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Old 22-11-2014, 16:11   #1
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Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Hey!!!! after traveling from one side of America to the other and presently in St Martin (french side) all in the trek to find THE boat we have signed a contract on a late model catamaran in Huelva Spain. Not the original plan
-we envisaged starting somewhere WARM
. We will fly to Spain in the next week and after setting up the boat and ourselves begin our cruising life!!
The biggest issue for us I see is compliance re the schengen issue and weather restrictions sailing around in winter.
So any tips on how people are managing these issues would be greatly appreciated
Cheers Rex
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Old 22-11-2014, 17:27   #2
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Hi riv,

You may find shengen relief via british commonwealth staus.The only avenue you may have though not entirely certain of this.


All the Best
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Old 22-11-2014, 17:59   #3
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Thanks for your reply ,however I am not aware of any dispensation through
commonwealth status would apply?
After reading threads on this issue both here and other forums it appears the complacence requirements are clear although the implementation could vary from country to country?
Given the time of year we are starting We are going to be restricted (weather wise) to very limited travel so difficult to maintain a legal status.
I remember in one of the threads a mention about the possibility of the 90 days being extended to 12 months although I cant find any formal information on this being proposed or any possible implementation time.
Well at this stage I guess "suck it and see" may be the best approach as I am sure we not be the only non EU residents dealing with this matter.
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:08   #4
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

I would not worry too much. And don't sail about in winter in the Med. I was there on my boat for 3 years after my visa expired. Even went to court as a witness in a murder trial, and the judge just shrugged, asked if I was working, then shrugged again.

Get closer to the problem, ask the locals in Huelva. I would relax, especially if the flag is EU, you could have residencia in a few months, if you want it.
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:17   #5
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

No Worries Gilana
Our vessel will be Australian flagged-so residence wont be an option? Besides this would raise tax implications for the vessel?
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:49   #6
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Just came across a very good post written by Janet Erken and David Heath
on the Lagos Navigators site that gave me a good perspective on this situation and maybe of help to any other non EU new cruising sailors learning the ropes of local Officialdom.
Schengen & IVA Rules - Lagos Navigators - Lagos Navigators
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:52   #7
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

You have 3 months and then you need to get out for 3 months. The law is quite clear.

Also in Spain if you have your boat in one port for more than 150 days they can, and will, charge you 20% VAT.

So you need to do more than suck it and see. You need to know the law and apply it.
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Old 22-11-2014, 19:08   #8
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Tax enforcement varies from region to region in Southern Spain. Some are easy and couldn't care less, while others like the region around Valencia can be quite difficult due to the many expat Brits. Best do do some homework and choose a port with welcoming officials like Cartegena who will go out of their way to help you. Cartegena also offers a big discount for catamarans overwintering; Charging the same price as monohulls. Check out Yacht Port Cartegena... Clean, secure, friendly, new facilities and English is spoken.
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Old 23-11-2014, 10:52   #9
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Quote:
Originally Posted by riv33 View Post
Hey!!!! after traveling from one side of America to the other and presently in St Martin (french side) all in the trek to find THE boat we have signed a contract on a late model catamaran in Huelva Spain. Not the original plan
-we envisaged starting somewhere WARM
. We will fly to Spain in the next week and after setting up the boat and ourselves begin our cruising life!!
The biggest issue for us I see is compliance re the schengen issue and weather restrictions sailing around in winter.
So any tips on how people are managing these issues would be greatly appreciated
Cheers Rex
Firstly you need to find out if VAT has already been paid on your yacht previously. The boat will have documentation if it has.
As an Australian yacht you need to take her out of Schengen each 18 months or less. Tunis, Albania, Turkey etc are options.
Don't even think of sailing around the Med during winter. The weather is 90% unsettled and cold and miserable.Marinas in winter are cheap. Around 200 EURO a month. Presumably your boat is in a marina already. Pay the freight and leave her there for the winter. You will probably want to do a shakedown trip anyway to see what needs fixing and do this in nice weather. Towards the end of April the weather becomes more settled anf May gets into the 90% settled. Be aware of the Mistral/Melteme winds etc. Use a good weather App. It can be very uncomfortable in all of the well publicised prevailing winds. Especially in winter.
In reality a yacht moving around the Med is not challenged by Visas or customs/immigration. That being said the French might check your Visa. Greece will check your length of stay as a cruising tax kicks in after 3 months. If you leave her on the hard then this 3 month clock usually will stop. The Marina will help.
I believe you can buy a 12 month residency in Turkey for 85 EURO. The boat can stay for 5 years. We plan to stay there next winter. This year we are in Sicily for the winter. Last year was in Valencia, Spain. Good luck
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Old 23-11-2014, 11:28   #10
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

If the boat has not paid VAT I worry about what MarkJ says. They are quite rigid in Spain about that and 20% of the boat value is a lot of money. If the boat has the VAT paid then the problems are a lot less. The best place to go out of EC on the med is Tunisia. Maybe you even like Tunisia, since it is warmer in winter then Spain. The nearest place to go out it will be Morocco and you can come back to Spain or stay in Ceuta (North Africa) that has a nice marina and belongs to Spain.

