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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Default Importing a boat from the USA.

    If I wanted to import a boat from the USA, how would I go about doing it?

    Its a 50 year old thing so I think RCD and CE is not an issue (I think)

    Its a private sale, I dont know the bloke from Adam. I'm not right about to paypal $10k to a bloke I dont know, or even know where he is!

    Could I get a freight company to collect and pay cash/bank draft on my behalf?

    Do I have to pay VAT? at what rate?

    Is there import duty also?

    Is there a tax benefit of the paper work saying less than it really was? (sounds a bit illegal...but Darling's had enough out of me lately).

    Is an American trailer hitch going to fit a UK towbar?

    Ta.

  2. #2
    Whitelighter's Avatar
    Whitelighter is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    Hi Ben,

    I have done this in the past, so if you want more detailed info then the next time I am down with Col I would happily discuss it over a pint.

    In short, regardless of the vessels age if it has not been inservice inside the EU befor, it must comply with the CE certification. Now, I dont expect that too many compliance officers will be looking on a 50 year old boat so you can take an objective view on this, but the actual letter of the law is that as she will be entered into first service in the EU after 1998 she must comply.

    Assuming that you either find this acceptable, or choose to ignor it on the basis it is never likely to come up, then there are a few other things you have to know about the importation.

    VAT and Import Duty are due on the vessel, and if you have an invoice they will base the value on this invoice. If you have no invoice, then you can make a justification for the boats value. A friend of mine did this with a 1961 Hunt he bought back from Canada and it was fairly easy.

    The rate of tax for a boat is 17.5% on the value of the boat (invoice price) AND the shipping costs plus 1.7% Import Duty on just the value of the boat. You are also liable for port handling charges state side in addion to the freight rate. If you want any contacts for shipping let me know.

    I had a 8m boat shipped in 2004 for 1600 plus VAT as a guide.
    Half a dinari for an old ex-boater

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    124

    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    Fully endorse Jezbanks comments. In addition though, if you want to sell on at any future stage, RCD compliance is a must as any sale without is illegal and is criminally liable and the liability remains with the original "importer", so if future attitude changes to RCD compliance, it could come back to bite in a serious way.
    Also research the engine CE requirements (emmisions related) as well as these are different to the boat for imports from 2006.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    How did you pay for it?

    do UPS or Schenker (or someone like thant) have a payment service?

    How is that Hunt 18, nice boat those, I dont do GRP but I could make an exception for one of those.

    Thanks for the comments about RCD, best look into that.

  5. #5
    miket is offline Registered User
    Location : N Hampshire
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    I have no comments on the RCD/ CE requirements but have some experience on the VAT/ Duty side.
    I very nearly bought a 1947 ex US navy boat (named Ark Royal would you believe!) from a broker on the West coast. I had lengthy discussions with HMRC, having tracked down the right dep't. They eventually agreed to waive the duty and reduced VAT to 5% on the grounds they considered the boat of historical interest. This last was because that was the basis of my approach.
    It also makes a huge difference to the shipping cost (approx' 50%) if it goes from the East coast.
    Am intrigued with what you are acquiring knowing of your past boats?
    Please, do tell/ show?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    I have a plan to change career, currently commuting every month to Malaysia is going to kill me soon (although the surgeon that took a wisdom tooth out last week nearly managed, such that I am now taking morphine...), any how, I have a career change planned to something boaty, to do it we have decided to sell the Huntsman, so we have money in the bank as a fall back, bit of a wrench after the year full time rebuild but if plans work out there could be another later on.

    We thought in the mean time something like a Chris craft/Garwood/Hacker might do as a runaround, about 18 foot or so, there was one I spotted, (needed a bit of work, when will I learn) but nothing definate. Does not need to be anything special.

    I do have a couple of people kind of interested in the Huntsman, one of them needs to sell a boat first, it might take a year to sell mine so just sort of nosing about a bit at the minute.

  7. #7
    Petrolia's Avatar
    Petrolia is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    Jez,
    If one was to buy a Fleming 55 or something like it on the East Coast, could you just sail it back to UK and sort out all the paperwork and stuff you mention after arriving in UK ?

    Or do you have to do a load of stuff before leaving the USA ?
    Trying to slip under the radar.

  8. #8
    Petrolia's Avatar
    Petrolia is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    I forgot to mention.
    Please don't tell anyone else about my plan. There are only very few to go round.

    Mums the word [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
    Trying to slip under the radar.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    I drove a Flemming 55 from Hamble to Vlissingen, through the canals to Delfzijl, across to Cuxhaven, through to Keil, to Goteborg, to Skagen, to Oslo, to Risor and back again over 6 months, working for the owner looking after the boat, it was nearly 20 years ago, for a lot of the trip we had Tony Flemming on board, great chap, great designer, great boat.

  10. #10
    Whitelighter's Avatar
    Whitelighter is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Importing a boat from the USA.

    Hi Petrolia,

    If you were to purchase a boat stateside you could sail it across on its US registration. When you arrive here you have 6 months as a visiting yacht before you would have to re-register the boat as British, and pay the VAT/have the CE work completed.
    Half a dinari for an old ex-boater

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