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Old 04-09-2011, 20:33   #721
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Relevant to several recent comments in this thread, our experince suggests...

1. Duty is only applied to the cost of the vessel. GST is applied to the voyage costs...and the Duty. The proviso to this is where the Customs assessor takes the view that there may be some question about the cost value suggested by the importer; in that event Customs authority permits them to basically form their own view as to value to be assessed for Duty purposes. Where there is a recognised Bill of Sale, e.g. prepared by a bona fide broker, Customs will generally simply accept and apply that cost value to determine the Duty.

2. The voyage costs will be for the entire voyage unless there is some clear (in the eye of the assessor) break in the nexus between the purchase and the arrival in Australia. While we heard examples suggested of very long time voyages, e.g. more than a year, being considered and then assessed for GST, we cannot comment on that from experience as ours was only a 4-month delivery. We can, however, say that even a rather long (~14000nm) delivery with several significant stopping points along the way will still result in GST assessment on the whole voyage, not just from the last port-of-call.
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Old 04-09-2011, 21:02   #722
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Thanks D&D. How much did they decide your voyage cost was? And what was included in it?

If you read this whole thread you will see people most people claiming that the voyage cost is only from the last international port of call. I wonder how some people can get away with that?
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Old 04-09-2011, 21:06   #723
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Hi D&D, no you only pay GST on the costs from the last port before entry.
I had to declare the last 5 ports the boat visited but this had no bearing on the tax.
You are right that the customs people can make their own assessment, But they were quite happy with my bill of sale.
If they see you are trying to do the right thing and being cooperative they are usually fairly relaxed about the whole thing.
As one customs guy said to me once "we don't get any of the tax money, we just collect it for the ATO".
So I doubt any of them get any bonuses for screwing a few more bucks out of poor yacht owners.
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Old 04-09-2011, 21:29   #724
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Good to hear Dragon Lady. That is how I have been working it out. AFAICT they need to know the last 5 ports of call for mainly quarantine reasons, disease, pests etc.
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Old 04-09-2011, 21:43   #725
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Lady View Post
Hi D&D, no you only pay GST on the costs from the last port before entry.
I had to declare the last 5 ports the boat visited but this had no bearing on the tax.
You are right that the customs people can make their own assessment, But they were quite happy with my bill of sale.
If they see you are trying to do the right thing and being cooperative they are usually fairly relaxed about the whole thing.
As one customs guy said to me once "we don't get any of the tax money, we just collect it for the ATO".
So I doubt any of them get any bonuses for screwing a few more bucks out of poor yacht owners.
So without wanting to nosey your private details can you confirm that in my case I will be up for GST as follows: Cost of boat (US built) $165,000,
delivery $1000 from last port New Cal. Total assesed for GST=$166,000

Therefore, GST @10% = $16600.00, correct?
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Old 04-09-2011, 22:06   #726
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
How much did they decide your voyage cost was? And what was included in it?
It's hard for us to be exact here because we did not pay the GST. We were importing the vessel for business purposes -- Stay tuned for Floating Impressions! -- such that only information was collected for GST purposes...and we were then entitled to an automatic debit/credit of any resulting GST. So no actual GST was determined or paid. From the information gathering, however, it was clear they wanted all the costs all the way from embrakation (Sardinia) through to Sydney and ignoring the several (Gibraltar, St Maarten, Panama, Tahiti) major ports-of-call.

As for what was included, we engaged a professional delivery crew for the whole voyage; their fee covered food and all of their fee was included. The other items were basically fuel (not much for our voyage, thankfully!) and marina fees and Panama Canal fees. We did not go into repairs and we were not asked to do so.

We are expecting a GST audit soon; that may (or may not!) alter some of the comments above.
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Old 04-09-2011, 22:31   #727
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Lady View Post
Hi D&D, no you only pay GST on the costs from the last port before entry.
I had to declare the last 5 ports the boat visited but this had no bearing on the tax.
You are right that the customs people can make their own assessment, But they were quite happy with my bill of sale.
If they see you are trying to do the right thing and being cooperative they are usually fairly relaxed about the whole thing.
As one customs guy said to me once "we don't get any of the tax money, we just collect it for the ATO".
So I doubt any of them get any bonuses for screwing a few more bucks out of poor yacht owners.
Hi DL,

How's Pourpre treating you? We hope you're out enjoying her!?!

