EU VAT & Yachts - Frequently Asked Questions


1. I am an EU resident using my yacht for private pleasure use in the EU – does my yacht need to be EU VAT paid?

Yes – the EU authorities will expect your vessel to be VAT paid.

2. I am an EU resident using my yacht for private pleasure use in the EU – can I legally avoid the payment of VAT by owning and/or registering my vessel in a Non-EU jurisdiction?

No – the EU authorities ‘look through’ any non EU ownership and/or registration that a yacht may have and determine the liability to pay VAT on a yacht on the residence of the principal users of the vessel – in simple terms this is the person(s) who are enjoying the yacht.

3. Can I avoid paying VAT on my yacht by running it as a yacht charter business?

Yachts that are run as bona fide commercial businesses can in certain limited circumstances qualify for VAT exemption. We have produced a guide to some of the fiscal and legal considerations of yacht charter in the EU that includes a section concerning VAT exemption that can be found here on our website at the following link:

The Charter of Yachts in the EU – A Guide

4. I am a Non-EU resident using my yacht for private pleasure use in the EU – does my yacht need to be EU VAT paid?

Potentially you can keep the vessel within the EU without paying if you can comply with the EU rules for Temporary Admission. See our online guide here for further information:

As a caveat we would stress that we are a yacht registration and documentation agency and not legal and/or tax advisers so none of the foregoing information should be treated as any kind of formal legal or tax advice. Readers are therefore advised to take appropriate professional advice specific to their individual circumstances before taking any action based on the contents of this or any other page of this website or any correspondence with ourselves.

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Floriana FRN 9011, Malta

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