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Old 28-10-2011, 15:45   #1
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Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Hi
I would like to move into Spain and planning to get a motor yacht and run scuba and deep sea fishing trips around the Canary Islands.
The situation is complicated however
I'm Polish (EU) citizen living in the UK. I'm a scuba instructor and my sailing qualifications come from Poland . The idea is to import a boat from US into the Canaries and run mentioned activities over there.
-Does anyone know what are the best ways of importing such boats from US into EU and what are the best (cheapest places to register it around EU?).
-Are there any chances to reduce paying VAT and import duties when importing boat into Europe?
-Is this boat going to be valued by EU authorities for VAT purposes by actual invoice of what was paid in the US or estimation how much it is worth in the EU?
I understand that if you stay in Spain for more than half a year annually you need to register your boat in Spain and have Spanish licence to sail it (Spanish language is apparently necessary to obtain it). Does anyone know if it's possible to run such activities (scuba and fishing trips) all year around in Spain if the boat is registered somewhere else in the EU? How to do it?
S O S
Tomasz
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Old 28-10-2011, 16:07   #2
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Re: Starting scuba and fishing trips on a motor yacht in the Canaries

Tomasz, hi and welcome to CF. I am not sure you are going to get definitive answers to your questions about a commercial diving business on a sailing forum, but we will try.

Yes you will be subject to VAT at about 20% of the value of the boat if you import a US boat into the EEC and that includes all shipping costs as well as the value. Don't forget any mains appliances and wiring will be 120v.

You will be competing in a market place against already established businesses in a time of austerity. I think you will struggle. I suggest if the Canaries are were you wish to set up this business you go and work there for someone else for a year to see if the plan is feasible.

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Old 28-10-2011, 17:39   #3
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Re: Starting scuba and fishing trips on a motor yacht in the Canaries

Thanks Pete
In my current family situation I consider Canaries to be the best choice for our family. My sons need education and I find local lifestyle much better for them than where I live now.
Unfortunately I don't have time to go there for one year and examine the market but I have the feeling that this is what I'm looking for at this sage.
What do you recon are the best places to look for my answers?
Tom
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Old 28-10-2011, 18:09   #4
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pirate Re: Starting scuba and fishing trips on a motor yacht in the Canaries

If your living in the UK take an RYA Coastal Skipper course... then when you get to your chosen island hire a lawyer to do the documentation for you.
This will get you the Spanish Blue Book and will license you for your boat.
The lawyer and harbour master do the deal... your just there to sign the paper work.... worked for me in the 90's
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Old 31-10-2011, 15:50   #5
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Re: Starting scuba and fishing trips on a motor yacht in the Canaries

Hi Boatman61
Thanks for your reply.
From what I know from RYA in the UK to get a commercial endorsement for the RYA licence you need to get as well VHF licence, survival at the sea course and medical examination. Was it the same when you were in the Canaries in the 90's? I heard as well that currently a course which is run in Spanish is necessary to commercially sail a yacht over there. I got some contradicting answers so far that's why I'm digging into it. I wrote to a Spanish based yachting school offering RYA courses and they told me that after completing their course (in English) | would be able to sail a scuba boat in Spain but I'm not 100% sure as I heard from people based in Spain that it's not this easy. What is the "blue book" that you mentioned?
Thanks for any replies.
Tomasz
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Old 31-10-2011, 16:06   #6
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Re: Starting scuba and fishing trips on a motor yacht in the Canaries

Hi Pete7
Thanks for your reply.
Could you recommend from your experience what is the easiest way of adapting US wiring (110V) to European standards? Is it necessary to change wiring in order to obtain CE plate or can you use some transformers?
Thanks
Tomasz
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Old 31-10-2011, 16:20   #7
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Tomasz, my understanding is the wiring is probably okay, it's the stuff on the ends of the wires that causes the problems. However I am not an electrician. What's more since you intend to charter this boat it needs doing correctly in accordance with local rules. In the UK any charter boat would need to be surveyed.

The boats wiring isn't your biggest problem, breaking into an established market and competing against locals during a major world wide recession is the problem. You might be better buying into an existing business with a local partner.

