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Old 28 October 2018, 02:06   #11
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Indeed, although over the last 3or4 years there’s been a noticeable increase in interest of boats leaving & entering France/UK by ferry. We now inevitably get questioned on the UK side before we leave as to where we are going & for how long. We have been asked to prove ownership of the boat by UK port security. The French Douane (customs) take a keen interest when we arrive and leave & always ask for “papiers”. Sounds worse than it is. The most important items are SRR cert & Red Ensign.
When you were asked to prove ownership of the boat what did you give them. On my second hand boats all I have is a hand written receipt from the seller for the cash I gave them. Do you think this is adequate
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Old 28 October 2018, 04:04   #12
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When you were asked to prove ownership of the boat what did you give them. On my second hand boats all I have is a hand written receipt from the seller for the cash I gave them. Do you think this is adequate


If you can’t show someone paid VAT on the boat at some point then some customs officials in some EU countries will find this very interesting!
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Old 28 October 2018, 04:09   #13
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That may be tricky if a boat has changed hands a couple of times and the original receipt has been lost, regard VAT surely they would be more interested in checking that on newer boats?
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Old 28 October 2018, 04:22   #14
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If you can’t show someone paid VAT on the boat at some point then some customs officials in some EU countries will find this very interesting!

Why is VAT paid on a boat supposedly such an issue. Isn't that for much larger boats. When I tow my caravan to Europe (Which is not registered as that is not a requirement) no one has ever asked me to prove ownership or asked for any form of Receipt let alone a VAT receipt.

As stated by others if you buy a boat privately from a normal person that is not VAT registered as most aren't they cannot issue a VAT receipt and VAT is not applicable on this sort of purchase.

I think people are confusing larger boats that cruise the seas and or are imported as opposed to a small boat or SIB being brought to an EU County for a short holiday
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Old 28 October 2018, 04:27   #15
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That may be tricky if a boat has changed hands a couple of times and the original receipt has been lost, regard VAT surely they would be more interested in checking that on newer boats?

Also on smaller boats there is very little to identify them against the receipt. ie to match the receipt to the boat. With the new Honwave I just bought I think the VAT receipt just said Honwave T38IE £1100

Edit

This thread prompted me to look for the Paperwork on the Honwave purchase (only a month ago) and I have got a proper VAT receipt with the serial number on it.

I don't think this would be the case for a second hand one and I certainly have not got such paperwork for the 15 year old second hand outboard
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Old 28 October 2018, 04:37   #16
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Why is VAT paid on a boat supposedly such an issue.
VAT is due on any boat. If your French is good enough to debate tax law with native “experts” then you might be OK.

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Isn't that for much larger boats. When I tow my caravan to Europe (Which is not registered as that is not a requirement) no one has ever asked me to prove ownership or asked for any form of Receipt let alone a VAT receipt.
presumably caravans haven’t gained a reputation for not having VAT paid; government officials in uniform will do exactly as instructed and are not going to be interested in whataboutery



Quote:
As stated by others if you buy a boat privately from a normal person that is not VAT registered as most aren't they cannot issue a VAT receipt and VAT is not applicable on this sort of purchase.
the normal solution is they provide the original purchase invoice which shows VAT was paid. I believe there are ways to get HMRC to issue a certificate declaring that Vat should be considered paid.

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I think people are confusing larger boats that cruise the seas and or are imported not just a small boat or SIB being brought to an EU County for a short holiday
people who have actually done it with a RIB (and I know someone with a small open sailing boat) have been asked. I’m not saying everyone will get asked, but you can be asked. A deflated sib is less likely to get questioned - although I think you will still need it to be on the SSR (as otherwise you can’t prove it’s a British ship and therefore does not require to conform to French rules about flares, mirrors, distance from shore etc). The attention coming off a busy ferry may be different from in a small port arriving by sea, but they have many more officials on the water than you will be used to seeing so you can be stopped at any time - not just at the time of entry - and some of those guys aren’t very busy and will find an argumentative Englishman a worthwhile stop!
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Old 28 October 2018, 04:48   #17
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VAT is due on any boat. If your French is good enough to debate tax law with native “experts” then you might be OK.

