Croatia - Advice Needed

Baggywrinkle

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I'm looking for help from anyone who has experience of keeping a boat abroad. (Particularly in Croatia) regarding rules, regulations and costs.

It's an AWB, 10 years old, 10,5 metres long, owner British living in Germany.

specifically ....

What happens to unpaid VAT when Croatia joins the EU? - What happened in Greece?
Advice on country of registration?
Insurance.

Any advice on good marinas, boatyards etc. also greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all the useful info ;)
 

Tranona

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Can help a bit with some of your questions.

If you take your boat out of the EU, you can return within 3 years and not pay VAT again. I believe this term can be extended. If you sell it outside the EU the new owner will have to pay if he returns to the EU.

As to what will happen if Croatia joins the EU will depend on the transition arrangements that are agreed. It is unlikely that this would include retrospectively charging VAT on existing Croatian boats.

With registration that will depend on your circumstances. I have not seen anything in relation to Croatia that suggests you have to register the boat there - although you will need to obtain your cruising permit annually. You cannot register on the SSR if you are not resident in the UK (in theory) but you can register on Part 1. Presumably you can register it in Germany.

Your cruising permit requires evidence of insurance. I believe that they accept insurance from outside Croatia, but you need to check with the authorities there. Indeed it is best to check everything locally as not only do they change the rules but there may be rules related to permanently based boats that do not show up on the advice available to visiting yachtsmen such as that on the RYA site. Marinas are almost all state owned, of high standard and prices to match. The state tourist board publishes very good material on facilities available for yachtsmen.

The general view is that Croatia has become less attractive in recent years because of overcrowding, high costs and increased bureaucracy. By comparison, Greece, and particularly the Ionian is much easier in all respects, but of course does not have quite the same attractions for cruising.

Hope this helps.
 

goboatingnow

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I have a friend who keeps his boat in Pula,

No problems, no VAT, annual cruising permit is cheap, no other requirements ( other then usual boat stuff,

Boat is SSR registered

Normally what happens when a country acceedes to the EU , is that all assets inside the terrority of the country are deemd VAT paid at a point in time. Hence all these boats will get a VAT holiday. ( thats whats happended in the past). THis would probably only apply though to croatian registered boats.
 

Metabarca

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Cruising permit probably around €200 or so from memory. Marinas not cheap, rather soulless but efficient. Make sure they offer adequate protection in case of bora (it gusted at 95 knots here in Trieste t'other day, which means that around some parts of northern Croatia it will have been more... Last year, some boats got blown off their cradles because they were put side to the wind. Not clever. Almost all the marinas are run by ACI (http://www.aci-club.hr/). Alternatively, you could check into a marina near Trieste (Monfalcone) which is cheaper and friendlier and well-stocked with boatyards, good grub, etc. If interested, let me know.
 

Baggywrinkle

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Thanks for the replies.

@Tranona - Thanks for the info, I'm down there at the end of April - will ask locally.

@Metabarca - Do you have any links for the marinas near Trieste, particularly price lists etc.

@goboatingnow - Pula is somewhere I am very interested in. That part of the world is only 5-6 hrs away by car. Any more info would be greatly appreciated.

The boat has had no VAT paid, in Croatia or EU - I don't have it yet but would like to have my ducks in a row when it comes to decision time.

I agree Greece would be my first choice, but it means always flying which is difficult with outboards, anchors and bits of renovated boat ;)
 
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I have my boat in Marina Frapa http://www.marinafrapa.hr/ near Split. This is a privately owned marina and the facilities and services are excellent, certainly better than the state owned ACI marinas. The ACI marinas are not bad but a bit soulless and bureacratic. Actually I find the annual berthing costs in Croatia to be very reasonable; I pay less than €10k pa for a 17m berth which is much cheaper than most places in the W Med and cheaper than the UK S coast. The monthly and daily charges are less reasonable but thats because Croatia is full of Italian boats in the summer and short term berthing costs rise accordingly. However you dont have to visit marinas as the anchoring possibilities are endless.
Most boats are ex VAT in Croatia for obvious reasons. Yes Croatia is planning to join the EU but according to the locals that might not be as early as some people thought. I've heard that the original 2012 date might slip. In any case, I'd be very surprised if they damaged their own boating industry by retrospectively applying VAT to the thousands of boats already moored in Croatia as it would kill the industry. The key document in Croatia is the cruising vignette which costs €200-300 pa depending on length and the crew list; every marina asks for these when you arrive. They dont seem bothered about anything else. My boat is SSR registered but nobody seems to care.
I bought my current boat in Novigrad which is near Pula. Be aware that, as metabarca says, the bora wind can blow very hard in that area and, in my limited experience, the weather is often less settled and colder there than further south in Croatia. The bora can blow anywhere along the Croatian coast but it is less prevalent further south.
One big problem with Croatia is getting stuff into the country. I send parts and other boaty stuff from the UK (because its cheaper here) and they are always delayed by customs. Dont try to smuggle parts in by car as they often check cars at the borders.
Having said all that, the Croatian coastline is a fabulous cruising area and not to be missed
 

