For those who are thinking of cruising in Europe
, there are some very misleading posts in this thread. To summarise the rules:
1. Anyone who spends more than 183 days a year in a EU country is regarded as tax resident
in that country. In some countries (Spain) this is a calendar year. In others, it's a tax year (Apr 5 is a favourite). In yet others, it's 183 days in any 365. This is a matter of fact. The authorities are entitled to assume you have been resident if you can not demonstrate otherwise.
2. If you are tax resident in an EU country, all your means of transport
in that country (cars, caravans, motorcycles, aeroplanes) must be registered locally
. There is provision to include yachts and motor
boats in that list, but many EU countries don't. Spain
does. Tax residency can also arise if you have a business in that country - but that is outside the scope
of this note.
3. If any vehicle is registered in any country, it (and its drivers) must meet local regulations
. These include driving licences, certificates of competence, lists of equipment
to be carried and so on. Notoriously, in Spain, any vehicle with a motor
is also assessed on its potential for pollution, and part of the registration
process is payment of a one-off pollution tax (this tax the thread has been all about). Spaniards pay it. This tax is nothing to do with VAT - which also has to be proved paid.
4. Any non-EU visitor to an EU country must note the duration of stay stamped in their passport - either with a visa
, or as an entry stamp
. This will typically cover you for 90 days, before which the visa must be extended (not always easy) or you must leave the country and re-enter later. Some countries define how long you must leave before re-entering; others do not permit
more than two visas a year. Longer stay visas may be applied for. 'Schengen' visas may be applied for, but this is outside the scope
of this note.
Those are the facts
. They have been published by the UK Cruising Association for over a decade, being updated when changes occur. The original poster was plainly un-aware of these rules.
For all those who suggested (in several nuanced ways) that bribery
may dig you out of trouble, don't even think of it. There may be one or two corruptible officials around, but in Europe
they are as rare as hen's teeth. Attempts are likely to lead you into far worse trouble.
Don't spend more than 183 days in any 356 in one country unless you're prepared to go native and obey all their rules.
Don't overstay your visa/entry stamp limitations unless you're prepared to pay a big fine.
And, Europeans, if you're thinking of going to the US in a boat, just wait to see the hoops you have to jump through before travel! Including long sessions on 0900 telephone numbers arranging trivial interviews - and that's just for a personal visa! Spain is a doddle of freedom by comparison - even for US visitors.
'jimb' to see my website, which tells you far more about cruising in Europe. And Google
'cruising association' to see what they offer.