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Old 07-11-2014, 05:57   #286
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Welcome to the forum! You will find all sorts of great info here, but you likely already know that.

We're also Canadians & have done almost the same thing you're planning. Twice. The difference is that we never planned to leave the Med.

It sounds like you're in a sweet situation! No VAT worries, and no Schengen worries. (I don't think Schengen applies to EU citizens who are not residents, but someone will correct me if I'm wrong there.)

One thing to put in the back of your mind: If you take a VAT-paid boat out of the EU for a certain number of years--I think it is two--the boat is deemed to have been exported and the VAT paid status lost. So, take your time & enjoy the Med to the fullest before launching off for distant waters. We've spent a bit of time in the Caribbean and by far prefer the Med, but everyone here has an opinion on that.

We have had a Canadian flagged boat in Spain for 21 years and never had a problem with it, although we did pay the VAT on the first boat. The second was already VAT paid. We were boarded three times in total over that period & the Aduanas were only concerned about us as non-EU and the period of time in country rather than the boat. I recognize other countries are more or less beaurocratic though.

You can virtually always find English spoken. It may be hard to understand, but you can almost always get by.

We just went thru the Transport Canada registration process last winter so the process is still pretty fresh in my mind. Their web site is pretty good and you can download all the forms necessary. It's hard to get to talk to a live person but they are good about responding to email queries, and if you find you really need a person's phone number I have one. You'll need originals of the Bill of Sale, and the Cert of Deregistration from the current register. Your broker should provide both. You'll also need to complete the forms for the 'survey', various forms depending on the size of vessel.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:42   #287
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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I don't think Schengen applies to EU citizens who are not residents, but someone will correct me if I'm wrong there
If you hold an EU passport you are considered an EU citizen regardless of where you live permanently. Therefore you have all the rights and privileges any EU citizen and resident has, plus all the tax considerations if you are in an EU state for more than 6 months (only if you have EU income that is).

Schengen is basically an agreement between nations that does away with the need for visas and border controls between signatories for citizens and residents of member states. With an EU passport you will not be limited in the number of days you can stay within the Schengen Area as you would be on a Canadian passport and you can move around, take employment if you wish without paperwork hassles.

As for the boat if it is Canadian flagged it should get an 18month temporary import permit which you will have to leave EU waters to renew but as long as the boat is not outside the EU for more than 3 years it will not lose its VAT status.

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Old 07-11-2014, 07:21   #288
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Thank you all for really great information. Ill need to digest everything, especially the option of leaving the boat EU flagged for a while. We'll surely have more questions.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:48   #289
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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As for the boat if it is Canadian flagged it should get an 18month temporary import permit which you will have to leave EU waters to renew but as long as the boat is not outside the EU for more than 3 years it will not lose its VAT status.
The 18 month temp import is automatic as I understand it. I've never heard of a 'permit'--only the need to prove the boat has been outside the EU within the past 18 months if challenged. Also, if you want to leave the boat in the EU without the hassle of getting out every 18 months you do have the option of paying the VAT and eliminating that concern. If the OP's boat is VAT paid, he doesn't have to worry about it though.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:39   #290
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

A couple of minor corrections to some of the posts above:
  • A VAT paid boat of any registration may stay within the EU indefinitely.
  • If a boat is outside the EU for 3 years or more, it loses its VAT paid status. However, there is no provision for tracking absence from the EU.
  • A boat changing ownership while it is berthed outside the EU loses its VAT paid status, and this is easily tracked.
  • Anyone traveling on a German EU passport, or a UK EU passport (which allows residence) can stay within any EU or Schengen country indefinitely (British passports issued in some of Britain's ex colonies do not permit EU residence; I don't know about German . . .)
  • A boat can be registered in any EU country by a legal entity (person or company) which has residence there, typically more than 182 days per 365, but in some cases also anyone who asks for and gets a local residence permit
  • British part III registration is only available for people who are "ordinarily resident" in UK: see - https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/ssr/ssr/notes.asp - but a lot of people tell lies on their application forms
  • Anyone spending more than 182 days per 365 in an EU country may become a tax resident of that country. This may become embarrassing if that country has a wealth tax on boat ownership.
That lot skims the detail. Go to Paperwork Preparation | JimB Sail and its subsidiary pages for more exact detail and exceptions, together with links to authoritative government web sites for the really fine print.


