ABTA Operational Bulletin

Further to the FCO Travel Advice information relating to guidance from HM Passport Office on passport validity requirements for travel to most countries in Europe if the UK leaves the European Union with no deal, we have the following additional information.

Passport technical notice

The notices are part of the government’s preparation for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU in March next year without a deal. We firmly believe it is in the interests of both the EU and the UK to strike a deal. That remains the goal on both sides and we are confident that this will be achieved. However, it is the job of a responsible government to prepare for all scenarios, including the unlikely event that we reach March 2019 without a deal. We’re publishing the notices now so that businesses and citizens have time to prepare.

The notice on UK passports explains how validity rules for UK passports would change for people travelling to the Schengen area. In this situation, UK passport holders will be considered ‘third country’ nationals by Schengen area countries. To be valid for entry to the Schengen area, UK passports will need to meet two particular rules:

• They will need to have at least 6 months validity remaining on the day of arrival – this is currently already the case for some other destinations around the world, but not Schengen
• They should not be older than 10 years. Any extra validity on the passport beyond 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining – some adult UK passports have up to 9 months extra validity, beyond the standard 10 years

We are recommending that people who are planning to travel after 29 March next year check their passport and renew it if they will be affected.

Technical Notice

The technical notice itself is available here. ABTA has also added information on GOV.UK to explain the new rules, which includes a ‘calculator’ tool into which people can enter their passport details and planned date of travel to find out if they are affected.