Pete
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Old 31-10-2011, 17:08   #8
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Just a thought re. the diving side of things, have you checked the depths around the Canaries, from what I remember of a chart of the area I saw a long time ago, it drops off pretty quickly.
You can probably access most of the dive areas from a R.I.B. unless your going to be saturation diving, obviously the fishing could involve longer trips, but would that make buying a boat from the U.S. necessary.
Also, I've been told you have to "talk" to the "locals" if you want to start a business there.
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Old 31-10-2011, 17:25   #9
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabasek View Post
Hi
I would like to move into Spain and planning to get a motor yacht and run scuba and deep sea fishing trips around the Canary Islands.
The situation is complicated however
I'm Polish (EU) citizen living in the UK. I'm a scuba instructor and my sailing qualifications come from Poland . The idea is to import a boat from US into the Canaries and run mentioned activities over there.
-Does anyone know what are the best ways of importing such boats from US into EU and what are the best (cheapest places to register it around EU?).
-Are there any chances to reduce paying VAT and import duties when importing boat into Europe?
-Is this boat going to be valued by EU authorities for VAT purposes by actual invoice of what was paid in the US or estimation how much it is worth in the EU?
I understand that if you stay in Spain for more than half a year annually you need to register your boat in Spain and have Spanish licence to sail it (Spanish language is apparently necessary to obtain it). Does anyone know if it's possible to run such activities (scuba and fishing trips) all year around in Spain if the boat is registered somewhere else in the EU? How to do it?
S O S
Tomasz
Hi Tomku,

I am in Canary Islands and immediately adjacent to a couple of mentioned businesses: scuba, fishing, boat charter, etc.. Some of my friends run such businesses here.

It is clear from your post that you have not done much googling prior to asking here. All the info is publicly available, although, as it is in Spain - at times only in Spanish. Hence you can easily guess that being able to read/speak, and at times think, Spanish is one of the key skills you will need to start up a legal business here. Doing business here is like doing it anywhere except not everybody survives in the specific environment of fiesta, siesta and 25% on unemployment. Spain is not UK and Canary Islands are not Spain, in many ways.

Foreign flagged ships are allowed to conduct some commercial activities in Spain (e.g. charter). However, for all practical reasons, if you want to run the a/m business (-es) here year round, you may want to have a boat registered here. This will imply having relevant local licenses, permits and following the requirements for business registration/taxation.

Local competition is very strong in the diving and fishing sector but you may find your niche if operating from a less frequented port and catering for a specific group of clients (e.g. the Polish). But these clients are not particularly likely to find Ryanair (generative term) connections to those less frequented ports. Such matters aside, diving here is very good and done the whole year round, it is not quite as good as in some other places further down the road though. Fishing is good and there are some game fishing competitions. It takes loads of local knowledge to do it in commercial basis and again, it is not on par with the best places down the road. This much said, both types of activity can be done all year round as we do not suffer from winter storms nor from low water temperatures. But it is not flat water here and at times you may be kept in port for a couple of days regardless of the time of the year.

You can import a boat from the US but given the costs of transportation / registration and of meeting the local requirements for navigation license, you may consider getting a boat locally or on the continent. The choice is good and the a/m costs and complications are allowed for. I can help you find adequate boat if you know exactly what you want.

You must see the difference between local registration and having to pay the tax for using the boat here. The tax has to be paid but you are no longer required to flag/register the boat here. However, if she is used for trade, then you may consider the pros and cons and you may elect to register here.

I hope this addresses some of your doubts.

Like with any business, you must do a lot of reading/studying before devoting to investing your time and money into an enterprise. Once you read up on the basics and general matters, you can PM me should you have any Canary Islands specific questions that you could not find answered elsewhere.

Good luck in your undertaking,
Regards,
barnakiel
Las Palmas, Canary Islands
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Old 31-10-2011, 17:52   #10
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Tomek,

I think you haven't had all of your questions answered but you got plenty of sound advice.
I would also worry about the business part of the deal. I would go there and at least do a decent market research, see how much business they have and what it takes to compete with established shops.
A lot of dive shops in my part of the world (California) went off business or reduced their operations.

Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2011, 17:00   #11
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Hi Barnakiel
Thanks for your reply! I'm just wondering if you are Polish (your welcoming verse)
Anyway I will thank you tomorrow as my work is waiting.
Tomasz
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Old 13-11-2011, 13:26   #12
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Hi Tomku,

I am in Canary Islands and immediately adjacent to a couple of mentioned businesses: scuba, fishing, boat charter, etc.. Some of my friends run such businesses here.

