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Old 29-05-2013, 11:11   #316
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

It's not looking good. The office rejected our proof (marina receipts, SPOT locator e-mails that coincide with our log, e-mail from the EC Commission siding with us) and we have to try to prove again or pay VAT in 10 days. We feel that they did not even look at the packet we submitted. We submitted it on Friday and had a long, paper result on Monday, which didn't address any of our proof (including the fact that they are trying to charge VAT based on the new price of the boat, when it is 7 years old).

Plus, we are not allowed to contact their office, except to give them the next document. They are annoyed that the keep getting contacted over this issue (EC Commission, Portuguese Embassy, Customs office in Lisbon, lawyer). They will not answer any of our questions and have instructed everyone in the local Customs office not to talk to us. I think that they have just decided to make our life hell.
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:00   #317
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

How far can one sail in 10 days. Is not a question.

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Old 29-05-2013, 13:15   #318
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

Whoa wrote that song " sail away'' ?
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:17   #319
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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Whoa wrote that song " sail away'' ?
Are you thinking of Come Sail Away - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ?

Video:
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:21   #320
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

That's the one, know any others that might be applicable here?
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Old 30-05-2013, 14:39   #321
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

Perhaps I forgot to mention... the Customs office has put our boat under the control of the marina (impounded). If we leave, the marina will call and report us. Don't think we can outrun the Customs boat.
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Old 30-05-2013, 14:47   #322
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Don't think we can outrun the Customs boat.
That's for sure... I couldn't outrun the harbour police in Perth..
And I had a 137hp turbo...
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Old 30-05-2013, 14:49   #323
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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That's for sure... I couldn't outrun the harbour police in Perth..
And I had a 137hp turbo...
Yea, we have 2 engines and we still won't make it, though we still may try.
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Old 30-05-2013, 15:01   #324
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Yea, we have 2 engines and we still won't make it, though we still may try.
Do it at night and run due West for 20 miles... then hang SW and run for the States...
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Old 30-05-2013, 15:16   #325
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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Perhaps I forgot to mention... the Customs office has put our boat under the control of the marina (impounded). If we leave, the marina will call and report us. Don't think we can outrun the Customs boat.
In the EU, there is no such thing as "under the control of the marina" unless it is a city marina operated effectively by local harbour master. Impounded you are, if you have received a letter from local authority where they state you are NOT free to move your boat. If so, they may also apply a 'sticker' on your boat, seal the engine, etc. They may also ban you from entering the boat - that is IF you have received their written statement informing you this is the case.

I would contact my embassy and ask for their legal protection. Remember with all taxes you first pay them then argue, which means you will be in a most uncomfortable position once you pay anything and your boat may get actually impounded if you do not.

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Old 30-05-2013, 15:24   #326
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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Do it at night and run due West for 20 miles... then hang SW and run for the States...
Actually tried (12:30 am). The marina stopped us when the engines were started.
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Old 30-05-2013, 15:33   #327
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

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In the EU, there is no such thing as "under the control of the marina" unless it is a city marina operated effectively by local harbour master. Impounded you are, if you have received a letter from local authority where they state you are NOT free to move your boat. If so, they may also apply a 'sticker' on your boat, seal the engine, etc. They may also ban you from entering the boat - that is IF you have received their written statement informing you this is the case.

I would contact my embassy and ask for their legal protection. Remember with all taxes you first pay them then argue, which means you will be in a most uncomfortable position once you pay anything and your boat may get actually impounded if you do not.

b.
Our Portuguese lawyer has looked over the document that was signed for by the marina manager (not by us). Call it whatever you want. We cannot leave without the marina staff calling the coast guard or getting in severe trouble. We are, however allowed on the boat.
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Old 30-05-2013, 15:36   #328
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

Weekend, say 3 am ?
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Old 30-05-2013, 16:26   #329
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Firstly do not attempt now to move the boat , it could result in your prosecution.


If you have been in the EU , for over 18 months and your only claim is that you sailed outside the 12 mile limit then I would suggest you will have to " lawyer" up, because this could go to court. As I said previously while its technically correct , I suspect you would have to have third party confirmation or customs may simply not accept your current proof.

No doubt they are using the Portuguese marina stay information as evidence , equally if you had a continuous contract with one or more marinas , that would indicate you had no desire to export the boat , even if you went outside the customs borders

Alternatively , you could agree a settlement without admission of liability and subsequently fight the issue in the courts. You have unfortunately fallen foul of one or two individuals who are very blinkered in their thinking.

Unfortunately The EU commercial courts up and down the Union , are full of VAT cases, but customs don't always win

Also your Embassy and or the EU Commission contacts need to be used very carefully, if the customs are convinced they are right , such pressure can actually be counter productive, generating an extreme adversarial situation is not to your advantage. These people have a huge body of law behind them and considerable powers. You need to seek expert opinion

It has always been a criticism of the TIR directive , that it did not rigidly specify the exit requirements. The vagueness has been locally interpreted in different ways by different customs authorities.

This will either get resolved by Customs HQ telling their local office to let go , or you'll have to drag it into court.

Either way you need good legal and tax representatives , and it could get expensive


Best of luck

Dave
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Old 30-05-2013, 16:40   #330
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Re: Are you put off sailing in the EU?

I feel this is a hijacked thread and someone's person battle with a certain country should be a new thread (it is worth reading the story)!

If this is the only thing I'm going to read about the EU then the answer to the original question is - yes!
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