Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-01-2018, 04:35   #16
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: No home port, full time liveaboard
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 50 (aka 49)
Posts: 292
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTom View Post
I don't see any reference here for EU citizenship/residence. - Yet, many agents advertise the Belgian flag to be available for anyone...

Allright, they are a "bit slow" updating their websites:
It’s an EU regulation that a EU citizen can flag his boat in any other EU country though some countries tried to wiggle out of it. 10 years ago the French started fining French owners of Belgian flagged vessels in French waters for instance even though it was illegal to do so. They quit this practice in the mean time I’ve been told.

I’ve owned a French flagged boat not living in France, thanks to my EU nationality. I bought a French flagged boat and just left it in their registry.

IMPORTANT CORRECTIONS and additions to my previous post:

1. I nosed around a bit on the Belgian website and you’re no longer allowed paying passengers without complying to additional rules.

2. The tax is 5000 euro, not 2000.

3. I also learned they’re currently overhauling the regulation. There’s going to be mandatory safety equipment for example but for sailing *at sea* you still won’t need any personal license since the accident statistics do not support a need for it. However a personal boating license requirement might be introduced in an undetermined future as part of an international homogenization of boating rules. They’re leaving that door open.
2big2small is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 04:46   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: No home port, full time liveaboard
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 50 (aka 49)
Posts: 292
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Keep in mind that anyone regardless of citizenship or residency can register a boat in any country by opening a company to hold the title.
That is not correct. Many countries require that a certain percent of the owners be of certain nationalities.

For example for a US (federal) flag, I donít remember for sure but I think 100% of the owners of the company must be US citizens.

I believe for Belgium itís 50% (EU or BE nationals?), but I may be mistaken.
2big2small is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 04:47   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Irish Sea
Posts: 1,319
Images: 7
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

It's hard to find a country which doesn't require residency (honestly haven't checked those with onerous expectations towards boats and skippers)

Quote:
I believe for Belgium it’s 50%, but I may be mistaken.
Just as e.g. UK they either need residency OR citizenship, see the gov.t site. As Dockhead mentioned, for Belgian registry one needs to register a company in Belgium, which comes with additional paperwork & costs.
__________________
Useful as a fireproof bottom paint...
GTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 04:50   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: No home port, full time liveaboard
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 50 (aka 49)
Posts: 292
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTom View Post
It's hard to find a country which doesn't require residency (honestly haven't checked those with onerous expectations towards boats and skippers)
Malta is still a good place to go to. Before joining the EU issuing flags of convenience was big business for them and they were allowed to keep part of that trade.
(From the perspective of EU citizens especially.)
2big2small is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 05:04   #20
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 32,971
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
That is not correct. Many countries require that a certain percent of the owners be of certain nationalities.

For example for a US (federal) flag, I don’t remember for sure but I think 100% of the owners of the company must be US citizens.

I believe for Belgium it’s 50% (EU or BE nationals?), but I may be mistaken.
Yes, you are right that some countries (at least the U.S.) pay attention to the nationality of the shareholders (or management), so thanks for the correction.

For U.S. Coast Guard documentation, there is no restriction on foreign ownership of a U.S. C-corporation which owns the boat so long as the boat is used for recreation. Just the company needs to have a U.S. CEO and Chairman, who does not need to have any ownership interest. See:

https://www.marlinmag.com/foreign-ci...ng-boats-in-us

If you use an LLC or partnership, then the nationality of the owners matters, but not in case of a C-corp. The easy accessibility of U.S. registration to non-U.S. citizens who have nothing to do with the U.S. will be immediately visible to you if you sail in Turkish waters, where something like half the boats are U.S. flagged (at least until recent reforms).


But the U.S. is a unique case AS FAR AS I KNOW. Belgium does not care who owns the shares of a Belgian (or other EU) company. You can create an Estonian company in 5 minutes online and use that. Belgium wants 50% EU ownership in case of INDIVIDUAL ownership, not corporate ownership.

The classical way to get onto the Belgian registry for non-EU citizens was to open a UK company, which is almost as simple as an Estonian company to open and only a little more complicated to maintain (file annual returns annually and ONLINE; register as a "dormant company" with the UK tax authorities). With Brexit, that won't work anymore soon.
__________________
"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
Walt Whitman
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 05:17   #21
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 32,971
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTom View Post
. . . Just as e.g. UK they either need residency OR citizenship, see the gov.t site. As Dockhead mentioned, for Belgian registry one needs to register a company in Belgium, which comes with additional paperwork & costs.
A Belgian company, or any EU company will do. Who owns the company is completely irrelevant.

