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Managing VAT

Any yacht owner who is planning to operate in the EU must consider VAT. Sarnia can provide a variety of different structures to help manage or mitigate VAT.

The optimal structure is chosen according to:

  • The yacht size and value
  • Its current VAT status
  • The current ownership structure
  • Whether it is used privately or commercially
  • The planned cruising area
  • The location of the yacht
  • The residency/nationality of the beneficial owner

VAT structures provided by Sarnia Yachts:

Maltese Leasing 

Primarily for EU resident owners, Maltese Leasing enables privately operated yachts to take advantage of favourable effective rates of VAT to obtain a VAT-paid yacht. Rates are based on yacht size and for those over 24 metres this equates to VAT of 5.4%.

VAT Management

For commercially operated yachts, the yacht owning company can be VAT registered at a suitable jurisdiction. This VAT registration can be used to mitigate VAT on the yacht acquisition and also some ongoing yacht supplies.

Temporary Admission

These rules apply to non-EU resident owners who wish to use their yacht privately in the EU. Use is limited to 18 months after which the yacht must be removed from the EU before re-entering under the same rules.

French (FCE) & Italian (ICE) Commercial Exemption

Commercially operated yachts operating in France and Italy can take advantage of the FCEICE rules for both VAT on the yacht itself and ongoing supplies.

There are a number of criteria that must be met for FCE/ICE. Read our latest articles to learn more.

Our Expertise

VAT structures are complex and there are many factors to consider. Sarnia will work alongside your existing yacht broker or financial management teams, bringing our team’s experience to get the job done.

Sarnia will consider many different factors before recommending the ideal VAT structure for a client:

  • Does the client require a full structure or do they already have a company to act as owner?
  • Nationality of the owner?
  • Residency of the owner?
  • What is the current VAT status of the yacht (Non-VAT paid [TA], VAT paid, VAT mitigated/deferred, or exempt)?
  • Has the yacht been formally imported into the EU?
  • Geographical area and specific countries of use?
  • New yacht or second-hand
  • Current flag/port of registry of the yacht?
  • Private pleasure or charter use?
  • Is the yacht MCA compliant?
  • Length of the yacht?
  • Tonnage of the yacht?
  •  Where will the yacht be lying at the time of purchase?
  • The current value of the yacht?

We advise owners on existing structures and offer sound advice to ensure long-term security.