Group: Forum Members
We currently have our boat in Cartagena, Spain after an Atlantic Crossing last spring. We returned to the US over the winter due to Schengen and then the pandemic...
In late May, it was announced that the Prime Minister of Spain would be opening the country back up to non-EU citizens July 1st. So we booked our return flight for July 1st. But then the day before we were to fly out the EU announced a travel ban on all US citizens. We went ahead to the airport with our letter from the marina showing our boat was berthed there and the document from the EU stating the exceptions to the ban, in particular force majeure. We tried to plead our case but American Airlines would not let us board the plane. They said we had to have a letter from the Spanish Government specifically giving us permission to enter the country. We tried pleading our case with the Spanish Consulate but they said NO. So - we cannot retrieve our boat and yet the time for the TI of our boat will be expiring soon. The EU says you can receive an extension if you apply through the local customs office. But you cannot do that if you are an American because you have to have a special digital code that only Spanish people can obtain. The appeal has to be applied for online. A true Catch 22. You cannot leave but we are going to charge you because you did not leave. I have tried several ways to get the appeal filed on line: the Spanish Consulate, the US Embassy in Madrid, and an agent that works in that area of Spain. No luck yet. I am now looking into a Spanish atty. Is anyone else having this much trouble? We are contemplating having someone sail our boat to Gibraltar and flying there to pick her up. The question is will we be allowed to get fuel and provisions along to the way to a non-EU country, such as Turkey. Or because of our nationality will be be denied all services? We would appreciate any comments from folks in the same situation. Thanks!