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Old 06-01-2017, 18:50   #1
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Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

Hi all,

Will be picking up a new Lagoon 400S2 Catamaran in France this summer. Very excited and working on aftermarket outfitting plans, trying to decide if it's better to buy everything here in the US (solar panels/framing, solar charge controller, galley gear, etc.) and just ship it over with the rest of our stuff in bulk or to purchase these items in France directly.

Difficult to find/price out goods online in Europe as easily as I can here in the US and what little I have found seems pricier buying in France.

Any suggestions/experience with this? I know there are all kinds of chandleries and professional fabricators/installers of all things boat-related in Les Sables D'Olonne or La Rochelle, but difficult to get a good sense of pricing and availability.

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2017, 20:05   #2
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

I would be shocked if trying to import most boat equipment to France would make any sense. First it's a royal pain in the but to load a container then arrange for shipping, delivery, trucking, etc. all of that adds up.

Then add in the added cost of paying and documenting import duties, and tariffs. Then to everything add an additional 20% VAT. If you were very very careful, and price compared everything you might save a little. Unlikely, but possible. But add in the value of your time and I doubt it.

France has one of the largest recreational sailing markets in the world, unit prices there are if anything going to be lower than the US. not to mention pissing off every contractor you work with. I can hear it now... 'So sorry Sir, since we did not supply the parts we can not warranty the instillation you will need to make a claim with the supplier you bought it from' or 'this product is different than what we normally work with, we had to charge an extra five hours for time to read the manual.'

Worse, some of these claims will be justified.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:32   #3
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

I would second buying in Europe for most stuff. In France, you are in a single market of 28 countries where there are no cross border taxes and where much of the equipment you need originates. The boating market in Europe is massive and no matter where you are, marine stores can order in nearly everything you need at good prices. Alternatively, there are plenty of online suppliers at keen prices.
The exception would be for mains electrical stuff if you intend to go 110V. While you can get 110v versions, usually by special order, there may not be the range you prefer. However, all europe and much of the rest of the world is 230V, so you would need some form of voltage conversion if you intend to plug in anywhere in those places.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:43   #4
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

We did plenty of afterfittins on cats after delivery and I know pretty well the prices. (not in the US though..)


First of all, believe it or not retrofitting many items is not necessarily cheaper, just the opposite..
As an example, in most of the cases A/C 's, biminis, cushions are very expensive in the factory price lists, but the gensets not. The same goes for folding props, they are way cheaper in the factory option list . The factories are buying in huge quantities and fitting some items are much easier to be done in the factory during manufacturing.
When we have a customer for outfitting, we prepare the configuration list with him and we tell him which items on his wish list is to be ordered from the factory and what others are cheaper to be done later.


Another factor that you should consider is who will make the installation. France is the best option but they are pricey..(Med side a bit less than La Rochelle)


Cheers,


Yeloya
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Old 07-01-2017, 14:40   #5
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

Hi all,

Thanks for your input and recommendations - much appreciated. I should clarify that


1) I am doing the aftermarket installs myself
2) It's things like solar panels, charge controller, wiring, loose cruising and boat gear, galley gear, folding bikes, household items etc.
3) I pay no tax on these items in the US and they are priced competitively, whereas sourcing them form a European supplier I will be charged around 20% VAT in France as I understand it
4) if I ship them along with personal household items as part of my relocation, I pay no VAT.


Thanks
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:44   #6
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

I assume you are a non-EU resident, if so, the I guess you are not electing to voluntarily pay the VAT on the new boat as you are able to buy the new boat free of VAT and even keep it in the EU provided you leave for a day or two every 18 months.
The same goes for all the equipment you purchase in the EU. For a normal traveller, you buy the stuff, get a VAT form from the vendor and reclaim on exit. Quite how this works for retrofitted boat equipment I don't know but Yeloya will, given that his boats are exported to Turkey.
Whether bringing loads of boat stuff in with your household stuff would be allowable seems debateable to me. I would explore the rules for temporary import for re-export and follow them.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:05   #7
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

When we took delivery of our new cat in La Rochelle in 2010, we were able to purchase almost everything VAT free. We set up an account with a local chandler, the equipment suppliers and outfitters and the final accounts were tax exempt. Enjoy your new boat
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:26   #8
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

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Originally Posted by Takamoana View Post
When we took delivery of our new cat in La Rochelle in 2010, we were able to purchase almost everything VAT free. We set up an account with a local chandler, the equipment suppliers and outfitters and the final accounts were tax exempt. Enjoy your new boat
That would be useful, but I am shocked at some of the retail prices the French chandlers charge in their shops particularly for electronics.

