Marine organisations in the UK and EU have come together to release guidance on the EU VAT status of second hand boats following Brexit

Confusion over the EU VAT status of second hand boats following Brexit has led to leading marine bodies in Europe and the UK collaborating to issue new guidance.

The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), European Boating Industry (EBI), European Boating Association (EBA), British Marine (BM) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) joined forces to provide clarification on EU VAT and customs for recreational boat owners and companies.

The group has created a list of eight key scenarios affecting boaters.

Their guidance and interpretation of how EU VAT should be applied has been validated by the EU Commission, and should now be recognised by each EU country.

Failure to do so could result in formal complaints being made to the EU Commission.

The secretary general of ICOMIA, Udo Kleinitz said the industry ‘is affected by the changes in VAT regime through loss of boaters expenditure in marinas and tourism.’

‘Our members have asked us for support on this matter which is why the collaboration with EBI, BM and the user organisations helps in raising the profile and relevance of the topic with the applicable agencies,’ said Kleinitz.

The following acronyms are used in the scenarios:

TPE = The time at which the transition period ended – 31 December 2020, 23:00 UTC
VPS = VAT Paid Status: i.e. in free circulation
EU28 = EU before TPE, i.e. including UK
EU27 = EU after TPE, i.e. excluding UK
GB = England / Scotland / Wales excluding Northern Ireland
TA = Temporary Admission
RGR = Returned Goods Relief
UCC = Union Customs Code

The Union Customs Code referred to within this document can be found here.

EU VAT rules for UK boats in Europe

EU VAT rules for UK boats in Europe

EU VAT rules for UK boats in Europe

Commenting on the collaboration, the secretary general of the EBI, Philip Easthill, said: ‘We are delighted to have received the responses from the Commission that companies and boaters urgently need.

‘Given the impact of Brexit on businesses and supply chains, clarity on VAT for second-hand boats is highly important. The cooperation of EBI with our partners has been key and we will continue to advocate for clarity on VAT issues through our channels at EU level,’ he added.

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The CEO of British Marine, Lesley Robinson, said the ‘clarity received on VAT issues post-Brexit will greatly benefit British Marine members and the UK leisure marine industry.’

‘The answers to these scenarios will be welcomed in particular by UK boat retailers and brokers to assist in maintaining a healthy trade of second-hand boats across the UK and EU,’ she added.