Originally Posted by Nicholson58
Does this mean that my 1984 Camper & Nicholson, Built in Gosport Hampshire UK is exempt? (USCG documented)
No. It is more complicated than that as the boat may have been exported in the meantime.
Then VAT is due again on import
unless it is covered by the "returning goods" regime (which only applies if on reimportation the boat is owned by the same owner who did the exporting, has not changed hands between export and import). This is also the case where VAT was paid when the boat was purchased, and even in the case if the boat was imported, and a receipt for the VAT paid was received from customs
If you have owned the boat for a minimum amount of time (for most countries in the EU 6 months) and you are moving to the EU to take up residence, then you can import
the boat at the time you take up residence without paying any VAT (and get an official document confirming this). This boat can then be sold in the EU after a further minimum amount of time (again typically 6 months) without VAT being due - it counts as a VAT paid boat.
There is not really such thing as "exempt". A boat built before VAT was introduced, which was in the EU on the date VAT was introduced in common with cars and any other common goods was deemed to have had the VAT liability paid (as there is no receipt with VAT on it).
Once you export a boat from the EU, the VAT paid status is lost
and VAT will be due again on reimport on the market value at the time of import unless the boat has not changed hand and is being reimported by the same owner.
Note that not all of this will necessarily be thoroughly checked and controlled. Your average customs
officer will not necessarily know or have the means to find out if an average boat was ever exported from the EU. (I am sure they keep detailed records for super yachts though).