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Old 13-02-2020, 06:47   #1
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Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Hi all,

I am looking for guidance and/or support on my NON VAT paid yacht.
I was hoping to pay it in Spain (where I bought the boat) but not being a Spanish resident, no NIE etc, it looks as though it is not possible.
The boat will never be in the UK other than maybe a one off visit, and not being an EU resident either, I don't know what my options are, other than what some do, ie exit EU waters to reset the 18 month clock.
I am a UK passport holder, but don't live there permanently.

unsure what to do?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Ray.
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Old 13-02-2020, 07:41   #2
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

If you can prove that you do not reside within the EU, then you might not have to pay VAT. What flag does the boat have?
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Old 13-02-2020, 07:44   #3
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

And the other question, what evidence is there that the VAT was never paid.

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Old 13-02-2020, 07:58   #4
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray. View Post
Hi all,

I am looking for guidance and/or support on my NON VAT paid yacht.
I was hoping to pay it in Spain (where I bought the boat) but not being a Spanish resident, no NIE etc, it looks as though it is not possible.
The boat will never be in the UK other than maybe a one off visit, and not being an EU resident either, I don't know what my options are, other than what some do, ie exit EU waters to reset the 18 month clock.
I am a UK passport holder, but don't live there permanently.

unsure what to do?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Ray.
Contact a VAT yacht specialist

Ocean skies in Guernsey

https://oceanskies.com/

Or Network in Mallorca

https://networkmarineconsultants.com/
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:04   #5
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

You will owe VAT if the boat is in the EU for more than 18 months. If you take it out of the EU, overnight, at least once every 18 months, you can avoid VAT, assuming you are not a tax resident in Spain. I take my US registered boat to Smir, Morocco every year to avoid VAT. I don't know what the situation will be like now with Brexit and Gibraltar. I am hoping that if Gibraltar loses its EU status, that would be the easiest place to go every year.

But, if you really want to pay VAT, don't do it in Spain! Shop around, you only have to pay it once and different countries have different rates, I believe that Portugal is cheaper.
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:24   #6
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

You might be able to pay VAT in Spain. You do not have to be a resident to have a NIE. You just go along to the national police station and you get it there by presenting your passport. A Spanish Gestor would be able help you to do all of this. . Which part of Spain are you in ?
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:36   #7
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

I also have a VAT issue which I need some advice on.
In 2013 I bought a Swan 57 sailing yacht, built 1982, through a Swedish broker from a Swedish owner who had owned it for many years. The boat was originally sold from the Finnish yard to a French owner.
In Sweden where my yacht is located (I’m a Swedish citizen), I will not have an issue with VAT. The yacht is registered in the Swedish Ships Registry and I can sell it to a Swedish buyer, no problem.
But what happens when I start sailing to the Med' and the Caribbean? Will I have to show proof of VAT-payment?
If I sell it to a person or company in UK or EU, will I need to prove that VAT has been paid?
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:48   #8
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray. View Post
Hi all,

I am looking for guidance and/or support on my NON VAT paid yacht.
I was hoping to pay it in Spain (where I bought the boat) but not being a Spanish resident, no NIE etc, it looks as though it is not possible.
The boat will never be in the UK other than maybe a one off visit, and not being an EU resident either, I don't know what my options are, other than what some do, ie exit EU waters to reset the 18 month clock.
I am a UK passport holder, but don't live there permanently.

unsure what to do?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Ray.
Ray,

First of all where do you live if it isn't the UK permanently and if you are not a Spanish resident? This might be the key to the answer. Residence can kick in after only 90 days in some countries but is normally considered as 180 in any year.

Theoretically if you bought the boat in Spain you should be liable to Spanish VAT at the point of sale unless you have purchased it under the EU "Sailaway" scheme which allows you a short period (think around 90 days) in which to sail the boat out of EU waters. After that you can Temporarily Import a non VAT Paid boat into the EU for a maximum of 18 months before VAT becomes liable again.

