UK boat owners required to carry VAT documentation ‘at all times’ post-Brexit
A recent HMRC notice – Notice 8: sailing your pleasure craft to and from the UK – urges boat owners to “carry evidence of VAT status at all times.” The reason for this is that post-Brexit, owners “may be asked by customs officials to provide proof of the vessel’s UK VAT status.”
HMRC’s suggested proof includes an original invoice or receipt to show that VAT was paid at the time of purchase. If an owner built the boat himself, he must provide invoices for the materials used in construction.
HMRC points out that a registration document alone does not prove the vessel’s UK VAT status, as there is no link in the UK between registering the vessel and paying VAT.
The HMRC notice continues with advice on buying boats post-Brexit.
If you are buying a used pleasure craft from a company that is registered for VAT purposes in the UK, you should ensure that the invoice separately shows the VAT that the company has charged you for the supply of the pleasure craft,” HMRC said. If you are buying from a business that does not charge VAT on the transaction, or from an individual in the UK, and the seller states that UK VAT has previously been paid on the watercraft, you should obtain proof from the seller that the VAT has previously been accounted for.
The notice also covers customs requirements for recreational owners traveling to or from the U.K. with their boats.
It answers questions about flying the “Q” flag, notifying National Yachtline, and what goods must be declared, including prohibited and restricted “foodstuffs.”