macd

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Normally what happens when a country acceedes to the EU , is that all assets inside the terrority of the country are deemd VAT paid at a point in time. Hence all these boats will get a VAT holiday. ( thats whats happended in the past). THis would probably only apply though to croatian registered boats.


I think that's substantially correct, but perhaps not wholly. Since my boat was in use as private pleasure craft prior to 1 January 1985 and was in the EU on 31 December 1992, it's 'deemed VAT paid' under what was/is known as the Single Market Transitional Arrangements. For Austria, Finland and Sweden, which joined the EU later, the applicable dates are 'in use' before 1 January 1987 and moored in EU on 31 December 1994. Even later joiners will have their own qualifying dates.

My boat happened to be British registered at the time (31.12.92), but I've never read anywhere that she had to be so. She simply had to be in the EU (not even the UK, but then the same thing was going on in every EU state at that time) to be entitled to her VAT holiday (Vatcation?...yuck, sorry) on that date. So it may be that the same could be applicable to your vessel were she in Croatian waters at whatever becomes their qualifying date, whether Croatian registered or not. I suspect that 'in use' in Croatia would be the yardstick. I simply don't know, but it's definitely possible. If the OP doesn't get a clear answer on this thread, he might wish to check by other means.

To OP: Greece joined the EU in 1981, and has the same 'deemed VAT paid' dates and criteria as the UK.
 
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Tranona

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macd;2868491 To OP: Greece joined the EU in 1981 said:
That is not the whole story - it was true for private boats, but until 2002 charter boats (which had not paid VAT when bought new) were transferred to private ownership without VAT and a certificate of some sort from the VAT office that no VAT was payable. The EU stopped that concession in 2002, but I understand (anecdotally) that the message was slow in reaching the islands and some boats acquired a certificate into 2004.

So you will find boats that do not have a VAT receipt that would not qualify for "deemed VAT paid". However (again anecdotally) this does not seem to present any problems, particularly if the boats have changed hands privately subsequent to leaving the charter register.
 

Baggywrinkle

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Hmm...

So theoretically, if Croatia joins the EU in 2012 then they will have a date some time before then where any boats in private use will be deemed VAT paid for the EU?

If this concession was for say 10 years before the joining date (2002) then anything in use before this date will be deemed VAT paid?

The boat is an ex-charter boat built in 2001 with no VAT paid in EU or Croatia.

My gut feeling is to have it registered in Germany, kept in Croatia with no VAT paid and wait to see what happens. I assume at worst I would be liable to VAT (at the Croatian rate) on my invoice price.

@Deleted User - will check out the marina thx.
 

Tranona

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Think thats the right approach. You have no control over the accession terms so there is little point in trying to guess what might happen. The other issue you will have to face if you import into the EU is whether the boat has a CE mark. It will almost certainly have been built to the right standard, but it may not have the Certificate - which is in the owner's handbook. Again may not be an issue if Croatia joins the EU.

You might consider registering the boat in Austria. Don't know all the details, but understand very little formalities. My boat was registered there for its delivery trip from Slovenia to Corfu then registered in Greece.
 

