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Old 20-06-2016, 02:38   #1
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Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Hello everyone,

Im currently on the market for a new (to me) boat and I have my eye on a few deals in the Netherlands that I would like to make an offer on, although I have a question that hopefully one of you might be able to help me with...

I understand that in the Netherlands boat registration is not mandatory and in fact the majority of small boats do not have one, but how do you actually "prove" its yours? How can you safely buy one without papers?

I live in the Czech Republic and over here registration is compulsory for any boat with more than 12sqm of sail area and/or over 750kg... but without any papers, how can one prove:

-That the boat was legally bought?
-That the boat falls/does not fall into the compulsory registration?

Can you help me out here?

Thanking you in advance,
Filipe Messias
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Old 21-06-2016, 06:14   #2
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Nobody out there that can help me with this?
Pleeeease...

Thanks,
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Old 21-06-2016, 07:02   #3
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

it is the same in UK - you are not forced to have registration - e.g. you can do it if you want to ...

to prove that the boat is your own - it is just your own word if you have build it yourself or a "Bill Of Sale" - sale contract and if someone thinks that it is his boat he can try to board it and you can defend your boat as in the old times

but then all good so far, but what yo do when you go to France ? or Spain ? or somewhere else where people do not understand the freedom of the sea or when you need to insure it etc. e.g. in brief register it solves a lot small bureaucratic issues...

the more important part si to prove that VAT is paid or is exempt...
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Old 21-06-2016, 07:13   #4
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Couple of things you could ask the vendor for, the first being sight of his current insurance documents. A thief is unlikely to insure a boat he is trying to sell. Then how about the receipts for a marina or bills for repairs and new equipment. They will help to build a picture of who owns the boat. The one sticky issue will be if the boat has hire purchase or a marine mortgage on it. For that to happen it will have to be registered but proving it has or it has been paid off will involve more paper work.
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Old 21-06-2016, 08:05   #5
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

You have a contract and there it says Mr. X has bought boat Y from Mr. Z.

The boat is identified by either her registration or else by her hull number and engine number.

And how do you prove your car ownership? Think of this. The same token.

If your republic makes it difficult for you, you are a EU citizen and can register your boat in the Netherlands too. Your choices.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-06-2016, 02:37   #6
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If your republic makes it difficult for you, you are a EU citizen and can register your boat in the Netherlands too. Your choices.

Cheers,
b.
Oh, if only it would be that simple!

Although being a EU "citizen", means of transportation must have their "roots" in the country where the "citizens" have their permanent residence established. Most people are not really aware of this and most authorities don't really question much when it comes to cars, for example... you frequently see all kinds of "foreign" licence plates in any country within the EU and we all know a lot of those people are not on vacation, but the plain truth is that if you are a resident in (let's say Spain), you are supposed to change your registration and authorities can (and will) enforce it if they bother to do so.
Now...when it comes to boats, authorities are apparently more keen on keeping things under control (unlike cars, boats tend to sail in the same area, they are not stored in a garage out of sight and the authorities that patrol the waters are usually in much less numbers than on the streets...so after a short period of time they know which boats are usually around and you cannot say you're a tourist passing by. Once they ask for your own papers, they will know that you are a permanent resident... so why is your boat not?

I would be more than happy to register the boat here and avoid any complications, but I only question if a boat is "paperless" on the origin... how can I produce any documents to go forward with that registration? Of course that a sale contract will solve any issues regarding "ownership", as long as a hull number is on the contract, but I wonder if (you guys in the UK, for example), a seller will provide a sale contract on a boat that does not have any papers...

What would it say on the sale contract?
What would you be willing to put on the contract if you were to sell your own boat?


Thanks,
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Old 22-06-2016, 06:01   #7
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Maybe making the optional register in the Netherlands and then, with the actual papers in hand, transfer them here?

So another question for you:

If you buy an unregistered boat in the Netherlands and you want to register it (in the Netherlands)... do you know if it's a doable thing or if I will face the same issues with the lack of papers?


Geee... so many questions...

Thanks for all the help you might be able to give me.
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Old 22-06-2016, 06:43   #8
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by messias View Post
Oh, if only it would be that simple!

(...)

... but the plain truth is that if you are a resident in (let's say Spain), you are supposed to change your registration and authorities can (and will) enforce it if they bother to do so.

(...)
I am not aware where you are in Spain. We are in Canary Islands and local marina has dozens of locally owned boats flagged in Holland or Belgium. And on top of that maybe 10% of foreign boats fly flags that do not match their owners' country.

So as you may be correct for the legal side of this fact, the reality is that there are very many EU citizens who have their boats registered in EU countries that are NOT the owner's (home=passport) country.

And, from an immediate experience I can tell you this too: NO BODY EVER asked me why my boat registration does not match my passport.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:02   #9
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Hi barnakiel,

I am aware of that, and I do wish it would be like that over here...
But again, Canary Islands have an enormous "flow" of boats coming in and out of there and foreign flags are seen everywhere... but... over here almost every single boat has a Czech flag (inner lakes in the middle of a landlocked country... not too many tourists boating around).

The problem is not having it registered in other place than your passport says youre from. Thats quite common. The problem is your permanent residence.

If you would take your own boat (flagged UK, for example) and leave it in the Czech Republic for a whole year or 2, you would not have any problems... because if and when the authorities would approach you, youd just present them with your papers and for them... since you do not live here but in the Canary Islands (for example), youd be considered a tourist.
For me... I live here, so I could be forced to register it as local.