Until we know where you are resident though it is difficult to advise
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:55   #9
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermia II View Post
I also have a VAT issue which I need some advice on.
In 2013 I bought a Swan 57 sailing yacht, built 1982, through a Swedish broker from a Swedish owner who had owned it for many years. The boat was originally sold from the Finnish yard to a French owner.
In Sweden where my yacht is located (Iím a Swedish citizen), I will not have an issue with VAT. The yacht is registered in the Swedish Ships Registry and I can sell it to a Swedish buyer, no problem.
But what happens when I start sailing to the Med' and the Caribbean? Will I have to show proof of VAT-payment?
If I sell it to a person or company in UK or EU, will I need to prove that VAT has been paid?
I am not an expert on this, but I do know that boats of a certain age are VAT exempt. I believe it is boats built prior to 1989 or 1988, something like that. You might want to double check with a broker- your boat might be VAT exempt.
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:59   #10
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

VAT Exempt. See

https://uk.boats.com/boat-buyers-guide/vat-boats-guide/
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Old 13-02-2020, 10:01   #11
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

As a non-EU sailor on a non-EU flagged boat, I can avoid VAT by taking her out of the EU to Morocco, Tunisia, Albania, Turkey or Israel every 18 months or sooner.

If you do have to pay VAT (I'm surprised you did not do so upon sale), shop for the lowest rate. Malta is, I believe 18%, while Spain (and Portugal) are 21%.
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Old 13-02-2020, 10:22   #12
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Older vessels built before 1985 are deemed VAT paid if they were in the EU on December 31, 1992, providing thereís paperwork to support both dates

US citizen, German resident, I paid VAT to the Dutch on a low priced invoice, put the boat through a PCA (2000 euros) and now I don't have to take the boat out of the EU every 18 months.

I had a problem with the French customs once as they thought the price I paid for the boat was too low, but I told them that the boat wasn't so nice when I bought it in the US.

The VAT paper is what all the European customs seem to care about.

I think Madeira has the lowest tax rate and it isn't that low.

Tax is a four letter word.
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Old 13-02-2020, 10:39   #13
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailing_gal View Post
I don't know what the situation will be like now with Brexit and Gibraltar. I am hoping that if Gibraltar loses its EU status, that would be the easiest place to go every year.
FYI Gibraltar was in the EEA (pre Jan 31, 2020) it is not and has never been within the EU customs union so VAT is not payable. Many foreign boats reset the clock there, although Spain can be difficult as it has a problem with Gibraltar.

As far as I am aware the liability to VAT is dependent upon the location of the vessel (in the EU) and the "EU citizenship" of the owner. Any EU citizen arriving in the EU on a non VAT paid vessel becomes "immediately" liable in the first country. If the vessel was already in the EU and sold by an EU citizen it would be reasonable to believe that it is VAT paid.
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Old 13-02-2020, 10:40   #14
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

Where is the boat registered at present?

How old is the boat?

Whatís the lowest value you could reasonably put on it?

My advice is donít sweat this too much. I have owned 3 boats over a period of 30-plus years without paying European vat and cruised extensively in European waters and elsewhere.

I was only ever asked once if I had paid VAT and that was in the Azores. But it was just a question on a form and I donít think the authorities would have bothered to actually try and collect it.

On another occasion I was stopped at sea by the Italian Guardia di Finanza and asked to hand over all documents , but the officer didnít find anything amiss.

If you still want to pay VAT, look at Malta. Itís a couple of percentage points cheaper.
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Old 13-02-2020, 14:07   #15
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Re: Paying EU VAT on my boat. .

I bought my boat in Croatia - I am resident in South Africa ( irrelevant ) my boat from inception ( 2009 ) has been registered in Jersey on the British Small Ships Register ( outside of the U K - E U ) tax regime and is not V A T paid OR liable - this costs at present GBP 35.00 p.a - if you need detail contact me - Garth
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