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Old 24-06-2019, 11:53   #1
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Professional Registration Information referral?

Anyone able to refer me to a competent professional, who can provide me with accurate information, on EU, boat registration?

The various websites will sell you anything they can. The forums are full of erroneous and/or conflicting information, or do not answer the questions posed.

I am happy to pay for the services of a skilled, licensed professional for accurate answers to my questions.

Any referral from your personal experience in dealing with the issues of registering in the EU in 2019?


I appreciate your help.
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:28   #2
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

AFAIK British Part 1 is now open to all European residents, the procedure is quite simple, no need to include a middleman for heavy $$$. True, UK won't be an EU flag soon.
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:32   #3
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

One registers / documents a vessel with a country not with the EU per say, but perhaps with a country that is a member of the EU. There specifically being VAT issues associated with EU VAT paid vessels which is especially worthy of financial consideration and its peculiarities.

So perhaps you should start by determining which specific country would be most appropriate and then narrow down your search for professionals or for web guidance to that country or countries. Most every EU countries have government websites which provide specific guidance as to the procedures for registering / documenting in that country, albeit often in their native language(s).

I would suspect someone stating that they know all the rules of all the nations of the EU.

Being of USA origin and domicile, as it applies to vessels, the words, "register" and "document" are two distinctly different matters, yet related. Documentation is performed by our Federal Government at the National Vessel Documentation Center of the U.S. Coast Guard, whereas "registration" and "titling" can be done at each of the 50 States. And in some states, a USCG documented vessel is required to be "registered" by a state. Albeit a USCG documented vessel is not also "titled" at a State since it has been titled by the Federal government.

I'm not sure what the individual country rules for "registration" are for foreign "flagged" vessels residing for extended periods of in their waters or whether there is some degree of uniformity of laws within the Unionized European Nations.

FYI, general backgrounder, which is inclusive of merchant / non-recreational vessels:

Ship registration is the process by which a ship is documented and given the nationality of the country to which the ship has been documented. The nationality allows a ship to travel internationally as it provides recognized proof of ownership of the vessel.

International law requires that every merchant ship be registered in a country, called its flag state. A ship is subject to the law of its flag state. It is usual to say that the ship sails under the flag of the country of registration.

A ship's flag state exercises regulatory control over the vessel and is required to inspect it regularly, certify the ship's equipment and crew, and issue safety and pollution prevention documents. The organization which actually registers the ship is known as its registry. Registries may be governmental or private agencies. In some cases, such as the United States' Alternative Compliance Program, the registry can assign a third party to administer inspections.

A register that is open only to ships of its own nation is known as a traditional or national register. Registers that are open to foreign-owned ships are known as open registries and are sometimes called flags of convenience.

Each registry has its own rules as to the types of vessels and of the vessels ownership that it will accept for registration.
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:38   #4
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Because it will no longer be an EU member, I may have issues keeping the boat IN the EU for more than 90 days, due to the Schengen rule.

I have NOT had any definitive answer whether this IS the case. The insurance companies I have recently applied to, say they have no idea.

I have been and continue to get conflicting information about UK registration. Most of what I have found online states I MUST be a resident or citizen.

Both companies I have spoken to about insurance will refuse to insure me because their actuaries cannot cope with the laws in Portugal, so I must go elsewhere.

Services that do "light Netherlands" documents have problems in Portugal ( where I live), and they recommend Belgium, who MAY or MAY NOT actually allow not citizens to register.

This is why I am willing to pay a professional for accurate advice, but have no idea how to find one.
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:47   #5
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Sounds like these days might require a lawyer currently actively specializing in maritime, ideally personal pleasure craft (yacht) title transfers.

If not from here, call round to marinas & brokers for referrals?
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:55   #6
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Well I live in Portugal and UK reg my boats.. Pantaneus have no problems covering me at all for the Med and W Europe.. last boat was third party only.
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:58   #7
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

In a nutshell.

I am a Portuguese citizen.
My boat is UK registered.
I can stay in the Schengen without limitation.
I don't know if my boat can, if it remains a UK flagged vessel.
I don't know IF I can maintain a UK flag, even if I want to, based on the documents I have found so far.
Portugal, who in 2018, moderated their registration requirements, apparently refuses to recognize Dutch 'light" documentation.
UK insurers refuse to insure Portuguese registered boats.
My VAT is paid and I have a UK form, confirming my paid status. But whether all EU member will honor it in the future, is unknown.

So whittling it down to which country is most appropriate, is not so simple.

As to government documents...I have little success with them. The Portuguese registration document in English clearly states that the document has no legal value.

