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Old 13-03-2015, 02:28   #1
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Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

With the drop in the euro, we are seriously looking at buying in the EU rather than shipping our current boat over.

Questions:
- How to register the boat? Coast Guard Documentation is a pain to begin with. Is it going to be an even bigger one getting it documented with the boat overseas? Can we just register it in our state (Michigan) and will the EU officials care that it isn't a national registration?
- Insurance: Our current US based insurance won't cover us in the EU. Do we need to go to one of the international based companies or will the local EU insurance companies take us even if we aren't citizens or residents (we'll be playing the 90 day Schengen game)?
- We will need a ICC with CENVI endorsement (we plan to do time on the canal systems), What is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain this? We already have a 3 day ASA course from several years, back power squadron and 7 years full time cruising, so I hate to spend a lot of money and time in a class going over the basics. An abbreviated short section on EU specific items and testing out of the rest would be ideal.

Thanks.
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Old 13-03-2015, 04:16   #2
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
With the drop in the euro, we are seriously looking at buying in the EU rather than shipping our current boat over.

Questions:
- How to register the boat? Coast Guard Documentation is a pain to begin with. Is it going to be an even bigger one getting it documented with the boat overseas? Can we just register it in our state (Michigan) and will the EU officials care that it isn't a national registration?
- Insurance: Our current US based insurance won't cover us in the EU. Do we need to go to one of the international based companies or will the local EU insurance companies take us even if we aren't citizens or residents (we'll be playing the 90 day Schengen game)?
- We will need a ICC with CENVI endorsement (we plan to do time on the canal systems), What is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain this? We already have a 3 day ASA course from several years, back power squadron and 7 years full time cruising, so I hate to spend a lot of money and time in a class going over the basics. An abbreviated short section on EU specific items and testing out of the rest would be ideal.

Thanks.
you would normally register it with the state ( country) you intend to live in. Optionally you can use any register that will legally accept your vessel.

If its a second hand , you will need to reflag it , if you want to re register it elsewhere

EU officials will not in general care where you are registered, once it is legal

Ask around for insurance, or get a quote from some of the bigger names in yacht insurance. Some insurance companies only sell into certain markets others are more broad . Try companies like Panteanius etc

ICC, yes you will need that if you intend to take to the European canals. Note that you will need to ensure whatever boat you buy can traverse whatever canal system you intend to use. Depths and Heights can be problematic

Getting an ICC . This depends where you live or are based. The RYA, IYT and ISA ( irish sailing association) can all issue ICC certs to US and some other nationals whose countries dont issue ICCs. Hence you could arrange to do it in the UK or Ireland at the start of you trip , or look to operations like IYT in Florida

The ICC needed for Inland Nav, means you need to sit the CEVNI exam as well as the requirements for the base ICC. Make sure whatever centre you use can facilitate that as some only set up such exams occasionally.

As far as Im aware there is no cross recognition of ASA when it comes to ICC issuance. You can acquire an ICC by two means, doing an equivalent RYA,ISA , IYT ticket that guarantees ICC issuance, ( like RYA/ISA Day Skipper for example), or doing the ICC by direct assessment, however this needs access to a boat as it an on-board assessment. Many schools can provide such facilities.

There not really any shortcuts to this, The ICC direct assessment is a 1-2 day affair, not difficult to pass as its mainly boat handling and little on nav etc

CEVNI is a paper exam, requiring a high pass percentage ( 80% for memory), but its all just a memory job of signs and meaning and navigation on European Inland waterways


If you intend to fit VHF etc, then you will need both a Ships Radio License for the vessel and an operators certificate for at least one operator on board. Usually the Ships license is issued by the registration flag state authorities ( i.e. FCC in the US). Operators certs can be any legal world-wide VHF ticket.

I would suggest you fix a NAVTEX receiver for weather forecasts in Europe , cheap to buy and free to you.

And a passarelle if you intend to med moor

dave
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Old 13-03-2015, 05:35   #3
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

The registration question was Coast Guard Documented vs State Only. We have the option to just register boats in the state (ie: Michigan) and leave the Coast Guard out of it. But would an EU official consider that acceptable or is it likely that they will hassle us over it (even if technically acceptable).

I was aware of Paneaus and similar insurance companies but wasn't sure if a smaller local EU specific insurance company could provide coverage and if there would be a cost advantage.

I'm aware I need the ICC/CENVI and ASA or any other American critera don't count. I was just clarifying, I have plenty of experience so it's silly to sit thru a week or two of classes that will mostly cover what I already know.. The direct assessment sounds like it might be what I'm looking for. I'll pusue that more.

Already have the boat size figured out for the canals and VHF license isn't a problem either. Most of the boats I've been looking at have a passerell as they are already in the EU.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 13-03-2015, 06:23   #4
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

We are Americans in the Med after sailing over in 2013. Have not done the canals nor do we plan to but understand they want different paperwork.

