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Old 18-04-2009, 16:24   #16
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Yup Dockhead, you sum it up fairly succinctly.
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Old 18-04-2009, 16:42   #17
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I was going to respond to this post before. but then I forgot

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Just one last (I promise) question -- can it be, that the flag status of the vessel and her customs status are two different things, not related? That is -- the boat might be registered in my name in the U.S., but has never been out of EU waters and is thus "imported" into the EU, as it were, VAT paid and all?.....................

............So maybe it's like -- the is imported into some country, has been cleared there, has taxes paid there, but the flag is something completely different and unrelated?
As I said before, clearing non EU vessels into the EU is a bit outside my knowledge - but what you say does sound about right, IMO certainly well worth looking into for some (real!) facts. Your later post sounds good,


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I am surprised however, that David worries about VAT and stuff, as he lives in Jersey which is "special" in tax terms. (Special in other ways too!). You may note, that on your trip down the East Coast from Oysters, you will see a number of "local" boats, which are registered in Jersey and Guernsey, for some reason I have no idea about.

Perhaps David could enlighten us? Is can't be a VAT thing, as these boats stay here all the time. What is the advantage of Channel Island Registration David?
David is not so much worried about VAT, more very interested in ensuring that any boat I buy with VAT already paid on it does not get another VAT bill landed on it - if I ever (finally manage!) to spend too long in the EU or want to sell in the EU and need to reassure a prospective buyer. Whatever other folk do is of interest to me, but not my concern.

But on this I will accept that I am perhaps more risk averse than others - possibly compounded by the fact I hail from Jersey which in certain quarters (esp. avec Le French) means I am a probably a tax avoiding money launderer - and historically the French have picked up more than a few quid from Jersey folk on boats, cars, caravans and Motorhomes (RV's) which overstayed their (VAT free) welcome in France - so who is to say they do not have a point? Albeit perhaps not so much as temps passe. And to be fair to the French customs if I was in their shoes having a closer than average look at either a Jersey (or other non EU) boat's and / or skipper's paperwork would be more likely to generate results ( / $$$) than for someone from the Birmingham Navy

Advantages of Jersey Registration? Well, mine is registered in Southampton and I intend to keep it that way as although I beleive I am very ok on the VAT paperwork (built 1970 - pre VAT) and an english documented ownership and a history of being located on the mainland pre my purchase a couple of years back I figure no harm in also having a UK port (and flag) on her a#se .......so any Douanes wandering the dock looking for someone to annoy before lunch can instead pick on some tax evader from.........Guernsey

On a straightforward personal yacht registration my undertstanding is that (nowadays) no fundamental difference between UK mainland and Jersey - apart from (from memory) Jersey reg is 10 years instead of 5 (probably not cheaper overall though!) and you can still get a "proper" Blue Book (instead of the laminated A4 piece of paper - how on earth one is meant to waive that at Johnny foreigner Customs in a meaningful manner is beyond me ).......historically (up to late 80's? / early 90's?) it was possible to register in Jersey and keep the boat in the EU and not pay VAT (note that I avoided saying avoid VAT )......but then of course every b#gger started doing it rather than simply our lords and masters. Typical of the hoi polloi - ruin things for everyone else simply by weight of numbers ).

So I am guessing a fair few boats are registered in Jersey for historical reasons even though the VAT benefit may have long since dissapeared - in more modern times a Jersey registration often goes with corporate registration via a Jersey Company - and for that the benefits do very much depend on individual circumstances and not always related to tax - part of any benefit may (or may not ) relate to the debate between privacy vs secrecy.........but you need to talk to Obama and Gordon on that one as they seem to think their missing zillions are secreted over here. Unfortunately not - but that's another thread........

But ain't no "magic" benefit to Jersey registration.

I suspect those boats registered in Guernsey are owned by Money laundering Tax evading Terrorists
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Old 18-04-2009, 17:24   #18
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I suspect those boats registered in Guernsey are owned by Money laundering Tax evading Terrorists
(off topic begin)
yeah, those bankers who are now laughing their a##h (and left those banks just on time after filling their pockets) off while we now have to support their broken banks with our tax money
(off topic end)
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Old 19-04-2009, 10:37   #19
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but you need to talk to Obama and Gordon on that one as they seem to think their missing zillions are secreted over here
Thanks David. I note, that you were not of course refering to Brecqhou when you said that.

You make some interesting observations in your post. Don't come from somewhere that excites a lot of interest. Good point. Low profile is best profile.
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Old 19-04-2009, 11:33   #20
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Thanks David. I note, that you were not of course refering to Brecqhou when you said that.

