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Old 26-12-2014, 18:54   #1
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Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Is it possible to list for sale a non-VAT paid, USA flagged boat in the EU? I understand that there are yacht brokers in the UK who can operate as "Bonded warehouse" and have a boat for sale VAT unpaid.
But I have also heard that we can not enter the EU and then list our boat for sale until we pay the VAT.

Thanks for any help.....we are not even in the EU yet but are working on our sailing plans for the next couple of years.

Jim
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Old 26-12-2014, 19:21   #2
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

You know, there is a Craig's List UK and Ebay-UK. I would think there is a way to do a deal with a local and let that person deal with the VAT.
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Old 27-12-2014, 01:58   #3
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Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

You can list your boat in the EU for sale. When sold and flagged in a EU country VAT and import duties become due. (a US couple sold their Freedom 35 in my home port last year and had it listed with a local broker)
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Old 27-12-2014, 05:39   #4
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pirate Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Apart from E-Bay etc there's also Apollo Duck which has free-ads with 1 photo and reasonable rates if you wish to post more.
You can list with a broker if you don't mind paying his commission which can be up to 10%...
The VAT is down to the buyer.. just make sure you list it VAT Unpaid..
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Old 27-12-2014, 05:54   #5
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Just contact any reputable broker in the EU for help with questions. I see boats listed all the time on yachtworld as VAT unpaid. We purchased our boat as a U.S. boat located in the UK via a UK broker with a VAT unpaid status. Since we are US citizens, we took delivery in Guernsey in order to retain the unpaid VAT status. All very legal and done all the time.

This tax scheme doesn't work for EU residents, only for non EU.
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Old 27-12-2014, 08:53   #6
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Er, no, sorry. Anyone can buy a non-VAT paid boat in the EU. It depends upon how long you are keeping the vessel in EU waters. Once the duty free visitors period is over the VAT becomes due regardless of the owners passport. The laws regarding the tax free status of the Channel Island and Isle of Man are now historical and are subject to the same laws as the UK mainland in this regard (VAT). If a broker tells you otherwise you should check his credentials. I do believe the UK authorities are raesonable - contact them and they give unbiased advise and without any nasty side affects or implications. We sold our last cat which had not had VAT paid on it to a British guy. He simply moved it eastwards to Turkey.
We sold thru' a cat broker who charged 5% commission.
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Old 27-12-2014, 09:37   #7
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

The real problem is the ECD (European Craft Directive).
If the boat hasn't got one, or an exemption, it cannot be sold in the EU.
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Old 27-12-2014, 09:43   #8
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

We sold our last boat, a US-flagged Tayana 52 in Barcelona VAT unpaid through a broker. As has been mentioned, it is up to the new owner to take care of VAT.

The only issue we had was CE (EU) compliance. The boat did not have a CE certificate as it was built in Taiwan and sold in Asia the first time. If you have a European built boat then this is not a concern.

We sold ours anyway - for exactly what we paid for it four years previously; a good deal in the boating world.

Dhillen
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Old 27-12-2014, 10:29   #9
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Once again - not correct. Where does this information come from? There is no mandatory requirements for a used boat being sold by an individual. There are recommendations and 'nice to have' but the this information is, I repeat, incorrect. Talk to brokers that have up to date information. EU compliance is required to sell a boat that is brand new but this does not apply to an older boat that is being sold by a private seller.
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Old 27-12-2014, 11:15   #10
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Bulawayo: What is not correct?

If you are talking about CE the information given is correct.
Boats between 2,5 m and 24 m in lenght that are brought on the EU market (either new or used!) need to comply with a EU law named "10. Verordnung zum Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz (GPSG)" in German and need a document proofing CE conformity.

Regards,

Carsten

PS: Some info in English: http://www.nordicyachtworks.com/europeandce.html
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Old 27-12-2014, 11:16   #11
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Both Dhillen and I sold and purchased boats in the EU, the UK taking delivery of Oysters outside the EU in Guernsey via a UK broker, the Oyster brokerage to be specific. While in Guernsey, I personally witnessed a steady parade of new boats including Princess powerboats doing the same.

