Post Brexit – Yacht Ownership and Operation

With Brexit finally having taken place on the 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom has officially left the EU. The details of the new relationship between the UK and the EU will be formulated during the transition period that is planned to run until 31 December 2020. It is possible that an extension for 12 or 24 months might be put in place but this will need to be agreed before 1 July 2020. During this transition period it will be business as usual for the yachting industry although many owners are already considering their options for the future. The Royal Yachting Association publishes very helpful articles on the subject, the latest (Feb 2020) can be found HERE.

When discussing plans and contingencies with new and existing owners, consideration needs to be given to both deal and no-deal Brexit scenarios. Both private and commercially operated yachts could be impacted so it is critical to plan ahead now.

The main questions that we are asked by owners and industry contacts alike are:

  • UK flag, should I change over to another flag?
  • UK VAT paid yachts, will they retain their VAT paid/In Free Circulation status?
  • Will UK residents qualify for Temporary Admission (18 month rule)?
  • Where should the yacht be located on 31 December 2020?
  • Will UK crew qualifications still be valid after Brexit?
  • What will change in relation to social security for crew?

There is no certainty during this transition period although steps can be taken now to mitigate some of these areas. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ as individual circumstances for each yacht and owner need to be taken into consideration.

Sarnia’s yachting expertise is founded on 49 years of knowledge and experience in exclusively working with yachts from our Guernsey, Malta &  UK offices. With such complex legislation and regulations surrounding yachting, a multi-jurisdictional approach is essential.

If you would like to discuss any matters surrounding your current or future plans then please get in touch.

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