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Old 08-01-2010, 09:27   #1
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pirate EU Importation and VAT

I dont suppose there's anyone out there thats got the time to sort out all the conflicting info/misinfo coming out of posts on the site and post a reliable guide on this site for members....
I tend to fly by the seat of my pants so I'm a waste of space for this 'Project' but I imagine there are a quite few less 'intellectually challenged' individuals out there who could rise to the occasion and have the time to write a "Idiots Guide to VAT and Non-EU Vessels"...
All subscribers making some form of donation maybe... lol
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:59   #2
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By do you seem to think its complicated, its the mis-information thats making it complex

Heres the deal

If you not "established" in the EU. That if you are not a tax resident then you are allowed to bring a vessel that is not itself registered in the EU into EU waters for 18 months under the "Temporary Importation" Rules, VAT will not be due during this time. thde 18 months can be extended to 24 months at the local custom discresion. Individual countries can extend this time using their local rules , ie bonding.

Normally there is no advance paperwork or any formal approval needed to aqvail of this scheme, you do need to carry proof that the boat isnt registered in the eu and that you arnt a EU tax resident.

Note that this regulation applies to the boat, the crew are only allowed to stay 90 days in every 180 days under schlengen rules.

Thats it.

For EU tax residents VAT, and CE approval is required immediately on importation into the EU union. VAT on new means of transport,ie a boat is technically only payable in the country of destination. ie your home country.

There simple no complications , go sailing.
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Old 08-01-2010, 16:20   #3
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So.... I currently live in Portugal and have residency... am a UK citizen... am over 60... do not work in the "Normal Sense"... have no 'taxable income'.... when the weathers better may move on.... in or out of the EU I know not.... struggle along under the EU tax threshold in various parts of the world paid in sometimes cash, sometimes goods, sometimes merely food, board, booze n baccy....
Where do I slot in.....re "Regulations"
Phil, aka Turnaround Phil, Croc Dundee, Indie, Taff, Jimbo....
or am I flying under the 'Radar'
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:14   #4
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Simple you live in Portugal, so you are a tax resident of portugal, You fall into the EU VAT regulations, any boat of any age whatsoever that you bring into the EU will immediately be due VAT and CE regs, no exceptions for age ( yours or the boat). The fact that you have no income, are 60 etc is irrevelevant.

Also your boat will also have to meet Portugals requirements as you are a resident. ( ie certification etc)
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:05   #5
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Hi goboatingnow

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
If you not "established" in the EU. That if you are not a tax resident then you are allowed to bring a vessel that is not itself registered in the EU into EU waters for 18 months under the "Temporary Importation" Rules, VAT will not be due during this time. thde 18 months can be extended to 24 months at the local custom discresion. Individual countries can extend this time using their local rules , ie bonding.
I think you could be the person to answer my questions. If I am a non-EU resident and I buy a boat in an E.U country, are the rules different ? What if I was to change the boat to foreign registration ?

Quote:
Note that this regulation applies to the boat, the crew are only allowed to stay 90 days in every 180 days under schlengen rules.
Is this 90 days per country or 90 days for all of the E.U ? Is it possible to extend the 90 day visa.

Thanks
Jim
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:32   #6
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pirate

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Simple you live in Portugal, so you are a tax resident of portugal, You fall into the EU VAT regulations, any boat of any age whatsoever that you bring into the EU will immediately be due VAT and CE regs, no exceptions for age ( yours or the boat). The fact that you have no income, are 60 etc is irrevelevant.

Also your boat will also have to meet Portugals requirements as you are a resident. ( ie certification etc)
Bugga..... Life aint fun anymore since we joined the EU.... all these Directives n Taxes..... hahahahaha
Life time Tory changing to Independent Party next Election....lol
Phil
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Old 09-01-2010, 13:11   #7
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I think you could be the person to answer my questions. If I am a non-EU resident and I buy a boat in an E.U country, are the rules different ? What if I was to change the boat to foreign registration ?



Is this 90 days per country or 90 days for all of the E.U ? Is it possible to extend the 90 day visa.

Thanks
Jim
Jim, if you are not a tax resident of the EU, then three situations arise

(a) Second Hand boat, already in the EU - VAT Paid

You simply buy the boat and thats it. you can not recover the VAT on a second hand boat. However the boat may remain in the EU foreveer without further VAT taxes. ( and you may bring it in and out of the EU along as you remain the owner).

(b) Second Hand boat - VAT not paid. ie a boat owned by a commercial sailing organisation like say a training school boat.(or a dealer selling a boat but not as a broker)

If you can convince the purchaser that you intend to export the boat, it may be possible to buy the boat VAT free. There is a "sailaway" scheme in the UK that formalises this, but other countries you may have to apply through the local customs. Mostly you will have tp pay the VAT and subsequently claim it back from customns once you leave the EU

(c) New Boat - not VAT paid


Again the situation is similar to (b). in the uk there is a formal scheme, that allows you not to have to pay the VAT, other countries have similar schemes but some arnt so formal


Note changing the flag of the vessel doesnt really do anything, if the boat is being exported then you must remove it from the EU.

There is a bit of a dodge, in that for a VAT not paid boat and you being a non EU tax resident, you could reregister the boat under a foreign no EU flag ( or simply not have it on any register) and then claim Temporary Import release from VAT. The trick is that you havent brought the boat into the EU , its already there, but in reality this cant be checked as there is no formal paperwork in relation to TI . The trick however is convincomg the seller not to apply the VAT, as they remain liable not you in the event that you dont remove it from the EU

IN relation to EU visas, The schlengen countries, essentially the EU except the UK and Ireland , have a standard 90 day tourust visa. This is 90 days to visit all the schlengen countries not 90 days per country. Then you must depart the schlengen area for 90 days before returning. The UK and Ireland are outside this area and will give you upto 6 months ( though 90 days is normally whats given)in each country.

