Back To Top

UK registered boats in the EU ?

Yachting Home Forums General UK registered boats in the EU ?

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #72642

    I’m a prospective Nauticat owner, and have been researching availability over the last couple of months; I’m in the UK, but aiming to base in the Med.

    Current Covid regs aren’t helping with viewing potential boats, but I need to get on top of the potential VAT problem, for UK registered boats, after 1st January 2021, whether in the EU already, or in the UK and aiming for the EU.

    Apologies if this has already been discussed, but to start the discussion this article looks up-to-date:

    For third countries, a non-EU flagged boat can be temporarily imported into the EU for 18 months. The boat has to come in under the temporary admission (TA) procedure to qualify. However, the problem for boats already in the EU is that they will not have come in under the temporary admission procedure at the time they came to the EU. In principal, UK goods located in the EU on 1 January (e.g. call off stock) may be subject to VAT and duty as imports. Therefore, at 1 January 2021, the boats located in the EU may be seen to be imports with duty and VAT due. Owners should perhaps be looking at entering their boats under the TA rules at this point.

    I’d really appreciate opinions on this subject.


    Richard, perhaps you should look for a Nauticat that is already registered and VAT paid in the EU if you wish to keep it within EU boundaries on a permanent basis. I have a Nauticat 331 (2008), which I bought from a Greek in Athens and is now based in Italy. Although registered on the SSR in UK, it has always been based in the Med (VAT paid in Italy) and I am assuming that I will not have problems regarding VAT or duty although I suppose that I may have to re-register it to Italy or Greece. Iā€™m keeping a low profile and waiting to see how the rules firm up. From my experience, there are not many Nauticats based in the Med, but the 331 is an ideal cruising motor sailor with a spacious cockpit and outside helm position to make the most of Med weather. I plan to cruise around Sicily in 2021 and then make my way to Corfu in October to re-base the boat in Gouvia Marina and put it up for sale. If you are interested in owning a 331 in the Med, please do contact me. Andrew Bell.


    I keep a Nauticat 37 in Mediterranean Spain. I have had it from new and VAT was paid in the UK. I have had assurances from the RYA and the Cruising Association, who have been in touch with the European Commission, that VAT paid boats situated in the EU on 31 December 2020 will be treated as a EU good and will continue to be deemed as EU VAT tax paid. This understanding has also been confirmed to me by my marina manager, who foresees no impediment to continued free circulation subject to Schengen area time limitations on me (not the boat).
    The issue of retaining UK VAT status is a different matter. At present, after a very late pronouncement from HMRC, we would have only up to December 2021 to get our VAT paid boats back to the UK if we are to avoid paying VAT again in the UK, as it will be deemed that we have exported them. Representations about the unreasonableness of this position continue to be made.


    It’s a tricky business for sure. You’ll either be a UK VAT paid boat in EU and have to pop out for a short trip every 18 months or if you have your boat in the EU on b-day then possibly something similar but vice-versa.

    This all does of course assume that our fantastic crack team of negotiators in Brussels are unable to agree a deal that means that everyone is happy. I don’t see why anyone would have a reason to doubt their aptitude and leadership šŸ˜‰

    We’re playing it by ear. We’ll be out of the UK in a shot if there’s no deal pre b-day.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.