United Kingdom nationals travelling to the European Union and Schengen Area Member States are already going through a lot of changes, including additional checks at ports of entry, and even entry restrictions which have been imposed on third countries amid COVID-19.
Frequent travellers to the block and the borderless zone will soon face another struggle – a limited period of permitted stay within the block.
Under the Schengen Area rules of stay for third-country citizens, non-EU citizens entering the territory under the visa-free regime can stay for a maximum of 90 days, for every 180 days.
Those who overstay this period – intentionally or unintentionally – may face penalties, including deportation and entry bans.
90/180 DAYS-OF-STAY RULE EXPLAINED
The 90/180 days rule may be confusing to many, in particular for Britons, who so far did not have to worry about how long they were staying in another EU or Schengen associated country.
Every third-country citizen travelling to the Schengen Area under the visa-free entry regime is permitted to stay for a period of a total of 90 days, in any 180 days.
The 180-day period keeps rolling, thus, anytime a traveller wishes to enter the Schengen zone, he/she just have to count backwards the last 180 days, and see if they have been present in the Schengen Zone for more than 90 days throughout that period.
WHAT CONSEQUENCES WILL BRITONS FACE FOR OVERSTAYING IN EU?
The consequences that a British national may face for staying in the EU longer than permitted depend a lot on the country where he/she is caught overstaying, as well as the number of days overstayed.
Since there is no common policy for penalties for overstayers, the Member States may apply the penalties differently, some by being softer and other harsher, like for example Germany.
Despite their differences, in general, the Member States apply the following penalties on those caught overstaying, including on Britons staring from this year:
Deportation – All third-country citizens caught overstaying the number of permitted days of stay in the EU are immediately forced to leave the block. Some of the countries will imprison overstayers and deport them by themselves, while others will give overstayers a certain period of hours or days to leave.
Fines – One of the most common penalties for overstaying in the Schengen Area is being fined with an amount of money, though the fees vary from one country to another. Fines are applied alongside with deportation and are not a substitute for it. They may often be followed with an entry ban too.
Difficulties in returning to the Schengen – Almost every deported person will face difficulties to travel back to the Schengen Area. They will face prolonged border checks upon entry and may even be turned back or banned from entering for a certain period.
Entry ban – Usually the Member States ban from entering only those who have overstayed for a longer period. Bans are applied for a period of three years or even more.
Despite the consequences listed above, some travellers may not be subject to any of them, in particular those who cannot travel for a strong reason that can be proved.
A few days ago, Neus Lafuente, from Moya & Emery, finished one of the periodic training sessions carried out for the staff of the FIRST MALLORCA real estate agency. In this case, the training was directed to Rentals department. An analysis was carried out of the modification of LAW 29/1994 OF NOVEMBER 24 ON URBAN LEASING (LAU) carried out on March 5, 2019, which entered into force on March 6, 2019. A modification that affects the terms and extensions of the rental contracts, the right to terminate the contract, the increase in rent because of improvements, the expenses of the parties and the bond.
Specifically, references were also made to the following aspects:
• Modification of the terms and extensions of the contracts: Currently it is 5 years in natural persons, 7 in legal persons; extendable annually for 3 more years. If the time is not stipulated in the contract, it is understood that it is 1 year, and the minimum time without compensation that the tenant is is 6 months, from there with an anticipation of 30 days he can withdraw from it; • Rights and obligations of both parties to the rental contract. • Of the rent, the guarantee and the deposit: their legal maximums and the differences between these concepts; • The legally established distribution of expenses; • The most common abusive terms that can be found in a lease contract; • The minimum and mandatory requirements that must appear in a lease contract; • On express evictions and the suspension of evictions until May 9, 2021 because of Coronavirus new regulations • Taxation of rental contracts.
El Consell de Mallorca ha presentado una nueva convocatoria extraordinaria de AYUDAS para paliar los efectos del Covid-19 con el objetivo de minimizar las consecuencias negativas de la pandemia y reactivar la economía de la isla, en este caso dirigidas:
Al sector de los EVENTOS: que incluye a feriantes, organizadores de eventos (bodas, MICE, deportes), balnearios y baños de Mallorca.
De nuevo, al sector de la RESTAURACIÓN (la tercera convocatoria de ayudas hasta la fecha para el sector): restaurantes, bares, cafeterías, heladerías
En ambos casos, la solicitud de dichas ayudas podrá ser realizada a partir de mañana domingo 20 de febrero. Puedes acceder al BOIB con la convocatoria de las bases y requisitos para acceder a las ayudas de la actividad EVENTOS (aquí) y RESTAURACIÓN iii (aquí).
Y recuerda, puedes pedir cita con Moya & Emery y en nuestras oficinas te informaremos de las convocatorias disponibles y te guiaremos en el proceso de solicitud de las ayudas a la restauración (iii), eventos, comercio mayorista y salas de baile, gimnasios y escuelas de danza.
Real estate investments by British in the Balearics after Brexit
Since the United Kingdom left the European Union, the media filled their front pages with the following headline: The British will only be allowed to acquire property in the Balearics under military permit.
The regulation implementing this law defines these areas as: islands, Cartagena, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Bay of Cadiz, the border area with Portugal, Galicia, the border area with France and the Spanish territories of North Africa.
In accordance with the Law and its implementing regulation, non-EU foreigners willing to acquire real estate in the areas described below are subject to the requirement of military authorisation. In addition, military authorisation will be required for Spanish companies when their share capital is owned by foreign individuals or legal entities in a proportion of more than 50 per cent, or when, even if this is not the case, the non-EU foreign shareholders have a situation of dominance or prevalence in the company, derived from any circumstance that makes it possible to prove the existence of a decisive influence by them in the management of the company.
Therefore, and contrarily to what might be thought, this restriction cannot be circumvented by the mere incorporation of one or more Spanish and/or foreign companies when their ultimate beneficial owners are, de facto, British.
As per the military authorisation, the applications for the acquisition of estates not exceeding 2,000 square metres in area, their granting will fall to the relevant General Captaincy; however, when it comes to estates exceeding 2,000 square metres in area, the application must be addressed to and will be processed by the Ministry of Defence.
In any case, it should be noted that both regulations provide for an exception to the above restriction. Military authorisation will not be required in the area occupied by existing urban centres or their existing built-up or expansion areas.
Hence, although this restriction affects the whole of the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera), an exception is made, and therefore military authorisation will not be required, when non-EU foreigners acquire property in urban centres and built-up areas. In other words, the permit will only be required when British nationals intend to acquire property on rural land.
At this point, it is convenient to highlight the residence status in Spain that applies to them after the Brexit. Unless they apply for temporary or, where appropriate, permanent residence, British nationals must comply with the entry requirements established in the Schengen Borders Code, which allows them to stay in Spain for 90 days per 180-day period, either on one or several visits, and in which case they must identify themselves with their passport and will be exempt from visa requirements.
As an alternative, a few years ago the Spanish government introduced a special visa to attract foreign investment, which is commonly known as “Golden Visa”. Thus, the Golden Visa is a type of residence visa, suitable for non-EU citizens who undertake a real estate investment in Spain equal to or greater than € 500,000 free of charges or encumbrances, i.e. without mortgaging the property to be acquired. This visa allows both residing and working in Spain and has an initial duration of two years, which can be extended for another two. Moreover, it is possible to extend the visa to the spouse and children under 18 years of age, or children of full age who are objectively incapable of providing for their own needs.
Notwithstanding the above, British nationals may apply for temporary or permanent residence in Spain through the standard procedure. However, it should be borne in mind that, if so, their tax status would be affected, as they would be considered tax residents in Spain and, consequently, would be taxed on certain income in that country. Nevertheless, it should be noted that during their first years of residence in Spain they could benefit from the tax regulations known as the “Beckham Law”, which allows foreigners who move to Spain to be taxed as non-residents for a certain limited number of years.
Anyway, and going back to the subject matter, it is likely that the above-mentioned military regulation applies only for a limited period of time. Currently, citizens of countries that do not belong to the European Union but belong to the countries of the Single European Space or assimilated (Schengen Area), i.e. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, are fully equated to nationals of EU countries and, accordingly, exempt from the need for military authorisation. It is therefore to be hoped that, in the not-too-distant future, the Spanish government will extend this status to the British and this obsolete regime of restricted access can be forgotten, at least as far as the British are concerned.
Lawyer specializaing in commercial law and real estate law
Unfortunately, the provided information is not accurate and Moya & Emery wants to clarify that the mentioned military authorization is not required if a British wants to purchase an urban property (flats, villas, etc.) according to section 35.1 of the Royal Decree 689/1978.
