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Old 04-12-2013, 00:05   #1
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Question Out of water in France

My US flagged sailboat ran into engine problems shortly after cruising into the EU and France and is currently out of water. I can stay in the EU for 18 months without paying the value added tax but any time out of water for repairs can be deducted. Does anyone know the procedure with the French officials. One customs officer said that I needed to fill out a declaration but did not appear to know much more than that and the boat yard where the sailboat is in for repairs has no idea. Would appreciate if anyone knows the procedure, form number (if there is one) and to whom it must be delivered.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:15   #2
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Re: Out of water in France

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I can stay in the EU for 18 months without paying the value added tax but any time out of water for repairs can be deducted. Does anyone know the procedure with the French officials.
I don't believe that the TIR provisions have an allowance for repair time. But other aspects of the EU customs and VAT code do allow the temporary importation for repair, without VAT being applied. Unless you are likely to exceed the 18 month TIR, I would not do anything other then ensure you can show you didn't exceed the 18 months. Note that with agreement with local customs the 18 month period can be extended to 24 months. Also Th period can be extended by putting the boat in "bond". but this only really applies to the country in question. Don't be surprised if the local customs and VAT people know little about it. If possible just stay within the 18 month TIR period ( TIR: Temporary Import Relief) dave
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:33   #3
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Re: Out of water in France

We've been based out of Italy for the past three years and run into the same 18 month deal. Each year while we're out cruising we just do a stop out of the EU so get a fresh renewal on re-entry. Two years ago it was Montenegro and Croatia, this year was Albania. Others have gone to Tunisia.

As I type this we are also out of the water, in Italy, having bow thruster replaced, and a few small underwater jobs done.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:24   #4
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Re: Out of water in France

A non EU vessel may stay in the EU for up to 18 months without having to pay the VAT. Leave the EU, even for a day, get the proof, and your 18 months starts again. An alternative we looked at was to 'seal' the boat; have the Aduanas issue a piece of paper that she was 'in bond' and not in use. You then get them to issue a second document to unseal the vessel. While under seal (either up on the hard, or in the water), the boat may not be operated and the 18-month clock is stopped. We were dealing with the Spanish and the bureaucracy & language issues involved were enough that we didn't pursue sealing the boat. Getting out every 18 months is the best option if you are moving about, but I'm hearing some countries are getting sticky about some of these non-EU destinations.
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