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Yacht VAT & Customs

As high-value assets, yachts and superyachts can be subject to significant duties and taxes, especially Valued Added Tax. Laws are complex, evolving and much can be a matter of local interpretation. 

>  We understand not only VAT & Customs law but its practical application

>  Our advice dovetails with guidance in related yachting matters

>  One of our partners is the former head of the legal department of French Customs in Le Havre.

The 28 Member States of the European Union comprise a single market for movement of people, goods and services. Many transactions involving yachts are potentially subject to VAT in the EU, including import, charter, sale/purchase, construction, repair, purchase of fuel and other supplies etc. However, in practice laws are applied differently across the various countries.

Our experts can provide you with guidance on the VAT and customs implications of yacht ownership. And if you are faced with a tax investigation or claim, we have wide experience in assisting owners, captains, managers and corporate service providers in handling the situation.

Yachts in commercial use can be entitled to VAT exemptions. This is a complex area, but understanding the extent to which such exemptions are available for charter yachts may make a significant difference to overall operating costs. The rules applying to private yachts must also be fully understood.

Contact Duncan Bateson (London) or Julia Wiechell (Hamburg) for more information.

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