Travel and Visas

Freedom of movement between the UK and the EU27 will cease if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

If the UK departs the EU without a deal, the UK may make bespoke arrangements with individual members of the EU27 to ensure continued freedom of movement with certain nations – or strike a freedom of movement deal with the EU as a whole. If the UK and the EU do not make reciprocal no-deal arrangements on freedom of movement, then the UK will have third country status. This will mean that UK nationals will have to obtain the relevant visa for each individual EU country that they wish to visit, excluding the Republic of Ireland.

Freedom of movement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland will not be affected even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This is because of the historic links between the two nations and the Common Travel Area (CTA) which has allowed British and Irish citizens to move freely between each other’s countries since 1922.

At the time of writing, it is unclear whether musicians can work in the EU27 in a no-deal Brexit. GOV.UK currently states that UK citizens can travel to the EU27 for 90 days out of 180 days, but that they “may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, or to work or study”. If this is the case, then musicians will be unable to work in the EU27/EEA without a visa.

The EU Settlement Scheme will enable EU (or Swiss) citizens who already reside in the UK to remain in the country indefinitely (the deadline for applying is 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves without a deal and 30 June 2021 if the UK leaves with a deal). There is not currently a reciprocal arrangement for UK citizens living in the EU (even if the UK leaves with a deal) and any arrangements will likely be on a country-by-country basis.

An ATA Carnet for EU27/EEA countries

An ATA Carnet is a temporary international customs document that allows goods to move temporarily outside a country (or group of countries) within a customs union. As all members of the EU are part of the same customs union, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal it is highly likely that a carnet will be required to move items (such as instruments and electronic equipment) between the UK and the EU27, particularly when taking instruments to multiple EU countries. The EU28 is taken as a single bloc, and it is understood that the EU27 will also be a single bloc, so the cost is not affected by whether a UK-based musician is visiting one EU country or five.

Here’s what you should know about carnets:

The price comprises the fee for issuing a carnet, plus the security/bond as a proportion of the goods being transported – as such, the price of each carnet is different The Government advises that a carnet costs £325.96 per year, plus security deposit – however the security/bond (which will vary considerably in price) is non-refundable The London Chamber of Commerce & Industry is the national guaranteeing organisation for ATA Carnets in the UK. The standard carnet issuing fee is £344.40 plus security/bond Non-refundable security/bond quotes from the LCCI for 12 months in the EU vary from £132.30 (for an instrument worth £5,000) to £167.24 (for an instrument worth £10,000) to £269.39 (for an instrument worth £20,000) – which when added to the fee of £344.40 equates to £476.70, £511.64, or £613.79 respectively (including VAT). This means that musicians may be required to spend c. £500-700 on a carnet each year(carnet costing £344.40 plus security/bond costing c. £150-£300) The LCCI does not necessarily have accurate rates for the EU from 1 November as they will only be released once the UK has left the EU. These are the best available estimates, using their CSS calculator. It is important to note that in a no-deal Brexit, if you’re moving goods with an ATA Carnet through the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel, you will need to go to alternative sites to process your ATA Carnet.

A1 Certificates and social security contributions

At present, you must apply for an A1 certificate if you’re self-employed in the UK and going to work temporarily in another country within the EU/EEA. This certificate will enable HMRC to determine which member state’s social security legislation will apply.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit these certificates will cease to be valid* and HMRC will stop issuing A1 certificates. Musicians will then technically be liable for social security contributions in whichever EU/EEA country they are performing in, on top of UK national insurance. A replacement for the A1 certificate may be issued after Brexit, however the timeframe for the release of this certificate is unclear and musicians travelling to the EU/EEA in the direct aftermath of a no-deal Brexit may be legally required to pay both national insurance and the social security of the country that they are performing in.

*Musicians touring in the Republic of Ireland will not be affected due to a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Ireland.

Here’s what you should know about A1 certificates and social security contributions:

National Insurance is calculated a certain way in the UK but social security equivalents in EU/EEA countries will be calculated differently If a musician is performing in the EU shortly after a no-deal Brexit, they may wish to solicit the advice of an accountant or financial advisor with knowledge of the social security processes and calculations of the country they are performing in The UK Government is working to protect UK nationals in the EU in a no-deal Brexit by reaching reciprocal arrangements with the EU or member states to maintain existing social security coordination for a transitional period until 31 December 2020 Musicians who might be travelling to EU27/EEA countries to tour shortly in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit should regularly check the GOV.UK page for updates

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and private medical insurance

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cease to be valid for UK citizens (unless they also hold the nationality of an EU/EEA country and therefore an EHIC linked to that country). In this case, musicians wishing to obtain health insurance are advised to purchase business travel insurance (which almost always includes health cover).

