Absolute rubbish. eU boats have no contact with customs. It's only if there is an inspection
and they are rare. Since Eu boats don't have to clear customs in the conventional sense it doesn't happen. customs has no role in Inspecting EU boaters on arrival into a port that only applies to foreign boats It's a customs union remember
Everyone thinks they heard someone tell someone about someone who got asked. Yet the RYA ran a members survey
and it transpired thoses actually experiencing it was tiny
This leaves aside those people dodging vat. The question the OP posed was ordinary compliant EU boaters being asked to show proof of VAt.
Furthermore anyway if you are in the EU registered boat of a particular country VAT is only an issue for that country. For example France
can not enforce UK VAT rules nor collect UK VAT .
Most VAT inspections happen where non VAT yachts from counties just outside the EU ( channel islands a d Croatia
come to mind ) Are found to be owned by EU nationals. This tends to trigger a VAT inspection
In the vast vast majority of European boaters merely having your boat on your national register shows the boat has been correctly imported or purchased in the EU as most registers will seek proof of VAT status before issuing registration
Not to mention there is no official proof of VAT anyway. There's nothing that is verifiable by a foreign customs agent on the spot. It's a bogey man story that has never been backed by fact
The only case I knew was where there was a funny
in the registration
and in doing so the authorities went through the whole gamut of the paperwork. But here there was something funny
in the ownership
that triggered it.