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Old 22-03-2021, 06:51   #1
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UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Hi Forumions

I was getting a boat surveyed today in Greece. The surveyor told me that Greece had just changed its VAT paid rules.

In his words (as he has a boat in Greece in this situation).

"If the VAT was paid in the UK, then the VAT paid on the EU is no longer valid. "

I asked: But not even if it was a year when the UK was in the EU?

Reply: No, the VAT receipt must show that the VAT paid at the time of purchase of the boat went to a country that is in the EU at this moment. So, if the boat was purchased by a company or person, and the VAT paid went to the UK, even in the years that the UK was in the EU, Greece will not recognize the VAT as paid.

This news (he said) was released last week. His personal boat was in this situation (purchased in the UK three years ago), and he had everything confirmed with lawyers.

So to summarise his situation, the boat was in Greece on the 31st of December, so his boat is not VAT paid in either the UK or Greece.

He can sail to the UK before the end of this year to claim a VAT paid status in the UK. However, in the EU, he would need to pay the VAT again to avoid the 18 monthly transit log rules.

What is more concerning is, most boats do not have transit logs stating their entry into the EU. Therefore they must either pay VAT at the moment they are moved from the dry dock to the water or leave the EU immediately (stated the surveyors' lawyer). It is unclear if Greece will allow a 30 day grace period once the COVID sailing restrictions have been lifted to resolve all these transit log issues or go straight to a pay VAT or be seize policy. His lawyer also warned that Greece is doing an inventory of the dry docks for their new 1000 euros tax on all boats in Greece, whether in dry dock or in the water.

As a potential buyer in Greece viewing boats, he told me to hold onto my socks and prepare to see a large number of boats appearing on the market from individuals that are worried about losing their boats in Greece. He told me that many boats have been in dry dock since September 2019 due to COVID. These owners are not able to move their boats in the case of transit for VAT and will probably try to cut their losses and dump their boats on the marketplace.

He speculates that boat prices in Greece will be slashed by up to 50% or more as owners try to get whatever they can from the market before it is too late.

Has Greece or Europe gone crazy?
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Old 22-03-2021, 07:13   #2
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

That sounds fishy and might be - to call it politely - a local misunderstanding.

True is, if you boat was in the UK on last newyear's eve, it lost EU-paid VAT. True is also that you have a time this year to repatriate your ship.

However clearing up this kind of misunderstanding specially if you don't speak the language might take some effort. Reminds me of how Croatia is dealing with yachties. You need professional help.
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Old 22-03-2021, 07:15   #3
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

He's wrong. If an UK VAT paid boat was in the EU on December 31st then the boat is considered EU VAT paid.
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Old 22-03-2021, 07:36   #4
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
He's wrong. If an UK VAT paid boat was in the EU on December 31st then the boat is considered EU VAT paid.
[...] as long as it doesn't leave EU waters and can prove it was in EU-waters on December 31st 2020.

After this, it will be a foreign yacht in transit with the 18 months.

A good source of information about this is the RYA: https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-adv...ns-next.aspx#3
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Old 22-03-2021, 08:25   #5
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
He's wrong. If an UK VAT paid boat was in the EU on December 31st then the boat is considered EU VAT paid.
This is the BIG news. I am trying to confirm a link to the office Greek goverment statement.
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Old 22-03-2021, 08:49   #6
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

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Originally Posted by digitalnomad View Post
Has Greece or Europe gone crazy?

The are all unlawful systems. So what? One won't get fairness from them but only a - bloody useless - verdict.
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Old 22-03-2021, 09:10   #7
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joh.Ghurt View Post
[...] as long as it doesn't leave EU waters and can prove it was in EU-waters on December 31st 2020.

After this, it will be a foreign yacht in transit with the 18 months.