Here’s what you should know about EHICs and health insurance:

There are many travel insurance providers who will give quotes for EU business insurance, covering multiple trips over a twelve month period. These insurance premiums vary in price – from the relatively cheap, to the prohibitively expensive EHICs cover pre-existing medical conditions – this benefit will be immediately lost if the UK exits the EU without a deal Pre-existing health conditions (e.g. Crohn’s disease, diabetes, bi-polar disorder) can drive up premiums to unaffordable levels We recommend that if an individual has a pre-existing health condition, they should avoid traditional insurers (such as those found on price comparison sites) and instead purchase travel insurance from a specialist insurer such as Musicians Insurance whose premiums are much less likely to change depending on whether or not you have a pre-existing condition

CITES regulations and Musical Instrument Certificates (MICs)

Musical Instrument Certificates are required for the cross-border movement of musical instruments containing CITES materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell and rosewood. MICs are currently not needed by musicians who tour in the EU/EEA, but they will become obligatory for transporting instruments containing CITES materials when the UK leaves the EU, with or without a deal.

Here’s what you should know about CITES regulations and MICs:

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, it is an international agreement between 210 governments In a no-deal scenario, only CITES-designated ports will be able to be used as points of entry and exit to move goods containing CITES materials between the UK and the EU – View the full list of ports and aiports Dover, the Eurotunnel, Holyhead and Belfast Seaport have recently been announced as CITES-designated points of entry in a no-deal Brexit. However, Immingham and Newcastle are not CITES-designated so musicians travelling from the north of England or Scotland with CITES materials may have to travel further to ensure they can travel through a CITES-designated port from 1 November A MIC is valid for three years and the instrument must be back in the country where the certificate was issued upon its expiration Although MICs are currently free this will no longer be the case as of early 2020, therefore the advice is for musicians to obtain a MIC as soon as possible – Download you form now. It is unclear how much MICs will cost but we will report on this as soon as the information becomes available Musicians will only need to show their MIC when entering and exiting the EU, not during transit within the EU (as the EU27 will be treated as a bloc) The CITES Conference of the Parties in Geneva, Switzerland voted to approve an exemption for instruments containing rosewood on 28 August 2019. This will come into effect 90 days from the vote meaning that on 26 November 2019 any instrument that previously required a MIC (on the basis that it contained rosewood) will no longer require a MIC.

It is also important to note that the Eurostar is not a CITES designated port and therefore following a no-deal Brexit, as of 1 November musicians would not be able to take instruments containing CITES material to the EU using Eurostar.

Merchandise and tariffs

Many musicians supplement their earnings from performing by selling merchandise associated with their brand such as CDs, T-shirts, keyrings and other small items. There are currently no tariffs on goods moved between the EU and the UK because of the UK’s membership of customs union. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal it will be treated as a ‘third country’ and goods brought to the EU from the UK will be subject to both tariffs and customs duty.

Here’s what you should know about merchandise and tariffs:

Import tariffs to the EU are generally very low (with a weighted mean of 1.79%) Certain products may be subject to higher tariffs (and also to the additional import duty) whilst many products may not be subject to any tariffs at all CDs are generally not subject to any tariffs Tariffs on apparel vary, but tariffs on t-shirts would generally be 8% To move goods into or out of the EU (including the UK at present) an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number (which is currently free) is required It is unclear whether the UK will lose its right to issue EORI numbers in the event of a no-deal Brexit and therefore we advise musicians looking to bring goods into the EU in the future to obtain an EORI number as soon as possible.

Driving permits and driving in the EU

As a member of the EU, all full UK driving license holders can freely drive through any EU countries without having to purchase additional licences, permits or certification. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, musicians who wish to drive in the EU will have to obtain further permits and documentation to ensure ease of travel.

Here’s what you should know about driving permits and driving in the EU:

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK drivers in the EU will need a 1968 IDP (International Driving Permit) which can be purchased from the Post Office for £5.50 It is advisable to display a sticker identifying the vehicle as being from one of the constituent countries of the UK – this can be the name of the country (e.g. Wales) or a flag (e.g. the saltire) If a musician intends to drive a UK vehicle abroad rather than hiring a car in an EU country, they will need a ‘green card’ issued by an insurance company – the Government advises obtaining this a month in advance of travel It is recommended that UK motorists, driving within the EU in a no-deal Brexit scenario, keep all ancillary documents to do with the vehicle and their insurance with them