presumably caravans haven’t gained a reputation for not having VAT paid; government officials in uniform will do exactly as instructed and are not going to be interested in whataboutery



the normal solution is they provide the original purchase invoice which shows VAT was paid. I believe there are ways to get HMRC to issue a certificate declaring that Vat should be considered paid.

people who have actually done it with a RIB (and I know someone with a small open sailing boat) have been asked. I’m not saying everyone will get asked, but you can be asked. A deflated sib is less likely to get questioned - although I think you will still need it to be on the SSR (as otherwise you can’t prove it’s a British ship and therefore does not require to conform to French rules about flares, mirrors, distance from shore etc). The attention coming off a busy ferry may be different from in a small port arriving by sea, but they have many more officials on the water than you will be used to seeing so you can be stopped at any time - not just at the time of entry - and some of those guys aren’t very busy and will find an argumentative Englishman a worthwhile stop!
I think the rules re flares etc are for a certain size of boat.

I am not trying to be argumentative I am trying to tease out what the real situation is regarding a small boat (SIB) as asked by the OP.

Regarding my Caravan that was bought as second hand in exactly the same was as my boats and no VAT was paid or indeed due when I purchased it which is the same for the second hand boat.

The issue with boats not paying VAT is because the much larger ones are sometimes bought in countries where VAT is not payable then taken under their own steam to EU Countries

Are any of the experiences you mention for small SIBs or even small boats towed onto a ferry for a holiday just like a caravan. I know PD has had questions but his is a relatively large Ribcraft of obvious reasonable value
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Old 28 October 2018, 15:20   #18
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I think the rules re flares etc are for a certain size of boat.
as i understand it any French craft (from paddle board, kayak, dinghy, sib etc) travelling more than 300m from shore will need to meet certain requirements. You’ll need to be equipped or prove they don’t apply to you because your boat is registered in the UK.
Quote:
I am not trying to be argumentative I am trying to tease out what the real situation is regarding a small boat (SIB) as asked by the OP.
its irrelevant whether you intend to be argumentative or not - when confronted with a French Duane or Gendarme unless you have the required papers or speak fluent French you are likely to be perceived as a problem.
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The issue with boats not paying VAT is because the much larger ones are sometimes bought in countries where VAT is not payable then taken under their own steam to EU Countries
cheap imported SIBs from outside the EU potentially suffer the same issue although I’ve never heard that concern but you over simplify the VAT issue on boats - they are frequently sold without VAT for commercial use. Then vat should be paid when it is sold second hand. However it is irrelevant how logical you think your arguments are - if the harbour master or customs official expects to see a piece of paper and its missing he won’t be interested in your story.

Quote:
Are any of the experiences you mention for small SIBs or even small boats towed onto a ferry for a holiday just like a caravan.
I know two first hand stories who have been with small low value boats and been quizzed:
- someone with a drascombe sized dinghy, which whilst in reasonable nick is clearly not brand new. He speaks pretty good French. He carries all the papers in a very organised file. He said coming off the ferry he spent about five minutes they looked through the file far more than they looked at the boat and never even opened his car boot (coming home the uk officials made him remove the covers, open hatches, open the boot and were apparently much less chatty!). He sailed from a few harbours, and was always asked for “ships papers”. Again he provided the file but has no idea how much “extra” paperwork they had that wasn’t needed. They were not busy and spent much longer examining everything taking photocopies and at least one boarded the vessel to “examine” it - but maybe he was just being nosey!
- two experienced sea kayakers who spent a week exploring the Brittany coast. No stops at the ferry (boats on roof) but a thorough grilling when launching. Their French (and actually their English!) is rusty high school level with a Glasgow accent so they don’t actually know what they were asked for. They were intercepted by an official launch in a shipping lane who insisted they were not allowed more than 300m from the beach. They brought them and their kit aboard and ferried them to their destination (they seemed to think people carrying all their camping kit etc on such a small boat was crazy, but laughed at the eccentricity and helped them on their way). The harbour master the next day tried to tell them they should have had their kayak on the UK register (SSR) and otherwise were stuck to French rules. His English was better than their French but they don’t know for sure what he was telling them. They didn’t strictly abide by the distance rule but had no further issues.

