Reflagging new-to-us boat in Med - which flag?

Irish Rover

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You may want to consider registering your yacht in the EU, if the VAT and import levies have been paid any way, as she is then probably easier to sell in the future. If she is registered in a non-EU flag state, the VAT status is valid for just three years. That means if you would want to register her in the EU after three years, VAT and import levies would have to be paid again.

If as a UK and US paspoort holders you have a permanent Spanish residence permit there are a number of EU states where you will be able to register your yacht, including the Netherlands. Poland is however one of the less complicated flag states to register a vessel and relatively cheap.
The country of registration has no bearing whatsoever on the VAT status of a yacht.
 

westernman

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Exactly. For example the flag states of Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, to mention a few, have no such requirements.
But for France you have to pay an annual Francisation tax. It depends on hull length and engine size. If your hull is over 15m and your total engine capacity (all propulsion engines) is over 25 litres, than it is expensive. Approximately 5600 euros per year.

Don't do it!
 

billskip

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Exactly. For example the flag states of Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, to mention a few, have no such requirements.
So you are saying anyone can buy a boat and sail it around with no license required or restrictions and register in the above country's? And the radio operator license?
 

Koeketiene

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So you are saying anyone can buy a boat and sail it around with no license required or restrictions and register in the above country's? And the radio operator license?
My boat's registered in Belgium.
You don't need a license to sail the boat, but you do need one to operate a radio. (though in 25 years of boat ownership, no-one has ever asked me for my radio license)
 

Irish Rover

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Anyone registered a boat in Ireland ? If you happen to have an Irish passport is that the way to go ? Or Malta maybe?
Yes I have. Not an entirely straightforward procedure as you have to deal individually with a number of different agencies. You do not need an Irish passport. Any EU or UK citizen can register a boat in Ireland.
I can't fathom why anyone entitled to UK registration would do otherwise.
Jersey is another option. I used it previously. Excellent service and almost everything can be done online.
 

sailaboutvic

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You won't get a Dutch , Belgium or France reg now unless you a resident of that country.
This has been mentioned several times in posting
 

sailaboutvic

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Anyone registered a boat in Ireland ? If you happen to have an Irish passport is that the way to go ? Or Malta maybe?
Malta is a one year registering re new each year I think the cost is €120 and you need to get someone to set it up for you if your not an resident.
 

Graham376

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You may want to consider registering your yacht in the EU, if the VAT and import levies have been paid any way, as she is then probably easier to sell in the future. If she is registered in a non-EU flag state, the VAT status is valid for just three years. That means if you would want to register her in the EU after three years, VAT and import levies would have to be paid again.
Once EU VAT is paid, it remains paid with no time limit regardless of state of registration, as long as the boat remains there. If the boat were to leave the EU for more than three years and then return, VAT may well be payable, depending on whether extended RGR allowed.
 
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TwoFish

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As it happens I probably do have what I need to jump through the hoops to get SSR, even if I may not strictly meet the criteria. I'm not much of a winging it type
I've no particular knowledge of ship registration, but I see that the 'ordinarily [UK] resident' requirement for SSR seems remarkably similar to the test which will determine whether you are deemed automatically resident in the UK for tax purposes.
 

Koeketiene

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You won't get a Dutch , Belgium or France reg now unless you a resident of that country.
This has been mentioned several times in posting
In the case of Belgium you need to be either a resident of Belgium or a have a Belgian passport.

I had a Belgian registered boat when I was a UK resident and same now that I'm a French resident.
 

sailaboutvic

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In the case of Belgium you need to be either a resident of Belgium or a have a Belgian passport.

I had a Belgian registered boat when I was a UK resident and same now that I'm a French resident.
May I ask when the last time you renew your Belgium registration?
As I understand it the OP as ether a Belgium passport or residency so he would not be able to get a Belgium registration.
Belgium like Dutch and british ssr have tighten up the rule after the ship under Dutch Flag own by Gremany picked up the North African boat people a few years back and declared they where a Dutch boat and demanded that Italy let them land the people , that was the turning point I also understand France have done the same , altho French registration isn't so much in demand as no matter where the boat is kept an yearly tax has to be paid.
 

Koeketiene

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May I ask when the last time you renew your Belgium registration?
May last year (2020).

As I understand it the OP as ether a Belgium passport or residency so he would not be able to get a Belgium registration.
True.
If I were in OP's shoes, I would go down the Polish registration route - while it's still available.

