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Old 06-09-2019, 01:04   #1
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American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

In two days I will be looking at a project boat in the UK. Once I have the title or bill of sale in hand what is the next step? Iím a US citizen but a resident of Ukraine. Do I insure the boat with a UK based provider? Am I required to register this boat with the UK, or with the US? The boat is on the hard and will remain so for quite some time.

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Old 06-09-2019, 01:14   #2
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

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In two days I will be looking at a project boat in the UK. Once I have the title or bill of sale in hand what is the next step? Iím a US citizen but a resident of Ukraine. Do I insure the boat with a UK based provider? Am I required to register this boat with the UK, or with the US? The boat is on the hard and will remain so for quite some time.

Thanks ��
I have an American friend living in Odessa and bought a boat a few years ago. He can help will his experience -- pm me with your email and I will try to put the two of you together -- he has been in Odessa for a while
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:17   #3
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

Well the good news is the Brits don't give two hoots about registering a boat in the UK, indeed many just used in the UK aren't registered. If you want to take it abroad from the UK, then that is different and other countries will expect a registration. The UK has a simple and a full system described here:

https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-adv...in-the-UK.aspx

Insurance would be good, but do you have a UK address? might be a problem. If its ashore likely the boatyard will insist on it being insured for obvious reasons.

Query Towergate or Pants before you do anything about registering as this may have an effect on your decision on were to register.

https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/boat-insurance

https://www.pantaenius.com/uk-en/
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:54   #4
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

Thanks, that’s very kind of you, but the boat is in the UK. I won’t be bringing it to Ukraine.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:59   #5
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

You might get away with using the boat in a boatyard as an address for insurance and registration if its going to be there a while.

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Old 06-09-2019, 02:03   #6
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

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You might get away with using the boat in a boatyard as an address for insurance and registration if its going to be there a while.

Pete
That would be ideal.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:12   #7
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

I do not know specifically about the UK but make sure that you as a foreigner there can register a boat. Typically its either as an individual or a corporation. I recently bought in Malta, and a non Maltese citizen cannot register a boat, but a non Maltese citizen can open a company and register the boat. As a company I would have faced a number of other issues including taxes. So I documented my boat in the US. Insurance did not seem to care about me, just boat survey and where it will be operated.
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:38   #8
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

I'm a U.S. citizen, resident in Europe (not UK), with a boat purchased and registered in the UK.


If you are planning to keep the boat based in the UK, then a UK flag and registration is a good way to go.


There are two registries in the UK:


Part 1, which is the formal ship registry. Requires a tonnage survey and documentation of ownership but is a very good registration with impressive documentation which is valid everywhere.


Part 3, which is the "small ships registry", which is a fairly informal scrap of paper invented to satisfy the French, who were harassing UK sailors in unregistered boats (registration is not required in the UK but is required in France).


For Part 1 registration, you can form a UK company to hold the title -- as I did. This is cheap and straightforward. I use a marina address as the company's legal address, but you need permission from the marina to do this. After Brexit, apparently Part 1 registration will be opened to U.S. citizens -- but check that, the situation has changed several times. But in any case, you can do it with a company which can be formed online in 5 minutes.


Part 3 registration is not available to companies, only physical persons, and you must have a UK address. I'm not sure whether you are legally required to be a UK resident or not, but in any case quite a few people who are not resident just use a friend's address and apparently get away with it -- do this at your own risk.


But I wouldn't bother with Part 3 registration unless you are never planning to sail far away. Part 1 is easy enough.


As far as insurance is concerned, I did not have any trouble obtaining insurance despite not being a UK resident. I use Pantaenius and am quite happy with them.


For more in depth information and even assistance, contact the RYA. Join the RYA and you will then have access to a large volume of legal materials, and you can even ask questions of the RYA legal department. It's a great organization and a great deal.


A couple of other points:


1. Boating is tax-free in the UK. There is no annual tax of any kind if you keep the boat in the UK.


2. However, boats used by EU residents must be VAT paid. Usually if VAT was paid at initial purchase and the boat was not sold outside of the EU, this status is retained forever. If you are a non-EU citizen resident outside of the EU, you could theoretically use a non-VAT paid boat in the UK, taking it out of the EU every 18 months (like sailing to Guernsey). This is called the "temporary importation scheme". But it's a faff and probably not worth it, especially if there is a risk you will ever be resident in the EU, unless you're getting a knock-down price because of the VAT status.


3. Brexit will probably happen sooner or later (maybe even 31 October), and a lot of this will change. We don't know all of the possible consequences, but it seems that a VAT paid boat will become EITHER VAT paid in the EU OR VAT paid in the UK, and not both, depending on where the boat is physically located on Brexit day. Take care with this, and other possible consequences.

4. If the boat was built after 1990 (or whatever date around then where the cutoff was), be sure it is CE marked and certified.




Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:49   #9
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I'm a U.S. citizen, resident in Europe (not UK), with a boat purchased and registered in the UK.


If you are planning to keep the boat based in the UK, then a UK flag and registration is a good way to go.


There are two registries in the UK:


Part 1, which is the formal ship registry. Requires a tonnage survey and documentation of ownership but is a very good registration with impressive documentation which is valid everywhere.


Part 3, which is the "small ships registry", which is a fairly informal scrap of paper invented to satisfy the French, who were harassing UK sailors in unregistered boats (registration is not required in the UK but is required in France).


