Documents to download

After the UK exit from the EU, performing artists can no longer tour and work freely across the EU and the UK. As a result of leaving the EU Customs Union and the single market for services, UK touring artists are facing additional administrative requirements and costs.

Varying requirements

The lack of specific provisions in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) means that UK performers must consider individual regulations of each of the 27 EU Member States. Currently 24 out of 27 Member States offer some time-limited visa- and work permit-free routes for touring, but administrative requirements and permitted duration of stay vary significantly.

For example, in Austria a UK musician would require a work permit to perform for longer than a day (or four weeks as part of an overall production), but this would not be necessary in France if they take part in a cultural event and stay there less than 90 days.

Restrictions on goods movements

Transporting equipment for tours, such as musical instruments, props, stage lighting, or merchandise, must comply with the customs regulations set out in the TCA. Moving such goods may be subject to restrictions on road haulage movements introduced by the agreement.

While EU artists must also comply with new administrative requirements in the UK, in practice the touring arrangements have an asymmetric effect, with UK touring artists facing more difficulties. This is not least because of a single set of UK rules versus 27 sets of immigration and work permit regulations in the EU. Also complying with road haulage restrictions within the smaller UK market may be easier while UK artists touring the EU may need to hire EU-registered vehicles.

The arrangements are particularly challenging for young and less established artists, both from the UK and EU.

Clarified visa and work permit arrangements 

Urged by industry representatives, the UK Government has clarified the immigration and work permit rules with individual Member States and has agreed some easements for touring bilaterally, for example with Spain.

Calls for a ‘cultural exemption’

UK industry representatives are calling for further action, including an EU-wide visa waiver for creative industries or a ‘cultural exemption’ from the TCA. The European Commission’s and UK Government’s position is that there’s no prospect of changing the TCA in the near future.

Documents to download

Related posts