Videos – Gibraltar Border Crossing

Eric and I finally made it to Gibraltar during our travels in August 2008. Gibraltar remains a British Overseas Territory and has been a possession of the UK since Spain relinquished control in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht. While Gibraltar is part of the European Union, and you can see the EU flag flying beside the Union Jack and Gibraltar flag, Gibraltar remains outside of the EU Customs Union. The UK is also not a full member of Schengen. Due to this, full border controls remain between both countries. You can see they still have lines for articles to declare or nothing to declare. Even with these factors and Spain and the UK’s past history with respect to Gibraltar, the border crossing is nowadays a formality, where guards perform nothing more than a cursory inspection of passports.

The video starts looking at Gibraltar from Avenida de Principe de Asturias in La Línea, Spain. The next scene has us looking for the border crossing. It’s a bit tricky because you have to turn right at a roundabout and loop back around a long side road near where the cruise ships dock. This road is meant for the long line at the border that occurs whenever a plane is taking off or landing since Winston Churchill Ave crosses through the runway. This will remain the case until the runway bypass road is completed on the east side of the runway. If you miss the turnout for customs, you stay on Avenida de Principe de Asturias and drive straight past the border and have to loop around. (We made this mistake once!) Notice that graffiti covers most of the signs giving directions to Gibraltar. Spanish tend not to be too happy about the UK keeping control.

After admiring the Gibraltar license plates and waiting aimlessly behind a stalled car for a few minutes, we arrive at the border. I mistakenly start talking in English to the first official I see, who actually is from the Policía Nacional. When entering or leaving Gibraltar you have to present your passports twice, once to the Policía Nacional (Spanish authorities) and again to the British. The guard informs us in Spanish to keep our passports out because we’ll be asked to present them again. After a brief and friendly chat with the British immigration official, we are in Gibraltar and are crossing the runway to get into town.

Note: You’re getting a picture of the dashboard at the actual border since the guards don’t take too kindly to videophotography. 🙂
This video is 00:03:40 long. Some videos may not be available due to the country restrictions.