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Old 04-09-2015, 19:51   #1
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Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

My partner Debbie & I have bought a boat which is currently laid up in Greece and we are going to be heading over early next year to begin an exciting time as liveaboard cruisers in The Med.

One question I had is whether VAT payable on new (or newish) goods we ship to the boat yard for us to use on our boat? My understanding is that new goods attract VAT whereas used goods do not. What about the grey areas - things like books, linen and tools that I want to buy in Australia. As long as I wash linen a couple of times I think I should be ok. Books are a bit more difficult as they will probably look pretty new. Similar with tools.

For new books would I have to do something like mark pages with sticky tabs for relevant sections and maybe the odd pencil marking? Do I try to get tools a bit dirty as well to have them look more used?

Hopefully a liveaboard has experienced the same situation and can answer .

Depending on the answers I might have to rethink what I buy if I potentially get slugged an extra 23% on top of what I pay for items here in Australia.
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Old 04-09-2015, 23:44   #2
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

The EU is not a police state like Australia, it's very unlikely that you will ever get stopped and ask to declare items that are taxable.

In 17 years of coming and going from the EU I've never been asked. The baggage area for EU and non EU flights is the same at Athens and I've hardly ever seen anyone talking to customs.

Returning to Aus I always tick the "bought overseas" and always get searched and always have to explain I'm visiting on holiday.

Simply, shop to your hearts content and bring everything in suitcases. Don't waste your time washing sheets, bring them in still in their packaging.


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Old 05-09-2015, 05:46   #3
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

5 years sailing in the Med each summer. We bring 60-80kg of tools and equipment over from Aus each year. We've landed in Paris, Amsterdam and Rome. We've never had luggage inspected. From landing to leaving the airport usually takes 30-60 mins.

Although it's true that much of what we bring over is available in the EU, you do make a saving of maybe 25-50% unless what you want is available in a Asian retail store there, then you've lost money. We're over hauling huge quantities of luggage all over Europe. Next year we're taking a cabin bag each, no more. Buy it over there and relax.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:55   #4
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

What you bring with yourself in your luggage is tax free up to quite high amount, how high depends some of the country you are entering in the EU. And then only the new stuff (remember receipts) is counted for then.. Several hundreds to thousands reckon..
What you send is another matter.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:27   #5
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlymn View Post
5 years sailing in the Med each summer. We bring 60-80kg of tools and equipment over from Aus each year. We've landed in Paris, Amsterdam and Rome. We've never had luggage inspected. From landing to leaving the airport usually takes 30-60 mins.

Although it's true that much of what we bring over is available in the EU, you do make a saving of maybe 25-50% unless what you want is available in a Asian retail store there, then you've lost money. We're over hauling huge quantities of luggage all over Europe. Next year we're taking a cabin bag each, no more. Buy it over there and relax.
How do you get around the excess baggage charge at the airport.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:29   #6
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

Look up the exact amount but you get something like $800/person duty free. Unless you look like you are doing a commercial delivery, they aren't interested in the paperwork (not that this will protect you if you try to sneak a $5000 depth sounder thru and they do check).






Know the rules and be honest and odds are you will walk right out without a question.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:13   #7
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

Thanks all for your replies. My concern is more to do with stuff I have that I might ship over to greece - maybe I should have been mor clear about the concern being what I ship to Greece.
If I shipped a package to the boatyard containing books and tools that were new/as good as new books is that likely to attract VAT? If it becomes a hit/miss affair with a variable liklihood of having no one question it - does any have a feel for how likely I might be charged VAT for, say, EUR500 of tools?
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Old 08-09-2015, 00:55   #8
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Re: Is VAT payable on new (or newish) personal items I import to the EU

Call customs and ask. With canadian customs they have lists of what item and how much key word to know in transit. Say you travel from Mexico to Canada you pay 0 tax in the USA because your in transit to Canada. If you take it in and leave then.you owe tax if you take it with you it might be tax exempt it's just getting the right paperwork and attaching it to the box for customs ect. It's better to ask as they're happy to tell you. Some people when they travel don't know about the in transit and pay the USA tax on.top of the Canadian tax because they didn't know. Anything to declare in transit if you plan on leaving no Greece with it
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