When it comes to deciding where to spend time while cruising, jimbsail.info also compares the cruising grounds of Europe from the English Channel southwards, including nearly all the Mediterranean border contries.


JimB
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:13   #291
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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Originally Posted by jckb View Post
A couple of minor corrections to some of the posts above:
  • A VAT paid boat of any registration may stay within the EU indefinitely.
  • If a boat is outside the EU for 3 years or more, it loses its VAT paid status. However, there is no provision for tracking absence from the EU.
  • A boat changing ownership while it is berthed outside the EU loses its VAT paid status, and this is easily tracked.
  • Anyone traveling on a German EU passport, or a UK EU passport (which allows residence) can stay within any EU or Schengen country indefinitely (British passports issued in some of Britain's ex colonies do not permit EU residence; I don't know about German . . .)
  • A boat can be registered in any EU country by a legal entity (person or company) which has residence there, typically more than 182 days per 365, but in some cases also anyone who asks for and gets a local residence permit
  • British part III registration is only available for people who are "ordinarily resident" in UK: see - https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/ssr/ssr/notes.asp - but a lot of people tell lies on their application forms
  • Anyone spending more than 182 days per 365 in an EU country may become a tax resident of that country. This may become embarrassing if that country has a wealth tax on boat ownership.
That lot skims the detail. Go to Paperwork Preparation | JimB Sail and its subsidiary pages for more exact detail and exceptions, together with links to authoritative government web sites for the really fine print.


When it comes to deciding where to spend time while cruising, jimbsail.info also compares the cruising grounds of Europe from the English Channel southwards, including nearly all the Mediterranean border contries.


JimB
All above correct. HOWEVER if in Spain for more than 180 days-you will have to PAY TAX on there value of your boat. (At least that is what I believe)
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:37   #292
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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All above correct. HOWEVER if in Spain for more than 180 days-you will have to PAY TAX on there value of your boat. (At least that is what I believe)
That's not our experience or information. We've had our boats in Spain for over 20 years. We paid VAT on the first boat, and the second, which was VAT-paid, we paid a transfer tax when we purchased the boat.

Residents must pay a 4% tax to register the boat in Spain. Perhaps that is what you're referring to.

Remember we're talking two different issues: The boat's presence in the EU, and the person's presence. The two only start overlapping when a person stays over 180 days in a country &/or is deemed a resident. Then assorted taxes from that country become applicable.
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Old 08-11-2014, 22:34   #293
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by jckb View Post
A couple of minor corrections to some of the posts above:
[LIST][*]A VAT paid boat of any registration may stay within the EU indefinitely.[*]If a boat is outside the EU for 3 years or more, it loses its VAT paid status. However, there is no provision for tracking absence from the EU.[*]A boat changing ownership while it is berthed outside the EU loses its VAT paid status, and this is easily tracked.

.....

JimB
Is that any VAT paid boat, or only non EU registered VAT Paid boats? I was recently told to consider registering it in the EU to avoid loosing the VAT paid status. Our plans will definitely keep us away for longer than 3 years!

And - thank you much for the next bit about changing ownership outside the EU! That is precisely what we were planning to do - until now!!
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:58   #294
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Cookies, I think you may have misread that bit of info you quoted. Any VAT paid boat with any flag may stay in the EU indefinitely. I see no reason why you wouldn't put a Canadian flag on her.

As far as time outside the EU, or selling the boat outside the EU--this is only a consideration when you go to sell the boat way down the road. JimB has more expertise in this area, but if the boat leaves the EU for > 3 years, it would be deemed to have been exported & lose it's VAT-paid status. JimB says they don't have any way to track that & I suspect he's right so that may not be a concern. A greater concern may be if the boat is sold while outside EU waters. My understanding is that again it would be deemed to have been exported & lose it's VAT paid status, and that Jim says is easily tracked. You said you were buying the boat in the Med so as long as it is inside the EU you should be fine.

