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3Reefs 03-09-2010 02:46 PM

Moving to EU with US boat
Has anybody any direct experience of taking a US boat to the European Union to live and dealing with the CE mark (RCD) certification? I DON'T mean just cruising in the EU under the 18 month rule, but actually going there as a US citizen with a US-flagged yacht to become an EU resident.

There is VAT and the CE mark. I have established that I would be VAT exempt because I could bring the boat as a "temporary import," ie a personal possession.

But if I understand correctly I would have to get the boat CE marked, which primarily means the engine being certified to meet the emmissions requirements. This is potentially a major hassle and expense as engines more than 10 years old can be declared invalid.

However, there is a lot of confusing info about whether the CE mark would apply to a US-flagged boat brought in as a "temporary import."

Grateful if anyone has experienced this scenario.

wwilson 03-09-2010 03:34 PM

Hopefully Jack of Whoosh (now returned) will come up and answer this. I have read his wisdom on the SSCA web. If he doesn't appear, go to and search.

mintcakekeith 03-09-2010 04:12 PM

I believe the RYA legal dept would be able to help you out (you may need to join. K

PCP 03-09-2010 04:32 PM

I believe you want to say "CE certified"?

If it is the case, unless you have a relativelly new boat that has been already certified (by the manufacturer) in the EC...the engine would be the least of your problems.:(

I think mintcakekeith suggestion is a good one.

sailingdog 03-09-2010 05:52 PM

How old is the boat? Is the manufacturer still in business? If not, then getting it EU RCD certified is going to be an issue more likely than not.

Zanshin 03-10-2010 02:21 AM

I think the crux of the matter is 'do you need to re-flag your boat in the EU'. If you need to re-register (or sell) the boat in the EU you will need to do the CE certification, if the boat can stay in the EU and keep the US flag then you don't.
But the best advice given is to contact either the RYA or the UK tax authority directly.

PierreMundo 03-10-2010 09:31 AM

Yes you will become a EU resident, but more important a French, Dutch, German, etc. resident. All countries have their own rules above the EU ones. Once in the EU you can move around as EU resident as you like. So there are EU rules for taxes, but every country has it's own specific rules for lets say state-tax and environmental requirements.
As far as I know you can bring your own Household goods without importduties and less complex technical requirements.
So contact your future country for details.

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