I would also check what are the requirement in near by Gibraltar. It belongs to UK and UK is EC but not schengen and the law can be more favorable, eventually.

Med on winter can be quite harsh and a relatively long voyage till Tunisia will have to be carefully programmed and will take time (to find suitable settled weather to make the several legs). To go to Marrocos and back it will be easy.

If the boat has the vat paid the best is to have it under a EC banner, at least while you are there, then it will be only you and not the boat that it will have to go out of Spain and back.
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Old 23-11-2014, 15:07   #11
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

All good advice above.
You may want to investigate a 'temporary' UK registration (can be done on net) this may solve VAT problem. I have friends who used this technique.
Schengen, is a problem, my experience has been that Italy solve the problem by not date stamping your passport. The Dutch have recently adopted a policy of not counting time in Holland as part of the Schengen restrictions (refer, web site; canal cappers, from a WA canal cruising group).
Not that it is a help for Med. cruising but it shows that cracks are starting to appear in Schengen.
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Old 23-11-2014, 16:29   #12
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Whilst I can confirm that sailing in the Med in winter is not much fun - been there, done that, got the tee-shirt - there are pleasant, even warm spells of settled weather too, so if you get, or even perceive that you may be about to get a problem with overstaying, you do have non-Schengen alternatives at the western end of the Med:

From Huelva it's about 24 hours to Gibraltar, which I believe constitutes being outside the area; on the down-side, berths are, or at least were in short supply there, added to which, I've always found it to be a depressing bog-hole.

Or, you could go to Morocco, which is definitely outside the Schengen area and has or at least had, plenty of reasonably priced berths; Rabat on the Atlantic coast (one of our favourites) is perhaps 48 hours from Huelva and there are several marinas on the Mediterranean coast which you'd easily reach in 30 - 40 hours from Huelva.

A third alternative (I think) is the enclave of Ceuta, just across the straits from Gibraltar, it's notionally Spanish, but like the Canary Islands, is not part of Schengen/EU; again, you'd do it in 24 hours from Huelva.

That said, I know of non-EU yachties who've been anchored up a river not all that far from Huelva for years without being hassled.
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Old 23-11-2014, 17:15   #13
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Quote:
Originally Posted by riv33 View Post
Just came across a very good post written by Janet Erken and David Heath
on the Lagos Navigators site that gave me a good perspective on this situation and maybe of help to any other non EU new cruising sailors learning the ropes of local Officialdom.
Schengen & IVA Rules - Lagos Navigators - Lagos Navigators
Everything you read that has been written more then one year agoo lost its value. Europe changed dramaticly the last years, we lost our innocence and the rules are super strickt now. Be carefull that you not end-up with more problems then you can handle.
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Old 23-11-2014, 19:07   #14
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Tax enforcement varies from region to region in Southern Spain. Some are easy and couldn't care less, while others like the region around Valencia can be quite difficult due to the many expat Brits. Best do do some homework and choose a port with welcoming officials like Cartegena who will go out of their way to help you. Cartegena also offers a big discount for catamarans overwintering; Charging the same price as monohulls. Check out Yacht Port Cartegena... Clean, secure, friendly, new facilities and English is spoken.
Marina Real Juan Carlos I at Valencia was $2900 EURO for 6 months including power water and internet. The Spanish tax wasn't an issue. Generally time spent in the marina over winter doesn't count. Ask the specific question of Marina management. We had a pleasant time there. Go to a local Taverna called La Paca. Fabulous Tapas and beers and very cheap
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Old 23-11-2014, 19:16   #15
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Re: Australian wintering in Spain -schengen

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
If the boat has not paid VAT I worry about what MarkJ says. They are quite rigid in Spain about that and 20% of the boat value is a lot of money. If the boat has the VAT paid then the problems are a lot less. The best place to go out of EC on the med is Tunisia. Maybe you even like Tunisia, since it is warmer in winter then Spain. The nearest place to go out it will be Morocco and you can come back to Spain or stay in Ceuta (North Africa) that has a nice marina and belongs to Spain.

I would also check what are the requirement in near by Gibraltar. It belongs to UK and UK is EC but not schengen and the law can be more favorable, eventually.

Med on winter can be quite harsh and a relatively long voyage till Tunisia will have to be carefully programmed and will take time (to find suitable settled weather to make the several legs). To go to Marrocos and back it will be easy.

If the boat has the vat paid the best is to have it under a EC banner, at least while you are there, then it will be only you and not the boat that it will have to go out of Spain and back.
What MarkJ says is not correct. VAT may be payable if you are a foreign flagged vessel and have been in Schengen for 18 months. Personal visas vary and can be 90 days in each 180 days.. In effect it is not enforced and there is no process to check. Most of the marinas you go into just don't want to see passports of crew. They just want Ships Papers and Insurance evidence. Certainly in Spain, Italy Sicily there is no interest in personal visa.
This is probably because there are no longer any border checks.
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