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Old 08-09-2012, 11:33   #1
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Flag & Registration of EU Exported Boat

Hi all, I'm also confused about what I should do with my new boat.
I'm a Dutch citizen and I have a business in Gibraltar. I intend to buy a new EU boat and take her to the Caribbean where she will go into charter management for a few years. I don't want to pay VAT on the purchase and I understand I can't bring the boat back to the EU without paying the tax.

Should I just flag her in Holland, in my private name, and export her?
Should I flag her in Gibraltar, in name of my company?
Or is an EU flag not a good idea if I am not paying VAT?
In this case is a BVI company and flag a good option?

Does the fact that she will chartered affect the choice?
Does the fact that in 2 years time I will no longer charter her and live aboard affect the choice?

Complicated! Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old 08-09-2012, 15:12   #2
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Re: Flag & Registration of EU Exported Boat

You have a business in Gibraltar and are about to enter a second business in the charter trade.

Perhaps you might consider hiring a tax accountant to look at these and other issues? There might be longer-term considerations than simply what you have to pay now, and when or if the boat returns.
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Old 09-09-2012, 00:19   #3
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We have an accountant of course but this is not about tax. I think the flag and registration does not affect the tax status of the boat.
If I bring her back to Europe eventually VAT will have to be paid. But the plan is to charter her for a couple of years then live aboard.
My problem here is choosing between the three options for the boat with regards to practicality, ease of ownership, safety etc.
Perhaps there are issues I am not aware of and I would appreciate informed views on these options... To me it still seems complicated!
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:23   #4
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Once you export her within a month and assuming she's new you can buy her without vat. Or at the very least reclaim the vat once she's exported.

Registration has no real effect on vat

Dave
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:51   #5
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Thanks Dave. I know I have several options here but no matter how much I google I just can't find any information to help me take a decision.
Would I have problems later cruising if I check in to new countries with a Gibraltar company owned boat? Isn't it just simpler to have her in my name?
I'm not sure if there are any reasons not to put her in my name...
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:55   #6
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Re: Flag & Registration of EU Exported Boat

Dave, if you flag the boat in Holland, which charges VAT, can you still export the boat and retain the Dutch flag status? My home town hasn't been Dutch since the 1600's so I'm not current on the law. It would just seem very possible that if the boat has been exported, it isn't "home ported" in Holland any more, which might lead to a conflict on title eligibility versus VAT export status.

That's the kind of "gotcha" that a tax attorney or accountant should know about. Different countries, different considerations, business versus pleasure use, and so on. For example in the US, the tax status (income taxes) on properties including real estate and boats can change based on how many days the owner is in residence or rents it out. Folks who haven't been owners of "rental" properties before often get a nasty surprise. Since you're dealing with a potentially more complicated situation, there might be other landmines in it for you.
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Old 09-09-2012, 17:48   #7
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Yes you can flag her in holland and still export her vat free. Usually you arrange with the dealer and hell do the paperwork. Then you get agreement with customs and they either approve the bat waiver or return the vat after proof of export.

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