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Old 16-06-2007, 06:56   #1
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proof of vat paid

I intend to take my home built steel boat to the Med next year. How best can I prove to the authorities Vat has been paid during construction. I understand evidence of Vat paid is requested as a matter of course in most EU countries.
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Old 18-06-2007, 03:54   #2
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Did you retain any invoices for major items (ie: steel plate), which enumerate tax paid?
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Old 18-06-2007, 13:52   #3
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No. I didnt think this would be an issue. I think I could get back-dated receipts for the hull at least, and I have two surveyors reports taken during the building process. I have also photos taken during the build which was done in my garden. Not sure if this would satisfy relevant authorities. I have heard of boats being seized and big fines handed out.
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Old 18-06-2007, 15:24   #4
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VAT

Visit the Website of the European Parliament; there are dedicated links to tax-issues and maritime regulations. I myself have (which surprised me at the time) good experiences with their professionalism: they really checked on my rather confusing situation (EU flagged boat bought out of VAT in Slovenia, then no EU member, me: EU citizen with permanent residence outside EU) and explained the whole thing to me, even sent me a write-up in case of controls (I happen to be exempt from paying VAT).

This may be a way for you to get it from the horse's mouth.
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Old 18-06-2007, 22:16   #5
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UK Info

Hiya,

If you're planning on only staying for a season or two, there is also a VAT-exempt "Temporary Import" status that you might be eligible for (up to 18 months).

You could try contacting UK Customs for advice (0845 010 9000), but probably contacting the Customs Department of the country/countries you intend to visit would be the best course of action.

In the UK, Customs Notice 8 "Sailing your Pleasure Craft to and from the UK" is the relevant document. Try HM Revenue & Customs: Home Page and search "sailing your pleasure craft".

Good luck! We'll be looking at similar issues in another year or so!

Julie
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Old 19-06-2007, 02:55   #6
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Thanks everyone. Great advice. AT least i have plenty of time to sort my problem out.
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Old 24-08-2007, 07:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpatt
I intend to take my home built steel boat to the Med next year. How best can I prove to the authorities Vat has been paid during construction. I understand evidence of Vat paid is requested as a matter of course in most EU countries.
you need a Custom Declaration that you payed the VAT. or, a declaration at a lawyer that vat was payed in the past, and the invoice showing this fact.
if you cannot do ither of these, you can write to the RYA in england {ROYAL YACHTING ASOCIATION} they have real knowlage how to get this done.

migot1
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Old 30-08-2007, 02:10   #8
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Hi,

You've got lots of good advice and I'm sure you should to do the correct thing.

But IMHO a single paper invoice from company xyz which shows it sold you the boat for £xx with tax paid, is never ever going to be checked out in detail by any customs official in the EU.

I've heard of people who have created such invoices themselves as an easier route than collating all invoices of all parts used in a build.

Good luck
JOHN
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Old 14-09-2007, 02:49   #9
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Until the day you meet one who's bored and actually takes a close look at the paperwork. To answer the original question you'll need original receipts but once you get a certificate of VAT paid then that certificate is sufficient proof of VAT payment throughout the EU.
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Old 14-09-2007, 09:17   #10
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Hi Troutbridge,

Of course you are correct with the first statement that on self build, you should retain each and every invoice for each piece of kit purchased, all showing VAT paid.

And if the poster can secure such a certificate from HM C&E, then for sure he's free and clear.....but I've been advised that HM C&E no longer issue such certificates, which if its true, and he also does not have all invioces, leaves the poster with an issue to resolve.

Cheers
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Old 14-09-2007, 09:54   #11
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Ok,

Silly me, could some one enlighten me as to the meaning of VAT. I assume it has something to do with paying tax on a self built boat. It is an acronym for?

Thanks,

Gary
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Old 14-09-2007, 11:27   #12
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VAT is "value added tax". While not the exact same thing as a US Sales Tax it works simlarly with boats since sales tax you pay in one US state can be applied to another state if you move. Simialrly this is the way it is in the EU except you pay what you owe where you are and that's it for any place in the EU. The other difference is they are a lot higher.
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Old 14-09-2007, 12:34   #13
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Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Hi Troutbridge,

Of course you are correct with the first statement that on self build, you should retain each and every invoice for each piece of kit purchased, all showing VAT paid.

