The UK Government, via the UK Border Force, has developed a new digital reporting service, known as ‘single Pleasure Craft Reporting (sPCR)’, which pleasure craft are asked to use as the preferred method when leaving or entering the UK on passage to EU countries, the Channel Islands or the rest of the world.
There has long been a requirement to notify UK Customs of your voyage plan to destinations outside the UK and arrivals into the UK, including travel to/from the EU since the UK left the EU in 2020. From 1 January 2022, this requirement has been actively enforced using the ‘Pleasure Craft Report Template’ e-C1331 email form and C1331 postal form.
New Online Service
The new online service – www.spcr.homeoffice.gov.uk – which is currently in ‘beta’ mode will eventually replace its predecessors, the e-C1331 and C1331 forms. For the time being the UK Border Force will accept reporting of a voyage plan online or by completing either the e-C1331 (now renamed ‘Pleasure craft on non-UK voyages: leaving or arriving in the UK (pleasure craft report (sPCR) fallback template)’) by email, as well as submission by post of the C1331 form, but reporting via the new online service is the preferred option.
“The Cruising Association has been liaising with UK Border Force for a number of years on this project with a view to ensuring that the new system fits the needs of the cruising community,” said Derek Lumb, president of the Cruising Association. “Together with the RYA, British Marine and other marine organisations, CA representatives have attended and been active in discussions at the General Maritime Leisure Sector Liaison Meetings in order to influence a positive outcome for cruisers.
“The change to a new online service delivers a far more accessible and user-friendly experience, making it easy to log new and alter existing passages.”
Recognising the ongoing evolution of the new online service, Derek continued, “UK Border Force has stressed that this is not the final online version, and some changes are likely to be made in the light of experience.”
Using the Online Service
New users of the online service – www.spcr.homeoffice.gov.uk – will first be required to complete a ‘once only’ account registration, before being required to ‘add a pleasure craft’, and then proceeding to submit voyage plan data including:
- Boat Registration Number
- MMSI and Callsign
- AIS –an AIS transponder, not just a receiver
- Skipper’s details
- Full names, date and place of birth, passport or travel document details for all people on board
- Goods documentation
- Date and estimated departure and arrival locations and times for your voyage plan
The voyage plan must be submitted at least 2 hours but not more than 24 hours before departure.
For those concerned about giving estimates of departure and especially arrival time, the ‘beta’ version allows a two-hour range. The Cruising Association has discussed with UK Border Force the difficulty of giving relatively precise arrival times at the end of longer passages, and the UK Border Force advice is to give your best estimate and then update your report if you believe that either your arrival place will change, or the time will be outside the range you gave. Data can be updated online or skippers can telephone the appropriate UK Border Force Operational centre* for the area of your arrival as soon as you can reasonably do so.
Pleasure craft arriving to the UK from outside the UK (including the Channel Islands) must fly the ‘Q’ flag as soon as entering UK waters (the 12 mile limit), and unless you are told otherwise by Border Force, you should call National Yachtline on 0800 123 2012 on arrival who may give you clearance to leave, tell you to wait for a Border Force Officer or to contact one of the regional numbers below. The ‘Q’ flag must remain flying and all crew must stay on board until you have received clearance from a Border Force Officer.
For more information, and to access the online reporting service, the e-C1331 or C1331 reporting forms and links to UK Border Force documentation go to: