Yachting Monthly

VAT on bringing boats into the UK


Regarding ‘The Big Question’ (YM Nov 23, Skippers’ Tips) concerning VAT payable on importing a boat to the UK from the EU, I would opine (based on a friend’s experience) that if he is returning to the UK to reside there, he is entitled to bring the subject boat with him as part of his possession­s, in the same category as his motor vehicle(s). One must have owned and used the boat for at least one year prior to this importatio­n, and may not sell it on for one year after it arrives in the UK. All relevant paperwork will be required for HMRC scrutiny (VAT status, bill of sale etc).

Gerald O’flynn

Robin Baron, Chair, Regulatory & Technical Services group at the Cruising Associatio­n, replies: In his question Tom made no reference to a change in his residence. If he indeed is changing permanent residence from either the Netherland­s or France to the UK then he may be able to take advantage of UK Transfer of Residence relief from VAT. This extends to pleasure craft. To claim relief, Tom must satisfy all of the following criteria: he must have been resident outside the UK for at least 12 consecutiv­e months, prior to the date of moving to the UK; he must import the goods within 12 months of coming to live in the UK; and he must intend to use the goods in the UK for the same purpose they were used for prior to moving. The vessel must have been owned by Tom for at least six months prior to its importatio­n to the UK and he must apply in advance for the relief on form TOR1. For full details see https://www.gov.uk/ guidance/applicatio­n-for-transfer-ofresidenc­e-relief-tor1 Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article should be used for informatio­nal purposes only and in no way should be relied upon as a substitute for independen­t financial advice.

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