For Part 1 registration, you can form a UK company to hold the title -- as I did. This is cheap and straightforward. I use a marina address as the company's legal address, but you need permission from the marina to do this. After Brexit, apparently Part 1 registration will be opened to U.S. citizens -- but check that, the situation has changed several times. But in any case, you can do it with a company which can be formed online in 5 minutes.


Part 3 registration is not available to companies, only physical persons, and you must have a UK address. I'm not sure whether you are legally required to be a UK resident or not, but in any case quite a few people who are not resident just use a friend's address and apparently get away with it -- do this at your own risk.


But I wouldn't bother with Part 3 registration unless you are never planning to sail far away. Part 1 is easy enough.


As far as insurance is concerned, I did not have any trouble obtaining insurance despite not being a UK resident. I use Pantaenius and am quite happy with them.


For more in depth information and even assistance, contact the RYA. Join the RYA and you will then have access to a large volume of legal materials, and you can even ask questions of the RYA legal department. It's a great organization and a great deal.


A couple of other points:


1. Boating is tax-free in the UK. There is no annual tax of any kind if you keep the boat in the UK.


2. However, boats used by EU residents must be VAT paid. Usually if VAT was paid at initial purchase and the boat was not sold outside of the EU, this status is retained forever. If you are a non-EU citizen resident outside of the EU, you could theoretically use a non-VAT paid boat in the UK, taking it out of the EU every 18 months (like sailing to Guernsey). This is called the "temporary importation scheme". But it's a faff and probably not worth it, especially if there is a risk you will ever be resident in the EU, unless you're getting a knock-down price because of the VAT status.


3. Brexit will probably happen sooner or later (maybe even 31 October), and a lot of this will change. We don't know all of the possible consequences, but it seems that a VAT paid boat will become EITHER VAT paid in the EU OR VAT paid in the UK, and not both, depending on where the boat is physically located on Brexit day. Take care with this, and other possible consequences.

4. If the boat was built after 1990 (or whatever date around then where the cutoff was), be sure it is CE marked and certified.




Good luck!
Wow! Thanks for such a detailed response. Tremendously helpful!
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Old 06-09-2019, 18:52   #10
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

A US registration will require that you have a proper bill of sale with apostile certifying the transfer. I had to provide that when buying a boat in Malaysia. The US registration was fairly simple but the apostile on the sales document turned out to be bit of problem finding proper lawyer/solicitor in London.

Having US registration makes things quite simple entering just about anywhere in the world.
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Old 06-09-2019, 22:32   #11
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

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Originally Posted by leonsk View Post
A US registration will require that you have a proper bill of sale with apostile certifying the transfer. I had to provide that when buying a boat in Malaysia. The US registration was fairly simple but the apostile on the sales document turned out to be bit of problem finding proper lawyer/solicitor in London.

Having US registration makes things quite simple entering just about anywhere in the world.

An apostille should not really be a problem -- every notary in the UK can get it. It may take some time because the document has to be sent to the Foreign Office to get the actual seal. And UK notaries are picky about what documents they are willing to certify.


However, I would not, personally, want to sail around Europe in a U.S. flag boat. Would be like carrying around a big billboard saying "Board Me and Check My Schengen Status!"


This would be especially bad in the Aegean where until recently a lot of Turkish boats were Delaware registered and U.S. flagged, a practice which the Turks have now banned. You'd get boarded every day I guess.


Another question is whether the Red Duster itself will not have a similar effect after Brexit. If the OP is planning to spend much time in Continental waters, he might prefer a Dutch or other inconspicuous flag.
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Old 07-09-2019, 00:54   #12
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

All very true but apostile is a major pain due to the very necessary ministry stamp. Not like in the USA where every stationery shop and most realtors can notarize for two bucks.

Europe sailing may well be a pain for USA boats, they were very welcome in 1944 but different times now. I live in Thailand and have sailed much of the Asia/Oceania waters, USA is a no problem and generally very welcome, just bring money (grin).
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:40   #13
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

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Originally Posted by leonsk View Post
All very true but apostile is a major pain due to the very necessary ministry stamp. Not like in the USA where every stationery shop and most realtors can notarize for two bucks.

Europe sailing may well be a pain for USA boats, they were very welcome in 1944 but different times now. I live in Thailand and have sailed much of the Asia/Oceania waters, USA is a no problem and generally very welcome, just bring money (grin).

I'm sure U.S. flagged boats will be "welcome" everywhere in Europe; what is undesirable is being obviously foreign with potential customs and immigration issues and provoking interest from the authorities. I don't know about you, but I don't like being boarded and don't like having my documents gone through, even when they are in perfect order.


I've now managed to get through two years of sailing many thousands of miles, crossing international borders dozens of times, without being boarded once. It helps a lot blending in with a local flag. In May, I sailed all the way from the UK to Finland, crossing 8 international borders, in May, without showing my passport or boat documents a single time, and without seeing a single customs, Coast Guard, or immigration guy



Whether this will work anymore after Brexit, however, is doubtful
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:57   #14
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Re: American living in Ukraine buying UK boat

I'm an American currently residing in Poland. I am interested in buying a sailboat in Europe (my reason for reading this thread). In Poland, registration is for life and the fees are extremely reasonable if you do it yourself. To the OP: I spent some time in UA also. Had an apartment in Cherkassy and traveled much of the country. Maybe meet for a beer or a coffee in Lviv or Warsaw someday?
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