RYA steps up opposition to e-borders scheme

The RYA has issued a statement:-

As the e-Borders programme is rolled out in the commercial travel sectors the RYA continues to voice its concerns for the recreational boating sector to the UK Borders Agency.

Gus Lewis "The RYA does not support the Agency’s proposals to extend the application of the e-Borders programme to recreational boaters and considers that any sea border security programme should be intelligence-led rather than involving blanket monitoring of all cross-border movement".

The RYA believes that any proposal to secure the UK sea border in relation to recreational boating will only work if it does not

- impose unfair or unreasonable restrictions on boaters
- criminalise law-abiding citizens when they take action in the face of adverse conditions
- impact on the safety of navigation.
It must therefore be simple and have the support of boaters to be effective.

The RYA has been actively engaged with the UK Borders Agency from the outset. The Government made its commitment to e-Borders in its 2005 General Election Manifesto to implement an electronic borders security programme.

There are few people that would object to the principle that the Government should seek to secure the UK sea border against terrorist and organised criminal activity. However, the serious concerns are over the mechanism that the Government appears to intend to adopt.

Gus concludes: "Our role is critical. We need to stay engaged with the Agency in order to best serve our members and the recreational boating community as a whole. Without our engagement it may, through ignorance of the recreational boating sector implement a completely inappropriate scheme that could be disastrous for us all".

Date Added - 19-Mar-2009

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