We recommend you to get legal advice before purchasing a property to avoid any problem. For sure, as it is one of our finest expertises, you can choose our legal firm in case you need.
Thus, after setting a series of requirements such as being registered and up to date in the payment of contributions, not being entitled to the “ordinary” unemployment benefit, not having income from self-employed activity in the last quarter of the 2020 financial year that exceeds the minimum interprofessional wage, or suffering, in the fourth quarter of 2020, a reduction in income from self-employed activity of at least 50% in relation to the income in the first quarter of 2020; the regulation allows the self-employed who have applied for payment of the benefit to renounce it at any time, and to do so at the same time as the self-employed who have applied for payment of the benefit:
– To renounce it at any time before 31 January 2021, with the renunciation taking effect the month following its communication.
– To return the benefit for cessation of activity on their own initiative, without having to wait for a claim from the mutual society collaborating with the Social Security or the managing body, when they consider that the income received during the fourth quarter of 2020 or the drop in turnover in the same period will exceed the established thresholds with the corresponding loss of entitlement to the benefit.
SELF-EMPLOYED. FROM 1 MARCH 2021, ALL PROVISIONAL RULINGS WILL BE REVIEWED.
The mutual insurance companies are already reviewing whether the self-employed who have been receiving unemployment benefits since 2020 meet the requirements, they have verified or will verify this in different periods and could request the return of the benefits if they do not meet the requirements.
From 1 March 2021, article 13.2 of Royal Decree-Law 30/2020, of 29 September, empowers the mutual insurance companies collaborating with the Social Security, or the Social Marine Institute, as the competent bodies for the recognition of the benefit, to request from the Ministry of Finance the tax data corresponding to the year 2019 and 2020 of the self-employed workers who are granted this extraordinary benefit.
Once the data has been checked by the collaborating or managing entity competent to recognize the benefit, it will proceed to claim the benefits received by those self-employed workers who exceed the income limits established in this provision, or who do not accredit a reduction in turnover during the fourth quarter of 2020 of at least 75% in relation to the same period in 2019.
The competent entity for the claim will set the date for payment of the amounts claimed, which must be made without interest or surcharge. Once the deadline has passed, the General Treasury of the Social Security will proceed to claim the outstanding debt, with the appropriate surcharges and interest.
In this mutual insurance company verification form, the self-employed person must attach – as a general rule – the income and expenditure ledger that includes all the invoices corresponding to the months in which they received the benefit and which they must compare to verify the drop of 75% or more in turnover with respect to the six months prior to the state of alarm (from September 2019 to February 2020).
In any case, the documentation to be provided will be required by the form itself, once you have entered and chosen the parameters that identify your type of taxation. In the event that the interested party is not entitled to the benefit, the procedures for claiming the amounts unduly received will be initiated.
To this end, the aforementioned entities will issue a decision setting the amount to be reimbursed, which must be made without interest or surcharge within the period indicated in the notification to the interested party.
Once the period established in the decision has elapsed, the Social Security General Treasury will proceed to claim the outstanding debt, with the appropriate surcharges and interest in accordance with the administrative collection procedure established in Royal Decree 939/2005, of 29 July, which approves the General Collection Regulations.
The institution would require the self-employed to pay a minimum of 2,000 euros – corresponding to 661 euros per month for three months at 70% of the minimum contribution base – together with the exemptions from contributions for the same period of time, which would amount to around 800 euros – once again, in the case of paying the minimum contribution base.
The refund must be made at once and within a period of around 10 days.
On 30 December last, following the agreement of the Council of Ministers, Royal Decree-Law 38/2020 of 29 December was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) number 340, adopting measures to adapt the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the situation of a third country following the end of the transitional period provided for in the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community of 31 January 2020 (access to BOE regulations, here)
Chapter II of this RD-Law establishes the rules applicable to “Professional and Labour Relations” and is divided into 5 sections:
Section 1: “Professions and public service”, regulates access to and exercise of professions, and the rules applicable to access to and maintenance of the status of public employees of United Kingdom nationals in the service of Spanish public administrations.
Section 2: “Industrial relations” contains two articles, one on the transitional arrangements applicable to workers temporarily posted in the framework of the provision of services and the other on European Works Councils in Community-scale undertakings or Community-scale groups of undertakings.