Belgium like Dutch and british ssr have tighten up the rule after the ship under Dutch Flag own by Gremany picked up the North African boat people a few years back and declared they where a Dutch boat and demanded that Italy let them land the people , that was the turning point I also understand France have done the same ,
Both Holland and Belgium were under a lot of pressure from other EU countries to 'tighten up their act' for various reasons.

Up till 5-6 years ago, Belgian ensigns were quite popular in France.
1. No formal qualifications required.
2. No strict rules regarding equipment to be carried.
3. At the time, foreign registered boats were exempt the French annual tax.
4. There was some sort of VAT loophole (for new boats). French boatbuilders like Dufour and Beneteau actively exploited this.

altho French registration isn't so much in demand as no matter where the boat is kept an yearly tax has to be paid.
There's an annual tax for French registered boats in France: droit annuel de francisation et de navigation (DAFN)
For foreign registered boats kept permanently in France, there's the droit de passeport.
The amount of tax due is the same in either case.
The tax is calculated taking into account the length and age of the boat as well as the fiscal hp of the engine.
The tax is not collected when the mount due is less than 75€ (which is the case for me, as the amount due is only 48€)
 

Lorrendraaier

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The country of registration has no bearing whatsoever on the VAT status of a yacht.
This depends on the flag state. There are EU states whereby customs are involved in the registration process of a vessel. In case the vessel has a Certificate of Deletion from a non-EU state, then customs requires that one proves VAT and import levies have been paid.
 

Lorrendraaier

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You won't get a Dutch , Belgium or France reg now unless you a resident of that country.
This has been mentioned several times in posting
That is correct with regard to Belgium, but in the Netherlands as well as France all EU & EFTA passport holders can register their vessel. Non-EU passport holders with a permanent residence permit can also register their yacht both in the Netherlands as well as France. Under certain circumstances non-EU passport holders not living in the EU or the Netherlands, can also register their yacht in the Netherlands.
 

Irish Rover

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This depends on the flag state. There are EU states whereby customs are involved in the registration process of a vessel. In case the vessel has a Certificate of Deletion from a non-EU state, then customs requires that one proves VAT and import levies have been paid.
Not true. Ireland is a case in point where the actual registration process is a Customs function and customs issue the registration certificate. I have registered a VAT NOT PAID boat on the Irish register without paying VAT because I am not an EU resident and I did not want to bring the boat to Ireland. I was however able to bring the boat to Greece under the Temporary Admission rules. If the boat is VAT PAID flag state is not an issue in any circumstances as far as I'm aware.
 
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sailaboutvic

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That is correct with regard to Belgium, but in the Netherlands as well as France all EU & EFTA passport holders can register their vessel. Non-EU passport holders with a permanent residence permit can also register their yacht both in the Netherlands as well as France. Under certain circumstances non-EU passport holders not living in the EU or the Netherlands, can also register their yacht in the Netherlands.
Sorry to correct you but in the Netherlands unless you live in the netherland there is no way you can have a Dutch registering.
Even if your Dutch you still can't get it unless you are a resident.
How do I know ?
Well for a start my partner Dutch and we looked into it .
And only yesterday at our weekly BBQ there three Dutch boats who have the same problem .
There is as there is in the UK a second registering similar to the part 1 mostly used for ship but that's not straight forward , for a start a survivor needs to fly out where ever boat then there other stuff so your looking at a very costly affair.

French is possible if you use an agent , and he fixed it in some way but it's a yearly thing and there a tax involved too .
So far the best option I know of is Poland at some where around 400/450 euros
 

Tranona

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This depends on the flag state. There are EU states whereby customs are involved in the registration process of a vessel. In case the vessel has a Certificate of Deletion from a non-EU state, then customs requires that one proves VAT and import levies have been paid.
But that still does not change the actual VAT status of the boat. All it means is that you cannot register it without the evidence of payment/status. Many older boats either never had VAT paid on them or are "deemed VAT paid" under the rules of the 1992 common EU VAT, or more recently under the Brexit agreement because they were located in the EU on 31/12/20. Some states require evidence of this under their national registration rules as you have described, but it does not change the fact that the boat will still have free circulation within the EU and can change hands between private persons without any VAT payment.

Some states customs will provide a certificate based on such evidence to satisfy their registration requirements, but again that is only for state requirements and may or may not be accepted by other states for their local registration requirements.

Fortunately in the UK we do not have compulsory registration of boats. We have 2 registers, both provide the necessary confirmation of flag state to satisfy international law and one (Part 1) is also a register of title which among other things allows charges to be registered against the boat's title. In neither case do they require evidence of VAT payment.
 

DeepKeel

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I have heard good things about Maltese flagging, and I am aware of an excellent company that can assist and advise*.

*Not no connection!
 
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