First as for state vs uscg. We perfer USCG and are a document vessel and it is easy when you pull out that US Government document and it is accepted immediately no questions asked.

Second for insurance we have IMIS and they have done a great job for us. We have a Canadan here that just bought a French boat and is going through the process of reflagging and renaming. But he got insurance from Topsail but it does have some restrictions on how far south he can go and not sure what that is. IMIS by the way works well with us on making sure we got the coverage we need and when we needed more liability in Montenegro they got it for us in less than 24 hours.

As for a license, non canal, we do not have a CG license but did take a number of courses from ASA. We have been asked for our license on numerous occassions and tell them we do not have one. No problem except in Montenegro when they told us we must leave their waters immediatley. I showed them my ASA booklet with the stamps and they accepted that. Same for Croatia.

Hope this helps.
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Old 13-03-2015, 08:48   #5
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

[QUOTE=valhalla360;1773437]With the drop in the euro, we are seriously looking at buying in the EU rather than shipping our current boat over.

Questions:
- How to register the boat? Coast Guard Documentation is a pain to begin with. Is it going to be an even bigger one getting it documented with the boat overseas? Can we just register it in our state (Michigan) and will the EU officials care that it isn't a national registration?
IN THE NETHERLANDS, IT ISN'T NECESSARY TO HAVE A USCG-DOCUMENTED VESSEL. STATE REGISTRATION WOULD BE FINE. I PREFER HAVING MY VESSEL DOCUMENTED AND NOT REGISTERED WITH ANY STATE IN THE US. SOUTH CAROLINA TRIED TO CHARGE ME PROPERTY TAX ON MY US-FLAGGED BOAT, EVEN THOUGH MY HOME PORT IS EAST HAMPTON, NY AND THE BOAT WAS NEVER IN SOUTH CAROLINA.
- Insurance: Our current US based insurance won't cover us in the EU. Do we need to go to one of the international based companies or will the local EU insurance companies take us even if we aren't citizens or residents (we'll be playing the 90 day Schengen game)?
I HAVE HAD A EUROPEAN INSURANCE COVERAGE, IT IS MANDATORY. IT ISN'T EXPENSIVE. SEARCH FOR EERDMANS JACHTVERSICERUNG. THEY CAN GIVE YOU A POLICY IN ENGLISH TEXT.
- We will need a ICC with CENVI endorsement (we plan to do time on the canal systems), What is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain this? We already have a 3 day ASA course from several years, back power squadron and 7 years full time cruising, so I hate to spend a lot of money and time in a class going over the basics. An abbreviated short section on EU specific items and testing out of the rest would be ideal.
AS YOU WANT TO EXPLORE THE INLAND WATERS OF THE EU, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CEVNI CERTIFICATE. I HAVE A GERMAN LICENSE THAT IS ONLY GOOD FOR LAKES AND RIVERS, BUT WHEN I AM IN BLUE WATER, I DON'T NEED ANY LICENSE AT ALL. THE RYA IN ENGLAND HAS COURSES FOR CEVNI OR ICC CERTIFICATES.

ONE TIP: DON'T BRING ANY FLARE GUNS, PLASTIC OR OTHERWISE. THE EUROPEANS HAVE FUNNY RULES ABOUT FLARE GUNS. YOU CAN'T LEAVE THEM ON BOARD WHEN YOU ARE NOT ON BOARD YOURSELF AND TO PUT THEM IN YOUR CAR AND DRIVE, YOU NEED A LICENSE TO CARRY...

YOU DO NEED A STATION LICENSE AND AN OPERATOR'S LICENSE FOR VHF AND I WOULD CHANGE THE FLAG OF THE VESSEL YOU PURCHASE TO A US FLAG ASAP, THAT WAY THE CAPTAIN AND VESSEL ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ALL THE BUREAUCRACY OF BRUSSELS.

I AM THE SSCA PORT CAPTAIN FOR ENKHUIZEN, NL ON THE IJSSELMEER, IF YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS, YOU CAN PM ME.


ANY MORE
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Old 13-03-2015, 19:29   #6
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
...
Questions:
- How to register the boat? Coast Guard Documentation is a pain to begin with. Is it going to be an even bigger one getting it documented with the boat overseas? Can we just register it in our state (Michigan) and will the EU officials care that it isn't a national registration?
- Insurance: Our current US based insurance won't cover us in the EU. Do we need to go to one of the international based companies or will the local EU insurance companies take us even if we aren't citizens or residents (we'll be playing the 90 day Schengen game)?
..
You can easily buy a boat in Europe and change the flag for an American one register in several optional locations. All you need is a good agency (most boats we see on the Med with an American flag are owned by Turks).

Yacht registration Delaware/U.S.A.

As it was already said Pantaenius is a good option.

