Post Brexit: VAT Not Paid on Older Boats

langstonelayabout

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Away from all the people that keep large boats elsewhere and sail continuously in Greece (lucky things!) what about us poor and impoverished lot that sail older boats in the channel?

Is it right to assume that shivering as the dreaded foreign customs officer asks "is your boat VAT paid in the EU?" will now be a thing of the past for us sailing UK boats from the UK?

For all of the older boats without proven VAT paid documentation still afloat in the UK's south and east coast harbours and sailed across the channel our answer will be "no. But as we're staying less than 3 months it doesn't matter". Non VAT paid proof in older boats is no longer a concern for trips across the channel.

In the absence of any announcements to the contrary is this now a possibility? (and will it raise the price of older boats without VAT paid documentation as a result? :) )
 

sailaboutvic

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I have to say in the 40 years I been sailing. Boats in the U.K. And in every country in the EU , I never been asked to show prove of VAT ,taken it one stage further each year we meet many British boats and never heard any one who has ,
will things change after B day? Who knows but some how I don't thing so ,
 

lw395

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Away from all the people that keep large boats elsewhere and sail continuously in Greece (lucky things!) what about us poor and impoverished lot that sail older boats in the channel?

Is it right to assume that shivering as the dreaded foreign customs officer asks "is your boat VAT paid in the EU?" will now be a thing of the past for us sailing UK boats from the UK?

For all of the older boats without proven VAT paid documentation still afloat in the UK's south and east coast harbours and sailed across the channel our answer will be "no. But as we're staying less than 3 months it doesn't matter". Non VAT paid proof in older boats is no longer a concern for trips across the channel.

In the absence of any announcements to the contrary is this now a possibility? (and will it raise the price of older boats without VAT paid documentation as a result? :) )

It might be a concern when you return!
 

dunedin

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Nobody asks. Nobody cares.

That should be “nobody asked. Nobody cared” (past tense). Partly as boats crossing channel were all within EU and hence probability was that not any VAT issue.
Whether that will be true in future now that the U.K. has spent two years giving a very public two fingers to the EU is a different matter. If the EU Commission advice given to RYA is correct, the border officials may decide VAT status needs to be checked much more. Who knows, but we have hardly ingraciated ourselves to our neighbours officialdom.
 

Dan Tribe

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This question has also crossed my mind as an owner of a 1970s non VAT paid bought.
I've added it to the pile of questions labelled "things nobody knows about brexit"
 

Irish Rover

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Nobody asks. Nobody cares.
I genuinely wonder if this is true? It may well be that people sailing an EU flagged boat are rarely if ever asked this question in the EU but I doubt it's true of non EU flagged boats.
Edit. Got interrupted while writing this so repeating what Dunedin said in #5
 
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duncan99210

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When we exit, assuming that we don’t get any special terms, our boats will be subject to the same temporary importation rules as any boat coming into the EU from outside it. We will be able to declare the boat as a temporary import to the EU and keep it in EU waters for 18 months. At the 18 month point we will either have to remove the boat from EU waters or import it and pay VAT on it to the country where the boat is then.
All that said, I suspect that for the majority of people who take their boats over to France, they will be met with indifference, as they will be in most of the EU. It will only be when your boat has been in the EU for a protracted period that someone will start to take an interest in it and demand that you apply for temporary or permanent importation or remove it from their waters.
Unless there is some weird dispensation built into whatever agreement we come to, the current VAT status of the boat won’t matter a bit. VAT is only a concern for EU boats (and not much of a one at that): our boats won’t be EU boats anymore, so they won’t have an EU VAT status to worry about.... Or am I missing something?
 
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Graham376

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I doubt the average UK sailor just popping across the Channel for a weekend or couple of weeks holiday is going to notice any difference except maybe for a passport stamp on entrance & exit, which we had before joining the Community.

It appears for those of us based in the EU the boat will retain its VAT status so future looking quite bright. For those in UK, not much point in worrying about hunting for VAT proof any longer. As for UK boats being worth more - dream on:)
 

Irish Rover

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When we exit, assuming that we don’t get any special terms, our boats will be subject to the same temporary importation rules as any boat coming into the EU from outside it. We will be able to declare the boat as a temporary import to the EU and keep it in EU waters for 18 months. At the 18 month point we will either have to remove the boat from EU waters or import it and pay VAT on it to the country where the boat is then.
All that said, I suspect that for the majority of people who take their boats over to France, they will be met with indifference, as they will be in most of the EU. It will only be when your boat has been in the EU for a protracted period that someone will start to take an interest in it and demand that you apply for temporary or permanent importation or remove it from their waters.
Unless there is some weird dispensation built into whatever agreement we come to, the current VAT status of the boat won’t matter a bit. VAT is only a concern for EU boats (and not much of a one at that): our boats won’t be EU boats anymore, so they won’t have an EU VAT status to worry about.... Or am I missing something?
I doubt this is true. When I took my non EU flagged boat to Greece last summer I was asked in 2 of the 3 private marinas I used to see my transit log.
 

duncan99210

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I doubt this is true. When I took my non EU flagged boat to Greece last summer I was asked in 2 of the 3 private marinas I used to see my transit log.

