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Old 01-04-2011, 14:58   #1
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Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

So we are considering buying a Canadian flagged sailboat lying in Sweden. I am a US citizen, and my wife is Norwegian. Our plan is to get the boat ready, then sail to the Meditteranian over the course of a year. Our problem is this- we cant keep the boat registered in Canada, we cant get it registered in Norway or anywhere i Europe because it has not gotten a CE marking, and it is under 5 tons, so the coast guard register is out as well. The only option as far as we can see is to get it registered in a state registry in the US.
Anyone have any idea how this will be looked upon when going through entrance clearance and customs in European countries? Any other problems that may arise. Thanks for your input.
Jared
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Old 01-04-2011, 15:48   #2
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Re: Sailing in Europe under a state registration?

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Europe because it has not gotten a CE marking, and it is under 5 tons, so the coast guard register is out as well. The only option as far as we can see is to get it registered in a state registry in the US.
It is illegal to sell or import into the EU a non CE marked boat, unless that boat was hand built. There are serious fines for infringement. Walk away from it, if you intend to go anywhere the EU with it.


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Old 01-04-2011, 15:49   #3
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Re: Sailing in Europe under a state registration?

Check the regulations again. Boat age seems to count. Maybe you do not need the CE mark. I was reading YM - people imported a US boat to the UK, she was pre-something and thus free from the CE thing.

There is a Deleware boat on the next pontoon, LP, Gran Canaria. They had no issues in the Med, nor here. Owners non-US either.

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Old 01-04-2011, 15:58   #4
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Re: Sailing in Europe under a state registration?

unless the boat was in the EU prior to 1995, then it smust be CE marked, after theat even if second hand it doesnt matter.

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Old 01-04-2011, 15:59   #5
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Re: Sailing in Europe under a state registration?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
It is illegal to sell or import into the EU a non CE marked boat, unless that boat was hand built. There are serious fines for infringement. Walk away from it, if you intend to go anywhere the EU with it.
Dave
PBO December 2008, page 41:

"... Our boat built in UK in 1978, proved to be exempt..."

Maybe because of the re-importation?

In any case check the letter of the law before you tick it off as 'impossible'.

I know of at least one other boat imported from US (to Sweden). That was a Vancouver 27 and they did not have any issues either.

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Old 01-04-2011, 20:56   #6
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Re: Sailing in Europe under a state registration?

You cou!d register it in Jersey, I think, or the BVI. You'll need to set up a local company to act as the owner. If the rule forbidding sale in the EU applies, the seller might need to sail the boat out of the EU so the transaction can take place elsewhere. As you are not a citizen of an EU country that ought to be perfectly legal. You will be allowed to spend 18 months at a time in EU waters.
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Old 01-04-2011, 21:50   #7
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Re: Sailing in Europe under a state registration?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
It is illegal to sell or import into the EU a non CE marked boat, unless that boat was hand built. There are serious fines for infringement. Walk away from it, if you intend to go anywhere the EU with it.


Dave
I may be wrong but I don't think the OP was indicating a plan to import or sell the boat into the EU. He mentioned buying it in Europe but from Canadian registry to US state registry. So even though the boat is physically in the EU it is not being sold into or legally imported into the EU under the terms of that sale.

Now if he keeps it in the EU over the time limit or wants to register in the EU then that's another matter. But to just cruise in the EU if the vessel is foreign owned and registered does not require CE.

The question I believe was whether or not a US state registration instead of a USCG documentation would be accepted for customs and immigration purposes in Europe.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:38   #8
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The OP indicated he wanted to sail to the Med. If the boat can be registered outside the EU and the owner is not a EU tax resident then CE will not apply and the boat has 18 exception from VAT.

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Old 02-04-2011, 02:56   #9
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

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Originally Posted by macgluin View Post
Any other problems that may arise. Thanks for your input.
Jared
Given how registered and where based I would question whether the boat has been imported into the EU. or more particularly whether it should have been. The easy answer is a chat to the Vendor. and then a trip to Swedish Customs with the background to the boat, including name and location

The "trick" is to make damned sure you don't buy someone else's problems - at least not unknowingly. and with any (lack of) VAT bills and CE marking factored into the price you pay. Any 18 month window may have long gone.........