Boat Insurance online – Best Yacht Insurance

Regarding other costs you have here information:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...e-into-the-u.s.
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Old 14-03-2015, 02:17   #7
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

i am an American originally from new york. i recently purchased a 2004 beneteau 50 from a charter company in Croatia last year - 2014.

i registered the vessel in Delaware (now u s flagged), aided by an agency in split, Croatia, kept the original vessel name, i have a USCG 6 pack license and i insured the vessel through YACHT POOLE, an insurance provider in Croatia with offices throughout the EU. the insurance company was the same used by the charter company.

i avoided paying vat by heading out into international waters immediately upon final payment and receipt of the vessel. we checked out of customs in split, Croatia, went out the minimum 12 miles, turned around and re-entered Croatia in the island of Vis as that was closest port of entry. we left late afternoon so that it would be an overnight and the stamps in our passports would show a full day out of the territory.

i am currently in pescara, Italy and heading to Montenegro in a week or so. no one has given me any problems with my license, insurance or vessel registration.

enjoy your purchase and the eu. the people are absolutely wonderful. be certain though, that if you need to purchase any parts of any kind from outside the eu, all invoices are made payable to the vessel name. if not you will pay vat and customs fees upon receipt of those parts in any eu location. it is even better if you establish a marine oriented company, even if it does no business. the eu differentiates between items for personal use and commercial use.

i had a transom arch, 220 amp alternator, products from defender, amazon and eBay from u s, a variprop feathering propeller from Germany and a harken furling unit from a chandelier in Italy, lithium batteries from china and had to have all invoices re-issued in the name of the vessel to avoid the vat and customs duties.

that worked to save vat.

i intend to sail the Aegean and southern med this season, so i will be here if you need any assistance, especially with shipping items from the u s, vessel repairs or upgrades.

good luck and enjoy yourselves.

captain ron

captainronbvi@aol.com
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Old 14-03-2015, 04:21   #8
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

Just a comment. Pleasure vessels in the EU do not benefit from yacht-in-transit vat rules. Once the place of supply is in the EU, vat is due. However on occasion local customs will treat you as a commercial ship and pass it without vat


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Old 14-03-2015, 10:33   #9
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

Thanks for the feedback.

Sounds like it's worth the hassle of CG documentation, if not strictly neccessary.

We'll follow up on some of the insurance companies mentioned.

Planning on putting some emphasis on getting a VAT paid boat, so we don't have to worry about it.
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Old 14-03-2015, 11:28   #10
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

Sounds like it's worth the hassle of CG documentation, if not strictly neccessary.

We'll follow up on some of the insurance companies mentioned.

Planning on putting some emphasis on getting a VAT paid boat, so we don't have to worry about it.

If you are not EU tax resident, why would you get a vat paid boat. Of course secondhand vat is t really relevant


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Old 14-03-2015, 11:39   #11
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

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If you are not EU tax resident, why would you get a vat paid boat. Of course secondhand vat is t really relevant
Ah... so you don't have to get out of the EU ever 18 months.
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Old 14-03-2015, 11:41   #12
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Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

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Ah... so you don't have to get out of the EU ever 18 months.

Yes just outside the territorial waters of the EU AND visit somewhere for a day.

In practice unless you are staying in one place for a long time, there's no enforcement since you are under no obligation to document

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Old 14-03-2015, 12:24   #13
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

Sounds like it's worth the hassle of CG documentation, if not strictly neccessary.

We'll follow up on some of the insurance companies mentioned.

Planning on putting some emphasis on getting a VAT paid boat, so we don't have to worry about it.

All good advice.

Definitely USGC Documentation. Not hard at all, but necessary.
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Old 14-03-2015, 15:05   #14
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

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Yes just outside the territorial waters of the EU AND visit somewhere for a day.

In practice unless you are staying in one place for a long time, there's no enforcement since you are under no obligation to document

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As long as it doesn't cost significantly more, it's one less thing to worry about (and we've been finding boats claiming vat paid status for about the same price).

We spent 3months on the erie canal and could have spent more. It wasn't unusual for us to cover a whole 5 miles in a day. I could see us wandering the canal systems for a long time.

Yes, we can get out of the EU for a day if we have to but would prefer that it not be a major driver in our itinerary.
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Old 14-03-2015, 17:05   #15
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Re: Registration and Insurance - American buying boat in EU

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As long as it doesn't cost significantly more, it's one less thing to worry about (and we've been finding boats claiming vat paid status for about the same price).

We spent 3months on the erie canal and could have spent more. It wasn't unusual for us to cover a whole 5 miles in a day. I could see us wandering the canal systems for a long time.

Yes, we can get out of the EU for a day if we have to but would prefer that it not be a major driver in our itinerary.

Sure if it's secondhand the vat somewhat irelevant as it's depreciated out anyway


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