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Old 22-09-2010, 06:11   #1
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EU VAT Paid on Non-EU Registered Yacht

Maybe this is such a stupid idea that it has never been discussed or considered here before, but...

There is a British registered yacht that is vat paid and is for sale in Greece that interests me. If I was to buy it then I would have to register it elsewhere as I am not from the UK or reside there.

I think I have two registration options, Sweden, where I live or Australia, where I am from. I would prefer to fly the Austrailan rather than the Swedish flag.

Swedish registration is an option, but as the yacht is over 12 meters, I need to have the Swedish coastal skipper licence. It does not seem that the RYA equivelent is accepted and I will have to struggle (very badly and probaly fail) doing the Swedish course unless I can arrange the course in English I assume that if I am flying the Swedish flag I must comply with Swedish laws, even if the boat never enters Sweden.

Ultimately I want to take the boat to Australia so registering it there would make some sense.

Will the act of registering the yacht outside of the EU void it's vat paid status and start the 18 month clock? Will foreign registration and EU-vat paid documentation cause no end of hassles within the EU? If the move to Australia does not eventuate and I decide to sell it here, would I (or the new owner) need to pay vat on the boat again?

I can save all of these hassels by finding a yacht of 11.99m or less, but that is not as much fun.

Anybody got any input, insight or experience with something like this?
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Old 22-09-2010, 07:08   #2
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I do have one data point, from a Brit who I talked to this week. If a VAT paid boat is taken outside the EU and sold, the new owner has to pay VAT again if it returns to the EU. Thats a bit harsh...
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Old 22-09-2010, 07:23   #3
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I do have one data point, from a Brit who I talked to this week. If a VAT paid boat is taken outside the EU and sold, the new owner has to pay VAT again if it returns to the EU. Thats a bit harsh...
I have seen that too, which is why I have a feeling that this was a pointless question to ask.
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Old 22-09-2010, 08:56   #4
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I can agree, from painful experience, that Don is correct about having to pay VAT twice.

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Old 22-09-2010, 09:15   #5
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If the UK registered boat is VAT paid and you wish to transfer ownership, the boat must physically be in UK waters when the sale is actually performed otherwise the VAT paid status is lost.
As a citizen of a EU country, you can get a mailing address in the UK and keep your UK boat registry. Transferring full UK registry from one person to another is simple and cheap, even the MMSI transferral is a "piece of cake" and doesn't cost anything. I can check if you wish, but I think I only paid GBP50 all-told in re-registration fees and much of that was due to my wanting to change the ship name and port of registry.
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Old 22-09-2010, 12:54   #6
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If the UK registered boat is VAT paid and you wish to transfer ownership, the boat must physically be in UK waters when the sale is actually performed otherwise the VAT paid status is lost.
Are you sure about that? I could imagine them doing that if the boat is outside of the EU, but this sounds like it would go against some or perhaps many EU laws.

The whole VAT thing in the EU sounds like it is a pain in the arse. Why can't they do it like cars, arrggghhh
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Old 23-09-2010, 06:20   #7
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Swedish registration is an option, but as the yacht is over 12 meters, I need to have the Swedish coastal skipper licence.
If it is over 12 meters and more than 4 meters wide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
I assume that if I am flying the Swedish flag I must comply with Swedish laws, even if the boat never enters Sweden.
Probably but who would check? You wont find any Swedish coastguard outside Sweden.
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Old 24-09-2010, 07:28   #8
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If the UK registered boat is VAT paid and you wish to transfer ownership, the boat must physically be in UK waters when the sale is actually performed otherwise the VAT paid status is lost.
As a citizen of a EU country, you can get a mailing address in the UK and keep your UK boat registry.
No No and No.


A Yacht having VAT paid status ( theres actually no such definition), remains VAT paid as long as it isnt exported from the EU. The flag state ( for a private yacht) is irrelevant. Hence a UK VAt Paid boat does not become non-VAT if it remains inside the Customs Union.

If you export the boat from the EU, you are allowed to reimport it into the EU as long as you dont sell it outside the EU. This is known as "returned Goods Relief".

Hence if you want to retain the VAT status the sale need to take place inside the EU Customs union terrority.

As to the advice in realtion to UK registry. It is technically illegal , as the legislation requires that you be "established" in the UK.

Note that transfer of registry is not as easily as mentioned, especially if your boat is on the SSR in the UK as this isnt recognised as a registery by many countries.

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The whole VAT thing in the EU sounds like it is a pain in the arse. Why can't they do it like cars, arrggghhh
ogh God no, thats far more complex, you should see the rules for transferring cars from country to country. Sheeeh

Hence if you meet the requirements for Australian registration then do so. ( However make sure you can show that the VAT has been paid.)

Secondly , if you are a tax resident of Sweden, you may "need" to abide by the rules for Swedish yachts, irrespective of all other things.

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:27   #9
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VAT paid twice

[QUOTE=fishwife;525995]I can agree, from painful experience, that Don is correct about having to pay VAT twice.
Fishwife - please elucidate on your experience.

Involved in case of seller refusing to accept the possibility of a boat losing vat paid status. Boat spent 7 years based outside EU and changed registration from UK to Jersey, Channel Islands while based there.

Owned by non-EU resident and undeclared at re-import to EU.
Boat was VAT paid 20 years ago but is now not VAT paid.

He doesn't get it.

Grateful for any details of your story.
Regards,
plato-gb
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:46   #10
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hoppy i can tell you of a way to have it british flagged on the ssr register but not on here

my yacht is in greece has been for donkeys yrs and i am a aussie with only an aussie passport and my yacht is legally ssr registered
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:29   #11
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after nearly getting sick from my head going around and around so much looking at so many boats, I have finally found THE ONE for me

It is the British register yacht I started this thread about. It is 12.20m so I will have to make the extra effort if I am to fly the Swedish flag.

I think I will keep it British registered initially (using a friends address), at least long enough to move it to the other side of Greece before winterising it. Then I think I will de-register from the UK, rename it and make her Swedish.

Now I just need to figure out how much to offer and so on..
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:27   #12
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As to the advice in realtion to UK registry. It is technically illegal , as the legislation requires that you be "established" in the UK.
That's correct. Although this rule is widely flaunted, I wouldn't risk it (using the friend's address).

You can, however, register the boat in the name of a UK company and so keep it UK registered and fly the Red Duster.

It's not that much trouble and not too much expense (under 100 pounds a year) and THIS is perfectly legal.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:13   #13
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That's correct. Although this rule is widely flaunted, I wouldn't risk it (using the friend's address).

You can, however, register the boat in the name of a UK company and so keep it UK registered and fly the Red Duster.

It's not that much trouble and not too much expense (under 100 pounds a year) and THIS is perfectly legal.
That is why I will switch, however as it is late in the season and will be even later when/if the deal is done, I don't want to delay the move to Lefkas waiting for the registration to be changed. Worst case I will use one of my british friends to put it in their name.

I will use a British skipper (from my B39 charter) to help me move it.


But first I need to make the offer and get the ball rolling
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:52   #14
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Buy the boat LESS than 18 months prior to sailing away.

If you have the 18+ months horizon, why not take the Swedish exam?

BTW I think the exam can be taken in English. Ask at SXK.

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Old 09-10-2010, 13:18   #15
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Note irrespective of your Australian birth if you are living in Sweden you are established in the EU hence there is no 18 month exception for you. Ensure you don't loose vat status as you will immediately be due vat on entry into any EU country. Though if you have proof of previous vat paid status you will never be challenged on it.

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