Continuing the saga of proving that VAT has been paid on a boat in the absence of the original invoice, two E mails and a number of phone calls from representatives of Her Majesties Customs and Excise all insist that the original invoice is the only acceptable document. The Legal Officer of the RYA pointed me to an RYA leaflet and confirmed that following discussions with HMCE etc, copies of the original invoice would be considered acceptable proof of VAT payment, at least within the United Kingdom. When I explained this to the appropriate adviser at HMCE, he asked me what RYA stood and who were they so he was a great help. Anyway, at least four of HMCE disagree with the RYA and on the balance of probabilities, I believe the RYA are correct. Now going through complaints procedure with VAT people.