Section 3: on the exercise of research and innovation activities in a single article, Article 8, which allows United Kingdom nationals, who on 31 December 2020 are exercising these activities in Spain, to continue to do so on the same terms as those under which they are recognized, subject to the application of the Spanish legislation in force, provided that reciprocal treatment is recognized for Spanish nationals by the competent United Kingdom authorities.
Section 4: “Social Security”, contains, in a single article, Article 9, the rules for determining the applicable legislation on the same terms as those established prior to the date of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. This will allow Spain to continue to apply these same rules to those persons who are subject to UK social security legislation, provided that the United Kingdom acts reciprocally in respect of those persons who are subject to security legislation Spanish social security system.
In Section 5, Article 10 regulates measures to enable United Kingdom nationals to access unemployment benefits for periods of contribution up to 31 December 2020 (end of the transitional period), in any Member State of the European Union including periods of contribution in the United Kingdom, provided that the last contributions were made in Spain and that the right of legal residence in Spain is maintained.
By way of summary, among the measures included in this RD-Law, we highlight the following:
Companies established in Spain which on 1 January 2021 had workers temporarily posted to the United Kingdom or Gibraltar must continue to apply the legislation of that country, which transposes Directive 96/71/EC of 16 December, during the period of posting and provided that reciprocal treatment is recognized.
Similarly, companies established in the United Kingdom or Gibraltar with workers posted to Spain before 31 December 2020 may remain in Spain from 1 January and continue to provide their services until 31 December. After that, in order to continue the activity, it will be necessary to apply for a residence and work permit.
European Union citizens who commute to Gibraltar for work will be eligible for unemployment benefits until 31 December 2022
Workers who were posted to provide services will not have to apply for residence and work permits from 1 January 2021 if the planned duration of the posting is not extended
Workers posted to Spain as from 1 January 2021 must obtain the visas and/or residence and work permits provided for in Spanish immigration law, without prejudice to the agreements and commitments that may be assumed in a possible agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Access to unemployment benefit or cessation of activity is allowed until 31 December 2022, for citizens of the European Union who travel daily to Gibraltar to work without having to make contributions in Spain last. As from 1 January 2021, provision is made for the reimbursement of benefits paid by Spain to be claimed from the United Kingdom authorities, once an international instrument establishing the mechanisms for collaboration in this area has been agreed.
For nationals of EU Member States, periods accredited in the UK social security system up to 31 December 2020 will be considered for the calculation of unemployment benefits or benefits for cessation of activity, when these contributions are made last in Spain and provided that the right to reside legally in Spain is maintained, in accordance with the regulations on the co-ordination of social security systems. UK citizens will have their periods of work in any EU Member State recognized until 31 December for the purpose of calculating their pensions when contributions are made last in Spain.
Persons receiving unemployment benefits in Spain who were authorized to export their entitlement before 1 January 2021 may continue to receive them until the end of the initial three-month period for which they were authorized to export.
European Works Councils or procedures for consulting workers which have been set up or agreed before 1 January 2021 will be maintained. This measure concerns European companies in which workers or companies from the United Kingdom participate and which have their management centralized in Spain.
From 1 January 2021, the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union is based on the “Trade and Co-operation Agreement” which is a major change for citizens, companies and administrations in the EU and the United Kingdom.
The content of this Agreement is divided into four main blocks: the first on Free Trade, which eliminates quotas and tariffs between the UK and the EU and establishes conditions of fair competition. The second establishes a framework for economic, social, environmental and fisheries cooperation which includes provisions to ensure energy and transport connectivity, as well as coordination in areas related to social security. The third regulates a partnership on internal security based on existing mechanisms such as Europol or Eurojust and includes provisions on the surrender of detainees, the fight against money laundering and the fight against the financing of terrorism. Finally, a fourth block establishes a common governance framework with governance underpinned by an institutional framework that includes an “Association Council”, co-chaired by a member of the European Commission and a representative of the British government at ministerial level, which will supervise the implementation of the Agreement and will be assisted by specialized committees and working groups.
Desde Moya & Emery queremos informarles de las nuevas medidas que planea adoptar el gobierno de las Islas Baleares en referencia a la crisis sanitaria del COVID 19.
Medidas a aprobar el próximo lunes 11 de Enero
La principal novedad, anticipada por el Govern balear en rueda de prensa, es que el próximo lunes se aprobará el cierre –que será efectivo a partir del próximo martes 12 de Enero y tendrá una duración de 2 semanas– de BARES, RESTAURANTES, GRANDES SUPERFICIES Y GIMNASIOS de la isla de Mallorca, sin que queden afectadas el resto de las islas baleares.
