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Old 03-01-2016, 12:34   #1
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Boat Buying in Italy

Hello members, I'm new to the forum and about to purchase a pre-owned Italian registered sailboat that is presently located in that country. I'm American, but plan to keep the boat in the Med for at least five years and then bring her home or sell her in Europe. The boat will not be chartered or used for any business purpose. I'm interested in the more mundane problems that new boat owners encounter -- registration, insurance, and tax minimization or avoidance. Hopefully others have experience worth sharing.

My initial thinking is to de-register the boat and obtain US documentation. I'm assuming US insurance should then be readily available (which I currently believe to be desirable), and that there will be the option for other international underwriters. Aside from issues regarding captain/crew experience, number of crew members, boat equipment/condition, and the like, the concern is obtaining liability and stated value coverage. Are there any disadvantages to this plan? Any other issues I'm not thinking of?

According to the current owner, VAT was previously paid when the boat (EU made) was initially purchased from the builder. The current owner was not the original purchaser and seems not to have proof of the VAT payment. I'm generally aware of a moderate time period and then some European taxing agency may want proof of either VAT payment, that the boat was not used for a business purpose, that she's in transit, or some other complication. I'm also generally aware of the "hop to Turkey" strategy. So, any likely tax issues regarding the previous owner(s) when the boat is de-registered? Could any of this be an issue down the road--particularly when leaving the EU or if the boat is again sold (and re-registered) in Europe?

Thanks to any who can help with previous experience.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:27   #2
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

If the boat has paid VAT and you can get the evidence it makes the boat more attractive to you (as you can keep the boat in the EU indefinitely without temporarily moving out every 18 months and it just makes life a lot easier) and if you sold it to a purchaser who intended to keep it in the EU, to the tune of about 20% of its value. If I were in your place, assuming everything else is ok, I would make an offer for the boat conditional on the VAT status being proven ok. That provides an incentive for the current owner to do the legwork on the VAT whereas after the transaction you would expect little help. If they cannot produce that, then a -20% offer would sound in order.
Regarding registration, I am sure others can help with specific country information. One thing to be aware of is that some EU countries I believe do impose a wealth tax on some boats registered there. There are quite a few US flagged boats in the Med so I would not expect being US flagged to be a significant issue.
You will need an International Certificate of Competence and a VHF operators licence in some countries.
Otherwise, it should be pretty straightforward. You may find that getting insurance in EU will be more competitive, someone like Pantaenius would be a good start.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:00   #3
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

I am not Italian, I bought an Italian boat and I keep it in Italia under Italian flag. No wealth tax or any other tax required. The more practical for you would be to use an agency and discuss with them the advantages and disadvantages of the different options.

If you are going to sail on the Med for 5 years and want to sell the boat later maybe it is not a bad idea to keep the Italian flag. The only disadvantage is to have a mandatory boat inspection each 4 years or so (look at the boat papers to know when the next is due). It costs about 500 euros.

On many European countries a license is needed to sail the boat. On most a ICC is accepted. RYA and other licenses from credible sail schools are accepted too.
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Old 06-01-2016, 21:36   #4
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

Thanks Rapanui and Polux, your information helps. Seeking VAT proof seems wise from all perspectives, and the tip about the Italian certification requirement is important to know.
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:16   #5
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I am not Italian, I bought an Italian boat and I keep it in Italia under Italian flag. No wealth tax or any other tax required. The more practical for you would be to use an agency and discuss with them the advantages and disadvantages of the different options.

If you are going to sail on the Med for 5 years and want to sell the boat later maybe it is not a bad idea to keep the Italian flag. The only disadvantage is to have a mandatory boat inspection each 4 years or so (look at the boat papers to know when the next is due). It costs about 500 euros.

On many European countries a license is needed to sail the boat. On most a ICC is accepted. RYA and other licenses from credible sail schools are accepted too.

You forget about the liferaft revision, fire extinguisher revision....get the boat flagged US

And italian sailboat licence, or icc (but i'm not really sure about it, even if you are a not italian)

p.s. if the boat is 9.9 meters (32,9999999 feet), you don't need nothing, no boating licence if you sail within 6 miles from the coast, no inspection or certification of nothings...and max 30kw or 40,8 hp
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:51   #6
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

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Originally Posted by stefano_ita View Post
You forget about the liferaft revision, fire extinguisher revision....get the boat flagged US

And italian sailboat licence, or icc (but i'm not really sure about it, even if you are a not italian)
..
No I don't forget about that but for me is just crazy not to have a liferaft properly revised and ready for use or operational fire extinguishers. Regarding fire extinguishers the only thing demanded is that they are on the green regarding the pressure indicator (several years).