There is no way to extend the 90 day visa. Some EU countries have longer stay visas, and work + study visas. but these are hard to access especially if you are simply cruising. and anyway any long stay visa only applies to that EU country, it does not provide a long stay for all EU countries.

US visitors dont actually need to pre-apply for a schlengen visa, there is a wavier scheme, the visa is automatically stamped into your passport when you vist the first schlengen country, but the same rules apply. Some countries in the EU have turned a blind eye to overstays ( Spain) but the rules are tightening all accross the EU.
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Old 09-01-2010, 14:21   #8
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All the information from goboatingnow is true. But many cruisers do stay much longer and I heard of no problems. We cruised northern Europe from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and the western Med and never had a problem (we left the end of 2008 after sailing for almost 3 years). Maybe that is changing now, but we were seldom asked about our 90 day limits (we were checked to make sure our USA flagged boat had been in the EU less than 18 months - we made a short hopr to Morocco to reset our clock).
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Old 09-01-2010, 15:50   #9
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well as an aussie in the eu i have been here now 17 yrs floating about with no probs
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Old 09-01-2010, 16:17   #10
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There is a tax haven within the EU. The Isle of Man. Its totaly independant of all Eu laws, taxes etc.
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Old 09-01-2010, 16:45   #11
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(b) Second Hand boat - VAT not paid. ie a boat owned by a commercial sailing organisation like say a training school boat.(or a dealer selling a boat but not as a broker)

(c) New Boat - not VAT paid

Note changing the flag of the vessel doesnt really do anything, if the boat is being exported then you must remove it from the EU.

The trick however is convincomg the seller not to apply the VAT, as they remain liable not you in the event that you dont remove it from the EU
For bonafide Non EU persons (or Companies) New (ex VAT) Boats do get exported (physically) to non EU places like Jersey - which in practice does seem to satisfy manufacturers / sellers that they will not later get a VAT bill - a genuine concern for the vendor. Whilst adding a Jersey Flag alone doesn't count as an "export", it does add to the picture of a boat that is being exported (as well as simply being as good a place as any to register for low cost and minimal regulations - i.e. no need to have a guide to using the head on a Jersey reg boat).

Whilst the above does not of course "magically" allow a boat to then live permanently within the EU VAT free, for those looking to head further abroad for extended periods it can provide a stepping stone..........you always have the option of later returning and paying the VAT, albeit at that point on a s/h vessel.

Good timing on this thread , am meant to be updating / putting together some general guidance notes / an idiots guide (note: not "advice" ) for a firm over here who does corporate boat registrations (as a small part of their business)......but VAT not really my thing - kinda like watching paint dry, but without the excitement .........but was thinking of maybe then also putting something up on the web, given this does seem to crop up now and again........time will tell


Phil, I clicked on your links (and images - nice Tiki ) - but couldn't find any Corribee pictures you got anything online?.....still miss my old Corribee
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Old 09-01-2010, 17:57   #12
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Great Answers !

Thanks everyone,
I've been trying to find the answer to these questions for some time and it all makes sense now.
goboatingnow, excellent explanation, clear and complete.

Quote:
jim-thompson....But many cruisers do stay much longer and I heard of no problems.
I plan to buy a boat in Europe or U.S and then cruise but 3 months probably won't be enough time to prepare the boat, then do the cruising. So I'd be interested in ways around the visa restrictions. Does anyone have any recent experience ? beneteau-500 are you on a different visa ?

What about the U.S ?

Are the rules bascially the same ? Is the Temporary import release the same as the U.S cruising permit ? Does anyone know what the visa options are in the U.S in my situation ?

Thanks again
Jim
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Old 09-01-2010, 23:31   #13
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in realtion to comments re overstays, Yes you can get away with staying beyond the 90 day limit , especially if you never use an airport, where the checks are more stringent, most port based immigration isnt too fussed especially if quite frankly , you are white, rich( or look rich) and speak english. However the situation is tightening up and there have been fines and deportations from Italy and greece and germany.

The schlengen countries are also connecting their computer systems so that in the future it will be far more difficult

So, its a call, but I would be careful about listening to people who are breaking the law.
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Old 09-01-2010, 23:35   #14
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Thanks everyone,
I've been trying to find the answer to these questions for some time and it all makes sense now.
goboatingnow, excellent explanation, clear and complete.


I plan to buy a boat in Europe or U.S and then cruise but 3 months probably won't be enough time to prepare the boat, then do the cruising. So I'd be interested in ways around the visa restrictions. Does anyone have any recent experience ? beneteau-500 are you on a different visa ?
irrspective of his comments , there is no legal way for a tourist to extend an EU stay over 90 days in 180, in th esame way as its impossible to do so in the US for EU tourists. There are extended visas in some countries, but again they only apply to that country. The alternative is simply to "fly under the radar", buts its illegal, if that doesnt bother you, then fine.
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Old 09-01-2010, 23:37   #15
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For bonafide Non EU persons (or Companies) New (ex VAT) Boats do get exported (physically) to non EU places like Jersey - which in practice does seem to satisfy manufacturers / sellers that they will not later get a VAT bill
David, have you experience of that outside the UK, I ran into resistance in france to treating an export to the Channel Islands and zero rating the VAT.
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