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Old 03-12-2017, 01:03   #1
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EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

If a Canadian bought a EU used boat, VAT paid and registered in Canada (I know the Canadian issues) can it stay in the EU without paying taxes as the VAT has been paid?
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:08   #2
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

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If a Canadian bought a EU used boat, VAT paid and registered in Canada (I know the Canadian issues) can it stay in the EU without paying taxes as the VAT has been paid?


As far as I know, if the sale takes place in the EU, yes. The boat then keeps its vat paid status.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:21   #3
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

Yes, btw registration and VAT payments are completely separate. However, just be aware that taking the boat out of the EU for more than 3 years may cause problems and selling the boat outside of the EU certainly means she looses any VAT paid status.

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Old 03-12-2017, 01:38   #4
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

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If a Canadian bought a EU used boat, VAT paid and registered in Canada (I know the Canadian issues) can it stay in the EU without paying taxes as the VAT has been paid?
Keep it canadian vlagged and ther will be no isseu, stil has to pay taxes for tourisme and in some country s like croatie you have to get a licence to sail from the police, you need to keep your paperwork in good order
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:58   #5
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

So at which point exactly does tax become payable? Say boat is bought in Canada, owner is German, registers it in Germany .. never physically brings it to EU. No tax is due. Correct? Only what? Upon entry to the EU if he ever sails there? Or after being in the EU for a period of time ? (is that the 18 months thing?)
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:05   #6
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

In this instance VAT will be due the minute the German steps foot in the Azores, which used to have a preferential VAT rate to encourage this and it meant they got the money rather than another country down the line.

There might be one exception, if the German is permanently re-locating back to the EU then he or she could bring back "chattels" (possessions) without VAT but and its a big but, Customs might disagree charge VAT and let you appeal for your money back.

It would be nice if every country in the EU had the same VAT rules. Without a huge study into each country I couldn't say if this is true. Instead I suspect that the rules are broadly similar and each country respects the rights of other countries to collect VAT with their own system. After all they can't even agree on a single VAT rate., more some items, books and childrens cloths are either VAT exempt or at a reduced rate which also varies.

Have a look at some of the different VAT rates:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...ates-in-europe

However, at least VAT for most people who pay retail is a one off charge for an item like a boat whilst some US counties charge at every sale occurrence.

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Old 03-12-2017, 08:37   #7
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

The UK RYa sight is a great source of validated information.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:06   #8
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

The original question was "If a Canadian bought a EU used boat, VAT paid and registered in Canada (I know the Canadian issues) can it stay in the EU without paying taxes as the VAT has been paid" but that question has morphed into a few different answers to different questions.

My understanding is as follows:
- an EU VAT paid boat remains VAT paid as long as (i) it is out of the EU for no more than 3 years; or (ii) there is no sale of the boat from a non-EU resident to another non-EU resident. Either of these circumstances result in the loss of VAT paid status.
- If a non-VAT paid boat is brought into the EU it depends on the residence of the owner(s) as to how long it can stay before VAT is charged. If the owner is an EU resident the boat can stay in in the EU for up to 30 days before VAT is due; if the owner is not an EU resident you can stay for up to 18 months before VAT is due [note: it's not unusual for people to move the boat out of the EU after, say, 17 months for 1+ nights and as long as they have a receipt showing the boat was outside the EU the 18 months clock is restarted from the date it re-entered the EU].

Clearly the financial implications of this could be substantial so I would recommend someone obtain their own legal advice to ensure they're not hit with a v expensive bill.
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Old 03-12-2017, 18:01   #9
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

Thanks all.......I can reregister Canadian and as long as it stays out of Canada no tax is paid, and I can keep it in EU without having to jump the border (the boat I mean, I only have 90 days in 180) this may be workable........
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:07   #10
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

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So at which point exactly does tax become payable? Say boat is bought in Canada, owner is German, registers it in Germany .. never physically brings it to EU. No tax is due. Correct? Only what? Upon entry to the EU if he ever sails there? Or after being in the EU for a period of time ? (is that the 18 months thing?)
Everything starts when you import the boat into the EU.

EU Resident: VAT is due the minute it is imported (with some exceptions if you are moving to the EU).

Non-EU Resident: 18 month temporary import is allowed without paying VAT. There are exceptions to increase the duration if you aren't using the boat for periods of time and you can reset the clock by taking it out of the EU.