Metabarca

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The marinas near Trieste are:
Porto San Rocco: expensive, geared to big boats owned by out-of-towners.
Marina San Giusto (www.marinasangiusto.it/italiano/home.asp): the only commercial marina in Trieste itself. Very central, open to scirocco but that's being currently resolved.
And then over in Monfalcone: Ocean, Cadei (www.cadei.it/en/index.html), Nautec (www.nautecmare.com/) all much used by locals and near-locals (Austrians). And Hannibal, which is nicely situated. There are also yacht clubs in Villaggio del Pescatore and in Trieste itself, but these have waiting lists for the very cheap berths.
I would also consider Grado, which is extremely pretty and is well-placed for heading down the Istrian coast. I know that this marina currently has a few berths. (www.darsenasanmarco.it/).
I'm afraid there are no price lists, but I remember when looking for myself not long ago that all the Italian yards were cheaper than the Croatian ones, and the further south you go in Croatia, the more they cost.
There are two marinas in Pola (Pula): the Aci one in town (avoid) and the one 'behind' in Veruda (www.marina-veruda.hr/). Another to consider in the area is Punat on Veglia. (Krk). There's also a new marina in Cittanova (Novigrad) and ACI ones at Umag (no...), Rovigno (Rovinj) and Orsera (Vrsar).
 

Baggywrinkle

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This thread is a mine of useful information ....

@ Tranona - already checked the CE mark. It seems to be ok.

Bavaria Factory says all boats sold during that time have certification regardless of export market. Seller also says it is in the handbook - which I will check anyway, and the boat has a CE plate mounted on the right of the companion way - so it's looking good so far. Croatia has had a requirement to implement CE since it became an 'aspiring EU member' so the charter company was obligied to charter boats with a CE mark.

Having checked the german registration it's pretty straightforward, and cheaper than the SSR - just a shame the SSR requires you to be U.K. resident - I would have quite liked a red ensign instead of the german black red and gold - but that's life I guess. :)

@Metabarca - thanks for the links and info :D I can see this is going to get interesting. - one question Why avoid MCI Pula?
 

Tranona

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The SSR only requires a UK address. There seems to be no check on the data you provide. They will renew and post to an overseas address. Bad bit of drafting in the eligibility bit but seems nobody is too bothered. No harm in trying. You do it on line and it comes back by return!
 

chrisgee

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I'm looking for help from anyone who has experience of keeping a boat abroad. (Particularly in Croatia) regarding rules, regulations and costs.

It's an AWB, 10 years old, 10,5 metres long, owner British living in Germany.

specifically ....

What happens to unpaid VAT when Croatia joins the EU? - What happened in Greece?
Advice on country of registration?
Insurance.

Any advice on good marinas, boatyards etc. also greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all the useful info ;)

I `ve just bought a boat which is being kept at Pomer marina which is just south of Pula. Only visited it once and will be out there again soon to pick the boat up but it seems to be very good. It`s quite small,helpful staff and well protected. Price for a 12m yacht is around
3500Euros I believe but |I may be wrong.
The yacht wqs owned by an Austrian and that seems to have a no nonsense registration system that you may be able to use.
 

tawhiri

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SSR registration

I live in Germany and keep my Hanse in Croatia, but have SSR reg. You only need a postal address in the UK, Mother, brother, sister, or mate you had a pint with at Elephant & castel.
Don't forget you also need the radio registation as well.
Andrew
 

BrianH

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I live in Germany and keep my Hanse in Croatia, but have SSR reg. You only need a postal address in the UK, Mother, brother, sister, or mate you had a pint with at Elephant & castel.
How I wish I could suppress my absurd reluctance to commit an offence by confirming UK residence on my application. As a British subject originally sent abroad by my UK company, I am legally unable to register my boat on the Part III registration due to the residency condition, and Part I is both expensive and impracticable. I must therefore seek a 'flag of convenience', which is not easy, cheap or palatable.

Not everyone wishes to falsely declare themselves resident when they do not meet the residency requirements for the SSR; some may consider it is unwise to lie in this way. It is, of course, a criminal offence for which a prosecution could be applicable, however unlikely. Let's review the application form:
"For the purposes of registering a ship you must live and sleep in the UK for the majority of the year. Therefore you can be ordinarily resident in the UK if you live here for a period of, or periods which collectively amount, 185 days or more in a twelve month period."
And, above where your signature as owner is required:
"I/We Solemnly declare that, the information given is this form is true to the best of my/our knowledge and belief."