One fellow posted a government document allegedly stating that Belgium no longer will issue to non-citizens/ residents, but was only in Flemish and French. He was immediately called a liar by another posting party. The companies who process Belgian registrations has been warning for at least 4 years, that they might discontinue allowing non-citizen registrations.

I have NO idea what is correct

One company was very honest and said they love the Dutch "light" documents, but if you are going to Portugal, don't bother.

My head spins.
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Old 24-06-2019, 13:01   #8
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Both John Russell Insurance and YYacht insurance have both specifically objected to Portugal. Russell objected to my not being a UK citizen as well. YYacht states that their underwriters cannot deal with Portuguese requirements.
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Old 24-06-2019, 13:06   #9
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Because it will no longer be an EU member, I may have issues keeping the boat IN the EU for more than 90 days, due to the Schengen rule. What do you mean by "it".

I have NOT had any definitive answer whether this IS the case. The insurance companies I have recently applied to, say they have no idea.

I have been and continue to get conflicting information about UK registration. Most of what I have found online states I MUST be a resident or citizen.

Both companies I have spoken to about insurance will refuse to insure me because their actuaries cannot cope with the laws in Portugal, so I must go elsewhere.

Services that do "light Netherlands" documents have problems in Portugal ( where I live), and they recommend Belgium, who MAY or MAY NOT actually allow not citizens to register. So it appears that you are a resident of Portugal. "A legal resident, we can presume. " What is your citizenship? The residency and / or citizenship of the owners of the vessel are the primary issues for many countries' vessel registration rules

This is why I am willing to pay a professional for accurate advice, but have no idea how to find one.

Some general guidance:

Don't confuse immigration issues with vessel ownership issues.

Schengen rule involves the person, not the vessel status and allowance.

You state you will no longer be an EU member; nations are "members" of the EU, persons are citizens or residents of members of the EU. There is a distinction between citizenship and residency that comes into play.

Whereas your citizenship and residency do matter as to local country registration rules as to whether a country is open as a registry for you, or not an option.

EU and country specific VAT is yet another matter entirely. Import duties may be an EU matter if a vessel is imported into a specific EU country, else i may be a third country / non-EU matter if the vessel is imported into a country.

Tackle each issue distinctly.

Not sure if you are also dealing with Brexiting and its potential issues. There was a recent thread discussing the UK guidance as to vessels and Brexiting.

A maritime lawyer is likely advisable. Just make a short list of relevant possible countries.

Good luck.
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Old 24-06-2019, 13:06   #10
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

I have asked YYacht for a specific reason. I have contacted one of the Belgium Registration companies, but am concerned about their fee structure and if they actually are registering non-citizens. I feel like a ping pong ball.
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Old 24-06-2019, 13:13   #11
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Montanan, apologies for my lack of clarity.

I am a Portuguese citizen.
The boat was built in the UK. And is registered there.
The boat berths in Denmark
"It" was the UK who will no longer be an EU member state.
I will remain a citizen of an EU state.

I agree, I need a competent legal advisor. That Is why I have asked if anyone can refer me to a competent professional.
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Old 24-06-2019, 17:44   #12
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

The boat will be kept in Denmark.

Are you a resident of Denmark, if so then it appears you may be able to flag the boat in Denmark.

References: Denmark law firm:

Ship registration in Denmark
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
Copenhagen
Frederiksgade 7, Copenhagen 1265, Denmark
T 45 35 25 38 00
info@wsco.dk

https://www.lexology.com/library/det...0-fa7a15697573

Reference to Danish Maritime Authority:

http://https://www.dma.dk/SynRegistr...r/default.aspx

Reference to one man / EU EEA citizen registry application:

https://www.dma.dk/SynRegistrering/D...man%20ship.pdf

Article from the Denmark law firm copied below:

Denmark, Global April 2 2019


Ship Registration

Eligibility

Which ships are eligible for registration in the national shipping register(s) and which parties may register ships?

Shipowners that do not satisfy the nationality requirements set out in Section 1 of the Merchant Shipping Act, including shipowners that do not constitute a Danish state entity or municipality, non-Danish citizens or legal persons that are not incorporated under Danish law or registered as a Danish company in Denmark, must satisfy establishment as well as activity criteria.

