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EU extends VAT grace period for non-EU boats to 18 months

By webmaster last modified Mar 23, 2004 12:41 PM

Published: 2004-03-23 12:41:30
Topics: European Union
Countries: Azores , Belgium , Canary Islands , Denmark , Finland , France , Germany , Gibraltar , Greece , Ireland , Italy , Martinique , Mayotte , Monaco , Netherlands , Portugal , Spain , Sweden , United Kingdom

It has been confirmed that Article 562 came into effect on July 1, 2001, thus extending to 18 months the period non-EU boats may spend in EU waters. This more reasonable rule considerably eases the pressure on visiting non-EU boats who are no longer forced to leave the EU between seasons. However, it appears the new regulation is not widely known by customs officers throughout the EU, so visiting sailors should be well prepared - Article 562 can be viewed at (Chapter 5, Customs Code of the European Union) - as it may be worth having a print-out to show if necessary.

Noonsite received the following email as further confirmation of the above:

Non-Community vessels intended for re-export may be used in the customs territory of the Community with relief from import duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) if the goods are placed under the temporary importation procedure. This customs procedure must be discharged within a given period. The re-exportation of the goods from the customs territory of the Community is the usual means of discharging a temporary importation procedure. The period for discharge for privately used means of sea and inland waterway transport is 18 months (Article 562 (e) of Commission Regulation (EEC) No2454/93 of 2 July 1993 as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 993/2001 of 4 May 2001, OJ L141, 28.5.2001, p.1). This period has been extended recently from 6 to 18 months and applies from 1 July 2001 in all Member States.

Regards, Matthias Reimann, European Commission