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Old 15-01-2016, 08:21   #1
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And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Ok, SO and I are in the process of buying a boat. We're having a bit of back and forth with the broker. And now we're not sure what to make of this.

He said he doesn't have the original receipts for the VAT but since we're going to register the boat in Germany anyway he will provide us with an entry in the french discharge papers.

He gave us a sample of the document (I removed the personal information. It was from a previously sold boat):

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Anyone knows if this is enough to prove that the VAT has been paid should we ever get stopped by customs etc?

Thanks!
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Old 15-01-2016, 09:21   #2
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

I'm in the Netherlands, but since it's all EU laws and regulations these days, it won't be much different for France / Germany.

Best advise: check with local customs - they are the ones that can tell you exactly what will and what will NOT be accepted.

I don't know what year the boat in question is, but the most recent info I have from Dutch customs (checked with them last summer when they were in the marina here):

- before 1985: no papers needed (tho you do have to be able to proof the year. doh.)
- 1985 - 1993: you have to proof it is "likely" VAT was paid. (check with local customs!)
- 1993 and newer: you need the original invoice with VAT

If the boat you're looking at is from 1993 or newer, you will need the original invoice. If the invoice somehow was lost, it'll be very difficult to get the paperwork needed. You'd need to contact the previous owner, proof the boat was never commercially used etc. A real pain in the butt.

Anyway, this is the info I was given last summer by customs, but I'd check with local customs just to be sure, in your case.

My boat is from 1974, but since my word on that will probably not be enough, I always have a copy of the original invoice on board. If your broker cannot produce the original invoice, please check with customs what to do and do not accept paperwork from another boat!
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Old 15-01-2016, 09:38   #3
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Thanks a lot. This confirmed my/our suspicion. I really hope the owner can cough up the original invoice. Unless, from what I understand, we'd have to get out of the deal.

The boat is from 2001, btw.
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Old 15-01-2016, 09:42   #4
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

I wouldn't let the invoice (or lack thereof ) be a dealbreaker before talking to customs.

I don't know what other paperwork they may accept if an invoice is really lost ...
It's only a phone call to find out

Since I do have the original invoice and have an older boat, I didn't ask them for more info on that.
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Old 15-01-2016, 09:52   #5
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Aye, we will still check with them and bother the broker a bit more about that invoice. I didn't mean to say that we give up right now.
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Old 15-01-2016, 09:58   #6
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Paperwork can really suck the fun out of buying a boat sometimes

Even the customs guys I talked with had a few opinions about "proof it is likely" VAT was paid etc.

But since they frequently do random checks on boats here (I'm near the Port of Rotterdam) and they were cruising in the marina, I thought I'd check with them while tucked away in my slip and not during an actual check -- less stressful

Would you mind updating the topic when you've talked to customs?
Never hurts to know how they deal with a lost invoice. TIA!
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Old 16-01-2016, 10:44   #7
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

The worst that can happen is you have to pay VAT based on the boat's value when new. That probably will not exceed what you paid for the boat, so just buy it and be prepared to pay an equivalent amount for VAT.
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Old 16-01-2016, 10:53   #8
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Quote:
you have to pay VAT based on the boat's value when new.
I am pretty sure this is wrong. You would have to pay VAT on the 'current price'.

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Carsten
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Old 16-01-2016, 11:21   #9
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
The worst that can happen is you have to pay VAT based on the boat's value when new. That probably will not exceed what you paid for the boat, so just buy it and be prepared to pay an equivalent amount for VAT.
I really hope that isn't true as with a boat from 2001, this would probably double what we pay for it.
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Old 16-01-2016, 11:34   #10
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

I agree with Carsten. This "problem" should be far from insurmountable. In many years of dealing with functionaries - Canadian ones, of course, but nevertheless - I've found that a "client" striving to "come into compliance" will always be treated as leniently as the law allows.

A wild guess on my part, but I'd think that an appraisal by a "competent" person - say a surveyor - stating that the boats "fair market value" is EUXXX.XX would be accepted in lieu of an invoice, and that VAT would be assessed on the FMV.

Worth having a go at if the boat is desirable. Phone or write the office of the Collector of Customs - whatever that functionary may be called where you are.

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Old 16-01-2016, 14:09   #11
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

I am confused, MonsterJoe. If you are an EU citizen, buying a French boat (I guess in France), moving it to another EU country - why are you needing to prove VAT paid?
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Old 16-01-2016, 14:33   #12
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Looking at the document provided by the French naval authorities, it clearly states VAT paid in bold. VAT in french is TVA, which is mentioned on the document. I would not let this detail be a dealbreaker. BTW if live in France and am fluent in French. PM me if you need futher information. I bought myself a boat in France from a Frenchman.


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Old 16-01-2016, 14:49   #13
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
I am confused, MonsterJoe. If you are an EU citizen, buying a French boat (I guess in France), moving it to another EU country - why are you needing to prove VAT paid?
Just like if you buy a boat in Florida and take it to Massachusetts. Got to show you paid sales tax somewhere, otherwise will have to pay sales tax in MA.
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Old 16-01-2016, 14:53   #14
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

A few years back on another vat thread, someone posted this about getting documentation for boats that were Vat paid in France.

"there is a central registry in France that holds those records. It was in Port Vendres, but for some reason was moved to Sete. The address is

Bureau de Douane de Sete
27 quai Aspirant Herber
34200 Sete
Telephone +33 4 67186490

If you have your boat's hull numbers and/or original owner and boat name they should be able to help you.

http://www.sete.port.fr/partenaires/douanes.php
"

I don't think this contact info is no longer valid, but maybe a French speaker can find who can provide this information now


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Old 16-01-2016, 22:42   #15
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Re: And so it continues... This time: V.A.T.

Are you buying from a French private individual?
Is the boat currently registered in France?

I believe (and I would have to double check) that the French are unique in linking up the registration of a boat with its VAT payment status so that, in effect, a boat must be VAT paid in order to get French registration.

Is the broker you are dealing with French? UK?

If the boat was put under French flag, by my understanding, the French authorities would have been satisfied that VAT had been paid (if I'm right in my assumption...) in which case it would just be a process of finding out what documents they were shown to demonstrate this.

Your broker should be aware of all this...............

I'd be interested in knowing what happened to the 'lost paperwork' under these circumstances.............

Have come across this thread with a quick search:
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread...roof-of-V-A-T&

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonsterJoe View Post
Ok, SO and I are in the process of buying a boat. We're having a bit of back and forth with the broker. And now we're not sure what to make of this.

He said he doesn't have the original receipts for the VAT but since we're going to register the boat in Germany anyway he will provide us with an entry in the french discharge papers.

He gave us a sample of the document (I removed the personal information. It was from a previously sold boat):

Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

Anyone knows if this is enough to prove that the VAT has been paid should we ever get stopped by customs etc?

Thanks!
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