Con respecto a la hostelería, se señala que los bares y restaurantes no tendrán restricciones en lo que se refiere al servicio de COMIDA A DOMICILIO y el de RECOGIDA en los locales, pues la nueva medida restrictiva viene referida ala imposibilidad de atender al público en interiores de los locales o en las terrazas (sin importar el aforo). De igual forma se permitirá la apertura de establecimientos dedicados a la venta de productos de primera necesidad (alimentación o higiene) para que los consumidores tengan garantizado dicho suministro.
Medidas actualmente vigentes
Además, con respecto a las medidas ya adoptadas desde el acuerdo del Consejo de Gobierno de las Islas Baleares de 14 de diciembre de 2020, señalar que se establecieron los diferentes niveles de alerta sanitaria para la comunidad autónoma, además de la introducción de modificaciones en el plan de medidas contra el COVID-19.
Estas son algunas de las modificaciones que han sido aprobadas:
1. Diferentes niveles de riesgo para cada una de las islas que conforman la comunidad autónoma:
Mallorca nivel 4
Menorca nivel 3
Ibiza nivel 2
Formentera nivel 1
2. Se prohíbe el consumo de tabaco en la vía pública o en espacios al aire libre de uso público cunado no se pueda mantener una distancia de seguridad de 2 metros(mínimo). También se prohíbe el consumo de tabaco en las terrazas de establecimientos de uso público o establecimientos similares.
3. Nivel 4: Solo puede haber 6 personas en los espacios exteriores. Las reuniones sociales en espacios interiores solo se podrán reunir un máximo de 6 personas y que como máximo pertenezcan a dos núcleos de convivencia.
4. Quedarán suspendidas todas las actividades complementarias y extraescolares, tanto las organizadas por los centros educativos como por entidades externas, excepto aquellas en que los alumnos formen parte de un mismo grupo de convivencia. De estas se excluyen:
Programa de acompañamiento Escolar (PAE)
Talleres de lengua catalana para recién llegados.
5. No se permiten las pernoctaciones fuera del centro residencial, excepto si están en periodo de vacaciones o alta temporal del centro.
6. Nivel 4: Se permiten la práctica de deportes en equipo, con la posibilidad de contacto físico, así como las competiciones deportivas correspondientes a equipos o deportistas de categorías estatales.
El resto de los deportistas tienen que asegurarse de que respetan la distancia de seguridad, al menos un metro y medio y evitar todas las situaciones de contacto físico. También se prohíben el uso de los vestuarios, excepto en el caso de desplazamientos interislas o fuera de la comunidad autónoma. Se deben adaptar a estas condiciones:
Deportes de campo.
No federados: grupos de entrenamiento estables de 6 personas. (máx.)
Federados: grupos de entrenamiento estables de 30 personas. (máx.)
Deportes de pista.
No federados: grupos de entrenamiento estables de 6 personas. (máx.)
Federados: grupos de entrenamiento estables de 20 personas. (máx.)
Deportes de contacto.
No federados: grupos de entrenamiento estables de 5 personas. (máx.)
Federados: grupos de entrenamiento estables de 10personas. (máx.)
En el caso de deportistas no federados o de categorías no estatales las sesiones de entrenamiento se deben limitar a 2 por semana.
7. Nivel 4: Se prohíbe la asistencia de público en todas las instalaciones deportivas, excepto en competiciones de carácter estatal, que pueden tener un 25% de capacidad, hasta un máximo de 200 personas. (Para la práctica de actividades estáticas en sala).
Nivel 4: Se prohíbe la asistencia de público en todas las instalaciones deportivas, excepto en competiciones de carácter estatal, que pueden tener un 50% de capacidad, hasta un máximo de 400 personas. (Para la práctica de actividades en carriles de piscina).
9. Nivel 3: Máximo el 50 % de la capacidad máxima autorizada,300 personas máximo en espacios cerrados y 1000 personas si se tratan de actividades al aire libre.
Nivel 4: Máximo el 50 % de la capacidad máxima autorizada,200 personas en espacios cerrados y 400 personas si se trata de espacios al aire libre.
Este punto número 9 hace referencia a: cines, teatros, auditorios, circos de carpa y espacios similares, así como recintos al aire libre y en otros locales y establecimientos destinados a espectáculos públicos y actividades recreativas.