Your experience (in GST only being assessed on costs since the last port-of-call) contradicts what we were told, but we certainly defer to real experience! Your description of Customs attitudes, however, is spot on with our experience as well.

We hope to see you out there sometime soon, although we probably won't be up your way until next winter now, heading down to Tassie for the summer first. Any cruising plans for Pourpre?

Cheers!
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Old 04-09-2011, 22:41   #728
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

D&D I would say that since you had a professional delivery crew do your whole trip it would be hard get out of it. The whole trip was clearly a delivery. This may be looked at differently to cruisers taking a year off work to sail their own boat back. Not taking the quickest and cheapest way back. Hmm. I guess it could be down to the customs officials mood at the time...
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Old 04-09-2011, 23:40   #729
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
D&D I would say that since you had a professional delivery crew do your whole trip it would be hard get out of it. The whole trip was clearly a delivery. This may be looked at differently to cruisers taking a year off work to sail their own boat back. Not taking the quickest and cheapest way back. Hmm. I guess it could be down to the customs officials mood at the time...
We agree with all that dennisail.
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Old 05-09-2011, 00:54   #730
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I'm heading to France Friday to go to some boat shows (La Rochelle) and check out some second hand Lagoon 380's as well. Most of the info in this thread has been great for researching, especially first hand experiences. Thanks and keep it up!
PS Id love to have a quick chat to D&D or DL on the phone if I could before I leave if its cool send me a message with your # and I'll call.
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Old 05-09-2011, 14:49   #731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamel

So without wanting to nosey your private details can you confirm that in my case I will be up for GST as follows: Cost of boat (US built) $165,000,
delivery $1000 from last port New Cal. Total assesed for GST=$166,000

Therefore, GST @10% = $16600.00, correct?
Just be happy you dont have 25% tax like i have in Sweden.
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Old 05-09-2011, 16:01   #732
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Thanks all for the posts here, especially those who've actually achieved the import, as I am on the same trail myself and it's great to hear about your experiences.

I think it was on another forum where it was suggested to me that, in the UK at least, there is no GST payable on the family home/primary residence. I am selling my unit in Sydney to finance the next boat, which when I sail it into Australia, will be my one and only residence for the foreseeable future.

I think the same is true of Australia; no GST payable on your residence. Has anyone any knowledge of whether I can claim my boat as being my house, and therefore GST exempt? Anyone tried it?

Assuming I could, I guess it could come back to bite me on the bum if I did eventually sell. But that will be a long way down the track. Been a landlubber 4 years now; can't wait to get back on the water.

regards all groover
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Old 05-09-2011, 16:04   #733
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You will need to apply to the tax office for a private tax ruling on your case and see if they will approve it.
I have heard in the past its a no go.
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Old 05-09-2011, 16:12   #734
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

It's technically illegal to live permanently on your boat in most Australian States anyway... so I doubt this would work. I wish it would though as it could help me out too!
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Old 05-09-2011, 16:13   #735
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocean_groover View Post
Thanks all for the posts here, especially those who've actually achieved the import, as I am on the same trail myself and it's great to hear about your experiences.

I think it was on another forum where it was suggested to me that, in the UK at least, there is no GST payable on the family home/primary residence. I am selling my unit in Sydney to finance the next boat, which when I sail it into Australia, will be my one and only residence for the foreseeable future.

I think the same is true of Australia; no GST payable on your residence. Has anyone any knowledge of whether I can claim my boat as being my house, and therefore GST exempt? Anyone tried it?

Assuming I could, I guess it could come back to bite me on the bum if I did eventually sell. But that will be a long way down the track. Been a landlubber 4 years now; can't wait to get back on the water.

regards all groover
This is hearsay, but from a good source...

Tax office accepts it's exempt, but Customs is their agent for collecting the tax (GST) and they haven't been instructed that there is an exemption, and nor are they likely to be, so they collect it or take your boat.

I think they assume, probably correctly, that most people don't want to expose themselves to a full audit risk, possibly going back 7 years.

There was a bit of info on this in Cruising Helmsman about 6 months ago.
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