The Mediterranean and the Caribbean are full of permanent liveaboards on SSR-registered yachts and no doubt many too take advantage of the lax loopholes of SSR application. However, if everyone affected lobbied for a sensible change, such as the eligibility of British citizens with the right of abode in the UK, perhaps this anomaly could be rectified. I personally have communicated with the RYA and MCA but am not optimistic just because I seem to be a lone voice in the wilderness.
 

Baggywrinkle

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@Barnc1e - After reading the declarations I began to get a bit nervous too.

You are right though - it's a concience thing. I can safely register in Germany (and it's cheaper) but I don't really want to sail under the black/red/gold flag.:( - so I'll add my voice !!! How do I complain? Who in the RYA needs to have their cage rattled? Is there a petition?

@Tawhiri - I was thinking of putting my brother on as a part owner as he does live in the U.K. - It also simplifies the problems with crew lists in Croatia as he will also appear on the boats papers when he borrows it and I am less likely to be accused of illegally chartering.

:mad:It's a real shame that a british citizen can't register their boat in the SSR wherever they happen to live - we are a seafaring nation after all!!!! - or at least we were until all the red-tape ensured that instead of requiring a sense of adventure to put to sea, you now need an iron resolve in the face of the beaurocratic nobodies trying to prevent you - it's all for your own good of course.:mad:

If I do a circumnavigation in my own yacht, registered under part I of the SSR and I expect it to last more than 180 days. Do I have to de-register after 180 days as I no longer qualify as a resident and find a flag of convenience for the remainder of my trip? :confused:
 

gwennols

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marinas

been off this forum for a while
try punat marina on krk good road now. about 10 hrs from mannheim

been there for 10 years with british reg boat no issues
not many brits there but a very efficient place friendly
with rijeka airport only 20 mins away.
have there own web page.pm if require more information.
 

BrianH

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@Barnc1e - After reading the declarations I began to get a bit nervous too.
You are right though - it's a concience thing. I can safely register in Germany (and it's cheaper) but I don't really want to sail under the black/red/gold flag.:( - so I'll add my voice !!! How do I complain? Who in the RYA needs to have their cage rattled? Is there a petition?
As a member I have twice written to the RYA, the last at the appointment of the new CEO (relevant thread here) and once, long ago, to the MCA. The latter was pointless, they are only the act implementer and could only repeat the conditions that they are obliged to follow.

I once did have a PM from a forumite in answer to one thread on the subject that I had contributed to, where he claimed acquaintance with a senior MCA official who expressed sympathy with what is recognised as an anomaly and that officialdom exercises the Nelson telescope to those who may not fulfil all obligations. However, this was not the tone I was exposed to with my answer from them - hell-fire and brimstone was more like it.

:mad:It's a real shame that a british citizen can't register their boat in the SSR wherever they happen to live - we are a seafaring nation after all!!!! - or at least we were until all the red-tape ensured that instead of requiring a sense of adventure to put to sea, you now need an iron resolve in the face of the beaurocratic nobodies trying to prevent you - it's all for your own good of course.:mad:

As everyone will point out (including the MCA) the SSR (Part III) was introduced as an easy, quick and cheap path to allow British yachts, based in the UK, to cruise abroad. Our situation as expatriates necessitates the other form of registration, the full Part I. However, this entails considerable cost - we need a permanent agent (with their fees), a survey (compounded when our yachts are already abroad), previous owners' document trail (now shortened to five years) and much higher cost for the registration itself, which is also renewable every five years.

It is indeed galling to be anchored in the Mediterranean and to hear not a word of English emanating from neighbouring, British-flagged mega yachts, only the noise of their generators and jet-skis, and to not be allowed to wear the same red ensign that they have. It appears that a combination of tax avoidance and/or fashion, make it attractive for many non-resident, foreign owners to register their yacht in the UK, which they can do easily on Part I by an agent registering them as a "Body Corporate" - for a substantial fee, of course.

If I do a circumnavigation in my own yacht, registered under part I of the SSR and I expect it to last more than 180 days. Do I have to de-register after 180 days as I no longer qualify as a resident and find a flag of convenience for the remainder of my trip?

The answer is, theoretically, yes. In practice, no one would question a live-aboard cruiser who had a valid SSR registration wherever situated - there is no easily researched record how long out of the UK they were. The problem comes when the five years certificate expires and needs renewal.
 
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