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Taking other peoples' kids to England


In addition to my own kids, I'm taking two teenagers (under 16) to the UK via Eurotunnel. One is British and the other is Polish. In addition to a letter from their parents (this has been fine in the past via Eurostar with a British kid - it wasn't official from the commune) is there anything else I should look out for or need? I have asked Eurotunnel who said 'We would advise that you check the legal requirements with the appropriate authorities as Eurotunnel Le Shuttle will only check your transport ticket. The local embassy of the country the child is travelling to might be able to advise you on the official documentation that is needed.' I would like to know of any first-hand experience people have had - I will obviously be asking the relevant Embassies and parents - just to be sure and to avoid being turned back. Cheers, NethenBob


Get the letter from the parents stamped by the commune they live in. That's a bit OTT though - I'd do it for Ryanair, as they use it as an excuse to charge you more, but 2 happy (?!) teenagers via Le Shuttle? Nah - the kids must be old enough to be able to tell the KBG guards what's what.

Jan 3, 2015 20:22

I looked in to this some years back when I was supposed to travel with my own daughter who does not have my name. It was extremely difficult to get straight answers from anywhere, and in fact I did not get one.

The bottom line seemed to be that if customs/border security decide to be an arse, then letters from parents with stamps from the commune all nicely notarized by a Lawyer personally recommended by God might just get you through.

The reality seems to be that if nothing seems to be untoward, they require nothing. Good luck on getting a definitive answer and if you get it, please do post it here because I would love to know.

Jan 4, 2015 09:01

The answer is simple.
If you don't have enough paperwork and the 'KGB' turn awkward, point out that J has assured you that there will be no problem. The concept of a child being forced to lie will never occur to those checking!
On the other hand, if you have too much paperwork, so what? If you aren't asked it's no big deal but if you are refused, it's a nightmare.
My step-son regularly travels out of Belgium with his son but without his wife. He always carries a paper signed by his wife and stamped by the commune even though the boy is now 15.

Jan 4, 2015 10:19

Thanks Kassei. I guess you know why I marked it as helpful.

So pleased that at is well and organised in Kasseiland.

Jan 4, 2015 13:47

Of course, if I was working for customs and somebody had all this paperwork, that would make me suspicious. ;-)

Unless they go to great lengths to verify the scraps of paper they love so much ({ would bet good money that they will not) it's all crap anyway because a determined wrong doer will simply fake it.

Not saying don't bother taking any of course, because I doubt they will see it my way.....

Jan 4, 2015 14:18

Thanks one and all.

If anyone else has any direct experience of possible pitfalls regarding this, particularly as regards a non-UK national (though EU resident - Polish) then I'd love to hear from you.


Jan 4, 2015 19:16

> The concept of a child being forced to lie will never occur to those checking!
It would, actually. They are trained to spot lying and nervousness. They would probably trust a teenager's reaction over and above any accompanying paperwork. Teenagers are not stupid.

Jan 4, 2015 20:51

there is a standard letter / form that you can get from the commune to cover this. Just have the other parents go to their commune and get a letter.

Jan 5, 2015 10:28

Anon is completely correct. The parents need to go to their commune and ask for an 'Authorisation Parentale' giving permission for you to take them out of the country. They'll need to give your name, the destination and the dates. And pay around €5. It's all very simple.
My friend was stopped at Eurostar taking her own 15 and 16 years old kids to London and told she needed a permission form from the commune as they had a different name. My friend does not speak English and they didn't (or refused) to speak French with her. My husband was stopped from going to help/translate. Eventually they allowed them through but it was quite horrible. There were also questions on the return but at least French was spoken. For Eurotunnel it can be random as to whether they even check passports. Once we went with another friend who was taking her son for a day trip with us and the letter from her husband sufficed.
My advice, if you want to be absolutely sure and be stress-free is to get the Commune Certificates.

Jan 5, 2015 13:12

Hello again - my examples were all non-UK nationals by the way.

Jan 5, 2015 13:16