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Old 16-03-2015, 21:09   #1
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Americans Cruising in EU

How do American cruisers deal with the 90 day in/90 day out Schengen Area rules?
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Old 17-03-2015, 02:10   #2
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

We are Americans in the Med sailing over in May 2013. Yes you can only spend 90days in Schengen areas. We have run over a few days or weeks but the short answer is yes. You have to work on a schedule to get in and out and where to sail.
We wintered over in Tunisia the last 2 winters and plan on wintering over in Turkey next year.
Last year Croatia was not Schengen and so we sailed Sardina, Corsica, Rome, Messina Straits, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Venice, Malta, Lampadusa then to Tunisia. We had some mechanical issues and were over a bit but no issue.

There is a long thread out there on this subject if you would use the search function.

OH - this year we plan to sail Sciliy, Albania, Greece and end up in Turkey.
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Old 17-03-2015, 04:44   #3
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

Options:
- Leave the Schengen in the boat after the 90 days, return when the clock resets.
- Leave the boat in the Schengen but get yourself out after the 90 days return when the clock resets.
- Get a long stay visa in one of the EU countries (not simple or easy)
- Violate the rules and hope you don't get caught.

There was some talk last summer about a long stay schengen visa but haven't heard anything new about it recently.

Remember, the visa is about your person. The boat has different rules that can require you to pay VAT (19-25%) on your boat. If you pay the VAT, the boat can stay essentially forever. If you don't, you get 18months easily extendable to 24months. One advantage is you can reset the VAT clock by taking the boat out of the EU for a day where as the visa is 90 out of the last 180 days, so leaving for a day doesn't really help with the visa.
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Old 17-03-2015, 04:59   #4
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pirate Re: Americans Cruising in EU

Hi.. Welcome to CF..
If you enter Schengen in the CF search facility you'll find quite a few Threads that cover this 'Problem?' quite extensively..
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Old 20-03-2015, 08:56   #5
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

I want to thank you all for responding. The information you provided directly and the other resources you directed me to were most helpful (and discouraging, of course). I had been thing about Tunisia, with hesitation that was just confirmed.

My boat was imported to England for the 2007 London show by Nordic Tug and configured for the French Canals -- a long-held ambition. Therefore I have no VAT issues. It is in Oblia Sardinia where I may return it after my 90 days in the central Med. The trick now is for me to decide how to best use my 90 days given weather condition. My present thinking is to get over as soon as my next grandchild is born in May, cruise for a while and then return to the US until September and take another 45 days before I return to Oblia.

On the other hand, Turkey is another option I have thought about. I just sold a boat I bought in Greece 15 years ago and would enjoy seeing those Islands again. I have another in the Pacific NW (two season and 5K mile between Seattle and Glacier Bay the past two years). Having turned 70 with work here until recently, I have found a new way to do my world cruising -- miss sailing but shared a CSY 44 in the Caribbean until a few years ago.

If anyone has any suggestions of a destination within my cruising zone where I could leave the boat mid-season for a reasonable cost (Nordic Tug 39) I would appreciate it.

Also, suggestions on how to label a package sent to Italy to minimize customs duties would be great to hear.

Thanks,

Michael
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Old 25-03-2015, 14:14   #6
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Greece 6 month rule on NON EU yachts

All owners of NON EU yachts should be aware of the current problems in keeing a NON EU boat in Greece.

The normal rules for the EU customs territories say 18 months - then you can leave and come back next day.

The Greeks, last year changed the regulation so that you can only be there 6 months in any 12 months. This is breaking EU Customs Union rules where your 18 months covers ANY member country.

The Cruising Association has been talking to the Greek Ministry of Finance, and has also lodged an objection with the EU commission. In short, the Greeks seem to think that yachts are Airplanes and treating them accordingly!!!

I hope we will have an answer shortly. Last year a New Zealand owner was fined €500 for overstaying the 6 months by 2 weeks - SO BE CAREFUL.
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Old 26-03-2015, 06:48   #7
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Michael.
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Old 29-03-2015, 03:16   #8
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Re: Greece 6 month rule on NON EU yachts

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Originally Posted by Chris Robb View Post
The Greeks, last year changed the regulation so that you can only be there 6 months in any 12 months.
The very thorough and up to date guidance on Greek regulations which you and Tony publish on the public pages of the Cruising Association web site (see http://www.theca.org.uk/news/greektax#BoatForms ) mentions that periods ashore notified to customs don't count towards this 6 months.

So, presumably, that helps non-EU craft which winter ashore - and remember to tell Customs!

