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Old 20-01-2022, 13:37   #1
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Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

Hi all,

I am interested in buying a boat in Greece that is UK part One registered and was previously owned by an Australian who has returned home and is non VAT paid.

My questions are as I've been advised that saying Vat on a none Greek boat in Greece is tricky can I sail to another EU country with a low VAT rate and pay there? Do I have to register the boat in the same country?

I have a UK passport but am resident in Ireland and will be bringing the boat back there.
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Old 20-01-2022, 14:45   #2
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

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Originally Posted by GoleenHarbour View Post
Hi all,

I am interested in buying a boat in Greece that is UK part One registered and was previously owned by an Australian who has returned home and is non VAT paid.

My questions are as I've been advised that saying Vat on a none Greek boat in Greece is tricky can I sail to another EU country with a low VAT rate and pay there? Do I have to register the boat in the same country?

I have a UK passport but am resident in Ireland and will be bringing the boat back there.
Where is Back There? The UK or Ireland. Big difference as one is in the EU and the other Brexited. Totally different matter as to VAT and customs paid status.

If customs and VAT are paid to an EU country then it will be provided VAT paid status within the EU and has been granted free circulation status. If the EU customs and VAT are paid, that will not provide any benefit if you as to its importation into the UK if you are a residence of the UK.

One can "register" a vessel in any country that you are allowed to. You are a UK citizen that avails UK flagging capability. Otherwise, you could choose to register with a flag of convenience, that is an open registry. The vessel is registered with the UK, it would seem to be the simplest matter to change its ownership under the UK registry and retain that as its flag state.

So by saying it is not VAT paid status in the EU, are you saying the boat was under temporary admission / temporary importation as to its importation into the EU, that being Greece presently? Under TA/TI a non-resident of the EU could bring their vessel in and stay in the EU for 18 months without needing to pay customs duty or VAT before which it needs to be discharged by exporting it outside of the EU custom's jurisdiction.

What is the status of the vessels TA/TI? Best be clear on the details of its first arrival and stay in the EU.

The boat may have already overstayed its 18 month TA/TI, in which case the owner would need to pay EU customs and VAT before it could be sold in the EU.

As to low VAT, well there really is no low VAT country, [from an American's perspective all VAT is outrageously high]. Reference map below, these are 2021 rates, not sure if anything has changed now that it is 2022.

I'm suspecting the vessel needs to clear customs and pay VAT in Greece before you can purchase such since that is where it is located and where it seems you will purchase it.

Be sure to check the title and lien status of the vessel with the UK registry before you purchase it so as to be sure you are dealing with the rightful owner and that there are no recorded encumbrances with the vessel and its appurtenances.
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Old 20-01-2022, 15:31   #3
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

Thanks @Montanan. Some great advice and info there I will follow up on.

To be clear I've lived in Ireland, I'm sight of the Fastnet Rock for over 20 years. It's here I'll be brining the boat back,
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Old 20-01-2022, 17:30   #4
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

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Originally Posted by GoleenHarbour View Post
Thanks @Montanan. Some great advice and info there I will follow up on.

To be clear I've lived in Ireland, I'm sight of the Fastnet Rock for over 20 years. It's here I'll be brining the boat back,
If the boat is under TA/TI it will need to be cleared as to importation into the EU - duty and VAT - before it can be sold in the EU. That cost is on the Australian owner to resolve.

Fastnet Rock???? Hmmm, perhaps a place that must has high-speed broad band internet service.

Will the Australian owner return to execute the sale. You may need to have the owner provide a power of attorney to execute on their behalf, or have documents executed in Australia with an Apostille to certify the bill of sale and title transfer. Australia and Greece are signature to the Apostille convention.

Enjoy your new to you boat, and the voyage from Greece to …ire.

As to VAT, Montana does not have any sales or use taxation, nor VAT. The price of goods and services are not marked up by such government escalations. We just pay the Value.
I can't imagine paying 20% in addition to the cost of the good.
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Old 21-01-2022, 08:13   #5
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

since you are resident in Ireland, and plan to bring the boat there and keep it in Ireland, I would recommend paying VAT in a EU country. Ideally you would also want to register the yacht in an EU country as well, as it would make it easier if you want to sail it back to the Med or France etc one day. Having it registered in the EU (rather than the UK) may also make it easier to sell later on, when it is time to sell it. In 2020 I bought my boat in Italy. It was registered in Norway but was EU vat paid. I was and remain resident in the UK but wanted to retain the EU vat paid status so made sure the yacht was not in UK waters on Brexit day. I have also gone through the rigmarole of getting it registered in Ireland, which I was able to do since I (also) have Irish citizenship. Now, when I return to the Med in a few years after retirement, I hope I will get less challenge on my boat’s EU vat paid status since I’m flying the Irish flag, and not a UK flag.