10. Nivel 4: Se prohíbe el servicio de restauración en espacios interiores. Queda prohibida también la utilización de máquinas recreativas, o similares en el interior de los establecimientos. Todos los establecimientos de restauración tienen como hora de cierre la legalmente autorizada y en ningún caso podrá superar las 24. 00h.Entre las 22.00 h y las 24.00 h sólo se permite la prestación de servicio a domicilio. No se permite el consumo en las barras de los establecimientos.
Excepciones al cierre al público en espacios interiores en el nivel 4:
Hoteles y alojamiento turístico siempre que sea para el uso exclusivo de los clientes alojados.
Los servicios de restauración integrantes de centros de formación no incluidos en el parágrafo anterior y los servicios de comedero de carácter social.
Otros servicios de restauración de centros de formación no incluidos en el parágrafo anterior y los servicios de restauración d ellos centros de trabajo destinados a las personas trabajadoras.
En estos casos se reducirá el aforo – 30% de la capacidad máxima autorizada.
11. Nivel 4: 75% de la capacidad máxima autorizada, máximo 6 personas por mesa. Los viernes sábados y vigilias solo se permite el uso de las terrazas hasta las 18.00h.
12. Las mesas de los establecimientos de restauración deben disponer de la información relativa a las medidas de precaución adoptadas.
13. Nivel 4: 50% de capacidad máxima autorizada del espacio y grupos de máximo 6 personas.
14.Nivel 3: 50% de capacidad máxima autorizada del espacio. Todos los establecimientos y locales comerciales minoristas y de actividades de servicios profesionales tiene como hora de cierre las 22.00h (máx.).
15. Nivel 4: 50% de la capacidad máxima autorizada del espacio, excepto en el caso de centros comerciales y grandes establecimientos comerciales, en los cuales se debe aplicar un 30 % de la capacidad máxima autorizada del espacio hasta un máximo de:
400 personas en superficies de entre 2500 a 4000 metros cuadrados.
600 personas en superficies de entre 4001 a 6000 metros cuadrados.
800 personas en superficies de entre 6001 a 8000 metros cuadrados.
1000 personas en superficies de entre 8001 a 10000 metros cuadrados.
1200 personas en superficies de entre 10001 a 12000 metros cuadrados.
1400 personas en superficies de entre 12001 a 15000 metros cuadrados.
Para superficies de más de 15001 metros cuadrados, el máximo se tiene que calcular asegurando que se dispone de un mínimo de 8 metros por persona.
Todos los establecimientos y locales comerciales minoristas y de actividades de servicios profesionales tienen como hora de cierre la legalmente autorizada, y no pueden superar las 22.00h.
16. Los espacios considerados centros comerciales y grandes establecimientos comerciales tienen que establecer sistemas de control de acceso y de capacidad en tiempo real. Estos espacios comerciales deben disponer de personal de seguridad que vele para que se respete la capacidad máxima y las distancias de seguridad.
17. Se permite la actividad de las atracciones infantiles o atracciones de feria con las siguientes condiciones. Nivel 1,2,3 y 4: Las atracciones se pueden habilitar en grupos de máximo 3, y debe haber una distancia mínima de 25 metros entre grupos de atracciones. En caso de que las atracciones sean de uso exclusivo individual (un usuario por viaje) no se compatibilizan en el cómputo total de atracciones.
There has been much news about the problems that Brexit is causing for some British citizens and, in particular, for the many expatriates living in Spain. The latest, echoed yesterday by the Evening Standard (see below), is about the difficulties of travelling from the UK to their places of residence in Spain. For this reason, we recommend that British people living in the Balearic Islands contact Moya & Emery to find out about the latest news, procedures and documentation necessary for their journeys or any other matter related to their residence in Spanish territory.
British expats have been reduced to tears after getting stuck in Heathrow, claiming that airlines have refused travel back to their Spanish homes post- Brexit.
One couple claimed they spent thousands on Covid-19 tests but airlines still rejected documents that before the Brexit transition period ended had been valid proof of the Britons’ status as residents in Spain.
Their ordeal comes amid heightened travel restrictions due to a coronavirus variant that has been blamed for faster contagion in the UK and highlights the bureaucratic complexities resulting from Britain’s departure from the 27-nation European Union.
