Reference: Temporary Admission VAT and customs
for Private Boats
Noonsite discussion: https://www.noonsite.com/cruising-re...uropean-union/
2) TEMPORARY IMPORT
OF PRIVATE NON-EU VESSELS FOR USE IN THE EU
EU VAT/Import Duty:
Some Frequently Asked Questions about the temporary importation of private non-EU vessels for use in the European Union.
What are the basics?
Non-EU vessels which are intended for re-export may be temporarily brought into and used for private purposes in the EU, or more strictly in the “Customs territory of the Community”, (which includes our territorial waters), without Customs
duties or Value Added Tax (VAT) needing to be paid. But this can only be done by persons who are not EU residents – in official terms – by people who are “established outside that territory”. This facility is thus NOT available to EU residents whatever their nationality.
The boats concerned have to be placed under the “temporary importation procedure” (TI) with Customs and the period of use in the EU is limited in time. When the time is up the boat has to leave, in official jargon, this period is called “the period of discharge”. The re-exportation of the goods from the Customs territory of the Community is the usual way of ending or “discharging” a temporary importation procedure. If the boat does not leave before the end of that time, then Customs duty and VAT become due.
A boat is temporarily imported into the EU and not into one of the constituent Member
States. Thus it can move from one Member
State to another with no further Customs formalities during the 18 month period allowed.
It needs to be emphasized that the 18 month TI period only applies to privately own, non-EU yachts and sailed by non-EU owners or skippers. If an EU owner or skipper sails
a non-EU registered the boat, then there is now, in practice, no period of TI.
How can a yacht be placed under TI?
Just crossing the frontier of the Customs territory of the Community is in general sufficient. But, you may be required to use a route
specified by Customs and they may require you to make an oral or written Customs declaration. It is possible they may require the provision of some kind of security
or guarantee to cover the payment of the Customs duties and VAT that become due if the boat does not leave the EU.
How long can the yacht stay in the EU?
Normally, you can use the vessel in the EU for 18 months. In technical terms, the period for discharge for privately used means of sea and inland waterway transport is 18 months. This is laid down in the provisions of the EU Customs Code. If the boat is “laid up” (“put in bond”) for a time the possibility exists for not counting the period of non-use (see below).
However, the total time a yacht can remain in the EU is a maximum of 24 months. The amount of paperwork required to place a boat in Customs bond and the restrictions they place on it varies from country to country.
Technically you cannot make use of the boat while it is in bond (i.e. sleep on board) and that you can only visit it to maintain it not to make improvements. That said, whether these rules are actually applied, again varies from country to country.
Yachts registered in Norway
or Liechtenstein and sailed by non-EU citizens are permitted a period of 6 months sailing and up to 6 months laid up in any 1 year.
Update January 2016 – Re Greece!
has now repealed the law that previously stated that the transit logs
issued to non-EU boats were not extendable from 6 months to the normal EU limit of 18 months. So it now conforms to the EU TI rules.
Can I sail in the EU for the Whole 18 months?
The short answer is ‘no’.
Although the yacht itself can remain in the EU for 18 months, the skipper
is bound by the Schengen visa regulations
(whether or not they actually need to apply for a visa) and must leave the Schengen Area after 90 days. See the Schengen Area section for a full explanation of the rules. However, a different non-EU skipper (with the owner’s permission) could take over.
Can the 18 months be extended if the yacht is not used? You may want to go home for Christmas!
Yes, as noted above, the eighteen month period may be extended for the time during which the yacht is not used. The EU Customs Code allows for this. However, the maximum overall period during which the yacht can remain in the EU is 24 months.
What Other Restrictions Are There?
Yachts may be temporarily imported for private use only. Under temporary importation, a yacht may not be hired, sold or lent to a resident of the EU. Immediate relatives of the owner may use the boat if they are resident outside of the EU. The boat may be used occasionally by an EU resident, when acting on behalf of the owner and when the owner is himself/herself in the EU.
The VAT relief also applies to the importation of spare parts and accessories to effect repairs or maintenance. This relief only applies to yachts registered outside the EU and owned by a non-EU resident. If you are shipping many items from outside the EU, it is advisable to use the services of an import agent who can deal with all the paperwork and duty calculations on your behalf.
Does the 18 month Rule
apply to All Non-EU Registered Boats?
Not if the owner is resident in the EU.
Can you have another period of Temporary Importation? How long must you wait?
Yes, you are not limited to a single
period of temporary import. You can sail the yacht out of the EU and when you came back again a new period of temporary importation can begin. The Customs rules do not provide for a “minimum period” during which the goods must remain outside of the Customs territory of the EU.
Whilst it is not required to proceed to a customs office in order to make a declaration of entry, it is perhaps wise to obtain documentary evidence that time has been spent outside the EU. Leaving for a very short time and returning to the same country may be regarded as an abuse of this regulation and is best avoided.