Originally Posted by Zanshin
Do you need the sail for the passage
? While the BVI is quite expensive, there are excellent sail lofts in St. Martin whose prices will be lower than buying from the same company in Europe - even after taking the VAT off.
If you wish to buy in Europe, the sailmakers will make an appropriate invoice and you will pay the Vat, which when you clear out and provide proof that the goods are being exported will be reimbursed to you.
Even easier is having the sailmaker drop-ship to St. Martin; I don't recall
the name of the shipping company I used but I shipped about 200Kg of PELI-Cases with contents for about 150Euro plus a US$10 pickup fee at the shipping agent. This way the sailmaker exports themselves and VAT is not due or paid and you don't have to pay in advance plus don't have the sails aboard taking space if you don't need it.
There is no "system" of providing VAT returns, customs
officials for example do not provide VAT refunds on export. You can try to reclaim VAT when you arrive in Australia
, from the supplier. as its his VAT you need to reclaim.
Organised VAT returns systems you see in shopping
malls and airports are different and only work with designated stores.
You also must export the item with 90 days, and you must show that it is actually exported , ie an import
stamp at the other end. Merely turning up at customs
will get you laughed at.
What you can do, is try and convince the seller to zero rate the sale
as you are leaving. Or as part of the deal, agree that they will refund the VAT when you provide them with documentatry evidence that the sails have been exported. Often the seller will take the VAT in the form of a bond , and return it to you on proof of export. This is actually the way VAT authorities want it done.