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Old 05-11-2018, 21:56   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Buying out of country?

I have owned a foreign built boat that was brought to US but I have never bought in another country. I am looking at a boat listed with a very reputable broker in Spain. The boat is German flagged and was built in France. VAT was paid. My intention is to sail the Med, then Caribbean before bringing back to states but I will spend most of the time in other countries. I am not concerned with electrical differences, etc.. I have dealt with that before. I am looking for advice on purchasing in Spain. The boat will have to be unflagged friom Germany and then USCG documented. Is this something that can be dona all at signing or are we talking weeks to months to accomplish?
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Old 05-11-2018, 22:35   #2
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Us: Australia, Boat: Caribbean
Boat: 50' Ligure power cat
Posts: 54
Re: Buying out of country?

We've been through something similar, but for a French-flagged and built boat in the Caribbean that we'll take to the Med. We're making her Australian flagged so the rules may be different.

The selling broker should do the flag deletion from the German registry.
That's usually required before you can add it to the national registry (US?) and have her flagged.
Then you'll need a temporary admission (TA) certificate to keep her in the Schengen area of the EU (such as Spain). Since it has full EU VAT paid, you must must must get a certificate or documentation proving this is still valid - VAT is part of a transaction and, depending who owned the boat in the past and where the transactions occurred, VAT may need to be paid again (but probably not by you if you abide by then TA!) if you ever sold her to a EU/Schengen resident.
The TA will give the boat 18 months in Schengen areas and can be relatively easily reset to another 18 months (again and again).
There's lots of information - bad and good - around on the matter. It's a minefield in a herd of sleeping elephants .

We couldn't start flag deletion until the close of the transaction - final amount paid. The broker did it in a day, although some jurisdictions are known to be a week+. Registering with your country's registry can take some time - we're just starting ours right now and reportedly will take upto 2 weeks. So anything from 2-4 weeks (or more depending on country) after completing the purchase for changing to a new flag state.
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