Industry » Legal & Finance » What are the Rules for EU Yacht Importation?

What are the Rules for EU Yacht Importation?

Bruce Maltwood thumb3

For a yacht to be in free circulation within the EU it has to have been supplied in the EU, imported into the EU or grandfathered in by way of VAT exemption on age.

If your yacht was supplied in the EU as a domestic supply with VAT applied then the chances are that yacht is in free circulation and no importation is required.

Temporary Admission

If a yacht is operated privately under temporary admission it does not need to be imported into free circulation. Instead the vessel is subject to certain qualifying criteria and is granted what is in effect a “visitor’s permit” for a period of 18 months.

However, you do need to check:

  1. That the yacht has not been removed from the EU for a period of more than three years

  2. That it has not been sold outside the EU

  3. That it has not been removed pending re-entry under returned goods relief (RGR)

EU Entry and Importation

If you plan to buy your yacht from a non-EU shipyard or supplier you will need to consider your entry into the EU and import the yacht at a suitable location where appropriate agents and local legislation mirror your chosen mode of yacht operation. When buying your yacht in international waters you may need to re-import the vessel, but this will depend on: - The flag of the yacht - Where you intend to re-enter the EU - The intended use of the yacht

Country and Regional Requirements

It is imperative that you seek advice when importing your yacht in the EU or obtaining temporary admission as interpretations vary from country to country and in some cases region to region.

Sarnia Yacht Importation

Yacht Importation and Specialist Fiduciary Advice

Sarnia Yachts has over 40 years’ experience in yacht ownership and operational services. Our team is completely focused on the complex world of yacht administration, VAT management, flag registration, crew employment and payroll and corporate yacht ownership.

Specialist Yacht Fiduciary Experience Our team of 26 experts have decades of specialist yacht fiduciary and yacht operations experience between them and we have offices in Guernsey and Malta. We work with yacht owners, trust and family offices, lawyers and yacht brokers who often call upon Sarnia for our specialist knowledge in flagging, yacht registration or VAT management.

For more information please contact:

Bruce Maltwood: [email protected]


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