Anyway, well done Cruising Association (through Chris!) for challenging this infringement of EU customs regulations through the EU commission. Here's hoping for a result . . . assuming Greece stays within the EU!
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Old 29-03-2015, 07:55   #9
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

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Originally Posted by Mkane744 View Post
How do American cruisers deal with the 90 day in/90 day out Schengen Area rules?
There are a few options:

1. Residence permit or long-term visa (if you are planning to be predominantly in one country). That's what I do. Every country has its own regime for this; Germany offers an easy one-year entrepreneur's visa, and France offers a one-year long stay visa which is apparently easy to get.

2. Stay out 90 days at a time, with or without the boat. Non-Schengen countries in Europe include the UK, Channel Islands, Turkey, former Yugoslavia, Albania, and most of Eastern Europe except the Baltic States.

3. Take advantage of a bilateral treaty which is still in force.


The last is not all that well known, but there are, or were, a few countries that treated Yanks, Aussies, and/or Kiwis differently from other visitors, respecting treaties signed prior to Schengen and so still in force.

This applied to France, Poland, and maybe some other countries.

The Nordic countries are another special case -- you can spend 90 days out of 180 in the Nordic countries collectively, without any consideration of time spent in other Schengen countries. So for example, you could spend 90 days in Germany, then go to Stockholm and spend another 90 days there. Then conceivably you could go straight to France and spend 90 days there.

Poland seems to be a peculiar case, as you are limited only to 90 days at a time, not 90 out of 180, so every time you leave and come back, the clock resets and you get another 90 days.

There is some information about this in the archives -- have a browse.

And in any case, if you decide to use one of these, be sure to get an official answer from the embassy of the country involved, print it out, and keep it with you. No matter how concrete is the information you might find, be sure to check with the embassy, because these arrangements can change at any moment. When I needed it last year, I got an official letter from the Swedish embassy in Washington within 24 hours, confirming that for Americans, they do not count time spent in non-Nordic Schengen countries.


And one other thing -- one Schengen country won't recognize the bilateral treaty of a different Schengen country, so don't go to say Germany after having spent 90 days in France then 90 days in Denmark. For them, you are simply illegal, and they are strict. The Swiss are even worse.


Some helpful links:

Schengen Bilateral Agreements

customs and immigration - US Citizen: 90/180 Schengen Stay & Bilateral Agreements w/Poland, Denmark, etc - Travel Stack Exchange

Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement between USA and Poland
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Old 30-03-2015, 02:19   #10
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
1. Residence permit or long-term visa (if you are planning to be predominantly in one country). That's what I do. Every country has its own regime for this; Germany offers an easy one-year entrepreneur's visa, and France offers a one-year long stay visa which is apparently easy to get.
<snip etc>
Great list of options, but be careful about "residence permits". People resident in the EU are not permitted to use boats which are not VAT paid.

As you indicate, France offers longer term "visitor visas" to certain friendly country citizens, as do some other EU countries. This avoids the clash where "right of residence" may imply your boat has to be VAT paid.

"Residence" is variously defined in different EU countries. However, one common concept is that if a person spends more than 182 days per tax year within an EU country, they become tax resident of that country. Also, the onus of proof that you are not tax resident (or other form of resident) may lie on the person, rather than officials.

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Old 30-03-2015, 04:31   #11
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

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Originally Posted by jckb View Post
Great list of options, but be careful about "residence permits". People resident in the EU are not permitted to use boats which are not VAT paid.

As you indicate, France offers longer term "visitor visas" to certain friendly country citizens, as do some other EU countries. This avoids the clash where "right of residence" may imply your boat has to be VAT paid.

"Residence" is variously defined in different EU countries. However, one common concept is that if a person spends more than 182 days per tax year within an EU country, they become tax resident of that country. Also, the onus of proof that you are not tax resident (or other form of resident) may lie on the person, rather than officials.

JimB
Yes, all excellent points.

I did not comment on taxes at all, which is a whole different (and even more unpleasant) subject.

Besides the VAT question and personal taxes, some countries (Spain, Greece AFAIK) will impose a tax on the boat (whether it's VAT paid or not) if you spend more than half the year in their waters.
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Old 30-03-2015, 05:45   #12
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Re: Americans Cruising in EU

Hi there
not just Americans but Australians, NZ visors as well.

As Australians we have avoided the 90 day issue by travelling to Tunisia as well as a trip home to the AU to use up the 90 days I must be out of the EU. The advice on Greece re boat and taxes is news to us so thanks for advice from us!

Our next plans are to go to Albania and I'm not sure if anyone has advice on how this is as a destination for a non EU visit?

cheers the Miss
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