You make some interesting observations in your post. Don't come from somewhere that excites a lot of interest. Good point. Low profile is best profile.
Brecqhou? Of course not. Sir

Buddy can you lend me a *Squillion?




*Note: I don't know if a "Squillion" is a real monetary figure. Never used to be, but????? Just keep adding zeros until it stops meaning anything
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Old 19-04-2009, 11:56   #21
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Hang on. I'll look in me pocket.
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Old 20-04-2009, 10:50   #22
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Well now. That's all clearified. I have a UK work permit and will be crossing to London in July where I have a berth reserved. My boat, a Columbia 41 (1974), is a documented US vessel. So, if I stay in the UK perminently will I have to pay VAT (or something) at some point? Will I need to obtain UK documentation for the boat? I have a bill of sale from the most recent previous owner but more distant owners are unknown to me.
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Old 20-04-2009, 11:50   #23
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Well now. That's all clearified. I have a UK work permit and will be crossing to London in July where I have a berth reserved. My boat, a Columbia 41 (1974), is a documented US vessel. So, if I stay in the UK perminently will I have to pay VAT (or something) at some point? Will I need to obtain UK documentation for the boat? I have a bill of sale from the most recent previous owner but more distant owners are unknown to me.
If you are an EU resident, you have not right to use the temporary importation regime, which allows you 18 months at a time VAT-free. Living in the UK on a work permit will definitely make you a tax resident, and I am guessing that this makes you a resident for temporary-import purposes too.

But I would check to be sure. Conceivably there is a higher standard in the U.K. In Spain, as we know from the misadventures of fellow forumers, the standard is lower -- physical presence for six months out of 12, no working necessary.

Paying VAT might not be the end of the world -- if you ever plan on selling the boat in the U.K. you will get (most of) it back, eventually.
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Old 20-04-2009, 13:13   #24
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[quote=Dockhead;275722]If you are an EU resident, you have not right to use the temporary importation regime, which allows you 18 months at a time VAT-free.


Come again?
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Old 20-04-2009, 13:34   #25
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Well now. That's all clearified. I have a UK work permit and will be crossing to London in July where I have a berth reserved. My boat, a Columbia 41 (1974), is a documented US vessel. So, if I stay in the UK perminently will I have to pay VAT (or something) at some point? Will I need to obtain UK documentation for the boat? I have a bill of sale from the most recent previous owner but more distant owners are unknown to me.
Ok, first my disclaimer - I do not know exactly what I am talking about - but I try not to let minor details like that stop me...........


UK work permit sounds like you will become a genuine UK (EU) resident (rather than a transient cruiser). My understanding (!) is that you will therefore be allowed to import your personal second hand goods - and that includes a boat - into the EU without paying any import duties or VAT. I beleive there may be a requirement to not then re-sell these goods within the EU within a certain time frame - but I am a bit fuzzy on that. and could be plain wrong To (formally) import your goods their will no doubt be a formal procedure - no idea what With a bit of luck you will get a piece of paper specifically relating to the boat that says she is regarded as VAT paid, which would be very useful to be able to waive at a buyer in the future. I highly recomend you check out and understand the rules before arriving with the boat.

In the UK their is no requirement to register either your ownership or use of a boat with anyone At the moment anyway. So the fact she is documented / registered in the US of A does not affect her UK registration (because their is no need for any!).

Given that the boat will need to be registered when going to other EU (and non EU) countries I would stick with the US registration. The US flag won't attract any negative problems, probably more a curiousity thing from fellow boat owners - save perhaps your paperwork may (or may not?) get looked over a tad more because you appear "foreign" (not because of being US) - but if all in order (and no reason why not) then not a problem......

.......however if the US flag does turn out to be a PITA in practice or you are later looking to sell within the UK / EU (and simply want to make the paperwork look less foreign for the locals ) then you can always register her in the UK later. I beleive that to be registered on the Part 1 UK register she would need to give up her US registration, not so sure on the Part 3, but I strongly suspect so.

As I said before, the above is only my understanding - so maybe not 100% accurate , but should give you a good heads up for your Googles.
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Old 20-04-2009, 13:40   #26
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Just checked my Favourites - bit of an old Website (2004) - no idea how accurate it was / is.......but the phrase "Transfer of Residence relief (TOR)" is what I was banging on about

Their are also a couple of links that should help you explore further........

VAT and Your Boat
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Old 20-04-2009, 13:56   #27
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[quote=Sam Plan B;275740]
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If you are an EU resident, you have not right to use the temporary importation regime, which allows you 18 months at a time VAT-free.


Come again?

