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Old 19-02-2019, 05:50   #1
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Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

Hi, I'm new to the forum. I am a New Zealand citizen living in Cyprus. Am in the process of buying a VAT-paid cruising sailboat locally.

I am planning to sail only in the Mediterranean - mostly the waters would be Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. Typically boats in Cyprus seem to have the Cyprus flag or the US (Delaware) flag.

I'm looking into registering under the New Zealand flag Part B, since the Cyprus Flag would involve setting up a company to own it, and the New Zealand flag is not much more cost than the Delaware flag on an annual basis.

Are there any downsides to using the New Zealand flag in the Mediterranean?
Are there any gotchas to being registered under the New Zealand flag in terms of tax or regulation either in Europe or New Zealand etc? Note this boat will never go to New Zealand.
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Old 19-02-2019, 13:29   #2
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

No issues with NZ as long as you donít bring it to NZ. NZ regulations (e.g. Cat 1) donít apply outside of NZ, though you are expected to maintain the safety, communication and other NZ requirements for yachts (thatís the same for any other registration). You will also need a NZ radio licence/call sign for your fixed vhf, and if you have an EPIRB that should be registered (free) in NZ.

Your biggest issue is to ensure that you can keep your boat in Europe permanently - does non-European registration change that?
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Old 20-02-2019, 01:47   #3
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

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Originally Posted by fxykty View Post
Your biggest issue is to ensure that you can keep your boat in Europe permanently - does non-European registration change that?
Isn't that more about EU VAT paid status? In this case EU VAT is paid.

I tried researching online the radio licence/call sign. Excuse my ignorance. Does the call sign and mmsi have to change with the registration to the new country?

It's very confusing online what VHF licences and qualifications/certificates are required if you don't intend to actually be on the New Zealand coast.
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Old 20-02-2019, 02:01   #4
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

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Isn't that more about EU VAT paid status? In this case EU VAT is paid.

I tried researching online the radio licence/call sign. Excuse my ignorance. Does the call sign and mmsi have to change with the registration to the new country?

It's very confusing online what VHF licences and qualifications/certificates are required if you don't intend to actually be on the New Zealand coast.

Any installation and use of VHF and/or MF/HF radio on board of a vessel, anywhere in the world, even if only for emergency purposes, requires a ship radio licence. AFAIK you can only get a ship radio licence from the same jurisdiction as your registration. So for you it is NZ. Bummer, as it costs NZD350.00 per year. Check out https://www.boatingeducation.org.nz/...io-call-signs/. Good luck.
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Old 20-02-2019, 02:04   #5
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

With regard to Europe you can sail with under the New Zeeland flag without any problem, as long as you can prove you paid the VAT. That means when authorities ask such proof you have two options :

1. Always have on board the invoices, proof of payment, etc.
2. Request the tax authorities in Cyprus for a declaration that you paid the VAT.

My advice would be to go for option two as you then only need to have this declaration on board and all original paperwork can be left at home.

Do keep in mind that as you are sailing under a non-EU flag, the inspections by authorities will be more frequent.
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Old 20-02-2019, 02:09   #6
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

Ship station licence (CallSign, MMSI, ATIS)
Whether the ship station licence can be maintained depends on what the requirements are of the agency in Cyprus that issued the ships station licence.

In the Netherlands, for example, there were no such requirement. Because this was being “abused”, a new law is in the making that only vessels registered in the ships registrar of the Netherlands can apply for a ship station licence.

My advice would be to consult the authorities in Cyprus and ask them if you can maintain the ship station licence, or that you will have to apply for one in New Zeeland.
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Old 21-02-2019, 01:59   #7
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

If you are a foreign flagged boat you will receive a Transit log (VAT is not applicable) and what the Transit log gives you is 18 months in a given country (may vary country to country). If you go on the hard like I do after each summer season the clock stops - BUT you have to go to customs and hand in your Transit log. When your season starts up again you go to customs again and pay a small fee and get your Transit log and the clock starts again. After your 18 months are up you can sail to another country for a day (supposedly) and return and get a new transit log.

Newly registered boat means you have to get a new Call Sign and MMSI from your flagged country. And then you will need to re-configure this into your VHF. Note some older VHF can only be re-programmed so many times so check to see if you need to get a new VHF - can anyone verify this?

There have been changes taking place in the last year and I believe they are closing loopholes so I would not try and game the system - if you are from New Zealand - then register it there.

Only downside is you have to leave the EU 90 days in / 90 days out but that is related you to passport not the flag of the boat. As a foreign flagged boat I have not experienced any downsides and can not imagine your situation is any different from mine.
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Old 21-02-2019, 02:11   #8
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

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If you are a foreign flagged boat you will receive a Transit log (VAT is not applicable) and what the Transit log gives you is 18 months in a given country (may vary country to country).
You are only subject to the 18 months if you submit a request for reimbursement of VAT and you can only do this for a period of 10 years. That is if the vessel is purchased in the EU, which is the case here.
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Old 21-02-2019, 02:15   #9
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

Gaming the system, with regard to the ship station licence......I would not take that risk and play by the book.
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Old 21-02-2019, 02:39   #10
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Re: Using New Zealand flag in Mediterranean

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You are only subject to the 18 months if you submit a request for reimbursement of VAT and you can only do this for a period of 10 years. That is if the vessel is purchased in the EU, which is the case here.
Your experience is different from mine. As I understand, since I am a foreign flagged boat I need a Transit log. And although my boat has VAT paid it is only applicable should I choose to sell it in the EU. I can get a new Transit log after leaving and re-entering. I can not imagine I would be using the same Transit log for more than ten years.

And Vat is not applicable to foreign flagged boats. They will never ask for evidence of VAT with a Transit log.
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