Brexit and taking your boat to France

We have been doing some research into the ramifications of Brexit and taking your boat to France.

The advice we have now been given is that you can take your boat into the European waterways for a maximum of 18 months before you should leave European waters (under ‘Temporary Admission”). This 18 month “clock” can be paused if the boat is taken out of commission for any period of time so if your boat is winterised then you must document this. Maybe an invoice from your boatyard for winterisation and de-winterisation would be a useful document.

You can also reset your 18 month “clock” by leaving European waters for a short period. This would involve a trip out to sea or a trip into Switzerland. 

If your boat is outside the UK waters for a period of 3 years or more then you lose the right to ‘returns goods relief’, and tax must be paid at the appropriate rate when the boat re-enters UK waters. The majority of the Piper boats are Qualifying ships and therefore the appropriate rate would be 0%. 

One important thing to take on board is that if the boat has been ‘temporarily admitted’ and is then sold whilst in an EU26 member country, then the tax will be collected as part of the sales procedure.  This money will be collected by the boat broker. It is not possible to sell the boat without this tax being paid unless the boat returns to the UK for the sales process.

Boats that were in the EU26 before the end of the transition period are deemed to have Union status and therefore are not subject to the tax when they are sold in the EU26.

Residents of EU26 countries will have to pay the tax when they take their Piper barge into the EU26.  Piper boats can still supply EU26 residents at the 0% rate as the boat is still a qualifying ship so as long as the boat remains in UK waters the boat is tax paid.

Even though the majority of Piper barges are classed as qualifying ships and can be supplied at a 0% rate of VAT the sensible thing to do is to simply pay the tax in the destination country if you are planning a new life in the EU26.  We appreciate this does involve a major cost up front but the whole point in the adventure is to have a simple and relaxed life. After all, the resale value of the boat will be reflected in the tax paid status of the boat.