So now, your trying to tell us and others that what we did, purchasing a VAT unpaid vessel without paying VAT... Can't be done? Me thinks a couple of you need to check your fact source.
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Old 27-12-2014, 11:56   #12
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Thank you Kenomac and Dhillen!

Great website Dhillen....really makes us want to cruise Alaska!!
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Old 27-12-2014, 12:28   #13
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Carsten, What is wrong is your statement. You have likely read the extract that follows but you have not followed this up and investigated deeper. Read my posting correctly, please. It is also based on recent experience and is not conjecture.
If I am selling a boat in the EU it does not have to comply with EU directives - there are ways (legal!) to avoid this misunderstanding. Perhaps the Brits are a bit more generous with their interpretation of this EU legislation. We sold our boat in EU waters and no VAT was paid and no EU compliance was necessary. I can certainly advise anyone interested in actually paying attention as to how to do this. Clues: Used boat and PRIVATELY owned and being sold to similar, especially when being non-EU flagged.

VAT is only potentially due on boats built after 31 Dec 1984, but again can be avoided. We buy equipment from EU if the prices are right and need not pay VAT if we export them within a specified time period. If buying a boat you do not need to take delivery in the Channel Islands (that particular avenue is now closed as a tax haven). You can take delivery right from France or UK and avoid the VAT if exported out of the EU fairly promptly. Jeez, so much misinformation..............


Virtually all recreational craft built since 16 June 1998 and intended for sport and leisure use, may only be placed on
the EEA market or put into service within the EEA if they meet the
essential safety requirements set out in the
Recreational Craft Directive – 2003/44/EC. These regulations apply to all recreational craft between 2.5 and 24
metres in hull length whatever the means of propulsion. They may be fully built or partly completed; constructed
within, or imported from without the EEA. The builder, importer or owner, or the person putting the craft into EEA
service, (the responsible person) has a legal obligation to ensure that the craft meets the relevant requirements and

to carry out the appropriate CE marking.
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Old 27-12-2014, 12:48   #14
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

Jim-
I don't see one potential question being raised. From the EU point of view, when you arrive you will be importing a boat for the purpose of sale, i.e. importing it for commercial purposes, won't you?


That might make it into a commercial import and require tariffs, VAT, whatever to be paid on entry, or toll penalties later if that was not done. I have no idea if the EU looks at it that way, but would strongly suggest checking it out, since some jurisdictions would certainly come after you for that.


Best to ask a couple of brokers (in the course of asking them if they'd like to list it) and to check directly with any relevant regulatory authorities. Crossing a border is like ringing a bell: You can't unring it afterwards.
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Old 27-12-2014, 13:30   #15
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Re: Selling a non-VAT paid boat in the EU

There are 2 seperate issues here, VAT and RCD.
I am an EU citizen.
I have purchased a US built yacht, in Europe, which had been sailed over but the owners became ill and needed to sell. So I have been through the whole process.
Firstly Import Duty must be paid and then VAT on the total of the yacht cost + Import Duty. No ways around it. Rates differ a bit from country to country but it must be paid.
The vessel must have a RCD certificate or an Exemption. If not it cannot legally be sold in Europe. End of story.
There are a limited number of reasons an Exemption can be granted for and I would suggest getting in touch with CEProof in the UK the yacht you have in mind does not comply.
It's up to the buyer to ensure the legal status of the deal they are getting and I'm sure many yachts have been sold without complying with the regulations ( people taking a chance) but are going to be impossible to sell to an informed buyer the next time.
Only new boats can be exported VAT free from Europe.
Even worse, if a EU VAT paid boat is sold outside Europe and comes back in a few years later the VAT must be paid again!
Just because a vendor says the VAT and TCD are in order dosn't make it so.
Buy ar your own peril!
Make absolutely certain the paper (the VAT receipt must be the original) is in order or the day will come when an official will take you pride and joy.
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