If the boat is new and you know what you want, how about asking the manufacturers to order in and supply loose so you fit. They may have some buying discount and save the problem of 20% VAT which mounts up quickly.

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Old 08-01-2017, 09:17   #9
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

You might look into hiring a project manager to help with this. Both to help you choose which path to take, as well as to act as an interface between you & the local sailing resources. Or, should you choose to ship gear, to act as your agent in France, to smooth over the shipping process & rules. Since, much like a good mechanice, a good project manager can save you a lot of coin, & angst.
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:22   #10
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapanui View Post
I assume you are a non-EU resident, if so, the I guess you are not electing to voluntarily pay the VAT on the new boat as you are able to buy the new boat free of VAT and even keep it in the EU provided you leave for a day or two every 18 months.
The same goes for all the equipment you purchase in the EU. For a normal traveller, you buy the stuff, get a VAT form from the vendor and reclaim on exit. Quite how this works for retrofitted boat equipment I don't know but Yeloya will, given that his boats are exported to Turkey.
Whether bringing loads of boat stuff in with your household stuff would be allowable seems debateable to me. I would explore the rules for temporary import for re-export and follow them.
Yes it works this way in Turkey and I believe in many other countries. For small items the VAT refund may not be worth the effort but for big items like genset, sails, etc..the VAT refunded, if the boat is foreign flagged, whatever it is..

Cheers

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Old 16-01-2017, 10:26   #11
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

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Originally Posted by nopenowaydude View Post
Hi all,

Will be picking up a new Lagoon 400S2 Catamaran in France this summer. Very excited and working on aftermarket outfitting plans, trying to decide if it's better to buy everything here in the US (solar panels/framing, solar charge controller, galley gear, etc.) and just ship it over with the rest of our stuff in bulk or to purchase these items in France directly.

Difficult to find/price out goods online in Europe as easily as I can here in the US and what little I have found seems pricier buying in France.

Any suggestions/experience with this? I know there are all kinds of chandleries and professional fabricators/installers of all things boat-related in Les Sables D'Olonne or La Rochelle, but difficult to get a good sense of pricing and availability.

Thanks!
Buy your stuff in the USA, then ship it to Europe. In my experience with or without US sales tax, or EU VAT most nautical gear is cheaper and easier to source in the USA via the internet. I have moved my household goods to Europe, and never had a problem with customs questioning the newness, value, or purpose of my household goods.
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Old 14-04-2017, 11:07   #12
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

We moved to Europe (Portugal) and shipped our household stuff here duty free. But in order to do that we had to get a special paper from the Portuguese embassy in Washington which was a real pain, taking almost forever. And, they only would allow in duty free what was used, although we might have bent the corners there.

But what about shipping to “Yacht in Transit”? Does anyone know if that can be done. I am in the same boat as the OP and know how to get stuff cheaper in the US. If you get a a lot sent in then freight forwarding isn’t too expensive. I’ve shipped to Yacht in Transit in many parts of the world but not Europe. Does anyone know for a foreign flagged boat if that can be done without paying import tax and VAT?

I realize some of the extra cost is for installation. I could install it all but some it’s worth letting the manufacturer do. However I once saw on a FP cat they wanted $8K to install a rail mounted BBQ.

One advantage to shipping it in is in the US I can talk to the dealer and manufacturer in English and not worry about misunderstanding due to language problems.

The other option, I guess, is to sail the boat back to the US.
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Old 14-04-2017, 11:40   #13
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

It can be done. I'm working on it right now. Trying to ship from USA to Gib, where I'll pick up as Yacht in Transit.
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Old 14-04-2017, 14:05   #14
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

Thanks for that. Let us know if it's successful. I'm still curious if that's EU-wide or is each country different?
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Old 14-04-2017, 14:20   #15
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Re: Aftermarket Outfitting of a New Catamaran in Europe

France is a rather expensive country in Europe, but in the large European market it is easy to find good prices, you must look, all the EU countries have about the same VAT but no customs duties. For example, I am in France but I often buy in Germany (SVB). But for large orders, some shipchandlers accept significant discounts to keep the customer.
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