Both describe the experiences positively but are the sort of people who travel and expect to conform to the cultures and behaviour of the destination. Less open minded/tolerant travellers may find the intrusion more challenging.
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Old 28 October 2018, 16:59   #19
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Quote:
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as i understand it any French craft (from paddle board, kayak, dinghy, sib etc) travelling more than 300m from shore will need to meet certain requirements. You’ll need to be equipped or prove they don’t apply to you because your boat is registered in the UK.
its irrelevant whether you intend to be argumentative or not - when confronted with a French Duane or Gendarme unless you have the required papers or speak fluent French you are likely to be perceived as a problem.
cheap imported SIBs from outside the EU potentially suffer the same issue although I’ve never heard that concern but you over simplify the VAT issue on boats - they are frequently sold without VAT for commercial use. Then vat should be paid when it is sold second hand. However it is irrelevant how logical you think your arguments are - if the harbour master or customs official expects to see a piece of paper and its missing he won’t be interested in your story.



I know two first hand stories who have been with small low value boats and been quizzed:
- someone with a drascombe sized dinghy, which whilst in reasonable nick is clearly not brand new. He speaks pretty good French. He carries all the papers in a very organised file. He said coming off the ferry he spent about five minutes they looked through the file far more than they looked at the boat and never even opened his car boot (coming home the uk officials made him remove the covers, open hatches, open the boot and were apparently much less chatty!). He sailed from a few harbours, and was always asked for “ships papers”. Again he provided the file but has no idea how much “extra” paperwork they had that wasn’t needed. They were not busy and spent much longer examining everything taking photocopies and at least one boarded the vessel to “examine” it - but maybe he was just being nosey!
- two experienced sea kayakers who spent a week exploring the Brittany coast. No stops at the ferry (boats on roof) but a thorough grilling when launching. Their French (and actually their English!) is rusty high school level with a Glasgow accent so they don’t actually know what they were asked for. They were intercepted by an official launch in a shipping lane who insisted they were not allowed more than 300m from the beach. They brought them and their kit aboard and ferried them to their destination (they seemed to think people carrying all their camping kit etc on such a small boat was crazy, but laughed at the eccentricity and helped them on their way). The harbour master the next day tried to tell them they should have had their kayak on the UK register (SSR) and otherwise were stuck to French rules. His English was better than their French but they don’t know for sure what he was telling them. They didn’t strictly abide by the distance rule but had no further issues.

Both describe the experiences positively but are the sort of people who travel and expect to conform to the cultures and behaviour of the destination. Less open minded/tolerant travellers may find the intrusion more challenging.


I have every bit of paper that you could imagine, including one most folks have never heard of (T2L anyone?) I research my trips to the Nth degree, but I’ve still:-

Been boarded at sea, at (very large) gun point.
Been fined for an infringement I never saw coming
Been escorted into port by gunboat (subsequently released without further action because I had the correct paperwork)
Been searched more times than I can remember at various ferry ports.
Been searched in harbours & had my fishing catch measured (I kid you not)

I speak reasonably good French, can just about get by in Spanish, can order beers in Portuguese & Croatian. All this counts for nought when the man with the gun says “papers”, you either play by their (flexible) rules, or stay at home. One thing I have learned on my travels is don’t argue.
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Old 29 October 2018, 01:32   #20
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I have every bit of paper that you could imagine, including one most folks have never heard of (T2L anyone?) I research my trips to the Nth degree, but I’ve still:-

Been boarded at sea, at (very large) gun point.
Been fined for an infringement I never saw coming
Been escorted into port by gunboat (subsequently released without further action because I had the correct paperwork)
Been searched more times than I can remember at various ferry ports.
Been searched in harbours & had my fishing catch measured (I kid you not)

I speak reasonably good French, can just about get by in Spanish, can order beers in Portuguese & Croatian. All this counts for nought when the man with the gun says “papers”, you either play by their (flexible) rules, or stay at home. One thing I have learned on my travels is don’t argue.
That lot sounds like very good reasons never to take your boat abroad. It has certainly put me off. I wonder what the OP thinks
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