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Old 23-11-2010, 08:52   #1
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Export to Bahamas from Europe & Tax

Firstly, apologies if this is the wrong forum, its my first post ( am sure it will get moved if it is !). I currently have a small 28 ft four winns sundowner which i use in Bahrain, after a year of learning the ropes, ups and downs, groundings and learning the hard way I want to trade up !
I have found a sunseeker pred 58 for a good price in Spain that I am going to pursue further and view - the VAT is paid and she is registered in Guernsey.
My question is this - if i buy her and export her to the Bahamas (Freeport) where we have a holiday home can I claim the VAT back !??
Makes a big difference to the costs (pays for the shipping and some).
Thank you for your advice in advance - cheers
RB
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Old 23-11-2010, 09:08   #2
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I believe that VAT is reclaimable IF you are charged VAT on purchase... (unlikely)
However... any VAT that was paid by the original owner when newly purchased/commissioned is not refundable to any subsequent owner/s....
It is a one off tax on new vessels or any vessels (new or used) imported into the EU for permanant use in these waters...
But... I could be wrong... being a mere layman..
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Old 23-11-2010, 09:41   #3
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, RB.
You’re probably aware that the Bahamian general rate of duty on imports is 32 percent.
I believe that the duty for any size vessel is now 10%. There's also an annual registration fee (? $100 ?).
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Old 23-11-2010, 10:38   #4
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Worth taking professional opinion just in case - but to me it sounds like you are buying a second hand boat. If so the vendor will not be charging you any VAT for you to consider 'reclaiming'.

For a boat to be termed 'VAT paid' only means the first buyer paid his VAT to the orginal vendor and no one has (in normal circumstances) to pay the VAT in the EU a second time.

Had the first buyer chose to export the vessel directly then the vendor would not have levied VAT - meaning at some later date if someone wanted to bring it back into the UK and sell it - VAT would then be due.

Had the first buyer paid VAT and then inside (I think) 90 days chose to export the boat, then he could have asked his vendor to reclaim the VAT and pass it on as a refund.

But I do not think those rights are transferable to second or subsequent owners - and certainly not outside whatever the short time limit is.

By all means check it out as 17.5% (or 20% if in Spain) is a lot. My opinion is not as a professional - but did a lot of research when buying our last boat.

Cheers
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Old 25-11-2010, 18:57   #5
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Hi Guys,

I too am looking at buying a boat overseas (I'm in Oz) and am thoroughly confused by talk of VAT or Tax Paid / Unpaid / or partly paid. I'm wondering what implication these tax statuses have on any decision I make to buy a boat and sail her back to Oz?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Les
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Old 27-11-2010, 02:07   #6
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Hi Les,
As an Australian buying to take it back home, VAT paid or not will have little or no impact.
Of course if you were buying new, not having the builder charge the 17-20% VAT means you'd save that money.........but I'm guessing that's not your plan.
Generally second hand boats with no VAT paid are cheaper than those on which tax has been paid as any European buying one and wanting to use it within the EU will have to cough up that tax.
Hope this helps.
JOHN
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Old 27-11-2010, 17:00   #7
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Now I understand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Hi Les,
As an Australian buying to take it back home, VAT paid or not will have little or no impact.
Of course if you were buying new, not having the builder charge the 17-20% VAT means you'd save that money.........but I'm guessing that's not your plan.
Generally second hand boats with no VAT paid are cheaper than those on which tax has been paid as any European buying one and wanting to use it within the EU will have to cough up that tax.
Hope this helps.
JOHN
Hi John,
Many thanks for the clarification. Now I understand how it works. I now also understand why people have been asking when, if they buy a boat on which VAT / duty / GST has already been paid whether they can claim the tax back if they're taking the boat out of the country.

I'm no expert (obviously) but I think if the Oz government got their hands on 10% of a $500,000 boat goood luck on trying to get it back from them, even if you were taking the boat out of the country although if the boat is new, as you mention, then maybe you can try and claim the tax back but I'm not sure.
Thanks again, John,
Les
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Old 30-11-2010, 17:27   #8
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RB - the VAT that has already been paid is not reclaimable, and whats worse is if you sell the boat outside the EU - the Vat Paid status will be lost, and if it is subsequently re-imported to the EU, VAT has to be paid again.
At the moment the boat can leave the EU indefinitely and return with full VAT status, provided it has not changed hands, but there are moves by customs (in Germany I think) to limit VAT status to 5 years outside the EU.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:05   #9
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Originally Posted by sobriyah View Post
RB - the VAT that has already been paid is not reclaimable, and whats worse is if you sell the boat outside the EU - the Vat Paid status will be lost, and if it is subsequently re-imported to the EU, VAT has to be paid again.
At the moment the boat can leave the EU indefinitely and return with full VAT status, provided it has not changed hands, but there are moves by customs (in Germany I think) to limit VAT status to 5 years outside the EU.
Suggest we need a true expert to comment but I always thought one risked a re-valuation and VAT on any yacht that was outside the EU for 4 years or more even if VAT had been paid originally - and even if the boat was in the same owners hands. I've never read or heard of this ever being enforced but believed those were the regulations already in place for the whole of the EU...........

Maybe a tax lawyer can advise??

JOHN
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:13   #10
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I am not a tax lawyer but have been involved in boats sales before and also in the genral consignment of goods europe wide and abroad.

Firstly VAT is only capable of being reclaimed ( in fact it is not effectively charged at all) if a chargable entity is selling the goods to you. ( ie a VAT registered company) and it is being exported, ( or you are VAT registered)

It matters not that the goods are new or second hand. Hence a VAT registered dealer ( not a broker) selling you the goods has to charge VAT to you , if you are exporting it then that VAT is either not paid ( or is reclaimed from customs, which is just an anti avoidance situation).

For a secondhand boat or any boat being sold by a non chargable entity, ie persons or non-VAT registered companies, then VAT is inherent in the price and is not recoverable under any circumstances. ( im simplifying here ).

SO where the boat is secondhand and the person selling it is not charging VAT then there no recovery in any circumstance.

As to VAT and boats exported outside the EU. This is covered undere a section of VAT law known as temporary returned goods relief. In essence as long as the goods do not change hands outside the EU no VAT is due or re-import. Note that goods really dont have VAT status, VAT is a transactions charge and is due on all sales and purchase, import and export events/transactions unless covered by reliefs.

There is no limit as to whwn VAT expires when the goods are abroad, the issue is dealt with on a case by case basis ( for example oil rigs returning after 15 years didnt pay VAT). There is a RGR form that unpon export the customs can stamp to show that you are the exporting owner and hence the re-importer.

Any major improvment or significant modification to the goods could make it viable for VAT


just to see the issues consider this

Boat New buyer not VAT registered -> pays VAT to seller ( Vat registered).
Boat now secondhand sells to private buyer ( non vat regstered seller and buyer) -> No VAT
Boat is sold by private seller to VAT registered buyer. ( since no VAT no VAt is reclaimed).
Boat then sold by registered dealer to private buyer. VAT charged on sale value. ( or using margin scheme, VAT is paid by the dealer on the margin betwwen purchase and sale price).

This is why most secondhand boat sales are brokered


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Old 09-12-2010, 14:30   #11
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Thanks Dave.

JOHN
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