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Old 12-06-2016, 10:10   #1
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Question on European tax (VAT).

Hi All,


Iím from the UK but Iím looking to buy a boat in the Americas and cruise the Caribbean for a few years. Question is; if I register a boat from the Americas in the UK, will I need to pay VAT on the boat considering it is not actually physically in Europe? I realize if I take the boat in to European waters I will need to pay the tax then.


Thanks for any help or insight.

LE
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:55   #2
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

No need to worry, vat is only payable when the boat is physically imported to the EU and, depending on age, may not be payable.

However it may need a certificate of CE compliance which may cause problems if built outside the EU.

Lots of threads on the subject
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Old 12-06-2016, 14:10   #3
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

This is also my understanding the tax is paid on importation. Check with your customs for sure.

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Old 12-06-2016, 14:38   #4
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

No matter the age, VAT is payable. If it is a rarely used 'collectible' I think it is 5% of purchase price (check), everything else is 20% (presently). As a collectible it had better be rarely used too, or they will come after you.

The first Port you stop at inside EU waters, will be the Country you owe VAT to. Which is why my first stop North from Cape Verde is going to be a UK one. If weather needs to be avoided, Gibraltar and the Channel Isles are options to run to.

There are rumours of an exemption being available if you own the boat for at least 12 months prior to entering EU waters, but UK Customs and Excise were unable to confirm that when I spoke to them (it would contradict the reality in my PS).

Thinking positively, hopefully things will improve dramatically once we get out of the racketeering lawless State that is the EU (I may well stay away until that happens).

PS If you pay the VAT then leave EU waters for a few years, the boat is again liable to VAT when it returns a second (or third . . . ) time.
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Old 12-06-2016, 15:58   #5
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

Of course, if the Brexit happens, the OP might be able to cross over to Europe and cruise vat free until they decide to land in the UK
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Old 12-06-2016, 18:01   #6
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribbit View Post
No matter the age, VAT is payable. (...)
You may mean on imported boats.

Boats built in Europe before VAT regulations are not liable to 'VAT paid' requirement.

A friend of ours used this legislative gap to import his HR that got sold by a Swedish first owner to a US owner. Our friend bought the boat from the US guy. It was a pre-VAT boat.

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Old 13-06-2016, 01:16   #7
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

It's a little messy with boats coming from outside the EU. Confirm with a professional but here is my understanding:
- If the boat has never been to the EU and you are an EU resident, VAT is due immediately upon arriving. Age of the boat is irrelevant.
- If the boat has been VAT paid or was in the EU prior to the initiation of VAT, it is considered exempt (may not be correct term but same principal) but if the boat leaves the EU for a significant period (not sure the number of years), it may lose it's VAT paid status.


There are some exceptions for collector items and if you are re-patriating but as it doesn't apply to us, we haven't researched it much.


If imported from outside the EU, do look into CE requirements as that could make some mid-aged boats impractical to import.
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Old 13-06-2016, 11:45   #8
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

It might be worth your while to contact the RYA here in th U.K. for information and advice. I found them really helpful when I was registering my boat in the part 1 register. Good luck with your endeavour.
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Old 13-06-2016, 12:33   #9
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

I've been looking at a boat which is currently in Greek waters but is registered in Holland. The yacht apparently does not have VAT paid status but unless you have a Greek VAT number you are unable to pay VAT to the Greek authority's.

I would have to take it to another EU country to pay the VAT.
Its been suggested I take it to Malta where VAT is rated at 18%

No one including the responsible VAT offices seem to know exactly what I need to do or pay......

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Old 13-06-2016, 14:33   #10
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

boats build before 1980 are VAT exempt
If the boat is younger see if any previous owner paid VAT in any EU country then you do not need to pay again
If you Have to pay VAT then you pay only upon importing the boat on the declared price I.e. 3,000 euro.
If you declare the boat for charter use then you are VAT exempt
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Old 14-06-2016, 01:31   #11
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus_Eater View Post
Hi All,


Iím from the UK but Iím looking to buy a boat in the Americas and cruise the Caribbean for a few years. Question is; if I register a boat from the Americas in the UK, will I need to pay VAT on the boat considering it is not actually physically in Europe? I realize if I take the boat in to European waters I will need to pay the tax then.


Thanks for any help or insight.

LE
That depends on boatís registration country law.
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Old 14-06-2016, 01:55   #12
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

Quote:
Originally Posted by FilBrown View Post
I've been looking at a boat which is currently in Greek waters but is registered in Holland. The yacht apparently does not have VAT paid status but unless you have a Greek VAT number you are unable to pay VAT to the Greek authority's.

I would have to take it to another EU country to pay the VAT.
Its been suggested I take it to Malta where VAT is rated at 18%

No one including the responsible VAT offices seem to know exactly what I need to do or pay......

If they don't want to collect VAT from you in Greece then don't worry about it. Sail in Greece and enjoy your VAT not paid status. I was never asked within Greece if the VAT was paid.

Just remember to have the funds available for when you sail to another EU country. The good thing is that only Croatia has a higher vat rate in the Med. So if you wan to go there, cross over to Italy and pay there first.
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Old 14-06-2016, 04:05   #13
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
If they don't want to collect VAT from you in Greece then don't worry about it. Sail in Greece and enjoy your VAT not paid status. I was never asked within Greece if the VAT was paid.

Just remember to have the funds available for when you sail to another EU country. The good thing is that only Croatia has a higher vat rate in the Med. So if you wan to go there, cross over to Italy and pay there first.
If you register your boat in Greece then for sure you will pay VAT, accordingly.
If you don't, then you should stay in Greece for six months only after which you have to go out .... etc etc
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:34   #14
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Re: Question on European tax (VAT).

I am Dutch and a financial expert and understand you can just keep the boat under Dutch Flag, just change your name in "Kadaster". In the summ you pay, if you buy from some one who has paid his BTW (VAT) in that case VAT is no issue as this is sold by that private person.
Boats in Greece, are mostly held by companies that exempt from Tax for the
vessels. I am pretty sure a buyer who is not in the sailing business will have to pay VAT over todays value in The Netherlands or in the UK upon registration.

Alternatively you ask to end the name at Kadaster and consider to register in e.g. Langkawi costs are approx 400 GBP/a Langkawi has no such thing.

From https://www.yachtregistration.company/ I understand that you can register under dutch flag for 350 Euro and they will likely know when and whether VAT applies to you.

Success and preferable winds,

Walter
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