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Old 13-12-2012, 13:42   #76
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

Good grief.

America has gone down a very tortured road of legalistic fine points ruling our lives. I remember the days when the police used common sense as their guide, didn't have to read Miranda, and didn't have to prove that they weren't racially profiling. Americans have learned to parse the legal details before doing anything. Fortunately much of the rest of the world hasn't drunk this particular Kool-Aid. Mostly acting in a manner appropriate to one's status as a tourist is sufficient to avoid difficulties. However, bureaucracies occasionally assert themselves so one must keep a weather eye for the current situation. If you need to dot the i's and cross the t's, then world cruising is probably not for you - just that simple really.

I lived aboard Carina in Europe (Ireland to Turkey, including Norway and Sweden,) from 1996 to 2009. I never had a problem, was never fined, never invited to leave. I did plan my travels to have time-outs in Norway, Gibraltar, Malta (at that time non-EU), Croatia, and Turkey. I obeyed the rules strictly in Turkey and in Greece, kept a low profile in Portugal (they were hot for VAT-unpaid boats at that time) and France (ditto) but otherwise didn't limit my trip. I did occasionally encounter officialdom, and always did as asked, but never had a problem.

I realize that the rules are being enforced a bit more, but I feel I could again find a way to enjoy years in Europe if I decided to do so. It would probably require a bit more effort, to either get out of the EU, or change countries, or do paperwork/pay fees, but it seems highly unlikely that it couldn't be made to happen. Oh, and I agree that keeping out of airports may be a very good idea as that is where some cruisers have encountered difficulties - particularly in Greece. YMMV

Greg
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:21   #77
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Once you are not a EU tax resident, no one really cares about boat VAT, All this hype is actually over nothing, an american could keep his boat in Europe for years and never pay VAT. Theres nobody to check and no paperwork to fill out, nobody cares, They only care if you are with the boat for the period. Thats different.

The EU tries to control immigrants not boats. ( unlike the US which seeks to control both).
I'd be very careful with general statements like this.

Earlier this year we were stopped by the Guardia Finanza off Arbatrax in Sardinia. They kept us for about 30 minutes while they checked our import documentation (Australian registered boat) and passports, they spent a lot of time on the VHF checking with base and I doubt it was for a weather check.

We were legal and on our way to Tunisia to restart the VAT clock. The officers were very polite, but they were very thorough.

We also had a similar check in Calvi in Corsica last year, equally as polite although they were nowhere near as thorough and they only wanted our registration certificate and import documentation. Actually they were more interested in advising us of the rules so we didn't get caught up in VAT
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:33   #78
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

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thanks to Goboating now I was able to find a lot of information on VAT. When I get a chance I will reserect the link to the law where it states that all a boat needs to do is leave the EU and go to another port. When they return the clock starts a new. Gibraltar is not a part of the EU. It can be difficult to get them to give exacting proof that you were there but I also have a link to that info. Sorry to busy with work to search for that info right now. If someone else wanted to search thru my earlier posts they could find it.
Oh yes it is, joined in 1973 along with the UK. It is just not part of the Schengen treaty.
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:45   #79
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow

All visitors to the EU can bring in

200 cigarettes or 40 cigarettes;*
1 litre of spirits
2 litres of spirits under 22% ...


Then you get access to the BEST food on the planet , more culture then you can shake a stick at, and loads of topless women to ogle, or if your inclined, more boat porn then anywhere else on the planet ( I mean folks does it get any better )


Dave
Great post.... I agree, "don't worry , be happy"
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:46   #80
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Great post.... I agree, "don't worry , be happy"
Gib doesn't stamp you in an out if you are already in Schengen....I don't know why, and maybe they would if you asked.
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:57   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buena Vista

I'd be very careful with general statements like this.

Earlier this year we were stopped by the Guardia Finanza off Arbatrax in Sardinia. They kept us for about 30 minutes while they checked our import documentation (Australian registered boat) and passports, they spent a lot of time on the VHF checking with base and I doubt it was for a weather check.

We were legal and on our way to Tunisia to restart the VAT clock. The officers were very polite, but they were very thorough.

We also had a similar check in Calvi in Corsica last year, equally as polite although they were nowhere near as thorough and they only wanted our registration certificate and import documentation. Actually they were more interested in advising us of the rules so we didn't get caught up in VAT
I'm aware that I made a general statement. I am aware that from time to time inspections are carried out. Based on real feedback over the years.

( a) specific VAT inspections on non EU boats are very rare , with the exception of channel island boats. Where it has happened often there is suspected commercial activity occurring. ( or been reported to occur) sometimes where in a check in , the registration documents are not appropriate or unusual , this leads to further inspections of the boats financial situation. ( this tends to happen in Portugal )

(b) the vast majority of cruisers do not get inspected. This is borne out by the relatively few incidents reported ( and I mean first hand like you ) and by the fact that that there are reasonable numbers of cruising foreigners saying much longer then advertised

(c) many boardings are described as a documents check, but are often drugs or illegal immigrant interdiction in disguise. I've suffered a few myself, off season in sea areas not frequented by yachts at that tine of year. Note that Guardia Finanza is Italy lead agency in combatting smuggling and drugs. They do also have a role in VAT fraud.