A good source of information about this is the RYA: https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-adv...ns-next.aspx#3
That is the UK version, which we have all been aware of, however the news from Greece (Where I am right now) is that Greece has stated (I am stating this as a thirdparty) that they will not follow this agreement. Which if correct will have a deep impact on the Greek sailing community. I just got of the phone with a Broker in Athens that confirmed the same thing. All VAT receipts on UK flagged boats in Greece that the VAT was paid to the UK, no matter what date or where the boat was on December the 31st are now classed as VAT not paid in the EU, against all the documentation in the RYA etc.

I have asked this Broker and the Surveyor to provide a link to the office statement from the Greek goverment. At this time I have not received it, so this information is still unconfirmed officially, but multiple sources have told me the same thing ... and in the same way.
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Old 22-03-2021, 09:18   #8
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

I have no idea where in Greece you have been looking or who you are talking to but this information is not entirely correct.

I am only commenting on a UK registered boat flying a red duster.

If the vessel paid its VAT while the UK was in the EU, and was in Greek waters before 31/12/20, then it is fine going forward, there are no issues.

Additionally, the boat will now need to carry a transit log, but under the WA, UK flagged boats that have paid their VAT while the UK was in the EU, will be issued with a UTL, unlimited, which have different rules to the standard TL. Its for life, not changing skipper every 6 months and no renewal every 18 months like the normal TL.

Both the RYA and the CA have full chapter and verse on this, visit their website.

You learn very quickly here in Greece to question everything, the lack of knowledge about all sorts of matters is sometimes staggering. Very few customs offices here even know about the UTL, it will take time to filter down.

Bottom line, the Greek government have just woken up to the prospect of the many thousands of UK flagged boats going and playing somewhere else, and they are very rapidly sorting things out.

You will of course still have to pay your annual cruising tax, which if you buy under 12m is not bad at all, and is justified for the use of all the free marinas and ports.

If you plan to cruise the boat in Greece for periods of longer than 90 days out of every 180, then you would also need to apply for a biege residency card, which is what most long term cruisers here have already done.
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Old 22-03-2021, 09:23   #9
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pirate Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalnomad View Post
Hi Forumions

I was getting a boat surveyed today in Greece. The surveyor told me that Greece had just changed its VAT paid rules.

In his words (as he has a boat in Greece in this situation).

"If the VAT was paid in the UK, then the VAT paid on the EU is no longer valid. "

I asked: But not even if it was a year when the UK was in the EU?

Reply: No, the VAT receipt must show that the VAT paid at the time of purchase of the boat went to a country that is in the EU at this moment. So, if the boat was purchased by a company or person, and the VAT paid went to the UK, even in the years that the UK was in the EU, Greece will not recognize the VAT as paid.

This news (he said) was released last week. His personal boat was in this situation (purchased in the UK three years ago), and he had everything confirmed with lawyers.

So to summarise his situation, the boat was in Greece on the 31st of December, so his boat is not VAT paid in either the UK or Greece.

He can sail to the UK before the end of this year to claim a VAT paid status in the UK. However, in the EU, he would need to pay the VAT again to avoid the 18 monthly transit log rules.

What is more concerning is, most boats do not have transit logs stating their entry into the EU. Therefore they must either pay VAT at the moment they are moved from the dry dock to the water or leave the EU immediately (stated the surveyors' lawyer). It is unclear if Greece will allow a 30 day grace period once the COVID sailing restrictions have been lifted to resolve all these transit log issues or go straight to a pay VAT or be seize policy. His lawyer also warned that Greece is doing an inventory of the dry docks for their new 1000 euros tax on all boats in Greece, whether in dry dock or in the water.

As a potential buyer in Greece viewing boats, he told me to hold onto my socks and prepare to see a large number of boats appearing on the market from individuals that are worried about losing their boats in Greece. He told me that many boats have been in dry dock since September 2019 due to COVID. These owners are not able to move their boats in the case of transit for VAT and will probably try to cut their losses and dump their boats on the marketplace.

He speculates that boat prices in Greece will be slashed by up to 50% or more as owners try to get whatever they can from the market before it is too late.