The paperwork and cost to open an EU company vary from place to place. The UK is very simple, and UK companies are really excellent because
of the very high quality of the registry (through "Companies House"), which puts all the data officially online, which means no one can ever accuse you of presenting fake documents concerning a UK company. For decades, UK companies were considered to be the most prestigious ownership vehicle. Costs of opening and maintaining a UK company are very modest. Unfortunately Brexit kills this variant.

But there are other countries which make it very easy and cheap to open and maintain a company. Netherlands is very good. But I especially like Estonia, because this country has the most advanced electronic and online system of registries on the planet. Anyone can sign up for "e residency", a unique Estonian innovation, which has nothing to do with physical residency and does not make you an EU resident, but which makes you a person electronically with the ability to sign documents digitally, and makes it easy to prove who you are, and Estonian companies are exceptionally easy to set up and deal with remotely.

You don't need e-residency to open an Estonian company, but it is a very cool thing with a lot of benefits:

See: https://e-resident.gov.ee/

If I were in the OP's situation, I would probably be looking at an Estonian company, now that UK companies will soon not be EU citizens.
__________________
"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
Walt Whitman
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 05:24   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Irish Sea
Posts: 1,319
Images: 7
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Right, forgot that companies don't have to be registered in the same country, sounds great then!
__________________
Useful as a fireproof bottom paint...
GTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2018, 05:43   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: No home port, full time liveaboard
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 50 (aka 49)
Posts: 292
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
The tax is 5000 euro, not 2000.
Actually it’s 2478 euro, stumbled upon the correct number.
2big2small is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2018, 03:04   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Switzerland
Boat: So many boats to choose from. Would prefer something that is not an AWB, and that is beachable...
Posts: 1,311
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
Actually itís 2478 euro, stumbled upon the correct number.
Were do you get that from?
Looking at the official price list I see that the "vlaggebrief" kosts 147,- euro. There is no other tax mentioned on FOD Mobiliteit site.

https://mobilit.belgium.be/sites/def..._2018-01_n.pdf
K_V_B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2018, 04:38   #25
Registered User
 
Quebramar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Brussels (Belgium)
Boat: Najad 373
Posts: 262
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
Were do you get that from?

Looking at the official price list I see that the "vlaggebrief" kosts 147,- euro. There is no other tax mentioned on FOD Mobiliteit site.



https://mobilit.belgium.be/sites/def..._2018-01_n.pdf


The Ä2478 tax is for new boats, this amount decreases by 10% each year so a boat older than 10y is almost exempt of this tax (min is Ä62). It is a one-off when registering, on top of the registration letter (Ä147).

Residency matters, less than citizenship. Companies need to be registered with the central company database, not sure if this one accepts offshore entities with no link to the country (such as representation office)
Quebramar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2018, 05:34   #26
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 32,971
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quebramar View Post
. . . Residency matters, less than citizenship. Companies need to be registered with the central company database, not sure if this one accepts offshore entities with no link to the country (such as representation office)
Residency and citizenship each have their own very specific significance.

Companies are "persons" and also have citizenship and residency. Not all countries allow their companies to be "offshore" -- that is, specifically registered as being "non-resident" -- having no activity or presence in the country where they are registered, in order to avoid being taxed in the home country. But you don't need an offshore company if you won't have profits and just want to own your boat through it.

So you just need an ordinary Netherlands or Estonian or whatever EU company, not an offshore one, and you just need to pay a small annual sum to accountants to give you a legal address in the country you register the company in. For an Estonian (or UK) company, you can do all the filings yourself online and don't need accountants' services for that. I don't know about a Netherlands one.

Don't know about rep office of a non-EU company, but I guess that would probably be ok, since these are registered for taxes and are treated for most purposes like a local company. In most countries, you even get a local registration number as if you were a local company.
__________________
"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
Walt Whitman
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2018, 14:43   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Irish Sea
Posts: 1,319
Images: 7
Re: Sailing boat registration in Belgium

More to it, if the boat is company owned, VAT is only to be paid when the boat leaves the company (and stays in the EU). Not sure about major upgrades vs. VAT... I recall Croatian charter companies offered this option to buy their boats as a company and save significant portion of the VAT (it's expensive to reg. a company in Croatia).

Speaking of Estonia, unfortunately their flag doesn't seem to be a convenience flag.
__________________
Useful as a fireproof bottom paint...
GTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
registration, sail, sailing

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Member in Belgium ludo.verhavert Meets & Greets 7 01-05-2011 17:38
Hi from Belgium Cromarty Meets & Greets 6 11-04-2011 04:51
Crew Wanted: Southern Spain to Belgium - Immediately edsailing Crew Archives 3 24-08-2010 11:23
Sailing to Belgium Skipper Dan Europe & Mediterranean 6 07-08-2010 11:37

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.