Time is indeed running out and businesses are planning on a contingency basis but still do not know exactly what to plan for.
In a trade magazine article, composer Howard Goodall recently reflected on his “sorrow at the Government’s desire to erect barriers, when the job of creatives is to tear them down”. A view shared by many of his colleagues.
Their view is as much practical as political, when they see their chances of earning a living being eroded. Large organisations will have issues, the UK’s army of freelance performers, technicians and media staff could face worse.
2020 has not been a good year for many, although those reliant on public performance, or attendance have been badly hit. They will need to work hard to recover and the EU is their largest market, or has been to date.
The UK has done a great job in establishing itself as the cultural hub of Europe but this may not continue. Apart from any unseen bias, potential employers will need to pay more to UK contract staff, unless they work for far less.
Nothing much is yet finalised, although we will in a few weeks time be third country nationals as far as the EU is concerned. Unless a magical deal happens, many of the myths surrounding Brexit will become clear.
For third country workers, there is no EU wide system, individual states decide on work permit, or visa requirements. The length of visas can vary, as can their cost, or when and how you pay tax, or a range of administrative detail.
Wherever you go, a passport with 6 months validity and travel/health cover plus third party insurance are likely to be required. The professional equipment you take with you will also need to have a passport.
There is an alternative to an ATA carnet called duplicate lists, which have been used for other purposes within the EU. Seasoned overseas performers are however likely to tell you the reasons carnets are a better bet.
Duplicate lists take up more admin time (or cost) and are only suited to hand baggage. Carnets are true entry, or exit documents, which are widely accepted and understood by customs officers, avoiding delays.
Stressful hours trying to keep to schedules are not ideal, or queries on minor repairs, or modifications, or customs duty implications. For performers, or other creative staff, we would recommend ATA carnets, even though they have a cost.
The Unavoidable Impact
Trying to save money by not having insurance, a work visa, or an ATA carnet will not be possible under many contracts and is likely to prove counter productive. The first two of those are normally individual, although carnets are not.
Where a number of people are travelling, all their instruments, camera equipment, or other items can go on one ATA carnet. A shared cost which with reasonable numbers of participants, should be quite minimal.
Still not ideal for lone performers on a short term gig, who may well find the idea no longer viable. Equally, an orchestra, or film crew are going to face multiple cost for visas, or insurance cover.
Unless currently unknown arrangements are made post Brexit, some will simply no longer go. The same applies to EU performers, or creative staff coming to the UK, there will be an impact both ways in trade terms.
Cultural links and UK dominance may be reduced to a degree and there will be hassles at times, from waits at borders, to extra paperwork. Even so, creative staff by nature tend to be good at removing barriers.
Overcoming aspects you are not used to is part of this and on moving your equipment, we are happy to provide as much advice as is needed. ATA carnets, along with other useful approaches are an international right.
By all means get in touch if we can help. Whether you are a large group or a sole performer, our team want to see you able to move forward.