Although your experience tells you otherwise (and youre probably right) that it will never happen, I am just concerned about having to register a boat that, in the end, will not be "registrable" because of lacking original papers of ownership.
Thats my only concern!

If Ill find one that does have papers, then its no issue for me. Ill just flag it Czech and end of story. Everybody happy. But most boats that I look at dont have them... hence the question

Thanks for your input and in the end, if all goes "the wrong way", Ill probably do just like yourself
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:07   #10
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Hi Messias,

I am from Hungary and bought a 24ft boat from Denmark in 2014.
The authorities are the same here in Hungary too.
I had to have a bilingual(danish-hungarian) sale of contract with a stamp from a danish notary public. Then I had to send it to the Danish Ministry for a validating stamp too. It was more difficult than importing a car from EU.
In the sale of contract there was noted the typ and the hull identification nr of the boat. It was built in 1987 so the authorities did not deal with the VAT.
I showed them a copy of the danish law, that there is no registration for such a small boat and they accepted it.
Here in Hungary also there is a number of boat with german registration.

Regards,

Laszlo
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:11   #11
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Hi electrum,

Wow... so I guess thats exactly what expects me

Ok... at least you made me feel less miserable now! Now I know that this is not the only crazy country

Ill keep you posted on my "chasing stamps" race
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:25   #12
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

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Originally Posted by messias View Post
Oh, if only it would be that simple!

Although being a EU "citizen", means of transportation must have their "roots" in the country where the "citizens" have their permanent residence established. Most people are not really aware of this and most authorities don't really question much when it comes to cars, for example... you frequently see all kinds of "foreign" licence plates in any country within the EU and we all know a lot of those people are not on vacation, but the plain truth is that if you are a resident in (let's say Spain), you are supposed to change your registration and authorities can (and will) enforce it if they bother to do so.
Now...when it comes to boats, authorities are apparently more keen on keeping things under control (unlike cars, boats tend to sail in the same area, they are not stored in a garage out of sight and the authorities that patrol the waters are usually in much less numbers than on the streets...so after a short period of time they know which boats are usually around and you cannot say you're a tourist passing by. Once they ask for your own papers, they will know that you are a permanent resident... so why is your boat not?

I would be more than happy to register the boat here and avoid any complications, but I only question if a boat is "paperless" on the origin... how can I produce any documents to go forward with that registration? Of course that a sale contract will solve any issues regarding "ownership", as long as a hull number is on the contract, but I wonder if (you guys in the UK, for example), a seller will provide a sale contract on a boat that does not have any papers...

What would it say on the sale contract?
What would you be willing to put on the contract if you were to sell your own boat?


Thanks,
That applies to cars (Portugal pays yearly a multi-million fine for double taxing import cars but the revenue is much higher than the fine) but not to boats. Here in Portugal we even have Belgium and Netherlands registration services for skippers to doge the complex certification system required to pilot any vessel and to skimp taxes on marine engines. The flat rate used to be 300 for a vessel registration in the Netherlands. It pays off tax wise in a very short amount of time.

On the licence and competence plane, I'm not in favor using this hack since I believe certification is a good thing and although pricey and time consuming, it makes sense. On the tax side... Heck, I would do it in a heartbeat. My 50hp engine pays yearly 120 taxes... 3 years and the registration change is paid off.

Oh and the VHF licence doesn't need to be renewed either under Netherlands flag.

I would carefully check Czech's Laws as they can't go against the EU directives.

Naskledano

Tony

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Old 22-06-2016, 07:36   #13
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Don't give up!
To tell the truth, it was quiet fast and the danish fees for the stamp were also acceptable.
Despite the horror stories of import boat registration here in Hungary, the registration went well. Probably because I made everything as they required.
So keep me posted about your progress!
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:53   #14
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

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Originally Posted by tchavei View Post
I would carefully check Czech's Laws as they can't go against the EU directives.

Naskledano

Tony
Ol Tony,

Oh! good old Portugal...
I still remember the days where boat licences were only a matter of studying by yourself and attend the exam "Ad hoc"... and the almost non existing fees for launching your boat... but that was many years ago

Licences wise, I had to do 3 of them! My portuguese one... not recognized when I moved to Brasil... got a new one while I lived there. Not recognized in the Czech Republic when I came here (both of them)... got a new one over here
I even filed a complaint in the EU comission and their answer came a few months later:

Leisure boating is out of the EU scope and it is a matter solely for each country (professional boating is well covered within the EU...but not our kind of boating), so Im on my own here.

Loved your Czech language ability
Na schledanou!
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Old 22-06-2016, 07:53   #15
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Re: Boat papers in the Netherlands - Help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by messias View Post
Hello everyone,

Im currently on the market for a new (to me) boat and I have my eye on a few deals in the Netherlands that I would like to make an offer on, although I have a question that hopefully one of you might be able to help me with...

I understand that in the Netherlands boat registration is not mandatory and in fact the majority of small boats do not have one, but how do you actually "prove" its yours? How can you safely buy one without papers?

I live in the Czech Republic and over here registration is compulsory for any boat with more than 12sqm of sail area and/or over 750kg... but without any papers, how can one prove:

-That the boat was legally bought?
-That the boat falls/does not fall into the compulsory registration?

Can you help me out here?

Thanking you in advance,
Filipe Messias
If you do purchase a boat in the Netherlands, please report back to this thread the process and any tips or obstacles or lessons learned in the process.
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