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Brexit: EU asks border police not to stamp passports of British residents

The European Commission has asked border police from member states across the bloc not to stamp the passports of those British nationals protected by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Brexit: EU asks border police not to stamp passports of British residents
A person holds up a British National passport (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP)

Britons living across the EU have long been concerned about the knock-on effect of their passport being wrongly stamped when travelling in and out of the Schengen zone.

While British officials at embassies across Europe have repeatedly stressed the passports of those Britons protected by the Brexit deal should not be stamped, those instructions appear not to have filtered through to border guards.

The erroneous stamps have left many passport holders resident in the EU worrying about being accused of overstaying the 90-day limit in their host country.

This week the EU Commission has stressed that passports should not be stamped, but reassured Britons that if they are there will be no negative consequences.

“The Commission recommends – notably as regards beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement – that Member State border guards refrain from stamping. In any case, should stamping nevertheless take place, such stamp cannot affect the length of the authorised long-term stay,” read their latest guidance.

“EU law does not prevent border guards from stamping upon entry to and exit from the Schengen area of travel documents of United Kingdom nationals who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement who are in possession of a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen Member State. The same applies to their family members in the same situation.”

The Commission added that the usual limitation of a stay of 90 days in a 180 days’ period in the Schengen area does not apply to Britons covered by the Withdrawal Agreement “irrespective of whether their passport has been stamped or not”.

But it reminded Britons that they only have the right to stay in their country of residence. If they travel within the Schengen area to another EU country they are subject to the 90 day rule. 

It recommended Britons “proactively present” their post-Brexit residency cards  – if they have one – at the border to prove their status. However not all Britons in the EU have post-Brexit residency cards because they are only compulsory in certain countries.

Britons in countries such as Spain and Italy, where the cards are not obligatory but available, are urged to apply as soon as possible. 

Those who don’t have the cards are told to use any documentation “that credibly proves that the holders exercised the right to move and reside freely in the host Member State before the end of the transition period and continue to reside there.”

“Documents indicating the address of the person can show continued residence after the end of the transition period. “

Member comments

  1. It would be useful if the article contained a link to the original document

  2. This is a useful article! Do you have a link to the Commission’s communication?

    [Slight correction to the title: WA beneficiaries are not only British]

  3. So what is a ‘post-Brexit residency card’ in, say, Spain? Is it the TIE or NIE? What if one does not wish to be a resident there but needs the ‘padron’, e.g. to register for local Town Hall services?
    Does the ‘padron’ imply residency? Hopefully not, but a lot of this in EU countries (such as Spain) seems a complete muddle!

  4. I applied for my post Brexit residency card (carta di soggiorno elettronica) here in Italy over 5 months ago and have heard or received nothing back yet. On a couple of occasions when I have asked border control not to stamp my passport, or struggled to stop them in time, they have got annoyed and said that they would stamp irrespective.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Denmark talks up flight tax to make air travel greener 

The Danish government hopes to introduce a 13 kroner tax on flight tickets to finance zero-emissions domestic flights.

Denmark talks up flight tax to make air travel greener 

The proposed tax, which would be introduced from 2025, would generate 200-230 million kroner annually, giving a total of 1.9 billion kroner over a nine-year period.

The revenue would be put towards prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s goal of all-green domestic flights in Denmark by 2030. 

“Air travel is – you have to be honest, when looking at climate change – a sector that pollutes too much,” climate and energy minister Dan Jørgensen said at a briefing held at Copenhagen Airport.

“But it is also a sector that is needed. Aircraft open the world for us,” he said.

Denmark plans to open its first green domestic flight in 2025, with all domestic flights becoming zero-emissions by 2030.

The Nordic country is, however, lagging behind neighbours Norway, Sweden, and Germany, who have already imposed green aviation taxes at a higher level than that proposed by the government. Other European countries have taken similar steps.

The proposal defines green flights as being 100 percent fuelled by sustainable energy sources and without fossil fuels.

Green domestic flights in Denmark would have a limited impact on the country’s carbon footprint.

While international flights comprise around 2-3 percent of Denmark’s overall CO2 emissions, domestic flights only make up a few percent of Denmark’s emissions from aviation.

The 13-krone tax, which could be adjusted in 2024 and 2029 in accordance with price changes, will be spent on green conversion, tax minister Jeppe Bruus said at the briefing.

“This is not a case of this tax helping put more money in state coffers but a contribution towards converting to green energy which we need on our air transport,” he said.

READ ALSO: Scandinavian airline SAS plans to launch electric planes in 2028

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