On the registration front, I would look first at wherever you are resident.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:21   #10
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Given how registered and where based I would question whether the boat has been imported into the EU. or more particularly whether it should have been. The easy answer is a chat to the Vendor. and then a trip to Swedish Customs with the background to the boat, including name and location

The "trick" is to make damned sure you don't buy someone else's problems - at least not unknowingly. and with any (lack of) VAT bills and CE marking factored into the price you pay. Any 18 month window may have long gone.........

On the registration front, I would look first at wherever you are resident.
Good advice. I think we've established, however, that he can't register it in the US. Is the OP resident I some other place? If it's EU it won't help him, assuming the CE mark rule applies to him. If it's non EU, then there's the answer, as you can usually register a boat in your country of residence regardless of citizenship (US is the big exception I think). Otherwise, you can always get around residence by using a corporate form of ownership.

In any case, unless the boat is subject to arrest or fines because of some past violations (David is right if course - should be checked carefully) you might be able to get a spectacular deal, since the seller can't sell to locals.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:44   #11
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

Ok, OP guy here. That was a lot of info quick. The last poster said I could not register the boat in the US, and I was wondering why he thought so. I am a US citizen, and still technicly a resident. I have not come over anyone who said that it would be a problem to get it registered in a state(in this case PA)while speaking with the coast guard and state registration people.
The CE rules seem to be very difficult. If the boat was built before 1950, then it is exempt. Clear enough. The other rule says if it was taken into use in the EEC before 1998, then it is also exempt. The authorities here are saying that that means the boat was 'imported' before 1998, othewise we could have used that one. it does not seem very clear cut though. The boat has never been imported officially into the EEC. It was here much longer than 18 months, but I dont know when that rule started. It has been in dry storage for the past 6 years. Thanks for all the good ideas.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:26   #12
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

If the boat has been here 6 years on the hard, it has certainly overstayed it's 18 month rule. Even if the rule was implemented 5 years ago at best the clock will have been restarted and the 18 mth passed.

Personally I really can't see the Swedish authorities saying, sure buy it, change rego to another non-EU country and have a happy sail.

I suspect that at a minimum they will expect the boat to be officially imported into Sweden, paying the 5% customs duty and 25% sales tax. I would not be surprised if there is a fine to pay as well.

Perhaps if you plan to ship it rather than sale it out of the EU you may be able to forego the CE certification.

Personally I would not touch it with a barge pole unless I had a good long and reassuring conversation with Swedish customs (www.tullverket.se - Tullverket [NS4 version])
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:37   #13
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

Simple answer is you and the seller come to an agreement and pay the import duties somewhere or walk away which is probably the easier answer. It's not as if we are short of yachts for sale in the EU. Just choose another that is an EU boat. The cost of sorting a boat that has been laid up for 6 years will be be expensive compared to the value (at a guess based on old boat, less than 5 tonnes).

What is it out of interest?

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:09   #14
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

If you like this boat and can get it at a good price, buy it. You can certainly register it in PA or Delaware. Neither place cares where you actually live or keep the boat as long as you have an address where they can mail you the papers. I live in PA but have at various times registered my boat in NJ, DE and PA. Most states only insist that you register your boat in their state if you intend to keep it there[actually in the water] longer than 6 months. A problem of state sales tax can come up if tax has never been paid anywhere before. As an example, if I buy a boat in Delaware which has no sales tax and register it right away in NJ, they will want a 6% sales tax. However, if I first register it in DE for awhile, and then change registration to NJ, I escape the NJ sales tax. No one ever asks where the boat actually is, no one cares, just give us the money.
So, buy the boat, stick DE registration decals and numbers on her bows and sail away.
If anyone stops you, you will show them Delaware title and up to date registration. How could that be wrong? Your only difficulty might come if you don't have a clear title to the boat when you apply for state registration. You don't mention what kind of title/bill of sale you will get when you hand the seller your money.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:31   #15
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Re: Sailing in Europe Under a State Registration?

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Originally Posted by macgluin View Post
and it is under 5 tons, so the coast guard register is out as well.
Keep in mind that "tons" in reference to CG documentation is a measure of VOLUME not weight. My Catalina 27, which weighs roughly 7,000 lb., can be documented as a 5 ton vessel because of its VOLUME.

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