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Old 14-05-2013, 14:54   #256
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I'm up by Fig da Foz... guessing your in Cascais... or Porto... can't think of anywhere else with ladies in the office..
if you want to drop me a PM with some info maybe I can help..
no promises...
Thanks - PM sent
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Old 14-05-2013, 17:39   #257
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

cahlgren may have run into the same woman customs agent my Aussie friends did. She accused them of going to Norway for a month 'just to escape the VAT', and only granted them a 30 day stay in Portugal. Other officials were sympathetic, but didn't give them any more time.

If the customs person keeps being unreasonable you might see if Turismo de Portugal will exert some pressure--after all, you are there as a tourist. It wouldn't hurt if they accompanied you to the customs office to see how tourists are treated.
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Old 14-05-2013, 18:32   #258
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cahlgren may have run into the same woman customs agent my Aussie friends did. She accused them of going to Norway for a month 'just to escape the VAT', and only granted them a 30 day stay in Portugal. Other officials were sympathetic, but didn't give them any more time.

If the customs person keeps being unreasonable you might see if Turismo de Portugal will exert some pressure--after all, you are there as a tourist. It wouldn't hurt if they accompanied you to the customs office to see how tourists are treated.
Yes I suspect so, I know of one such lady customs official that causes a lot of issues.

Dave
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Old 14-05-2013, 18:33   #259
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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cahlgren may have run into the same woman customs agent my Aussie friends did. She accused them of going to Norway for a month 'just to escape the VAT', and only granted them a 30 day stay in Portugal. Other officials were sympathetic, but didn't give them any more time.

If the customs person keeps being unreasonable you might see if Turismo de Portugal will exert some pressure--after all, you are there as a tourist. It wouldn't hurt if they accompanied you to the customs office to see how tourists are treated.
The customs agent is in Porto - and she is not budging. I am interested to see what defense she will come up with when we present her with the same documents in Portuguese. She has already changed her reasoning once, I am sure she will change it again.

My husband currently on the phone with the local Embassy for Portugal. They are trying to help as well, though I don't think they can do much. I wish that they would have granted us 30 days, then we would know where we stand. They never contacted us for proof, just sent us a letter stating that we owed A LOT of Euros (they used the value of our 7 year old boat AND our dinghy as new).
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Old 14-05-2013, 18:46   #260
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The customs agent is in Porto - and she is not budging. I am interested to see what defense she will come up with when we present her with the same documents in Portuguese. She has already changed her reasoning once, I am sure she will change it again.

My husband currently on the phone with the local Embassy for Portugal. They are trying to help as well, though I don't think they can do much. I wish that they would have granted us 30 days, then we would know where we stand. They never contacted us for proof, just sent us a letter stating that we owed A LOT of Euros (they used the value of our 7 year old boat AND our dinghy as new).
I think its just standard Portuguese nonsense from one or two places that are particularly officious. The other is villamoura. It will just fade away as you present the evidence.

It is VAT they are claiming not anything else. ??

Good luck

Dave
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Old 14-05-2013, 19:19   #261
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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I think its just standard Portuguese nonsense from one or two places that are particularly officious. The other is villamoura. It will just fade away as you present the evidence.

It is VAT they are claiming not anything else. ??

Good luck

Dave
Our boat has officially been impounded and is under the care of the marina. Our local Portuguese Embassy has translated the last bit of the regulations into Portuguese and is e-mailing it over to Portugal now.

The story from the customs agent changes. First it was that we overstayed our 18 months in Portugal and never left, so we owe VAT. Then, she claimed the Channel Islands are not out of the EU, so we owe VAT. Now I think she is sticking to her 'rule' that we only ever get one 18 month period in the EU, so we owe VAT. No other claims for now.... until we arrive in person
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Old 14-05-2013, 19:20   #262
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