Under the previous legislative framework, a general distinction regarding non-Danish shipowners was drawn between merchant ships owned by non-EU or non-EEA shipowners (third country shipowners) and merchant ships owned by EU or EEA natural or legal persons within the scope of EU regulations on the freedom of movement. Non-EU or non-EEA legal persons had to satisfy the establishment criterion by:

primary establishment (ie, a domicile or principal place of business in Denmark); or
secondary establishment (ie, a subsidiary, branch office or agency in Denmark (Sections 2(2)(b) and 8(1) of the executive order).
The Danish government recently enacted a new bill to amend the rules on ship registration, under which shipowners from third countries are no longer required to satisfy the establishment criterion by primary or secondary establishment. The bill entered into force on 1 January 2018 and aims to increase transparency for shipowners seeking to enter ships into the Danish Ship Register.

Following the amendments of the Merchant Shipping Act, it is sufficient for a shipowner from a third country to appoint a natural or legal person in Denmark with whom the authorities can confer in order to exercise control and, if necessary, serve a writ of summons (ie, shipowners outside the European Union or European Economic Area are subject to the same establishment requirements as EU and EEA shipowners).

However, the explanatory note to the amendments emphasises that the Danish flag shall not evolve into an open registry. The activity requirement – which includes economic activities – is therefore maintained as a precondition for entering a foreign ship into the Danish Ship Register.

It is therefore insufficient to have only a Danish-based mailbox or agents appointed without actual duties relating to the ship's operation. In order to facilitate a clearer and more transparent system, the activity criterion may be satisfied in a variety of ways.

To satisfy the activity criterion, the shipowner will be required to document that some degree of economic activity takes place in Denmark, including (for example):

a declaration that the technical or commercial management of the ship is exercised out of Denmark;
proof that the operator of the ship falls within the scope of the Tonnage Tax Act; or
that a shipowner established in Denmark holds a compliance document pursuant to the International Safety Management Code or proof of an application therefor.
It is further suggested in the explanatory note that the activity criterion can be satisfied through a combination of several individual factors, provided that the shipowner documents actual activities in Denmark that are carried out by employees.

This now follows from Section 3(2) of Executive Order 1654/2017. The minister has been empowered to define such individual factors in more detail by way of an executive order, in which factors are set out in detail and, ideally, with clear and transparent requirements for a non-Danish ship to register with the Danish Ship Register (Executive Order 1654/2017).

The amendments do not apply to fishing or recreational vessels.

Procedure

What are the procedural and documentary requirements for registration?

Pursuant to Section 4 of the Executive Order 1654/2017, a request to register a ship in the Ship Register or the Boat Register must be made to the Danish Maritime Authority on a special form (available online on the Danish Maritime Authority’s website: www.soefartsstyrelsen.dk or www.virk.dk). The request must include information on the vessel and its owner. Pursuant to Section 14 of the Merchant Shipping Act, the request must evidence:

the applicant’s ownership of the vessel; and
that the nationality requirement or the establishment and activity requirements are met (cf Sections 1 and 2 of the Merchant Shipping Act, respectively).
The requirement to provide evidence of ownership with regard to newbuildings completed at a foreign shipyard is usually satisfied in the form of a builders’ certificate confirming the passage of title to the shipowner. Apart from newbuildings, a bill of sale may be used. The Maritime Authority requires all foreign documents to be certified by a notary.

Grounds for refusal

On what grounds may a registration application be refused?

The national authority may refuse an application which does not meet the formal requirements set out in the law, including especially the Danish Merchant Shipping Act and the Executive Order 1654/2017.

Advantages

Are there any particular advantages of flying your jurisdiction’s flag?

Denmark has one of the world’s leading shipping industries, despite the country’s relatively small population. The Danish flag is characterised by high quality standards and can provide many competitive advantages compared to other flag states. Denmark is on the Paris Memorandum of Understanding White List, the Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding White List and the United States Coast Guard Qualship 21. Flying the Danish flag thus entails fewer port state controls.
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Old 24-06-2019, 19:45   #13
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Stated resident of Portugal. Boat is just used out of Denmark.
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Old 25-06-2019, 02:12   #14
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Re: Professional Registration Information referral?

Some of the mystery has been resolved. Both UK insurers, who will not insure a boat flagged in either Portugal or Poland, do so, because all policies must be written in Portuguese or Polish.

A thank you to both Vladis and Boatman, for suggesting Pantaenius, who may be willing to do so.

And thank you all for your help so far, and your patience.
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Old 25-06-2019, 02:54   #15
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I dont know if they will write the policy in Portuguese or polish.. what I do know is my English language policies have been accepted in countries from as far N as Sweden to as far E as Turkey.
All the marinas and officials have been interested in are the dates of validity and the policy number.. and the name on the policy matches the ships papers.
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