Long-Term Cruisers Could Face Second VAT Bill After Brexit Transition Period Ends
Yachting Monthly|December 2020
Sailors have accused the Government of unfairly taxing long-term cruisers after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced that UK boat owners who have cruised continually in Europe for over three years without returning to the UK have until the end of 2021 to bring their vessels home or face paying VAT and import duty on their boat.
Katy Stickland

This will apply even if owners have already paid UK VAT.

Ann and David Berry have kept their Moody Eclipse 33, Aderynglas in Greece for the last 10 years. The couple bought the yacht in Poole, paid UK VAT on the vessel before cruising her through the Mediterranean to Greece. Ann said charging UK VAT a second time felt like a tax on long-term cruisers.

‘By making you pay VAT a second time, it is like they (UK Government) are fining you for sailing the seas. I just don’t understand how they can charge you again when you have already paid,’ she stated.

Originally, HMRC had suggested that cruisers would have to return to the UK before the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 to qualify for Returned Goods Relief (RGR).

This decision was met with anger by many long-term UK cruisers whose boats are based in Europe.

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