Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts
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What happens is that when you take a boat that has not paid the VAT (or TVA, depending upon your language) to a country that requires it, they make you pay it when you register your boat there. There are some differences between countries, but essentially every country in Europe charges a similar tax (30% or so is common.) Transients can avoid paying the tax if they stay a limited time (which may vary by country also). If the VAT has been paid already, then its cost is included in the selling price when you buy the boat. There are other points and issues involved, but this is how I generally understand it. Cruising World had an article on this about a year or so ago, written by an American sailor who kept his boat in France and no longer qualified as a "transient" . He described the paperwork, the long waits, the bureaucratic whirlpools, and the costs in some detail.