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Old 12-11-2018, 18:46   #1
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Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

Here's the situation:
- we're US citizens
- we are planning to buy a Spanish-flagged sailboat in Spain
- ware getting a long-term French visa and plan to sail the south of France
- the boat has VAT paid already
- we will leave the boat in Spain for six months before moving it to France
- plan is to sell the boat in EU in 2-3 years, we would not bring it back to US.

Does anyone know if reflagging to France would be a positive, negative or a "don't bother"

My research suggests that Spanish flagged boats have more requirements to deal with than French-flagged boats. I think I saw that on this forum.
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Old 13-11-2018, 17:32   #2
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenpimentel View Post
Here's the situation:
- we're US citizens
- we are planning to buy a Spanish-flagged sailboat in Spain
- ware getting a long-term French visa and plan to sail the south of France
- the boat has VAT paid already
- we will leave the boat in Spain for six months before moving it to France
- plan is to sell the boat in EU in 2-3 years, we would not bring it back to US.

Does anyone know if reflagging to France would be a positive, negative or a "don't bother"

My research suggests that Spanish flagged boats have more requirements to deal with than French-flagged boats. I think I saw that on this forum.
I would suggest looking into Dutch flag. fairly easy to do and no difficult rules and requirements.
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Old 13-11-2018, 23:40   #3
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

Thanks for that idea. I hadn't considered it.
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Old 14-11-2018, 00:16   #4
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

Really not hard to USCG Document it...and no it doesn't impact the VAT status, so no big deal selling when you are done.
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Old 14-11-2018, 09:26   #5
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

That’s the answer I was hoping for! Thanks, I’ll start pursuing that angle.
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Old 14-11-2018, 11:34   #6
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

These guys (a swiss fellow and a Canadian girl) registered in Holland. Interesting video and the comments — for once — are actually helpful

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Old 14-11-2018, 22:40   #7
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

Interesting, I think I'll pursue the US Coast Guard unless I learn something unfavorable about it. There doesn't seem to be any negative consequences of doing a US-flagged boat that I can see (especially as I've done this before and am familiar with it).
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Old 19-11-2018, 16:32   #8
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

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Originally Posted by Kenpimentel View Post
Interesting, I think I'll pursue the US Coast Guard unless I learn something unfavorable about it. There doesn't seem to be any negative consequences of doing a US-flagged boat that I can see (especially as I've done this before and am familiar with it).
We are Canadians (with dual EU citizenship) and bought a French VAT paid boat and flagged it Canadian with no troubles. The VAT status remains unless you were to sell it to a second non EU owner. We actually got a Delaware registration befor our Canadian to save time (Deleware is cheap, easy and fast) and it's US if that's the flag you want to fly! But there is something to day about flying an EU flag in the EU, especiay if you have EU residency status - makes life a bunch easier. That said, we love flying our red maple leaf!!
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Old 19-11-2018, 16:46   #9
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Re: Buying a boat for France, is reflagging necessary?

Thanks for that. I have now talked to multiple people and it seems that reflagging is valuable when the new flag has less onerous obligations than the current flag. Keeping the Spanish flag would cost me more money than reflagging as USA (or Dutch for that matter). As a US citizen, I'm familiar with flagging as US Coast Guard documented boat, so I'm comfortable with that. I also have a person in Florida who can handle the reflagging for me, so I have it all buttoned up.

I've learned a lot about VAT, flagging and Schengen in the last week. This forum has been great in getting this figured out, or making sure I'm asking the right questions.
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