I hear what you say but Greece has the DEKPA system in place for all vessels and it’s not uncommon to have that requested by marinas or port police, so it comes as no surprise that they’d want to see a transit log if you should have one. I suspect that the French will take a more relaxed attitude, as they’re more used to seeing visiting boats which have no intention of staying beyond a brief visit. May be wrong and if you decide to go and visit France you’ll have to jump through the hoops of temporary importation and a transit log. We just don’t know yet.
 

dunedin

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. It appears for those of us based in the EU the boat will retain its VAT status so future looking quite bright.

That feels a bit of an “i’m all right Jack” sentiment. Those already semi resident on their boats in the EU will be fine, but anybody a bit younger planning to follow in that route in the near future won’t be so lucky.
 

GTom

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I wouldn't worry too much, the temporary importation will always remain an option (unless you're an EU tax resident).
 

Irish Rover

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I wouldn't worry too much, the temporary importation will always remain an option (unless you're an EU tax resident).
TI is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure and I'd imagine visa restrictions for owners and crew will be of much more concern to UK cruisers.
 

RupertW

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That feels a bit of an “i’m all right Jack” sentiment. Those already semi resident on their boats in the EU will be fine, but anybody a bit younger planning to follow in that route in the near future won’t be so lucky.

No, provided you buy your boat in the EU then still fine if it does end up as described. And there aren’t many boats ideal for UK sailing that are also ideal for Med sailing so a good chance to change boats.

It’s the 90 out of 180 rule for individuals which would add most pain and wreck retirement plans and of course for cruisers without an EU winter home then they won’t have residential rights.
 

Lucky Duck

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Apart from the various posts on here from concerned prospective buyers worried that the VAT status of their proposed purchase isn't all it could be...

Some of us own boats that could have found buyers from abroad and now have that prospect serverly reduced as the boat would now be subject to VAT again come the end of March
 

Baggywrinkle

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When we exit, assuming that we don’t get any special terms, our boats will be subject to the same temporary importation rules as any boat coming into the EU from outside it. We will be able to declare the boat as a temporary import to the EU and keep it in EU waters for 18 months. At the 18 month point we will either have to remove the boat from EU waters or import it and pay VAT on it to the country where the boat is then.
All that said, I suspect that for the majority of people who take their boats over to France, they will be met with indifference, as they will be in most of the EU. It will only be when your boat has been in the EU for a protracted period that someone will start to take an interest in it and demand that you apply for temporary or permanent importation or remove it from their waters.
Unless there is some weird dispensation built into whatever agreement we come to, the current VAT status of the boat won’t matter a bit. VAT is only a concern for EU boats (and not much of a one at that): our boats won’t be EU boats anymore, so they won’t have an EU VAT status to worry about.... Or am I missing something?

I don't think this can be true. If the UK is a third country then when going across the channel you will be leaving the UK and entering the EU. It will require a check-out at a UK port of entry and a check-in at a european port of entry complete with yellow "Q" flag and the same will be true of boats coming from the EU to the UK. The boat paperwork will be checked along with travel documents at the port of entry and the clock will start ticking on the temporary import - you will then have a record of the start date of your temporary import. If you just enter a french port and tie up then you are potentially evading import duty and will face possible seizure of your boat and potential prosecution. The process of checking out and in again every 18 months to avoid import duty is fairly straightforward but all your boat papers will be checked. I would not want to be caught in a foreign harbour with no temporary import paperwork to prove my EU entry date. VAT is essentially irrelevant as the EU VAT rules will disappear for UK goods.

Basically, we will no longer be in a customs union with the EU, and Brexit is all about controlling our borders anyway. This is what I had to do travelling between the EU and Croatia before Croatia joined the EU - so if Brexit = no customs union and no freedom of movement then it's not possible to do anything else. It may turn out to be the red-diesel problem on steroids or it may be a storm in a teacup - who knows? I never had any problems checking in and out of Croatia - but I certainly wouldn't risk not following the correct procedure.

The most frequent and most common of all customs transactions in connection with boats is temporary duty-free importation, also referred to as “temporary admission”. It applies when a non-EU resident intends to use a boat in an EU country for longer periods.
For instance, a Norwegian who decides to berth their boat in a harbour on the Côte d’Azur or on the Italian Riviera for the next few years will neither want to nor, in fact, have to import it permanently – nor will they have to pay import duties. Instead, they will place the boat under the temporary admission procedure and may then leave it in France or any other EU country for 18 months.
Conversely, an EU resident may, of course, temporarily berth their boat in a non-EU country. The relevant customs regulations and allowed time limits differ greatly in the various countries. In Europe, the usual minimum period is 6 months, after which the boat should remain under customs supervision for the same amount of time, i.e. another 6 months. The entire procedure is handled more or less routinely in the harbours. There may also be differences in how customs supervision is performed.

https://skipper.adac.de/en/customs-duty-vat/

PS: The marina where I keep my boat in Croatia was responsible for keeping the boat under customs supervision - they had a copy of the boats paperwork and were required to alert customs the day my temporary admission ran out.
 
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Baggywrinkle

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Indeed, one turned up quite a few years ago in a well known former Welsh marina from the Carib allegedly! Sat there for a few years and was then sold. VAT? whats that?

Would be interesting to know who sold it and if it was siezed by customs - a couple of years sounds like the time required for a temporary import to run out, the procedure to sieze the boat to run its course and the boat to make it to market. The marina would also probably be liable if there was any wrongdoing .. in the EU marinas are required to report the customs status of foreign yachts berthed in them. Was the boat UK flagged? If it was then it could have sneaked back in and not been caught by the process.
 
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