There are some technicalities but that's the general principal.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:13   #11
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

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(ii) there is no sale of the boat from a non-EU resident to another non-EU resident. Either of these circumstances result in the loss of VAT paid status.
I've followed this subject for a while and I haven't heard this one before. Do you have a source?

Worst case, I'm sure you could do a sham sale from the 1st Non-EU resident to an EU resident (say the broker) who immediately sells it to the 2nd non-EU resident for the same price which incurs no VAT nor profit, so other than a little paperwork would seem to avoid the whole issue...but again, never heard of this before, so without a source, I'm inclined not to worry about it.

PS: Key point for readers: There is a difference between an EU citizen and an EU resident. An EU citizen might not reside in the EU and non-EU citizens may reside in the EU.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:10   #12
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pirate Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

Theres no problem with the VAT.. its pretty much as Pete7 stated however.. what one has to watch out for is basing yourself in certain countries for to long as you could then be hit for local import taxes..
Spain is one country where this has happened and Greece is another and there may be others.
EG.. If I bring a UK registered car to Spain for example the fact I am an EU citizen means nothing.. I have to either take it out country every year or run into import tax problems and compulsory registration.. same in Portugal and its not cheap..
Stay on the move and winter in different countries and you should be fine..
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:38   #13
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I've followed this subject for a while and I haven't heard this one before. Do you have a source?

Worst case, I'm sure you could do a sham sale from the 1st Non-EU resident to an EU resident (say the broker) who immediately sells it to the 2nd non-EU resident for the same price which incurs no VAT nor profit, so other than a little paperwork would seem to avoid the whole issue...but again, never heard of this before, so without a source, I'm inclined not to worry about it.

PS: Key point for readers: There is a difference between an EU citizen and an EU resident. An EU citizen might not reside in the EU and non-EU citizens may reside in the EU.
A sailor I met and subsequently spent a while with over summer & winter last year reviewed this situation in great detail as he was buying a French VAT paid boat to be registered in Canada and he wanted to be certain that VAT status held. He obtained a detailed legal opinion from a maritime lawyer with expertise in this area who detailed the circumstances in which the loss of VAT paid status occurs [one of which was the sale from a non-EU resident to another non-EU resident]. While I haven't seen the legal opinion the owner is a very focussed person when required who is on top of all the details when it matters. Our discussion made it clear to me he had a strong understanding of exactly what the expert legal opinion stated.

While I would place some worth on the above, it is of course up to everyone to do their own investigations.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:53   #14
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

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Originally Posted by LACHLANC View Post
A sailor I met and subsequently spent a while with over summer & winter last year reviewed this situation in great detail as he was buying a French VAT paid boat to be registered in Canada and he wanted to be certain that VAT status held. He obtained a detailed legal opinion from a maritime lawyer with expertise in this area who detailed the circumstances in which the loss of VAT paid status occurs [one of which was the sale from a non-EU resident to another non-EU resident]. While I haven't seen the legal opinion the owner is a very focussed person when required who is on top of all the details when it matters. Our discussion made it clear to me he had a strong understanding of exactly what the expert legal opinion stated.

While I would place some worth on the above, it is of course up to everyone to do their own investigations.
OK, quite possible. Just that this subject comes up about once a month and never saw it before.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:11   #15
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Re: EU boat reregistered outside EU can it stay in the EU tax free?

The EU VAT applies only to Owners who are EU Citizens and sail with the vessel in EU waters.

VAT paid means nothing except the VAT was paid in an EU country., Canadian VAT paid does not qualify for that status.

As EU citizen and owner you must be able to provide an original (not a copy) invoice with VAT statement, then you are fine - or you register the boat to a company / business - than the VAT is refundable / deductible.

If you leave EU waters for longer than 3 years you might lose the VAT status and have to re-import the vessel and pay the import taxes + VAT again.

This depends on the authorities: you can ask for a extension of that period due to necessary repairs, some authorities accept also the preservation of the VAT status, if the owner has not changed (the vessel was in the EU during and after the purchase, the owner sails for an extended period and returns to EU waters without re-selling the boat in the mean time).

This laws are differently interpreted and enforced in different countries. The EU law says 3 years maximum out side EU waters...

The VAT stuff is very complicated, especially because the entry port of the first EU country can claim the VAT and import taxes and not the country of the citizen, so some are really eager to squeeze money out and it is difficult to sue the authorities in a foreign country.
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