On 1 May 2016, the European Union’s new Union Customs Code (UCC) came into effect. Its impact covers a wide range of customs topics but if you are a private and commercial yacht operator registered in third countries outside the customs territory, you need to give the UCC special attention. As well as updating the current rules and moving towards a completely paperless, electronic declaration system, the UCC makes a number of significant changes which all yacht owners and operators need to be aware of.

Tax Marine’s team can assist you with your Spanish customs formalities in the following areas:

Temporary import arrangements

Temporary Admission can very simply be described as a mechanism that enables non-European Union (EU) resident yacht owners to bring their yachts into Europe for a limited time, such as a holiday, and under certain conditions without having to pay VAT on the value of their yachts.

There are two fundamental criteria laid down in the Union Customs Code for a yacht to qualify for Temporary Admission:

• The yacht must be owned by a natural person (i.e. an individual) or a legal person (i.e. a company) who is established (i.e. resident) outside the VAT territory of the EU.
• The yacht must be used privately, i.e. no charter
Under this mechanism the yacht can only be used within the EU for a maximum of eighteen months after its first arrival. Under certain conditions this time frame can be extended to a maximum of 24 months if the vessel is laid up and usually bonded with the prior agreement of the authorities.

Our firm will assist you with the necessary formalities to access this regime and with the necessary arrangements to extend the temporary import period if you need it.

Voluntary customs bonding

The eighteen-month period may be extended for the time during which the yacht is not used. The clock will then be stopped until the owner returns on board. During the period the vessel is in-bond, the boat must not move from its berth, and the owner and crew are not allowed to sleep on board. We are proficient in dealing with temporary import procedure queries. We are able to assist with completing the documentation required for customs bonding. We can assist with the re-export of vessels out of the EU.

Inward Relief Processing

IRP suspension allows customs duties, import VAT and excise duty on third country yachts imported to the EU for processing to be suspended on condition that there is an intention to re-export the yachts at the end of processing and that all the requirements of the procedure are met. It is intended to assist EU established processors to compete on an equal footing in the world market without harming the essential interests of EU producers of similar goods. If you plan to carry out maintenance works or a complete refit, IRP suspension may be the right mechanism to use.

Re-export formalities all across EU

Yachts registered in the Customs Territory of the EU are considered to have been declared for export by the simple fact of crossing the EU customs territory. However, such exemption from entering an export declaration only applies to means of transport in free circulation and registered in the Customs Territory of the EU and therefore it is essential that non-EU flagged yachts complete a Temporary Export Declaration whenever leaving the EU. Contact us for assistance.

Definitive import of vessels into Spain

We can assist to import your boat into Europe in Spain, the process is pretty straightforward. We will help to determine the right valuation of the boat based on the prices listed in the Spanish Official Gazette or, if your boat is not listed, we can help in order to back up your import valuation with Spanish customs.


Calle Balmes, 191, 3-2
08006 Barcelona | Spain

Foto Balmes
tel +34 932 008 453
tel +34 934 442 137
fax +34 932 209 003

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