Has Greece or Europe gone crazy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
He's wrong. If an UK VAT paid boat was in the EU on December 31st then the boat is considered EU VAT paid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalnomad View Post
That is the UK version, which we have all been aware of, however the news from Greece (Where I am right now) is that Greece has stated (I am stating this as a thirdparty) that they will not follow this agreement. Which if correct will have a deep impact on the Greek sailing community. I just got of the phone with a Broker in Athens that confirmed the same thing. All VAT receipts on UK flagged boats in Greece that the VAT was paid to the UK, no matter what date or where the boat was on December the 31st are now classed as VAT not paid in the EU, against all the documentation in the RYA etc.

I have asked this Broker and the Surveyor to provide a link to the office statement from the Greek goverment. At this time I have not received it, so this information is still unconfirmed officially, but multiple sources have told me the same thing ... and in the same way.
Bludi cheek when one looks back in history..
The UK pays nearly a fifth of all VAT going into the EU budget. Conclusion. The UK is behind a significant share of the VAT revenue flowing into the EU budget.
Greeks having a pop at a country for doing what they had not the guts to do..
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Old 22-03-2021, 09:43   #10
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Bludi cheek when one looks back in history..
The UK pays nearly a fifth of all VAT going into the EU budget. Conclusion. The UK is behind a significant share of the VAT revenue flowing into the EU budget.
Greeks having a pop at a country for doing what they had not the guts to do..

EU memberstates pay 0.3% of their received VAT into the EU (with a few exceptions that pay less)
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Old 22-03-2021, 09:56   #11
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Well they have to pay for the restoration of the Acropolis somehow and it is always easier for politicians to tax non-voters / non-citizens than to tax citizens.

There be consequences to Brexiting that have yet to be fully baked and discerned. But I suspect that the EU will force a common approach, else everything will be Greek and confusing. This sounds like a mis-interpretation of basic customs duty / VAT compliance practices. Note that vessels are no different than any other VAT paid status good, nothing unique about a boat as far as its importation matters, temporary or permanent.

Temporary admission status with its 18 month window for discharge by entry to a place or port that is foreign to the EU is not much of challenge when in Greece. A short sail and one completes the discharge.

The greater challenge is the need of the non-resident UKers to depart after spending no more than 90 days in every 180 days; and / or the issue of becoming a fiscal resident [tax resident] if one stays 183 days in a country during a calendar year.

All the best.
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Old 22-03-2021, 10:05   #12
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

I have this confirmed and will supply you a link in Greek with the new details. As soon as I have it I will post it.
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Old 22-03-2021, 10:34   #13
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

Hello,
Even Greece and EU didn't get crazy, but UK people sure...
Another thing that a lot of people don't know about VAT :

If you leave EU with a payed VAT boat for mote than 2 years, you will have to pay VAT again... For example with a French flag, you must anounce your departure and get an autorization, valid for 2 years. You can ask for additional 2 years permits, but you have to do this wenn in french waters (Carabbean islands - French Polynesia - New Caledionia, etc...) If you miss it it's lost.

Good luck
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Old 22-03-2021, 11:43   #14
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

I agree with those who think this is a misunderstanding but the purchase of a boat in EU waters at the end of 2020 for which UK VAT was paid may be complex. The Cruising Association have done a lot of research on this and continue to clarify the situation. You might like to check out... https://www.theca.org.uk/news/rats/brexit_webinar_video which is for all, there is more available for members.
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Old 22-03-2021, 12:42   #15
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Re: UK / EU VAT paid no longer valid

A quick response from the CA
Greece has fir typically Greek reasons decided to ignore the withdrawal agreement which defines what happens with VAT Status based on where you are. I can only assume that some lowly official has done the usual thing and made it up.

We have sent vigorous complaints in to the AADE, and also will send a complaint to the EU forthwith.
I sent a question to the commission explain that the greeks were denying our vat status, and got an instant response that they were out of order and they actually suggested we should make a formal complaint through the EU.

This will go in the next couple of days.

Don't Panic.

If this and the 90 days don't get extended, I will leave and winter from now on in Turkey. The latter will happen even if they sort this but not the 90 extensions, a large number will have to leave!
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