It is clear from your post that you have not done much googling prior to asking here. All the info is publicly available, although, as it is in Spain - at times only in Spanish. Hence you can easily guess that being able to read/speak, and at times think, Spanish is one of the key skills you will need to start up a legal business here. Doing business here is like doing it anywhere except not everybody survives in the specific environment of fiesta, siesta and 25% on unemployment. Spain is not UK and Canary Islands are not Spain, in many ways.

Foreign flagged ships are allowed to conduct some commercial activities in Spain (e.g. charter). However, for all practical reasons, if you want to run the a/m business (-es) here year round, you may want to have a boat registered here. This will imply having relevant local licenses, permits and following the requirements for business registration/taxation.

Local competition is very strong in the diving and fishing sector but you may find your niche if operating from a less frequented port and catering for a specific group of clients (e.g. the Polish). But these clients are not particularly likely to find Ryanair (generative term) connections to those less frequented ports. Such matters aside, diving here is very good and done the whole year round, it is not quite as good as in some other places further down the road though. Fishing is good and there are some game fishing competitions. It takes loads of local knowledge to do it in commercial basis and again, it is not on par with the best places down the road. This much said, both types of activity can be done all year round as we do not suffer from winter storms nor from low water temperatures. But it is not flat water here and at times you may be kept in port for a couple of days regardless of the time of the year.

You can import a boat from the US but given the costs of transportation / registration and of meeting the local requirements for navigation license, you may consider getting a boat locally or on the continent. The choice is good and the a/m costs and complications are allowed for. I can help you find adequate boat if you know exactly what you want.

You must see the difference between local registration and having to pay the tax for using the boat here. The tax has to be paid but you are no longer required to flag/register the boat here. However, if she is used for trade, then you may consider the pros and cons and you may elect to register here.

I hope this addresses some of your doubts.

Like with any business, you must do a lot of reading/studying before devoting to investing your time and money into an enterprise. Once you read up on the basics and general matters, you can PM me should you have any Canary Islands specific questions that you could not find answered elsewhere.

Good luck in your undertaking,
Regards,
barnakiel
Las Palmas, Canary Islands
Hi Barnakiel
I hope you are well.
I was just wandering if you know if RYA motor boat licence will be accepted in the Canary Islands for running commercial business? Do you have any idea as well how much it costs annually to keep 12m motor boat in a marina and what could I expect to pay for commercial insurance for scuba diving boat?
Thanks in advance.
Tomasz
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Old 13-11-2011, 19:01   #13
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Re: Providing Scuba and Fishing Trips on a Motor Yacht in the Canaries ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabasek View Post
(...)
Your license, and the type of license (pleasure vs. commercial) depends on where the boat is registered. If you fly UK flag then relevant UK licenses are required. Commercial UK license - NOT pleasure craft - and commercial UK boat registration are required, if such are required in the UK for the kind of activity you are going to undertake here. Alas, as I said in my earlier post, whether you can run a specific business or not under a foreign flag will depend on the type of business. I have seen foreign flagged charter (sailing charter) boats working here. However, where we are, all diving and game fishing operators operate from locally registered boats even when business owners are not Spanish. You must consider that when providing services from a foreign flagged vessel you must comply with all local safety and equipment requirements as set for local craft.

For marina costs, you can get them on-line from the marina you want to operate from. Government owned marinas tend to be cheaper than private owned ones. They also tend to offer lower level of facilities. You can consult Pasito Blanco, Rubicon or Puerto Calero for fees applicable to the size of boat in question. There is also lights tax (universally applicable) and ISDMT tax (applicable in some situations).

For insurance, contact Mapfre, Allianz or any other local insurer. Just google for the service you require and you will get a good list of offers. They may quote online but they will likely refuse to insure online since a vessel inspection may be required. The only type of insurance I have seen sold without such an inspection was third party insurance (obligatory in Spain) They may refuse to insure a foreign flagged, working vessel. You will save yourself much hassle if you insure your boat in the country of registration.

If you want to run a Spanish based business from abroad, you will likely need support from a lawyer fluent in Spanish law. If you want to run it from Spain and have it registered here then you may do without a lawyer as long as you speak Spanish and have the basic understanding of continental law.

(I said 'continental' because you said RYA so I assumed a UK registered business).

Cheers,
b.
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