NO right. The temporary importation regime is for non-residents, non-citizens, that is -- visiting yachtsmen.

But pay attention to the following comments, for another possible loophole.
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Old 20-04-2009, 14:47   #28
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having done the bringing US flagged boats into the uk/ eu twice now, this is what I think I know.
If you are a resident ( at least of the UK) and have owned the vessel for more than one year you can bring her to the UK as a personal possesion, and she is regarded as tax paid. This does not apply if you are not a resident. One will have the same clearance and customs requirements on a UK or US registered vessel in all of the EU outside the UK. TO register on part 1 of the SSR you MUST be resident in the UK, if its a copropration, it MUST have at least one UK resident officer. THe part 3 of the SSR is recognized the world over as official documentation, even if it is only a small laminated card, but you MUST be a resident of the UK ( but, and in no way am I suggesting that you do this, if you can supply a UK address, perhaps of a friend, they will not check, as long as your post is accepted there).
Having a US flag will make no difference in any of the EU with regards to political concerns, most of the populace is pro- American, and understnds that you are not your government. As a US flagged vessel you are given 18 months inside the EU ( but I would not spend more than 183 days in France, Spain or Italy, where the residency requirements overrule the customs regulations). IF you are in spain, voyaging over to Morocco and back will reset the 183 day clock. Some people have gone to Gib, but oftentimes the Spanish will say that is not leaving the EU ( esp. as they have a claim to Gib).
The esiest method is to keep a US registration and bring the boat to either the UK, or to Turkey, which A/ has some of the finest sailing in the world and B/ is fleixible in terms of how long you stay.
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Old 05-06-2009, 22:10   #29
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THere is a lot of mis-information and some thruths here

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The rules say, however, that foreigners are not entitled to fly the Red Ensign unless they are established in the U.K. -- that is, permanent residents.
Nope a british registered boat either SSR or part I flies the Uk ensign, end of story

Quote:
I haven't looked at the SSR requirements for a while, I recall that it is solely for British Nationals (plus a few others from the Colonies?) but apart from having a UK address (to send your documents to) I don't know whether they actually check up on this
Yes but other EU officials are mighly supecious of SSR vessels with owners with non UK passports - be warned.

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Of course an important thing to bear in mind is that where the boat is registered has zero to do with her VAT status! Therefore no reason why you cannot change her Reg to the USA - she will not automatically lose her VAT paid status for that. Obviously hanging the stars and stripes off her stern will make her look a little bit more non EU than a Red Ensign and therefore more likely to be non VAT in the eyes of an EU customs officer - but your passport will do pretty much the same anyway......the important thing on the VAT is to have the documentary evidence that the VAT has been paid.
VAT is a transaction charge , assets dont get a VAT stautus its the associated transactions that acquire VAT, ie sales, importation , disposals etc, The important thing for an EU tax resident is to show that the boat is not being imported , ie to show that its already resides in an EU member state. Then its VAT status is the jurisdiction of that state, the french have no jurisdiction in VAT over a UK boat for example. that a row that has to be with the UK.


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Some UK folk with UK boats can be very relaxed on the VAT documentation side of things - and opinions do vary accross the web - but I would never buy a UK boat without being able to prove she had been VAT paid
Proof of VAT paid is an URBAN MYTH. No such offical document exists, what you have to prove is that the boat is legimately in a EU member state, so say in france you are trying to prove that your UK boat is in the UK. Then VAT is a UK isssue. ( wther the boat is Vat paid or not is not within the frenchs jurisdiction), proff in the form of marina bills, service invoices, bills of sale are what is needed. Registration is a major help and is the main way to show legimate EU presence of the vessel.

VAT inspections of boats is extremely rare, it mainlyh happens because other documents are faulty or non-existent. The RYA responding to some histerical UK VAT cries on forums, mainly reguritating third hand rumors, investigated actual VAT problems first hand, They found ONE foreign issue. I have sailed in and out of french and spainish ports for years and never been asked for VAT. They french in my experience are the least inquisitive, ONCE your basic paperwork is right ( ie insurance , VHF license, registration and competency certs). They are mainly concnered about drugs interdiction not VAT. ( at sea always fly your ensign, even at night and out of sight of land and ensure that the nationality and home port are readily visible as the french fly spotter planes to investigate yachts particulary on the atlantic coasts.

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A couple of points, everything David says is correct. But if you are keeping the boat in the EU under a US flag she will have to leave I think it is once a year,
No, its depends on whether you can prove that its already propoerly in the EU, the flag is irreevelant. If you are a non EU tax resident that you can avail of the Temporary Importation procedures and keep the boat in the EU for 18 months extendable to 24 months without paying customs duties and VAT. This option is not open to EU tax residents.

