Regulations and Technical Services Group

EU Tariffs on the import of US Yachts

Buying a boat from the United States?

Watch out for extra duty, say RATS

Did you know that for the last few months, many US-made items – including boats – brought into the EU have been subject to an extra 25% import tariff?

After Brexit: Effects on healthcare and EHIC

CA’s RATS (Regulations and Technical Services Group) is actively examining the myriad of issues that may affect CA members post-Brexit, one of which is healthcare and the EHIC. The article below, by RATS Ted Osborn, is an example of the regular articles by RATS in the CA’s Cruising magazine, and the valuable information it provides to CA members.

VHF Radio Checks - who should you call

The Cruising Association’s RATS (Regulations and Technical Services) Committee has been in discussion with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) about the use of calls to HMCG on Channel 16 requesting radio checks. RATS have anecdotal evidence of a proliferation of such requests and that these seemed to have spread from the Solent to other areas and Falmouth in particular.

News alert from Trinity House: Differential GPS user survey

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland are conducting a survey to gauge current and future user requirements for their Differential GPS service.

Differential GPS user survey

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland—Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights—operate 14 Differential GPS reference stations which provide corrections to GPS, thereby enabling greater positional accuracy and integrity in the user’s position.

Failure of throw bag rescue line

RATS draws the attention of Members to this important MAIB report, attached below. and for them to consider the points in it if they have these or other throw bags.

RATS adds the concern of two of its Members about the need to check the integrity of ropes and halyards on craft and their degradation caused by exposure to the UV content of sunlight.


Brexit discussion - CA Regulations & Technical Services Group

The Cruising Association’s Regulations and Technical experts team has been looking into the possibilities regarding British yachts sailing abroad, post Brexit.

From discussion with EC Brussels and the Embassies of Spain and Germany, the CA explained: ‘The Schengen region includes 25 countries including most EU member countries and a Schengen visa allows travellers to gain access to all 25 countries. Travelling within the region is similar to travelling among states in the U.S.'

Inshore Weather Forecasts and MSI details

As previously publicised by RATS, the MSI VHF Channels are changing on the 6th September.

A list of the new Channel numbers and forecast areas covered for each Coastguard Station are shown in the attached file.


Marine conservation zone 2013 designations

The government has announced that it has approved 27 MCZs from the 31 under consideration in the 2013 tranche. Of these 17 are mainly of interest to cruising sailors. Details of these can be accessed here

The inshore sites that have not been included are:  The Stour & Orwell, Hythe Bay, the Hilbre Island Group.

Latest Piracy Information - October 2013


The combined threat assessment of International Naval Counter Piracy Forces is and remains that:

All sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the High Risk Area (HRA) or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom.

Update information on the New Marine Diesel

The requirement for the use of the new marine low sulphur diesel became law  this year on the 14th January. 

RATS has just been told by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers and the Department of Transport that most of this fuel will now be supplied free of the troublesome 'bio' FAME material.

The new details, and a re-iteration of the precautions members should take, are included in the attached press release.

Colin Heywood.