My Australian brother bought a UK registered boat in Thailand
. Here is how he proceeded.
completed in Thailand
- Broker, owner and brother moved boat to Langkawi - Langkawi is a tax free zone in Malaysia
- boat was "purchased" in Malaysia - No Thailand sales tax, Langkawi is tax free
- Boat was delisted in UK - A mail and paperwork exercise
- Boat was registered in Langkawi - Malaysia does not require residency or citizenship to register
- Plan was/is to eventually sail to Oz, import
boat, pay taxes
- Boat, brother and spouse are still in Asia
having a pretty good time
Some say taking a boat back to Oz is a fools mission.
You will pay 5% customs duty first on the customs value of the boat - (i.e. not what you paid but what they think it is worth)
Then you will pay 10% VAT on the sum of - Price
actually paid + Cost of importing (whether shipped or costs of sailing it in from where purchased) + the duties (already paid, like tax on tax - ouch) = VAT
Here it is from the horses mouth - importing a yacht
In terms of registration
I think this is a damning statement -
Ability to sail overseas
It is an offence for an Australian-owned vessel to sail for a foreign port unless it is registered in the Australian Register of Ships.
Note: vessels purchased overseas by Australians are also required to be registered before they sail for Australia or another foreign country.
In terms of boat registration
the news from the gov is here - Brochure - Yachts, Cruisers and Fishing Boats
Technically an Aussie probably has to register the boat within the grace period which I think is 14 days and before sailing to a foreign port.
I could interpret this to say - Aussie buys in Langkawi. Before sailing to Phuket it must be Aussie registered.
In reality I think as long as the boat is out of Aussie waters there is not much they can do. When you get home I think the 14 day clock starts and you need to get sorted.
If they say, "Why didn't you register last year?" - I think they would have a hard time proving you didn't simply stay in Langkawi for a year...