Selling your boat successfully
Founded in 2000, www.boatmatch.com has traded for over twenty years. Our experience in international yacht brokerage is extensive with hundreds of yachts and motor yachts sold worldwide.
Premium Sales Package - all boats are advertised on www.boatmatch.com and one other leading marine industry portal. Our experienced brokers monitor sales leads, verifying customers before introducing them to clients who manage the sale of their boat.
Our brokers monitor sales and give expert advice to clients and customers, also providing the Bill of Sale on completion of a sale.
Premier Sales Package - the full brokerage service where expert brokers advertise your boat using a variety of media and manage the sale of your boat from start to finish. The Premier service includes organising viewings, sale agreements, surveys, sea trials and completion documentation.
The Yacht Brokerage have a sales pontoon on Port Hamble in Southampton, UK.
Email [email protected] for details.
The Yacht Brokerage t/a Boatmatch Fees
- Premium package from £500 (VAT not applicable)
- Premier package from £2,500 (VAT not applicable)
- Deposits will be held on The Yacht Brokerage client account and fees deducted upon completion.
The key to a successful boat sale is providing buyers with comprehensive and accurate information, making sure the boat is cleaned and serviced and in full working order. Also ensure that all technical information is available.
The Yacht Brokerage trading as www.boatmatch.com is a member of British Marine.
Why I should use a British Marine accredited broker
A simple listing and registration process
After filling in your boat details and registering, make sure you make a note of your username and password and keep them in a safe place. Whenever you return to boatmatch.com, you will easily be able to amend your existing boat.
Contracts service from boatmatch
Boatmatch.com uses the internationally recognised British Marine Federation and UK Royal Yachting Association recognised conditional or unconditional contracts for the sale or purchase of a second hand vessel.
Proof of Ownership
It is a requirement of Boatmatch.com that all sellers give clear proof that they own the boat(s) listed or that in the case of a third party sale they have the permission of the owner to sell the vessel. As part of the registration process, sellers will be asked to provide proof of ownership to Boatmatch.com. Until Boatmatch.com has this information, it will clearly indicate on the buyer's listing that the seller has not confirmed proof of ownership. Proof of ownership is a prerequisite to any sale and without this proof there will inevitably be delays in the sale process.
English law applies to all transactions.
This is the latest VAT advice available from British Marine.
Please understand this is a possible scenario and the situation will most likely change depending on the outcome of the trade negotiations between the EU and the UK when the UK leaves the EU on December 31st 2021.
As further information becomes available, we will make every effort to update this information promptly.
If the UK leaves the EU VAT area, it will become a third country and supplies of goods crossing international borders will become imports and exports; attracting import VAT and customs/excise duties.
The payment of VAT at the border will have potential cash flow consequences. EU member states will require VAT to be paid on importation unless they introduce a deferral mechanism. UK businesses exporting to the EU may need to engage VAT representatives in different countries to comply with EU VAT obligations.
Businesses wishing to claim a refund of overseas VAT will no longer have access to the EU VAT Refund Portal, and are likely to face longer waiting periods to be refunded.
Businesses can use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers made before 1 January 2021.
If you wish to continue to use MOSS from 1 January 2021, you will need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.
For boat owners, builders, brokers and distributors there remains doubt and confusion as to where they stand, particularly regarding VAT Paid Status (VPS). Guidance issued by the EU Commission last year was framed (as always) in highly technical legal speak and appeared to be more focused on goods being supplied and/or imported/exported on or around the time of Brexit.
There was and remains little to no clear guidance as to ‘means of transport’ (for our purposes yachts, boats, pleasure craft) or circumstances where those goods were already in free circulation and effectively possessions. The UK HMRC and Treasury policy teams have been engaged to seek further clarification and assurance, but the responses have primarily been limited to references to returning goods and have fallen well short of addressing our member’s concerns.
So where does that leave us?
