorry, I digress as usual. Am just concerned that, as in other areas of life, with the digitisation of entries and exits will come more opportunities for people to switch their brains off.


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Old Jul 24th 2022, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

I do share that feeling up to a point but what else can you do, you can't track the comings and goings of thousands or even millions of people without using technology. And if the technology flags up a problem, then a little man will come along to look into it. I can't imagine that the computer is going to spit out a Go To Jail, Do Not Pass Go etc. card.
I take your point about the 1km thing but I suppose that was partly at least because a quick fix was needed for a situation that had arisen suddenly, it wasn't a thing that had been planned carefully well in advance.
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Old Jul 24th 2022, 10:44 pm
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Ignore me. I’m just moaning. It’s Monday.
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Old Jul 25th 2022, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Originally Posted by cyrian
Returned to the UK via Portsmouth at the beginning of June.
There are no Covid restrictions or requirements when you enter the UK.
The ferry company may have Covid related restrictions.
No customs issues - just passport checks.
I am not up-to-date with French entry requirements but my last arrival in France they checked vaccination status and stamped passport.
HTH
Thanks.
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Old Jul 25th 2022, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

I'm resident in Portugal so the stamping of the passport is still an issue re the 90 days.
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Old Jul 25th 2022, 1:03 am
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Originally Posted by Helen1964
Sorry I should have made it clear. The stamping doesn’t bother me.
It’s that I don’t entirely trust the system to capture the different possible situations.
And that’s before we get into more complicated but perfectly plausible scenarios such as a British man travelling back and forth to France with, say, an Irish wife. He’s not subject to the 90/180 rule as long as he travels with her but can we trust a computer to know that? I hope so.
I can answer your specific query as a UK resident with Irish passport and a UK passport holder spouse. who have crossed the channel several times recently.

The UK passport is stamped on entry and exit from France but the Irish passport is not.

The UK passport holder can remain in France with the EU spouse as long as they remain together. Should the EU passport holder leave the Uk spouse alone in France then the 90/180 starts at that point i.e. original stay + 90/180 but proving continuity may be a problem.

Remember Schengen rules also apply if internal borders are crossed.
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Old Jul 25th 2022, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Driving to and from France/UK

Originally Posted by EuroTrash
If you only have entry stamps and no exit stamps I don't see how the computer can possibly calculate how many days you've been in the EU. .....
British and French immigration likely has access the ferries' passenger manifests, same as they do for aircraft.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 25th 2022 at 2:59 am.
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