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Old 07-02-2013, 12:00   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Boat: Outremer 50
Posts: 165
"Yacht in Transit" - tax free deliveries, FRANCE

I think it is a good idea to spread knowledge about tax free purchasing of material.
I like to suggest that we open ONE THREAD PER COUNTRY (delivery address). With this is easy to find thew information needed in a specific case.

I like to start with my knowledge about the situation in France. I have my boat there at the moment an I do purchase quite some equipment.

In France (member of the EU) tax free deliveries (=no VAT) to a yacht with a non-EU registration(!) are possible. VAT is 19.6% for all other customers.
French marine outfitters quite often accept VAT-free billing if a copy of the non-EU registration document is provided. This is very convenient!
On the other hand deliveries from other EU countries to France are quite often subject to VAT of the country where the shop is located. Specifically Germany dealers have no legal way to skip VAT.

For deliveries from outside the EU the delivery address has to start with the words "YACHT IN TRANSIT" and the name of the vessel.
I usually ask the vendor to add the registration documents of my boat to the papers of the parcel. Additionally you should add your phone number and eMail address. Customs might contact you for questions.
With this it seems to work quite well to get around the import taxes.
Shipments with DHL seem to cause no problems. It just takes some days.
One shipment with FedEx got stuck in customs and I have been asked to engage an agent. I just contacted "". tThey were very helpful and charged 125 EUR for the import of my 6000 EUR purchase.

Currently I have a delivery from the USA with USPS stuck in customs since 7 days. We will see when they release it.

Refund of VAT already paid seems to be possible if you ask the local customs (of the port from where you leave) to give you a confirmation of the export when you leave the EU (I expect this to work for non-EU residents). It should(!) be possible with this to reclaim the VAT from the dealer who sold the goods to you. However I personally have not tested this procedure in France. I don't like it because it is more complicated and unpredictable.

Further experiences should be added to this thread.
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