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With EU VAT paid, I don't have to clear into customs every time I enter a new EU port? This is most confusing.
clearing in to customs is to do with immigration not the boat. This is determined by the nationality of the crew not the flag of the vessel.

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is that simply because a boat is VAT paid does not mean it can avoid clearing customs IF their is any other reason to (say, from being a non-EU registered vessel) - just that it means the outcome of such a customs clearance would not in 2 years time include a bill for VAT

I think that is one to Google for a US registered yacht arriving from the US (and ignoring the VAT issue) simply for the customs clearance procedures for the boat.
boy David , living in Jersey has confused your brain, you are mixing up crew immigration and asset importation issues, ( not to mention flag registration) they are seperate and different.

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but I suspect US folk wandering around the EU for any great length of time need a visa in at least some EU countries - and from my recollection their is no EU wide VISA scheme
outside of UK and Ireland, US visitors are ONLY allowed 90 days in and 180 to vist all schengen countries ie, the EU, Ireland and teh UK will give them seperately upto 6 months. There is no extended visas, except work, or study visas, and these make you a tax residence immediately. ( in general). The schengen visa is a EU wide visa, US citizens have a wavier from applying for the visa , but are subject to its rules.

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Out of choice I would go for a UK company for simplicity. The downside is cost if done 100% proffesionally
DO NOT wrap a boat up in a UK company unless you know exactly what you are doing, The UK is one of the EU's most forcefull implementor of laws and procedures.


Quote:
One of the problems that you are up against, is that just about every Country in Europe has different legislation - or, interprets the legislation in a different manner. Forget this "EU" thingy being about harmonisation of laws. Most have adopted the EU laws, and kept their own ones as well.
Rubbish more nonsense. EU tax law is well defined. But all EU directives allow member states considerable freedom as to how they go about implomenting the EU directives, Teh UK for example tends to go over the top and implement very stingent rules and enforcement and other countries less so.

Outside of VAT which is a EU wide tax law ( and is the main way that the EU finances itsself, it takes most of the members VAT receipts), other taxes are at the discresion of members states the EU has no input into assets taxes, wealth taxes, income taxes, unless those taxes inhibit the movement of good and services , hence why Greece had to repeal its boat tax and the spainish matriculation tax is being critically looked at by brussles and its likely to go. ( in time).

EU law is superiour to national law and has to be implemented nationally.

Quote:
Your VAT paid status, applies throughout Europe, unless, you physically sell the boat outside of Europe, in which case the VAT lapses. VAT has no bearing on flag, other than, on a registered British vessel it must be VAT paid.

MYTH- There are many cases where EU boats are legitimately VAT free, such as VAT registered business or people etc.

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You still have to do customs and immigration clearances at each "port of entry" to each Country
This only applies to non EU crew. within schengen there is no requirement for EU crew to clear into ports. ( though its often a good idea). Schengen rules only apply to entry via commercial methods , airports, seaports, roads, private yachts are not covered, so countries can vary the Schengen entry rules for yachts ( Greece does)

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The moral seems to be to move about a bit, never spending more than six months in each country, other than the UK where if you are an American, no one seems to give a toss
More misinformation, Teh UK authorities also have the 183 days rule and are as vigilant or even more so then other countries, Spain being one of the least vigilant.Note unless you are a EU citizen, you cannot spend 6 months in any EU country anyway.

Quote:
For boats, as distinguished from their owners, if I understand the regime correctly, the important thing is VAT. If VAT is not paid, then a boat can be used in EU waters based on being temporarily imported for up to 18 months. But if VAT is paid, as in my case, then whether the flag is U.K., U.S., or Somalian, the boat is legal forever (not her owner, however, who has to respect the immigration regime according to his citizenship!), unless she is sold outside of the EU, in which case her VAT status is extinguished.
The 18 month rule applies to non-EU tax residents only, not the flag of the boat., VAt is not extenguished or gained on an asset it is a function of the transaction, the reason VAT is "extinguished" ( so called) on a boat sold outside the EU, is that the DEFAULT position is that all items imported into teh EU are vatable , EVERY time there are imported, but certain reliefs are availabke that allow goods to be be exported and imported without incurring an importation charge . VAt is not "extinguioshed" on teh asset, it is due everytime that asset is imported into teh EU unless its qualifies for relief.

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this schengen visa can be obtained in any schengen member state. just choose the one with the less difficulties
Schengen visas are required for certain countries not in the visas waiver scheme. You must apply to a Schengen country through that countries embassy IN YOUR COUNTRY. you cant get a schengen vias for a south african in a US based french consulate for example.

