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Posted Fri, 04 Feb 2022 08:50:24 GMT by Joseph Garcia
We are purchasing a sailing boat from a French boatyard. The vessel will be for private use only by ourselves, it is a VAT not paid vessel and will be exported from France immediately we take possession. We are UK nationals and have been resident in the UK for our entire lives. The boat will be registers on the Small Ship Register as a UK flagged vessel. We have owned a sailing boat in the UK for the past 20 years and have an extensive inventory of equipment that we need to transfer to the new boat, which will then be installed in and on the vessel. Most of the equipment is older than 6 months but some items will have been bought in the UK, VAT paid, that are less than 6 months old. We intend to sail extensively in both international waters and the coasts of Spain, Portugal and down into the Mediterranean. Any visit to EU countries with the vessel will be done under the Temporary Admission regulations and we will return to the UK at some point over the next 3 to 5 years where we will formally import the vessel into the UK. What formalities and documentation do we need to adhere to to meet the appropriate requirements for both English and French customs for the goods and possessions that we need to get to the boat before setting off. Thank you.
Posted Tue, 22 Feb 2022 10:24:58 GMT by HMRC Admin 19

HMRC is unable to comment on French customs authorities custom requirements. 

From the scenario outlined, import VAT and duties will be due on the purchased vessel when it is imported into the UK for the first time.  

You may be able to claim preferential duty rate under UK-EU TCA on entering the UK, please see the link below:

Rules of origin for goods moving between the UK and EU

Further guidance on pleasure crafts coming to the UK and custom requirements can be found in the notice below: 

Notice 8: sailing your pleasure craft to and from the UK 

In regards to Temporary Admission (TA), if the vessel is registered in the UK and the owner lives in the UK, from the information provided, TA may not be applicable as this will not meet the eligibility criteria, please see the following link: 

Reference document for Temporary Admission: eligible goods and conditions for relief

In regards to Returned Goods Relief, goods returning to the UK may benefit from import duties relief subject to conditions, please see the following:

Pay less import duty and VAT when re-importing goods to the UK 

Thank you.

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