Both Spanish and British authorities said on Sunday that the green-coloured certificate of EU citizenship with a foreign national identification number issued by Spain is still valid for British citizens residing in Spain under the bilateral provisions that followed the UK’s withdrawal from the trading bloc on December 31.
But the travelers say British Airways and Iberia have been refusing to let them board for the past two days.
The airlines, part of the IAG group, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Around 300,000 British citizens are registered as permanent residents in Spain, although before Brexit, many more had been living full or part-time in the country without officially registering.
Patricia Moody, a 69-year-old retiree who has called the southern Spanish town of Zurgena home for nearly four years, was among a group of at least nine people who say they were unable to board a Madrid-bound BA/Iberia flight from London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday.
Ms Moody said she and her husband, who she says needs to see his doctor back in Spain, have spent £1,900 on getting tested for the virus, traveling to the airport and booking new tickets after they were refused boarding. Their second attempt was also futile.
“Throughout all the months of negotiating Brexit, we were always assured that nothing would change for us,” she said. Referring to the airlines and authorities in both countries, she added: “It’s horrendous and we are suffering because of their incompetence.”
Following the discovery of the coronavirus variant in the UK, Spain, like many other European nations, banned all travel from the British isles except for Spanish citizens and UK citizens with residency rights.
Spain has been rolling out a new system to register permanent foreign residents called TIE but it’s suffering a backlog due to the high number of requests.
Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that under the circumstances both proofs of application for the TIE and the “green certificate” for EU citizens is still valid to travel for British residents under the new health restrictions in place until January 19.
“This should not be happening,” said the UK embassy in Spain in a Facebook post. “The Spanish authorities have today re-confirmed that the green residency document will be accepted for travel to return to Spain, as stated in our travel advice.”
The British Embassy in Spain added they were aware of Brits being barred from flights but had assurances from Spanish authorities that expats without the new Tie card would be able to travel in a seven day grace period from January 4.
But Sam Dakin, a 32-year-old English-language teacher based in Barcelona for the last four years, and his partner, who has been in the Spanish city for eight years, said they needed more assurances before they could rebook flights.
The couple had been blocked from flying Saturday morning despite carrying their certificate and then were refused boarding on another flight Saturday evening that British Airways had initially said they could take.
“Just because the government adviser said that we could travel, we don’t know whether that will happen when we turn up at the counters,” Dakin said. “We just don’t know where we’re going to get answers.”
From 1 January 2021, the
United Kingdom will have the status of a third country and therefore goods sent
to or coming from the United Kingdom will be treated in the same way as goods
exported/imported from any other country with which the European Union has not
concluded any trade or other agreement that might affect customs formalities.
How will my company be affected by
Brexit after the end of the transitional period?
From a VAT point of view,
exports are exempt supplies and imports are subject to VAT which will be
charged by customs.
VAT is paid within the time
limits of the tariff (10 or 30 days if a deferment is requested) unless you opt
to defer payment to the corresponding monthly declaration. This option requires
registration with REDEME and must be exercised in November of the previous
For operators sending goods
to the United Kingdom.
From the date of the UK’s withdrawal
from the European Union will I have to complete any customs formalities?
1 January – From that day
the United Kingdom will have third country status and therefore goods sent to
the United Kingdom will be treated in the same way as goods sent to any other
country with which the European Union has no trade or other agreement that
might affect customs formalities.
Amongst other formalities,
this means that an export declaration must be made in order to send/remove
goods to/from the UK.
However, the withdrawal
agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during
which Community legislation will continue to apply in the United Kingdom in
relation to the internal market, customs union and Community policies. The
European Union will treat the United Kingdom as if it were a Member State,
except as regards its participation in EU institutions and governance
structures. In particular, during that period companies will not have to
complete customs formalities.
Will I have to pay duties and other
charges in the UK?
During the transitional
period no duties or other charges will be paid in the UK.
Unless a trade agreement is
negotiated and ratified which provides for other measures, you should consult
the information published on the following link to find out what measures will
apply in the UK after the end of the transitional period.
What are the implications of leaving
the UK for VAT purposes after the end of the transitional period?
The dispatch of goods to the UK will no longer be treated as an intra-Community supply for VAT purposes but as an export. For this purpose, the export declaration will be the proof of the exemption of the supply linked to the export. However, the Community VAT rules will apply to goods dispatched or transported from the territory of the United Kingdom to the territory of a Member State and vice versa, provided that the dispatch or transport has begun before the end of the transitional period and ends after it.
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