I notice you refer to " import" documentation , since I don't believe such a thing exists for visitors, where you importing a boat. ?

And two checks within about 18 months. Hmm are you on a watch list LOL

Dave
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:58   #82
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Gib doesn't stamp you in an out if you are already in Schengen....I don't know why, and maybe they would if you asked.
They did for me.

Dave
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Old 13-12-2012, 15:58   #83
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

My understanding is that Gibraltar is within the EU, at least in some ways, but is not in the tax union. I believe it has the same status as Man, the Channel Isles, or even Ceuta and Melilla. Staying there puts your boat outside the VAT rules. I stayed there for a year and never had a problem with immigration, and of course reset the VAT clock.

Greg
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Old 13-12-2012, 16:00   #84
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They did for me.

Dave
I wonder is it to prevent the need to recheck in Spain again which would cause a right pain going back and forth over the road crossing

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Old 13-12-2012, 16:06   #85
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

I don't know why you colonials are so bothered, just fly the Stars and Stripes and you'll be fine.
As a Brit we can get a frosty reception from our French neighbours, especially driving in a Brit car, however when I drove an American dayvan with pseudo American plates on it, we had nothing but smiles and cheers, even from the toll booth attendants on the motorways.
Relax and enjoy the party.

BTW you can cross the road anywhere you want over here.
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Old 13-12-2012, 16:16   #86
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

Odd - I went across the border to Spain on foot quite frequently, and never had the passport stamped. Of course I checked the boat in and out. I have a single Gibraltar stamp in my passport, when I flew back from the US after the holidays. I just noticed that there was a limit on the number of days (illegible); I left in early October. Oh well.

I did get stopped once in Italy by the Guardia Finanza; it was early November and I was nearing Taranto - all very unusual - so pulled alongside and had a chat and look at the documents. They were interested in where I was coming from (Turkey via Greece) but never boarded and were satisfied with my recent entry to the EU. All very reasonable - they were probably looking for smuggling from Tunisia. When I first entered Italy shortly after 9/11 I was required to get a Costituto (cruising permit) but with time that requirement has mostly gone back to being ignored.

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Old 13-12-2012, 16:25   #87
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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX
My understanding is that Gibraltar is within the EU, at least in some ways, but is not in the tax union. I believe it has the same status as Man, the Channel Isles, or even Ceuta and Melilla. Staying there puts your boat outside the VAT rules. I stayed there for a year and never had a problem with immigration, and of course reset the VAT clock.

Greg
No the CI are not in the EU period. , the Isle of Man isn't either. Gibraltar is in the Ezu, but is outside the customs union as is Ceuta. Hence technically you can reset the vat clock in either place. But unfortunately Spain disputs the status of Gibraltar and hence it can lead to problems using it as a vat clock restart.

Dave
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Old 13-12-2012, 16:29   #88
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Originally Posted by Artif
I don't know why you colonials are so bothered, just fly the Stars and Stripes and you'll be fine.
As a Brit we can get a frosty reception from our French neighbours, especially driving in a Brit car, however when I drove an American dayvan with pseudo American plates on it, we had nothing but smiles and cheers, even from the toll booth attendants on the motorways.
Relax and enjoy the party.

BTW you can cross the road anywhere you want over here.
Jaywalking FFS
That's true. I get taken as a Brit etc, but when I explain I'm originally from the Emerald Isle, its smiles all round. ( now if the CIA would please stop nicking our passports and giving us a bad name ) the French just love hassling Brits. ( so ignore them when they tell you about the customs checks, boardings and bureaucracy they meet in French waters, its just them not the rest of us LOL )

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Old 13-12-2012, 16:42   #89
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

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That's true. I get taken as a Brit etc, but when I explain I'm originally from the Emerald Isle, its smiles all round. ( now if the CIA would please stop nicking our passports and giving us a bad name ) the French just love hassling Brits. ( so ignore them when they tell you about the customs checks, boardings and bureaucracy they meet in French waters, its just them not the rest of us LOL )

Dave
I'm not English either (Cornish) but have to use the English rules
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Old 13-12-2012, 16:51   #90
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Re: 8 Years in the Med??

Well Dave, after a year in Gib I certainly know about the undeclared war between Spain and Gibraltar. I don't think it reflects well on either player frankly. I was there when the Brit nuclear sub was towed in with a problem that took months to be repaired - what a joke. Gib didn't want to take it, as the port is no longer a Royal Navy yard - pretty insulting to Britain, their guarantor of independence from Spain. Spain claimed they had a right to review the safety of the project, and so got a VIP tour of the sub for their nuclear officials. Then Gib insisted that they deserved no less, even though they had no nuclear expertise to base it on. A pox on both their houses. (There are a lot worse things going on, but I'll leave them for another time.)

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