Oh... and as for the fading away. We have been given a deadline of May 24th. What is the deadline for? Your guess is as good as mine.
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Old 15-05-2013, 02:20   #263
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I have a french document stating the 18 month VAT exemption, Ill see if I can find it and send it to you. Funnily enough we were sailing off the Calanques near Marseilles yesterday when a French Customs launch came to visit us. They came along side and asked for documents. I gave handed them to them and they said they would like to follow us to our anchorage and come on board. A bit strange giving us all that time to dispose of anything they might want to search for, but anyway they followed us for 45 minutes to Port Pin, came aboard, asked for original boat documents, had a quick search and then said all is fine BUT I have 6 months left to leave the EU to avoid VAT. (we picked up Sephina 1yr ago today.
I told him we had left EU waters several times in our travels by being over 12M offshore and he told me that I need a stamp from another country stating that.
Interesting. I could have argued the case and told him my log books were documented proof, but he was a friendly enough guy so I left it. We are headed to Croatia so we may stop in Albania or Montenegro en route.
When I mentioned Albania he said be very careful as they need money and we have a nice boat which will mean money to them. Not too sure if he meant they will ask for $$ for an official stamp or what.
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Old 15-05-2013, 03:59   #264
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I have a french document stating the 18 month VAT exemption, Ill see if I can find it and send it to you. Funnily enough we were sailing off the Calanques near Marseilles yesterday when a French Customs launch came to visit us. They came along side and asked for documents. I gave handed them to them and they said they would like to follow us to our anchorage and come on board. A bit strange giving us all that time to dispose of anything they might want to search for, but anyway they followed us for 45 minutes to Port Pin, came aboard, asked for original boat documents, had a quick search and then said all is fine BUT I have 6 months left to leave the EU to avoid VAT. (we picked up Sephina 1yr ago today.
I told him we had left EU waters several times in our travels by being over 12M offshore and he told me that I need a stamp from another country stating that.
Interesting. I could have argued the case and told him my log books were documented proof, but he was a friendly enough guy so I left it. We are headed to Croatia so we may stop in Albania or Montenegro en route.
When I mentioned Albania he said be very careful as they need money and we have a nice boat which will mean money to them. Not too sure if he meant they will ask for $$ for an official stamp or what.
No, he means to watch out for your personal safety in Albania. I would rather stop in Montenegro and avoid Albania, but this is advice from far away as I don't have direct experience there... just read the stories.
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Old 15-05-2013, 07:44   #265
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

tried to attach a file but it didnt work, send me your email if you need a copy of the document or I will try attach again later
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Old 15-05-2013, 12:13   #266
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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tried to attach a file but it didnt work, send me your email if you need a copy of the document or I will try attach again later
Thanks Monte. I believe I have the document you are referring to in French and English, but I will send you a PM so you can send it along. At his point, we will take any and all supporting documents!

We have always found the French to be fair. They boarded us once and we had a document from the original purchase of the boat, filled out by our dealer, not signed by us, that said the boat was going to the US. It took them 2 hours, but after numerous phone calls, they could not dispute that we were currently in the EU legally and left our boat, even though we never went to the US. They let us know that it would be a good idea to 'lose' to document in question... and we did. Haven't had an issue ever since, until now.
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Old 15-05-2013, 12:30   #267
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I'm guessing the customs officials in Porto are familiar with Portuguese and EU laws concerning VAT.

This is going to be interesting. Keep us posted. When are you headed to Portugal?

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Old 15-05-2013, 12:51   #268
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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I'm guessing the customs officials in Porto are familiar with Portuguese and EU laws concerning VAT.

This is going to be interesting. Keep us posted. When are you headed to Portugal?

The local Portuguese Embassy's Consulate General is thinking that the customs official was confused because the Portuguese know the Channel Islands as "nas Ilhas Anglo-Normandas". It's a stretch , but worth a try.

Once this is all over, I am sure we will post it everywhere, including all of the documentation needed to prove the VAT regulations so this doesn't happen to anyone else - ever.

I don't want to give out dates yet, but there may be plans to go to Portugal sooner than originally anticipated.
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Old 18-05-2013, 18:59   #269
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I just came across an exemption to the "90 days out of 180 since first entry" rule of the Schengen agreement. It is fairly specific but I thought I would share it since somebody might find it useful if they fit the criteria.

To summarize (as I read it), it is allowed to spend an extra 3 months in Denmark after spending up to 3 months in other Schengen countries. This only applies to citizens from Australia, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and USA. Any time spent in Denmark or other Nordic countries in the first 3 months will be deducted from the extra 3 months. I guess it will not be useful as a "out of Schengen" period for the purpose of entering another Schengen country immediately afterwards. The authoritative source on this exemption would be Bilateral Visa Agreements from the Danish Foreign Ministry.

I found it through Visa policy in the European Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

One of the Wikipedia articles mentions a similar exeption for the Czech Republic - perhaps this is could be useful for people taking the rivers/canals from the Atlantic/Baltic/North Sea to the Black sea?
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Old 18-05-2013, 19:12   #270
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I just came across an exemption to the "90 days out of 180 since first entry" rule of the Schengen agreement. It is fairly specific but I thought I would share it since somebody might find it useful if they fit the criteria.

To summarize (as I read it), it is allowed to spend an extra 3 months in Denmark after spending up to 3 months in other Schengen countries. This only applies to citizens from Australia, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and USA. Any time spent in Denmark or other Nordic countries in the first 3 months will be deducted from the extra 3 months. I guess it will not be useful as a "out of Schengen" period for the purpose of entering another Schengen country immediately afterwards. The authoritative source on this exemption would be Bilateral Visa Agreements from the Danish Foreign Ministry.

I found it through Visa policy in the European Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

One of the Wikipedia articles mentions a similar exeption for the Czech Republic - perhaps this is could be useful for people taking the rivers/canals from the Atlantic/Baltic/North Sea to the Black sea?
Australians and NZ plus some other countries have bilateral visa arrangements that bypass the Schengen visa limits ", in the applicable countries only " its always worth looking at individual countries to see if any apply to you.

Dave
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