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Paying VAT on an imported boat

By doina — last modified Jul 29, 2003 04:25 PM

Published: 2003-07-29 16:25:49
Countries: Canada , Channel Islands , Madeira

Hi Noonsite,

I am purchasing a boat from Canada, Vancouver B.C. and want to eventually get it back to the U.K I'm keen on taking my time and maybe shipping it overland to Florida/Bahamas or Jersey. I'm not keen on the VAT, and wonder where I could ship/register it, where there is no VAT to pay. I am a U.K resident, and when and if the boat arrives in the U.K or EEC, I will obviously then pay VAT.

Are Bahamas/Gibraltar/Jersey all VAT free?

Thanks John.

Hi John,

In your case, registering the boat in the Channel Islands is probably best. Once you get to the EU you can pay VAT... at that point you may consider registering the boat in Madeira where VAT is 12% - currently the lowest in the EU. The other alternative is to use Gibraltar, so you don't pay VAT now...and decide what to do later.

Finally, it may be worth contacting the UK VAT office and explain what you have in mind as they may very well allow you to register the boat in the UK, and only pay VAT on arrival. That may be your best solution in the long term! (as by then you could claim a lower value for the boat, as she will not be new any more).

Regards, Jimmy Cornell