Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / EU VAT Update: Information Affecting Non-EU Boats Visiting Europe

EU VAT Update: Information Affecting Non-EU Boats Visiting Europe

By Val Ellis last modified Aug 16, 2017 03:08 PM
Noonsite has been advised of circumstances where the period of Temporary Importation permitted to boats visiting Europe cannot be extended.

Published: 2016-09-03 23:00:00
Topics: European Union
Countries: Slovenia , Spain , Sweden , United Kingdom , Azores , Belgium , Bulgaria , Canary Islands , Channel Islands , Croatia , Cyprus , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany , Gibraltar , Greece , Ireland , Italy , Latvia , Lithuania , Malta , Monaco , Netherlands , Poland , Portugal , Romania

French Customs officials have informed a visiting cruiser that France does not permit the 18 month period of Temporary Importation (TI) to be extended.  TI allows non-EU boats, with a non-EU resident to remain in the European Territory without paying VAT or import duty for a period of 18 months before they must either leave or be officially imported.

Many EU countries permit the extension of this period for another 6 months if the boat is 'bonded' (i.e. laid up in a marina or boatyard) and Customs are notified.

It is important to note that France does not recognise any bond documents issued by other countries either. So if planning to visit a French port more than 18 months after your original entry into the EU, ensure you reset the TI clock by a brief, recorded visit, to a country outside the EU (Tunisia, Morocco etc.). Technically, Gibraltar does not count as totally outside the EU, although there is a lot of confusion among officials regarding this as it IS outside the EU Customs and VAT regulations. Many boats do take advantage of Gibraltar's position, but arguing with any official who does not agree might not be easy.

For more information, see the Noonsite/European Union page

Share |
Captian Haddock
Captian Haddock says:
Aug 15, 2017 06:26 AM

You could all do something really radical which is to pay the VAT or other taxes that are due and not look for loop holes not to pay. Taxation is what keeps a country going.

EldadHadani
EldadHadani says:
Jun 23, 2017 09:04 AM

I believe that you are fine with this arrangement. If I understand, boat document will show only the LLC as owner without any mention of the LLC owners.
You will need a 'skipper's authorisation' issued by the LLC to operate the boat and you need to be careful. If the skipper has a non-EC passport, he may sail the boat freely for up to 6 months and then needs to be replaced by an another non-EC skipper.
If the skipper is EC citizen the EC regulation is to pay VAT within 30 days of entrance!
This my understanding but do not take me to court on this...

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Jun 10, 2017 12:25 PM

The answer depends of who will be skippering the boat while in the EU.
Only a non-EU resident, whether an EU citizen or not, is permitted to skipper a non-VAT paid boat in the EU.
Someone who is an EU citizen will need to be prepared to be able prove that they permanently reside outside the EU.

RomeoAlpha
RomeoAlpha says:
Jun 07, 2017 11:47 PM

I have a small issue that I hope someone would be so kind as to clarify for me. hypothetically speaking. I have a US fragged boat registered by and LLC in Delaware whose owners are both EU citizens but reside in the US. Can the boat while under US flag travel to the EU/ Mediterranean and remain for a period of less than 60 days without having to pay VAT?

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Mar 08, 2017 03:43 PM

The short answer is, no. For all practical purposes, Monaco is regarded as part of France.

slervik
slervik says:
Mar 03, 2017 02:16 AM

Will a visit to Monaco be sufficient to get "re-exported"?

Spais
Spais says:
Oct 25, 2016 04:31 PM

Mr Karas everything looks ok. Your passport,though, should be stamped by Immigration at the airport of arrival in Greece. After that when you declare arrival from Turkey to restart the Transit Log you must have exit stamp from Greek Immigration, entrance stamp from Turkey, exit stamp from Turkey and entrance stamp again in Greece.
Since you let your boat in a Marina, you let your Transit Log to Customs and the clock pauses.
Take care...

pkaras
pkaras says:
Oct 15, 2016 12:48 AM

I am a US citizen, although my parents were Greek, and I travel with a US passport. I gave my passport to the authorities in Lavrion on departure and in Syros on arrival and in neither port was my Passport stamped. Very strange. I am onboard the boat for 2 to 3 months every summer and I live the rest of the year in the US. While I am in the US the boat remains on the hard a Olympic Marine near Lavrion and the transit log is left at customs. Peter Karas s/y Daphne

Spais
Spais says:
Oct 10, 2016 10:01 AM

The meaning of Transit Log is that the vessel is under Temporary Importation (total VAT relief of the vessel) in EU waters. To fulfill this status the user of the vessel MUST BE RESIDENT OF AN NON EU COUNTRY (living out of EU the last 185 days).

What happened there with those "folks" is that they helped you much more than you can imagine. Not knowing the terms and duration of your last Transit Log, I assume that you had two choices: either to clear the vessel to Customs by paying the VAT of the vessel or re-exporting the vessel. So, they suggested to you to go to Turkey (the most convenient geographically) and enter again Greek waters having new 18 month Transit Log. Those 18 months are for the vessel, NOT THE USER. There is just the opportunity to change user after 6 months, since the user -as I said- must be 6 months out of EU and 6 months cruising with this vessel.

If a user uses his vessel over 6 months then he doesnt fulfill the terms of Temporary Importation and Customs CAN bond the vessel until you pay the VAT of it.

Finally, Customs have helped you a lot with this "exercise" and you have to be much appreciated. What I dont understand is how you can make entry in any island from "Turkey" while you dont have exit in your passport from Turkish Immigration. If you ever go back to Turkey and see entry in Greece from Turkey without exit from there, they may penalize you seriously. In their position I would suggest declaring entry from International Waters -you can do this, tip.

Generally, keep in your mind Mr Karas, that if you live in EU more than 185 days for the last 12 months, then this vessel should be cleared by Customs and then have an unlimited Transit Log. Also, Customs have the right to bond a vessel for VAT clearance when it has been overused the status of Temporary Importation.

pkaras
pkaras says:
Oct 01, 2016 02:03 AM

I have had a US flagged boat in Greece since 1985 and this year I had an unusual experience when I went to customs in Lavrion to pick up my transit log that I had left the previous year. The employee who I've know for several years told me that "things have changed this year, it's more complicated". He told me that I must leave Greek waters, i.e. go at least 6 miles from the Greek coast and then go to a port of entry to get a new Transit Log. In the past I've always gone to Turkey before my 18 months were up, but I was told in Lavrion that this was not necessary. I chose to go to Syros about 55 miles from Lavrion where my "reentry" into Greece was very easy. Customs, Port Police and Passport control are all in one location and the staff was friendly and efficient. They asked where I had come from I replied Lavrion. The young lady filling out my new transit log "suggested" that I had come from Turkey so we put Cesme on the form. Although I speak Greek I've learned that it's best to say as little as possible when dealing with these folks so I never learned the reason for this exercise. If anyone has had a similar experience I'd like to hear about it. Peter Karas s/y Daphne

Spais
Spais says:
Sep 28, 2016 08:49 AM

European law gives the right to the user of the vessel to extend the period of the 18 month Transit Log for additionsl 6 months... This is the right thing and it should be demanded.
Gibraltar does not belong in EU Customs and VAT area, so any vessel going there from EU is "re-exported". Also, Channel Islands although they belong in EU Customs Area, are not part of EU VAT area, so again, vessels going there from EU are "re-exported".
Finally, the time that the vessel is under Customs bond (boatyard etc) should not be counted, thats why the users must give the Transit Log to local Customs when they let the vessel in boatyard for the winter time...

Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business