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Old 01-02-2010, 09:51   #1
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pirate Best Place to Get a Sailing Yacht Registered ?

Just contacted the Irish Government about getting a boat that I'm building in a non EU country registered at home in Ireland and I got hit with a big talk about tax and a tidal wave of bureaucracy , now I'm thinking on getting it registered where it's been built in the Philippines, some one else mentioned Panama is a better place, why I don't know. However I do hear it is a common practice to register your yacht in a foreign country, why is that and where do you suggest?
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:00   #2
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As an EU citizen, I would suggest looking into a red ensign flag of convenience, BVI or Malta spring to mind. What you need to look out for is that the boat must leave the EU infrequently so that you avoid having to pay V.A.T. on it; there are numerous links on the web regarding VAT and sailboats to help you out there.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:04   #3
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And remember that if it is imported to the EU it must meet the RCD requirement
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:22   #4
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What do you think of the Cook Islands?
Maritime Cook Islands - Corporate Administrators of the Cook Islands Ships Registry
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:41   #5
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Have you looked at Gibralter? But if you want to keep it in Ireland you will still get hit for VAT after 18 months or whatever it is.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:54   #6
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However I do hear it is a common practice to register your yacht in a foreign country, why is that and where do you suggest?
In commercial shipping, this is called a flag of convenience. All larger passenger vessels have SOLAS requirements that are pretty similar around the world; the main advantage of e.g. Liberia is being able to employ cheap labour. For private yachts there are still some advantages to be gained, e.g. avoidance of import tax and lighter regulations regarding health & safety. I would however also consider the advantages an EU flag brings about in terms of visiting French/English (ex-)colonies around the world (specifically in the Pacific!).
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:19   #7
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If you come back to me via PM I will give you the best place to register on an international yacht register with minimum fuss and not expensive
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:42   #8
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And remember that if it is imported to the EU it must meet the RCD requirement
Yeah I'm pretty much aware of that, I build boats here to be RCD compliant all the time and it's updated every year.

Here is the RCD for the Pahi in print:
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:01   #9
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Have you looked at Gibralter? But if you want to keep it in Ireland you will still get hit for VAT after 18 months or whatever it is.
Thanks, I'll look into it, the whole Irish approach is turning me off taking it home or keeping it at home for any lenght of time. I've been informed that I'll be taxed on not what I paid for in the construction of the boat but what they think the boat is worth on the open market and they wonder why the whole economy is going down the drain.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:35   #10
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:44   #11
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Thanks, I'll look into it, the whole Irish approach is turning me off taking it home or keeping it at home for any lenght of time. I've been informed that I'll be taxed on not what I paid for in the construction of the boat but what they think the boat is worth on the open market and they wonder why the whole economy is going down the drain.
An interesting read? I guess that depends on how you define "interesting" but...............

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...0237#P129_8795

Appreciate that UK not the same as Ireland - but my reading is that if you are an EU Resident that you won't qualify for 18 months Temporary Importation Relief.
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Old 03-02-2010, 13:55   #12
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"I'll be taxed on not what I paid for in the construction of the boat but what they think the boat is worth on the open market"
That would probably be VAT and those of us who are not subject to VAT usually have to pay income taxes, personal property taxes, and sales and use taxes instead.
Using a flag of convenience (or committing tax evasion) can work if the boat is always in transit as a commercial vessel might be. The problems are that now you are no longer protected by your sovereign flag, and you will always be a foreigner and tourist, rather than a resident, in your home waters. If you can deal with that, by all means, evade the tax man. Of course, if they decide to come after you, you're going to start with losing the boat completely.
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Old 06-03-2010, 23:54   #13
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You have to figure out where you are going to keep it.
If you, a citizen of a EU country, ever bring the yacht to EU waters you have to pay VAT. That is what I understand.
Of all the flags I see in the caribbean, the largest number of the mega yachts I see are registered in the Cayman Islands. They go to the Med in summer then return in the winter. The cost does not seem to be high, and not very difficult a process.
Cayman Islands Shipping Registry

For this to work, though, you could not "own" the yacht. I do not know how you explain how it is you are onboard.
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Old 07-03-2010, 02:06   #14
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...If you, a citizen of a EU country, ever bring the yacht to EU waters you have to pay VAT...
Almost, but not 100% correct. An EU resident or tax resident, yes. But while I am an EU national I reside outside of the EU and thus the relief does work for me, plus I've been gone long enough that I can use the relief given for personal goods of returning expats.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:32   #15
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Register the boat where you want to have it. That's simplest in the long run.

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