25 % Customs’ duty on US built yachts imported into the EU: a reality…

Several yachting professionals based outside of the EU think this is just a rumor but unfortunately this is a reality.

Since 26 June 2018, Yachts built in the US which are being imported into the EU will be required to pay in addition to the 1.7% Customs Duty (required only for yachts below 12m) and VAT as applicable, a 25 % Customs’ Duty to be paid in the country of import.

The European Commission has indeed adopted this new prohibited measure by Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/886, as a direct response to Trump’s trade policy.

Which yachts are concerned?

Are concerned: all Sailing Yachts with or without auxiliary engine and Motor Yachts which have been built in the US irrespectively of the material of construction (fiber glass yachts are also concerned) which:

  • are fully imported into the EU as private yachts (not used under Temporary Admission (TA));
  • are imported in France as commercial yachts under the French Commercial Exemption (FCE) regime or through other countries (ie: Malta) and hold a valid Import Customs Declaration (DAU/SAD). 

Which yachts are note concerned?

  • cruise ships, cargo ships and other vessels used for transport of persons and goods even if built in the US;
  • Yachts coming from the US but not built in the US;
  • Yachts built in the US which have been imported under the FCE regime before 26 June 2018, which are still validly operating under the FCE regime and which have not been re exported;
  • Yachts built in the US which are privately operated under the Temporary Admission (TA) regime;
  • Yachts built in the US which are registered under the Marshall Islands or Cayman Islands Yacht Engaged in Trade programs (dual use) and which are operated under TA for Commercial Activity (TACA YET). 

What is expected in the future for commercially operated yachts?

This prohibitive measure will have with no doubt an important impact on the yachting industry and above all on the charter market.

Unfortunately Commercial Yachts which had been imported under FCE prior to June 2018 are not free from trouble. Customs confirmed recently that if they wish to return in EU waters and be re imported under the FCE regime this year to be able to charter, they will have to pay the 25% Customs Duty.

Marshall Islands and Cayman Islands Yacht Engaged in Trade programs seem to be to date the unique solution for US built Yachts which are presently outside of the EU and that wish to come back in the Med for this charter season.

Do not hesitate to contact Janet Xanthopoulos if you own or operate a commercial Yacht currently based outside of the EU and wish to discuss about the possibilities to charter in the Med during the 2019 charter season.

By Rosemont

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