The generally held basic understanding further to the EU’s missive is that a boat’s VPS will be determined by its physical location at ‘B-Time’; therefore (assuming the boat has pre-existing VPS):
- If the boat is within EU waters at B-Time, it will have deemed EU27 VPS
- If the boat is within UK waters at B-Time, it will lose any pre-existing EU27 VPS and will subsequently be subject to the same conditions as any other non-VPS boat when entering and operating within EU27 waters and ports irrespective of the country of registration or nationality of ownership.
But this is not necessarily wholly correct nor does it provide the full picture; a whole range of scenarios are emerging where there remains a lack of any sort of clarity, or indeed where the perceived understanding simply does not make sense; some of the more commonly mentioned being:
1. EU resident, with VAT paid within the EU27 and boat within the EU27 at B-Time:
Relatively simple – has EU27 VPS and would operate under TA if visiting the UK, but would require formal importation and VAT payable if being acquired to remain substantively in the UK.
2. UK resident, with UK VAT paid and boat within UK at B-Time:
According to the understanding, the boat would retain its UK VPS but lose its EU27 VPS; the owner would be allowed to and visit sail within the EU27 territories, subject to the TA conditions, but any purchase by an EU resident wishing to use the boat with the EU27 would require EU27 VAT to be paid – effectively devaluing the boat in the EU market.
3. UK resident, with UK VAT paid and boat within EU27 at B-Time:
Based on the current understanding, the best position (or least worst...); the boat will have deemed EU27 VPS AND eligible for UK RGR, although HMRC acknowledge that need not necessarily be formally operated as the boat will not have been ‘exported’ and will have demonstrably UK VAT paid.
4. UK resident, with EU VAT paid and boat within the EU27 at B-Time:
The boat will have deemed EU27 VPS, meaning free movement – and importantly the ability to sell with no further VAT – within the EU; however, as currently stands (and HMRC have not been able to clarify), the vessel would NOT have UK VPS, therefore returning to the UK would present a problem. The vessel could, if likely to be substantively used and moored within the UK, be subject to relocated possessions relief, but there are quite restrictive conditions and the probability that this would result in the loss of the EU27 VPS.
5. EU resident owner, with EU27 or UK VAT paid, with the boat in UK at B-Time:
The boat would have deemed/explicit UK VPS but would lose its EU27VPS; the difference for the owner from 2 above, is that owner would have to pay VAT (again) to be able to use and/or sell the boat within the EU27.
6. EU/UK residents with EU27 or UK VPS, with the boat in international waters or ex-UE28 port:
This is not apparently covered by the guidance, which explicitly refers to ‘goods’ being in either the UK or the EU27 at B-Time, or in transit between two specified points.
What about businesses?
For those involved in selling pre-owned boats, either as brokers or principals, the probability is that current VAT boats that will no longer have EU27 VPS will be devalued and become less attractive within the EU market.
Sales of new boats should be relatively unaffected as VAT would have been due and chargeable/payable for UK and EU residents irrespective. There is also potential, possibly, to become more attractive to UK buyers wishing to substantively use their boat in the EU27, with the flexibility to take delivery off-shore or ex-EU28 and use under TA within the EU27 (subject to conditions).
What should I do?
As a boat owner, you need to consider:
- What and where is the current VPS of the boat
- Where you are most likely to use, moor and sail the boat
- When you are considering selling the boat and what is the preferred market
If following the above examples this leads you to the conclusion that EU27 VPS is materially important in the immediate post-(hard) Brexit world, then you should consider making arrangements for the boat to be within (and documented as such) the EU27 at B-Time, BUT it is important to take into account ALL the factors and take advice before committing.
For businesses, the position is difficult to anticipate, but we would recommend taking advice on and considering UK import/Customs procedures (IPR, Customs warehouse etc.) and also exploring the potential for EU27 subsidiaries, branches, Customs representatives and VAT registrations, to help facilitate ease of movement and address potential place of supply rules.