Regarding licenses you don't need an Italian one if you don't live in Italy. Italians accept many other licensees as valid to sail in Italy. If you are an Italian resident, even if not Italian, it may well be another story.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:59   #7
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

That's also true...it means 800 euro for liferaft check (change bottle of water and biscuits) while new it cost 1300...it's like a mafia...

I agree with you about safety tho.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:36   #8
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

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That's also true...it means 800 euro for liferaft check (change bottle of water and biscuits) while new it cost 1300...it's like a mafia......
I can get that much cheaper than you, I mean for a 6 places 8 year's old liferaft. The last time it costed me about 500 euros (in Italy) but I agree with you that in Italy it is like a Mafia regarding that mainly because the don't accept revisions made in other countries, even if by certified by manufacturers operators (that cost about 350 euros) and contrary to what some manufacturers recommend, they demand inspections each 2 years, instead of the three recommended.

I would say the blame is on the Italians that accept that situation without complaining loudly inside Italy and to the EC conformity authorities. It does not seem legal to me (to be forced to make revisions on Italy for liferafts on Italian boats) but while nobody really makes a fuss about that, they will continue to get away with it. If the inspection was made outside Italy the validity would be three years for most brands and it would cost 50% less.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:31   #9
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Re: Boat Buying in Italy

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I can get that much cheaper than you, I mean for a 6 places 8 year's old liferaft. The last time it costed me about 500 euros (in Italy) but I agree with you that in Italy it is like a Mafia regarding that mainly because the don't accept revisions made in other countries, even if by certified by manufacturers operators (that cost about 350 euros) and contrary to what some manufacturers recommend, they demand inspections each 2 years, instead of the three recommended.

I would say the blame is on the Italians that accept that situation without complaining loudly inside Italy and to the EC conformity authorities. It does not seem legal to me (to be forced to make revisions on Italy for liferafts on Italian boats) but while nobody really makes a fuss about that, they will continue to get away with it. If the inspection was made outside Italy the validity would be three years for most brands and it would cost 50% less.

Well in italy people like to blame about who is little bit richer than him...hey you have 10 feet boat, you rich bi@°čards, pay more taxes as possible, you deserve it, i'm poor, i work in undustries for 12 hours a day and its 43 years that i'm complaining about it but i don't do nothing...italian thinking way

The UCINA (the italian naval branch of chamber of commerce, representet by all the biggest manifacturer like azimut, benedetti, riva, ecc) after 5 years of fight with governament, to get away the law that above 14 mtr-46 feet you have to pay a possession tax...that gets quite higher and fore example you have a 200k rib with 4x300 hp outboard 9,9 meters lengh=0 taxes, you have a rusted barge 15 meters long that value 50 euro...PAY like a billinaire yacht owner..after thousand and thousand of workplace lost, - 200.000 registered italian boats, get 30 milion euro from the tax in stead of the 300 planned, so on they understood, after some studies that a boat owners, paying mainteniance, marina, mechanics, painters, VAT on all the works, would be a very nice benefit for everybody (a 150 ft boat owners has been calculated to mantain more than 100 family)

http://www.paologiaretta.it/wp-conte.../10/RICCHI.jpg


A comunist propaganda of 2007, translate it: also the rich will cry like us

Do you want to talk the law about car power? if exceed 250 hp (185kw ) is 20 euro more each year FOR EVERY KILOWATT...

let's make an example.

a 25 years old 300 hp car like impreza 37kw exceed x 20 euro= 720 euro plus a thousand (more or less) as ordinary tax...so total 1700 euro a year

a 2015 mercedes cls shooting brake 4 matic premium full optional 2.2 liter biturbo diesel 204 hp (retail price about 90k-100k euro) will pay about 500 euro a year and nothing more... is it right?

and remember powerfull car consume more fuel...fuel is 50% tax (at 1,50 euro for a liter...)

But italians like being poor, complain about it, make rich people feel guilty, poor is better for everybody...they can complain together

there would be lot more to say but i stop here...

End ot...
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