As a Canadian resident, I don't think you qualify to register your boat anywhere else unless you lie & use a friends address in another country.

By the way, if you don't bring the boat back into Canada (for greater than 90 days I think) you don't need to pay GST.

Clear as mud? PM if you have further questions. Where will you take possession of the boat to start your journey?
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:04   #295
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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Is that any VAT paid boat, or only non EU registered VAT Paid boats?
Any VAT paid boat can stay within the EU indefinitely.

What VAT paid boats can not do is stay within one or two individual EU countries longer than 180 days in a year without being "imported" into that country. Spain is an example.

Most others don't care, and will host other EU flag boats, or non-EU flag boats (if they are VAT paid) for as long as they wish to stay. You have to check directly with your host country what rules may apply.

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Old 09-11-2014, 10:08   #296
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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As a Canadian resident, I don't think you qualify to register your boat anywhere else unless you lie & use a friends address in another country.
There are plenty of flags of convenience, countries where anyone can register a boat. I'm not encouraging it, but just pointing it out.

Here are the current flags of convenience:

Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cayman, Comoros, Curacao, Cyprus, Guinea, Faroe, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Honduras, Jamaica, Lebanon, Liberia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanman, North Korea, Panama, Sao Tome and Principe, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Vanuatu.
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Old 09-11-2014, 14:27   #297
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Very true BandB. Some more convenient than others. Many still require you to incorporate a company or some such, but certainly doable.
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Old 09-11-2014, 17:23   #298
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

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Very true BandB. Some more convenient than others. Many still require you to incorporate a company or some such, but certainly doable.
But the incorporation and documentation can be done so quickly. Cost a bit but so many services set up to handle either or both. Now we've stuck to US documentation simply as we had no real reason to do otherwise.
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Old 10-11-2014, 21:55   #299
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Sorry for the chunks of time between posts. We're in the process of trying to get rid of as much of our accumulated "stuff" as possible - what a task!!

The boat is presently in Tunisia (we're off to survey etc. next week!). We're either going to move it to Sicily or Malta to close the sale transaction so it's in the EU.

My preference would be to flag it Canadian, but I'd like to keep the VAT status as long as possible.

I got that any VAT paid boat can stay in the EU indefinitely, the part I'm still uncertain about is if there is a way to avoid loosing the VAT status if we leave the EU for more than 3 years - which is a real possibility a few years from now. The plan would be to return to the EU, but we'd likely be gone for more than three years.

So I guess my questions is: Would an EU flagged, VAT paid boat loose its VAT status after 3 years, or is that just for non EU flagged VAT paid boats?

I think that's the last bit I'm missing!

I guess I should also ask if anyone knows of an EU based lawyer, or documentation specialist (that speaks English!), that I could engage to help me with this?

Thanks again....
Back to filling a dumpster!!!
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Old 10-11-2014, 22:19   #300
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Re: Should A Non Eu Boat Sail Across The Atlantic To Sail The Med

Possibly the only reason you might want to keep your VAT status after 3 years away is that you want to sell the boat to a EU citizen in an EU coutry and having the VAT status improves resale.

I might be wrong,but I think that when you deflag, the clock starts counting about official VAT status anyway, whether you're cruising in the med or in Canada.

As I said before, keep all of the documentation about VAT status, the French one says something about "no tax required to be paid'. or something like that.

Customs have asked to see this on occasion. They look at it and then move on to doing other paperwork. So far no-one has required us to fill out temporary import papers, but cruising in Greece, I think that it is only a matter of time; they love bureaucracy.

When you take possession, take some time to soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere. If you sail up the west coast of Italy, plan to spend some time in the ports at the top the gulf of Policastro. Places like Acciaroli and Maratrea are hidden treasures. We met a Canadian who had brought a T Model ford over from Canada and was cruising around Calabria visiting family. Wonderful. The lady who runs the marina at Vibo Valenta is Canadian and is a treasure trove of information.

Happy Sailing

I agree that it is not a good idea to do business in Tunisia. There is a very significant refugee issue around Lampedusa and I would not want to take the risk of being alone at sea there.
Valetta, Malta is one of the prettiest ports and interesting towns we have come across in our journeys although that was by big cruise boat.
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