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Old 13-08-2014, 07:16   #1
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Any Experience in Sending new Sails to France.

Hi, I am an Australian resident and I have purchased a new boat in France and looking to sail it across the Atlantic in Nov. I am considering buying some sails in China and having them shipped directly there. Total value around Eur 4000.

If someone has experience with sending goods to France could you please point me in the right direction around
-what import/customs and VAT needs to be paid when the goods arrive in the country if any
- how is this done remotely

I am a non-EU resident leaving France within 6 months.
Goods are not for commercial purposes.

Thanks
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Old 13-08-2014, 23:16   #2
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Re: Any experience in sending new sails to France.

If you join the boat first, then go through the Capitaine du Port, the Port Captain, and he will inform you whom to contact and what to say to import goods for a "yacht in transit". At least that's how it works in New Caledonia, French overseas territory.

Otherwise, contact the Douane (Customs) directly, tell them what you want to do and that it is for a yacht in transit to Australia) and see what they say.

Another alternative is to ask someone from Alliance Francaise to help you write a letter (in French) to the Customs and start there.

Ann
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Old 14-08-2014, 12:41   #3
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Re: Any experience in sending new sails to France.

We had a sail sent to France from the Caribbean a couple of months ago and it was a pain in the ass. Yacht was a new lagoon, Australian rego, sail was sent to 'yacht in transit' in La Rochelle, but still customs nabbed it and demanded 20% + of their valuation. Took us months to sort it out.
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Old 14-08-2014, 12:58   #4
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Re: Any experience in sending new sails to France.

If you have a way to get the boat to Gibraltar that might be a better place as its sort of a free port.
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Old 14-08-2014, 13:51   #5
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Re: Any experience in sending new sails to France.

Unfortuntely, in the EU there are no specific "yacht in transit" relief of VAT. The VAT law only applies to commercial vessels. So you will have to pay VAT at the point of import into france.

Gib is VAT free so you could get them shipped there and collect them personally or if you are calling there by boat. I suspect if you are driving from france the fuel costs would be more then the VAT !!


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Old 23-08-2014, 10:58   #6
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Re: Any Experience in Sending new Sails to France.

We just shipped 1/5 of a container worth of stuff over to La Rochelle, France in preparation for the launch of our boat in October. Included in that shipment are a couple of new sails that we had made in Florida.

On the advice of the company we're using to do some work on our boat, we are working with an import agent who specializes in these sort of things. I have been told by this agent that we won't have to pay customs duties or VAT as they will temporarily import the shipment with the specific status "temporary admission in the EU territory". This works for us as we also leaving France and the EU immediately after the work on our boat is done.

There will be a customs fee and charge for the agent but it is far less than 20% of the value of our shipment. Our stuff is on it's way to France right now so I can't say 100% for sure that this will work, but working with an agent who does this thing regularly has been a lot easier than trying to sort out everything on our own.

You can send me a PM and I'll share the contact info for our import agent and hopefully he can help or point you in the right direction.

David
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Old 23-08-2014, 14:35   #7
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Re: Any Experience in Sending new Sails to France.

Gibraltar or Guernsey (Channel island) are both outside the EU. 'Ship in transit' is also valid for pleasure vessels. I had my Hydrovane shipped to Gibraltar, from the UK, with this 'ship in transit' designation. However, I came to the Rock by car and not by boat, na´vely I didn't know that that was a requirement...
Luckily the agent (required to clear customs) managed to get it released import- and tax-free! After that I crossed the border into Spain by car without inspection by Spanish Customs
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