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Old 25-01-2015, 22:11   #1
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Cruising But Not The Registered Owner

Hi All
I am looking for a bit of advice in problems that we may or may not encounter in the following situation. My parents who are UK based are looking at purchasing a VAT paid boat on a French Caribbean Island. Now myself (their son and family) we are also from the UK but to complicate things are currently residents of NZ and we would be the ones sailing the boat. Our plans are not definite yet either sail the boat to Europe or back here to NZ. So the questions: As they (parents) would only be on board some of the time are we likely to encounter problems clearing in/out on a boat we are not the owners of? The boat would be flagged British and we know the rules if we bring it to NZ so we are more looking for information if anyone has for e.g crossed the Pacific in a boat that they are not the registered owner of? We may be looking for problems here that don't exist but this seems a great place to ask.
Or if we sail it back to Europe we could enter with our UK passports and show the VAT paid status but again as we are not the owner would there be any issues?
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Old 26-01-2015, 00:13   #2
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Boat: Jeanneau 57
Posts: 1,628
Re: Cruising But Not The Registered Owner

Before finishing the contract and purchasing the boat your parents need to check the transfer of VAT status. Specifically, if the transfer of ownership occurs while the boat is out of EU-Waters then the VAT status is irrevocably lost - this happened to me. Depending upon which island the boat is in, it is likely that it is part of the EU but not part of the EU VAT-table / taxable area (for customs purposes they are not considered part of the EU) and your VAT status will most likely be lost.
The second part is easy, many boats are owned by corporations (for tax reasons) and the acting skipper/crew, who might be the real owners, have a letter of permission from their own corporation to operate the vessel. This is done all the time. The same thing happens when boats are chartered, their owners don't operate it.
-Zanshin (SV Zanshin)
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Old 26-01-2015, 01:51   #3
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Re: Cruising But Not The Registered Owner

Thanks for the reply. Yes I have just found the information and it seems all the French Caribbean Islands whilst under the EU are outside the VAT table. Wonder why they even bother to advertise them as VAT paid in this part of the world if the status is lost on the sale.
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