And if the poster can secure such a certificate from HM C&E, then for sure he's free and clear.....but I've been advised that HM C&E no longer issue such certificates, which if its true, and he also does not have all invioces, leaves the poster with an issue to resolve.

Cheers
JOHN
My Father has such a paper from the UK C&E.......got it around 10 years back (and not for a self build, for a boat being exported from the EU and which may later come back) - but I am 99% certain they stopped issuing these certs

Unfortunately for many boats / owners in the UK without the ORIGINAL VAT invoice from the Builder / Supplier (or in this case for all the components) their is no simple answer.....indeed there sometimes is no answer

As far as I am aware the ONLY way to get a piece of paper from HM C&E is........to pay them the VAT direct - but even this is not absolute proof to a subsequent buyer as a boat can lose it's VAT paid status without anyone getting a refund (an EU VAT paid boat sold outside of the EU - even between EU citizens - loses it's VAT paid status).

Some of our EU cousins do find this situation very puzzling.......and hard to beleive. (And throw in that UK boat registration is not absolute proof of ownership.........)

FWIW I think the only answer for OP is to find or "find" () all / most of his VAT receipts OR find the lowest EU VAT rate country and simply pay VAT on the boat (effectively again) OR to keep your fingers crossed (and not venture into any countries where you could not afford a sudden VAT bill)......HOWEVER I have heard (but am not sure) that if a UK registered boat is sold in the UK from a UK citizen to another UK citizen that any matters with regard to payment / non payment of VAT are a matter ONLY for the UK C&E (so maybe sell and buy your boat back?) - but Mr EU Foreigner Customs man may not always be aware of this - and they do have power to impound and seal your boat until the matter is sorted (ie you pay or YOU prove otherwise!).

FWIW Customs inspections are not unheard of in this part of the world from the French - indeed a few years back my father got boarded and inspected......specifically for VAT!......and he was in the middle of France way way up in the canals!!..........and not for the first time (but me is lucky so far / do not get acrross so much!) but they maybe do get a bit more excited about Jersey boats as they are known as often being VAT free / our reputation when it comes to paying taxes proceeds us
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Old 14-09-2007, 19:57   #14
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Quote:
our reputation when it comes to paying taxes proceeds us
Fly the Jersey flag with pride knowing most tax collectors will be after you. Just be sure you have all the papers in order.
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Old 15-09-2007, 02:14   #15
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Fly the Jersey flag with pride knowing most tax collectors will be after you. Just be sure you have all the papers in order.
The "trick" is to always have yer papers in order

Funnily enough the Jersey Red Ensign is exactly the same as the UK Red Ensign......i.e not defaced like all the colonies (BVI, Gibraltar........and our sister island of Guernsey ).........you tell the difference by the Port of Registry which you are required to display (usually on the stern). The Jersey Port of Registry is....."Jersey" ......whereas in the UK it can be Southampton, Cardiff, Portsmouth etc etc......of course the French on the nearby coast know well the difference between Jersey and Cardiff for VAT purposes .......whereas perhaps those in countries further afield just look at the Red Ensign and assume it is all UK and same same (who would expect what are effectively two countries having the same Ensign / flag?!!).

BTW my boat is registered in London .......So I fly the UK Red Ensign, not the Jersey Red Ensign . I have NO Vat receipt as she was built before (UK) VAT was even invented, was in the UK before 1988 (I think this is the grandfather year + / - a year or 2 anyway) plus she was bought and sold in the UK between UK persons......she therefore has VAT Paid status even though none was paid (albeit no piece of paper exists to simply state this ).....but I do have documents to evidence the above which = her VAT status - not ideal, but as good as it gets and I am confident it will be ok (I would not have bought her if I thought not).

So far no problems for me (But probably due to my lack of time in France meaning I have never been inspected - but I fully expect this to happen in due course)..........but in any event for the forseable I am also "covered" by the fact that even a Jersey Non EU VAT paid boat can visit the EU for up to 6 months at a time, which in practice is way more than enough - given I do work for a living!.....but I could moor the boat all year in France.

BTW VAT for non EU peeps (US OZ etc) with non EU boats is not nearly as complicated as it perhaps seems........for the simple fact that you are genuinely only visiting and easily prove this. My understanding is that boats and persons who are genuinely not from the EU (US, OZ etc etc) and visiting can spend longer (18 months??) in the EU without paying VAT - but I think this may have to be applied for, but I could be wrong on this bit.
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