I’m not sure that a resident, but not a citizen of Ireland, would be allowed to register a yacht there. But if you are, it would be very much easier to do if / once you have the boat there. I did it with the boat in the UK and that was a big and expensive hassle (had to apply to the Irish government to issue a warrant to a named employee of a recognised organisation (Lloyds Register in the UK) to do a tonnage survey of the boat ($$$). Then had to go to Ireland and do the same VHF course all over again so as to be able to get the Irish Ship’s radio licence, as Ireland won’t accept any British radio operator’s licences issued after 2006, even though the syllabus is the same as the UK’s RYA radio course). Good luck!

PS Malta (on the way from Greece to Ireland) is the 2nd lowest VAT rate in the UK, after the Azores. I know that folks importing yachts from the US / Canada either try to make their fist landfall in the Azores, or failing that, Malta, since I think the first EU country where landfall is made, is where VAT has to be paid. It may therefore be the case that EU VAT will have to be paid in Greece, if that is the first country the boat made landfall in (assuming it was ever out of the EU, most charter boats won’t ever be VAT paid until they leave the charter business and are bought by a private individual).
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Old 21-01-2022, 08:48   #6
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

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Originally Posted by GoleenHarbour View Post
Hi all,

I am interested in buying a boat in Greece that is UK part One registered and was previously owned by an Australian who has returned home and is non VAT paid.

My questions are as I've been advised that saying Vat on a none Greek boat in Greece is tricky can I sail to another EU country with a low VAT rate and pay there? Do I have to register the boat in the same country?

I have a UK passport but am resident in Ireland and will be bringing the boat back there.
Hi, Yes, you can. I would most definitely recommend Malta. I went into this about 4 years ago,but still remain in Turkey for the moment! However, contact S & D Yachts in Malta, they are specialists in this subject. When I was enquiring the VAT rate was 7%. Please be aware that,,if I remember correctly, once you have agreed the "deal" you can go cruising again,outside Malta, but as far as I remember, you have to return with the boat back to Malta one year later to finalise the paperwork. This may or may not suit you! Do check carefully with S & D as these details may now be out of date. Hope that helps
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Old 21-01-2022, 10:54   #7
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

Quote:
My questions are as I've been advised that saying Vat on a none Greek boat in Greece is tricky can I sail to another EU country with a low VAT rate and pay there? Do I have to register the boat in the same country?

I have a UK passport but am resident in Ireland and will be bringing the boat back there.
Your passport is irrelevant, its your tax residency that matters

woa there chaps

If this is a secondhand boat , it is not classified as a new means of transport under VAT law. Its illegal to sell such a boat to a EU tax resident without VAT being paid IN GREECE. ( unless you are VAT registered etc)

There is no time allowance and its effectively illegal to export it from Greece in its current state by a EU owner, you and the seller are effectively engaging in VAT fraud

The best way is the seller agrees with local customs a financial value and pays the VAT just before the sale ( note if the seller is VAT registered they MUST charge you VAT ) This can be tricky if the seller doesn't want to do that before the sale ,

The VAT rate in Malta is 18%, but as I said you cant avail of it.

EU VAT law is very clear on the subject of "VAT shopping "
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Old 21-01-2022, 11:02   #8
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

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Originally Posted by const0022 View Post
Hi, Yes, you can. I would most definitely recommend Malta. I went into this about 4 years ago,but still remain in Turkey for the moment! However, contact S & D Yachts in Malta, they are specialists in this subject. When I was enquiring the VAT rate was 7%. Please be aware that,,if I remember correctly, once you have agreed the "deal" you can go cruising again,outside Malta, but as far as I remember, you have to return with the boat back to Malta one year later to finalise the paperwork. This may or may not suit you! Do check carefully with S & D as these details may now be out of date. Hope that helps
this was a lease deal tax rebate , its not pertinent to the OPs issue
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Old 21-01-2022, 11:06   #9
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Re: Where to pay VAT on a Greek boat, UK registered.

note of you are considering Irish registry , you need to ensure the yachts paperwork is pristine, original notarised bill of sale traceable back to the original seller, builders certificate , VAt proof. If under 15m it can be surveyed for tonnage using a YDSA surveyor of which there are many in greece . 15m+ you need a Lloyds, RINA or Bureau Veritas surveyor, which are harder to find

the Polish register is the best alternative these days, as mentioned the best initially is to simply register a change of owner under UK part 1. ( this can be done post sale by simply sending in the bill of sale )

check with Cardif ( UK register ) to ensure the register is clear of encumbrances and make sure you do a MCA bill of sale ( as well as others ) I usually get two done and notarised ( note in Greece this is done by a lawyer not a notary )
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