Passengers will continue to travel comfortably with Irish Ferries between Ireland and Britain and Ireland and France, however, following the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 December 2020, there will be some changes to travel regulations, which are outlined below, according to the latest information. Please check with national authorities for the definitive position on any issue.
It is compulsory for all passengers (including babies) to have their own valid passport or officially recognised European Union I.D. card when travelling to and from Ireland or France. In some cases, a visa may also be required.
Additionally, the UK government advises that holders of UK passports travelling to France should take note of the following:
have a passport with at least 6 months validity left on the date you arrive in the EU and be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
a visa is not required for tourists for short trips or stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. A visa or permit may be required to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel.
Travellers may be subject to additional checks including showing a return ticket and that they have enough money for their stay.
Existing UK issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will be still be valid up to their expiry when travelling to an EU country. From 1 January 2021, some people can apply for a new UK EHIC that they can continue to use in the EU. People who can apply for the new card include:
UK students studying in the EU
some British State Pensioners who live in the EU and their families
EU nationals in the UK
All others will no longer be entitled to access the European healthcare benefit from the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and it is therefore recommended that you have adequate personal travel insurance to cover potential medical treatment and associated costs.
UK and IRL citizens will still be entitled to healthcare in the opposite country under the Common Travel Area. UK prescriptions will no longer be valid in the EU.
Visitors to Ireland and the UK will continue to be permitted to drive with their home country full driving licence.
In addition, a valid insurance disc will serve as proof of insurance for those driving Irish-registered vehicles in the UK (including Northern Ireland). There is no need for a ‘green card’.
Drivers of UK-registered vehicles however visiting the Republic of Ireland, will need a physical ‘Green Card’ as evidence of insurance, as they will no longer benefit from the EU’s automatic third-party motor insurance cover. A ‘green card’ is issued by the company insuring the vehicle, often at no extra cost. It is recommended that a ‘green card’ should be requested from your insurance provider at least one month before travel.
UK drivers towing caravans or trailers may be required to have two green cards for insurance purposes – one for their vehicle and one for the unit they are towing.
The Irish Government has confirmed that vehicles registered in Northern Ireland or Great Britain are not required to display a GB sticker or symbol when driving in the Republic of Ireland.
UK card driving licenses will be recognised for driving in the EU from 01 January 2021 and it is not necessary to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). You might need an IDP if you have either:
a paper driving licence
a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
UK registered and insured cars will no longer benefit from the EU’s automatic third-party motor insurance cover and will need a physical ‘Green Card’ as evidence of Insurance. These are issued by the company insuring the vehicle concerned, often at no extra cost.
UK drivers towing caravans or trailers will be required to have two green cards for insurance purposes – one for their vehicle and one for the unit they are towing.
From 1 January 2021, UK registered cars will require a GB sticker if the numbers plates have an EU logo next to the registration number. Plates with GB and a Union flag will not require a sticker.
For travel to GB, an EU pet passport issued in a member state is still valid for entry. For travel to the EU and Northern Ireland, from 1 January 2021 onwards, people travelling with their pets and assistance dogs will need to follow new requirements. Importantly, a current EU pet passport issued in Britain will not be valid for travel to the EU or NI, but an animal health certificate (AHC) will be required. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations. EU pet passports issued by Northern Ireland will remain valid for EU travel. Before taking their dog, cat or ferret to the EU for the first time after 1 January 2021, pet owners must complete the following steps:
Ensure their dog, cat or ferret is microchipped.
Have a valid EU pet passport OR an animal health certificate issued by a UK official vet. A health certificate is required before each entry into the EU. (Pet owners are advised to retain any GB-issued EU pet passport, as it may contain important information about vaccinations, treatments, etc.)
Ensure that their dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated. Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
Have a tapeworm treatment (for dogs). Dogs travelling from, or returning from, Britain to Ireland will require treatment against tapeworm by a veterinarian 24 to 120 hours (1 to 5 days) before arrival in Ireland. If travelling with a passport issued in Ireland, this treatment may be entered into the pet passport by a UK vet.
After 31st December 2020, you will still be able to travel with your pet (dog, cat or ferret) to France and from Northern Ireland. Pets with Ireland and Northern Ireland issued pet passports will continue to use the existing pet passport scheme and EU pet travel rules.
Pets with GB issued pet passports cannot use the existing pet passport scheme but will instead need an animal health certificate (AHC). Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.
The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming for mobiles with UK contracts throughout the EU has ended. Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021.
This is separate to data roaming while at sea, where charges will be applied by your network if using data or roaming while onboard. Use WiFi onboard to avoid these charges.
Passengers arriving from GB will not be able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries from 1 January 2021. There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.
Taking plants and plant products into EU countries
VAT, Customs and excise duty controls - Passenger Luggage
VAT, Customs and excise duty controls will apply to passenger luggage for arrivals into EU countries from GB. Standard EU duty free allowances will apply to arrivals into the EU. The UK have increased their duty-free allowances but have removed their duty-paid allowance. Goods which are temporarily imported may be declared for temporary admission using an “ATA Carnet”. These are customs documents permitting the duty-free and tax-free temporary export and import of goods for up to one year. Visitors from the UK may avail of VAT refunds in the EU for goods purchased during their stay. There will be restrictions on Cultural Goods.
EU Personal Allowance
UK Personal Allowance
4 litres of still wine; and
18 litres of still wine; and
16 litres of beer; and
42 litres of beer; and
Up to 1 litre of spirits (.22% vol) or 1 litre of undenatured alcohol (ethyl alcohol) of 80% vol.(or over) or 2 litres of fortified / sparkling wine. (Allowances can be split).
4 litres of spirits or 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine or any alcoholic beverage of less than 22% ABV
200 cigarettes or
200 cigarettes or
100 cigarillos or
100 cigarillos or
Other goods (including perfume) up to a value of €430
Other goods (including perfume) up to a value of £390