Quote:
If you are an EU resident, you have not right to use the temporary importation regime, which allows you 18 months at a time VAT-free. Living in the UK on a work permit will definitely make you a tax resident, and I am guessing that this makes you a resident for temporary-import purposes too.

But I would check to be sure. Conceivably there is a higher standard in the U.K. In Spain, as we know from the misadventures of fellow forumers, the standard is lower -- physical presence for six months out of 12, no working necessary.
if you intend to be domiciled in the UK , then you may ( MAY) be abled to bring in your personal possesions including a boat VAT free into the EU. This is not the same as being a tax resident. you must provide prrof that you intend to live in the EU country in question.
IF YOU ARE A EU TAX RESIDENT YOU DO NOT QUALIFY FOR TI. if you dont fall under the TOR rules instant VAT is due on importation.( your allowed enough tiome to get top the bank and back to customs !).

As to the UK higher or lower standards , I dont know what you mean, The UK is more vigilant , dogged, resourced and enforced then spain is that is what you mean, Your likely to dodge in spain, but not in the UK, ask all the brits living under the radar in Marbella for an opinion. "physical presence" in the UK of 183 days is sufficient to make you a tax resident of the UK, It must as legitmately you cant be now a tourist as that is only allowed for 180 days. ( see it all fits together),

Quote:
Paying VAT might not be the end of the world -- if you ever plan on selling the boat in the U.K. you will get (most of) it back, eventually.
its almost impossible to reclaim VAT on anything that remains in the EU. forget it

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With a bit of luck you will get a piece of paper specifically relating to the boat that says she is regarded as VAT paid
NO you get a piece of paper saying you have complied with TOR, its EU wide, but can be examined by other EU customs agents. You would be advised then to register the boat in your new EU domicile as in SSR for UK to show that the boat is legimately in the EU, remember that the issue not the VAT. ( you sorted that with the UK for example).

Quote:
As a US flagged vessel you are given 18 months inside the EU
NOT if you are EU tax resident. The flag of teh vessel is irrevelant.

Quote:
( but I would not spend more than 183 days in France, Spain or Italy, where the residency requirements overrule the customs regulations).
183 applies in almost all EU countries including the UK

Quote:
IF you are in spain, voyaging over to Morocco and back will reset the 183 day clock. Some people have gone to Gib, but oftentimes the Spanish will say that is not leaving the EU ( esp. as they have a claim to Gib).
The spainish are completely correct in ignoring GIB, or for that matter, The channel island, canaries etc. The Tempory importation rules apply to areas deemed within the "Customs union of the EU", these place are so within , they merely VAT free status, Certain wierd places like Helgioland , Ceuta etc, are outside the custom union, so in theory crossing to Ceuta will stop the VAT clock. The GIB thing has nothing to do with spainish claims. its just the TI law. ( more myths) GIB as in Jersey is IN the EU, it just has some special excemptions, GIB should never be considered as being outside the EU

Quote:
The esiest method is to keep a US registration and bring the boat to either the UK, or to Turkey, which A/ has some of the finest sailing in the world and B/ is fleixible in terms of how long you stay.
The UK is not any more lenient in my experience, Turkey or Croatia are possibilities but be careful of very long term stays. ( over a year). remember if you are a EU tax resident andthe boat has not been imported into the EU , you will have to pay VAT immediately you sail from Turkey into an EU port. also teh relief from VAt on importation expires after three years so even if you have paid VAT you could have to pay it again ( your can petition for an extension and basically cry on the local customs agents should , the law allows some discretion, good luck to you).

phew
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:49   #30
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phew
Phew indeed

A lot of what you write I agree with / sounds reasonable / I have no idea on

But would have been nice for my comments to have been read / understood in context.

I must remember that the next time either me (or my father) get our papers inspected in France by the Customs - including for VAT - that it is not really happening. I will also advise my Father to throw away his confirmation of VAT paid from UK Customs as it does not exist (albeit I appreciate that they no longer issue these). Me I can prove she was UK built pre VAT, have evidence that she lived in the UK before I bought her within the UK and she is still registered their. In practice, and all together, this has worked for me.

But as always, experiances vary - and I appreciate that UK folk with a UK reg boat may attract less interest.

Whilst I do not profess to be an expert on VAT matters (life is too short ) I do read on the internet a few folk being particularly vocal in saying "don't worry" about the VAT. Not quite sure why some folk seem to want to push this idea so keenly - well, not unless their is money to be made selling VAT unpaid boats to folk.........now there's an idea
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