Import Boat From USA to UK

Leaforge

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Hello

Supposing someone wanted to import a new boat from the USA, as far as I understand the rules VAT & Duty would be payable at the point of import into the EU at the prevailing rate of tax. Do other options exist other than paying HMRC loads of dosh?

Suppose the vessel was sold en-route to another offshore company or trust, coded and leased / rented / chartered to a third party UK resident person / entity. In this senario, what happens to the Tax & Duty? otherwise would a similar option exist?

Would the 3rd party end user have to be resident in EU / UK for part time or all the time?

Just Musing ;-)

Many Thanks
 

Tranona

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Well trod ground. No way you can legally import a boat from the US into the EU unless it has a CE mark (that is it complies with the RCD) and paying duty and VAT. The only possible exception to this is temporary importation, but that is only available if you are non EU resident and has strict time and usage limitations.

From the tone of your post you are seeking to avoid Tax - why should you be able to do this?
 

Nick_H

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This topic hasn't come up for a while as most buyers are finding better value in southern Europe, especially Italy and Greece. If your aim is to buy a boat cheaply it may be worth looking for an EU VAT paid boat there, rather than trying to dodge tax on a US import.
 

Tranona

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Boat would be CE Acredited and yes avoidance not evasion, assuming its me of course :)

No way of avoiding. If you are resident here and want to use the boat in the EU it has to be VAT paid. Why should it be any different for you?
 

Leaforge

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This topic hasn't come up for a while as most buyers are finding better value in southern Europe, especially Italy and Greece. If your aim is to buy a boat cheaply it may be worth looking for an EU VAT paid boat there, rather than trying to dodge tax on a US import.

Take your point re Europe particularly with the euro at its current rate however this boat is not available in Europe as it is new (possibly tentativly looking in to) from a US company
 

Tranona

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Take your point re Europe particularly with the euro at its current rate however this boat is not available in Europe as it is new (possibly tentativly looking in to) from a US company

If it is not available in Europe, then it almost certainly will not have a CE mark so you will have to get it certified yourself. Relatively straightforward if the boat is already sold in Europe by the manufacturer, but may prove problematic if not.
 

Leaforge

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If it is not available in Europe, then it almost certainly will not have a CE mark so you will have to get it certified yourself. Relatively straightforward if the boat is already sold in Europe by the manufacturer, but may prove problematic if not.

Manufacturer will produce a CE boat so that aspect should not constitute a problem. A brokerage boat would not be CE as non exist as far as i am aware.
 

Tranona

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Manufacturer will produce a CE boat so that aspect should not constitute a problem. A brokerage boat would not be CE as non exist as far as i am aware.

OK - so only the shipping, clearing, duty and VAT to pay and its all yours!
 

ontheplane

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That will all be fine - but why bother?

If the Manufacturer already has a dealer over here, can't you just screw a better deal out of them knowing the US$ price?
 

Leaforge

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That will all be fine - but why bother?

If the Manufacturer already has a dealer over here, can't you just screw a better deal out of them knowing the US$ price?

The manufacturer does not have a UK presence.

From what i understand the tax variations in the states vary dependendent on where the vessel is registered and state. Somthing to do with some states wanting to 'attract' boaters and others not so much. Since we are considering a long time crusing away from th UK at some point it seems sensless not to consider the options. For instance cruising back via the med or similar, with planning this could/should impact the taxation issue?
 

James L

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I think the Vat is payable in the first EU country you take possession of the boat, so if you're going cruising, it might be worth choosing your start point in that way. Or if you start cruising outside the EU, it will be older by the time you import it so worth less.

I was looking at importing a used boat from the states a few years ago and the guy importing them was charging you for the boat and shipping and a separate bill for brokerage/finder services (which seemed artificially inflated) which did not attract any Vat in the UK. Not sure how legal it was, I didn't really investigate it. I think customs/hmrc decide on the value of the boat, so what he did was legal and hmrc could charge you VAT on the UK value of the boat but would usually just use the purchase price.
 

Tranona

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The manufacturer does not have a UK presence.

From what i understand the tax variations in the states vary dependendent on where the vessel is registered and state. Somthing to do with some states wanting to 'attract' boaters and others not so much. Since we are considering a long time crusing away from th UK at some point it seems sensless not to consider the options. For instance cruising back via the med or similar, with planning this could/should impact the taxation issue?

You can, of course use the boat outside the EU and not pay EU taxes, but as already said, once you enter the EU you have to pay duty and VAT. If you spent some time outside the EU and the boat was therefore not new when you imported it, you would pay taxes on its agreed value, rather than the new price. You would then be free to use it and sell it in the EU without any further tax (assuming it is also CE marked). How things are taxed in different states in the US is irrelevant to what happens here, but may have an impact on the price you pay there.

Somewhat surprised that the builder will build a CE marked boat for you if he is not already selling the boat in the EU. One of the reasons why so few US made boats are available here is that the potential volume does not justify certification. Those builders that do sell CE marked boats are usually the bigger producers of smaller boats which do have a ready market here. It can be worth buying such boats in the US and carrying out the mods to certify here. However the savings often get eaten up handling costs, currency variations and general hassle - plus you don't get dealer support if things go wrong.
 

Portofino

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You can, of course use the boat outside the EU and not pay EU taxes, but as already said, once you enter the EU you have to pay duty and VAT. g.

I,am struggling with this seemingly emphatic statement .
Why is a boat different to any other goods .?
Take a car I once bought a Ferrari in Switzerland enjoyed it etc ,a few years later I drove it to the Uk . I had intended for a short trip .
Circumstances changed the car stayed in the Uk .One day I asked my PA to contact the DVLA in Swansea ,
Next day I MoT,ed it ,filled in a form ,got a tech guy to fit RHD lights and MPH speedo and registered it on UK plates .
Nobody enquired about VAT .
Some time later I sold it , with a box full of LHD lights and KMH speedo to a Russian ,who drove it to Moscow .
Substitute car for television ,fine art, wine , Gun , bike , motor bike ,and of couse Boat .
Never seen motorway police stopping and checking your cars VAT paid ,who,s asking in say in Poole harbour to night ,who,s paid the VAT ?

Sorry forgot to mention watch / jewellery A buy it in Monaco or Switzerland. Put it on ( post the box home )
When you go through a uk airport at arrivals ,who,s ever been asked to pay VAT on your watch ?
 
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Tranona

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I,am struggling with this seemingly emphatic statement .
Why is a boat different to any other goods .?
Take a car I once bought a Ferrari in Switzerland enjoyed it etc ,a few years later I drove it to the Uk . I had intended for a short trip .
Circumstances changed the car stayed in the Uk .One day I asked my PA to contact the DVLA in Swansea ,
Next day I MoT,ed it ,filled in a form ,got a tech guy to fit RHD lights and MPH speedo and registered it on UK plates .
Nobody enquired about VAT .
Some time later I sold it , with a box full of LHD lights and KMH speedo to a Russian ,who drove it to Moscow .
Substitute car for television ,fine art, wine , Gun , bike , motor bike ,and of couse Boat .
Never seen motorway police stopping and checking your cars VAT paid ,who,s asking in say in Poole harbour to night ,who,s paid the VAT ?

Sorry forgot to mention watch / jewellery A buy it in Monaco or Switzerland. Put it on ( post the box home )
When you go through a uk airport at arrivals ,who,s ever been asked to pay VAT on your watch ?

Suggest you read HMRC VAT Notice No8 which has the VAT rules as applied to pleasure boats. Or a more accessible summary in a FAQ form on the RYA site.
 

Leaforge

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I,am struggling with this seemingly emphatic statement .
Why is a boat different to any other goods .?
Take a car I once bought a Ferrari in Switzerland enjoyed it etc ,a few years later I drove it to the Uk . I had intended for a short trip .
Circumstances changed the car stayed in the Uk .One day I asked my PA to contact the DVLA in Swansea ,
Next day I MoT,ed it ,filled in a form ,got a tech guy to fit RHD lights and MPH speedo and registered it on UK plates .
Nobody enquired about VAT .
Some time later I sold it , with a box full of LHD lights and KMH speedo to a Russian ,who drove it to Moscow .
Substitute car for television ,fine art, wine , Gun , bike , motor bike ,and of couse Boat .
Never seen motorway police stopping and checking your cars VAT paid ,who,s asking in say in Poole harbour to night ,who,s paid the VAT ?

Sorry forgot to mention watch / jewellery A buy it in Monaco or Switzerland. Put it on ( post the box home )
When you go through a uk airport at arrivals ,who,s ever been asked to pay VAT on your watch ?

+1

However boats are a high value item and an easy target for taxation also a bit difficult to stick up your jumper to get through customs. Tranona has kindly clarified the issue for me and raised some fascinating points. That said, my current boat was purchased from Holland with all necessary paperwork showing VAT paid etc so selling it within EU is straight forward. However if i want to repalce it with a boat - tax paid - from outside the EU, EU tax law says that the boat is taxed again at its point of import, which in a sense will restrict imports on a retail cost level as most will be over priced. Since the boats I am interested in are not here in the UK or Europe for that matter, the grey matter will have to be strained. Hope i got that right Tranona?
 

Tranona

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+1

However boats are a high value item and an easy target for taxation also a bit difficult to stick up your jumper to get through customs. Tranona has kindly clarified the issue for me and raised some fascinating points. That said, my current boat was purchased from Holland with all necessary paperwork showing VAT paid etc so selling it within EU is straight forward. However if i want to repalce it with a boat - tax paid - from outside the EU, EU tax law says that the boat is taxed again at its point of import, which in a sense will restrict imports on a retail cost level as most will be over priced. Since the boats I am interested in are not here in the UK or Europe for that matter, the grey matter will have to be strained. Hope i got that right Tranona?

No. I am afraid you have not got it right. Think logically. If you could import boats from outside the EU without paying a tax (VAT) then nobody would buy boats in the EU as they cannot avoid paying VAT as a retail customer). It is completely irrelevant whether tax has been paid elsewhere. Cannot see why you should think it wrong. Once the boat is inside the EU and VAT paid the boat can move freely without any additional tax.

As I suggested to portofino, read the RYA/HMRC FAQ paper on the RYA site which explains it all. The objective of the rules is to ensure that all boats sold in the EU, whether made here or imported pay VAT equally. How could it be otherwise?
 
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