With my sailing experience throughout my life, my legal knowledge and experience with boat sales for over 30 years in Denmark and abroad, I would like to satisfy both buyer and seller.
I am not just the seller’s man, I am the buyer’s and the seller’s man, even after a completed boat trade, should a problem arise.
Purchase of boat:
When buying a boat through Dansk Yacht Import, I want to ensure you in the best possible way that you get a safe transaction, that the correct documents are present, that the test sailing has proceeded correctly, and that the takeover takes place on the agreed terms according to the purchase agreement.
Today, there are greater and greater requirements for correct documentation on boats. Several rules apply that many people are not aware of, and you can therefore go quite wrong by not having the correct documentation when buying a boat.
For example, I see more and more cases where the buyer, seller and even other brokers are not aware of what documentation must be included when buying a boat.
All boats that entered the EU after 6 months 1998 must be CE approved, and all boats that entered the EU after 6 months 2006 must also have CE documentation on the engines. This means, in my experience, that boats without CE approval brought into the EU after 2006 can only be CE approved if new engines are installed in the boat.
EU legislation states that it is illegal and punishable to use, advertise or sell a yacht without CE approval, but again it is not entirely clear how this legislation should be interpreted.
I have run a case which has resulted in a letter from the National Safety Agency and the Danish Maritime Authority, where they conclude that the CE marking rests only on the person or company that imported the boat.
The above causes quite a bit of confusion, and also makes the Danich Maritime Authority’s own website’s description of CE marking somewhat confusing.
So, if you have a boat that lacks CE approval, or need help to clarify the CE issue when trading from abroad, I have experience and am happy to take part in a case as an adviser. I can also refer to clarifying whether the boat can be CE approved here in Denmark.
Of registration of boat from other country:
Another important thing about a trade in boats from abroad is registration from the country in question.
The rules may vary from country to country, but in Denmark the rules are as follows: If the boat is over 15 meters or over 20 GT, it can be registered in the Danish ship register. It is necessary if a loan is to be taken out in the boat. Perhaps you should not have taken out a loan, but it may be necessary on the day you sell the boat, as the new buyer may need it. And if the boat is not deregistered correctly, it can become very extensive and often impossible to register the boat and therefore impossible to mortgage the boat.
In order to get the boat registered, many documents are required unless the boat comes directly from another country’s register where it must be deregistered correctly. The different countries have different documents, and it can therefore be difficult to know which documents are correct if you do not have experience in this.
If the boat is under 15 meters and under 20 GT, it cannot be registered in the Danish Ship Register, but it can be registered in the Danich Personal Register. If you, as a foreigner, buy a boat through Dansk Yacht Import, I will make sure to get proof from the Personal Register in Denmark that there is no registered debt on the boat.
Please note that a debt in a pleasure craft follows the pleasure craft, so if a pleasure craft has been bought with debt, you as the buyer will be liable for this. The buyer can then assert his claim against the seller, but this can be difficult to implement against a foreign seller, or if the seller does not own anything of value.
VAT on boat/yacht:
Many people ask whether VAT has been paid on the boat. This is really something that has come out on social media from people who have no real knowledge of it here in Denmark.
It is the case that in the past, it was not interesting to inquire about VAT if the boat was privately owned. Sometimes it was affixed to a purchase agreement, and sometimes not. It was assumed that when a boat was privately owned in an EU country, VAT was also paid, and therefore there are many boat owners who do not have documentation of this.
The actual legislation states that proof of paid VAT is either the original purchase agreement from the dealer to the first owner, or a receipt for paid VAT in an EU country from the Ministry of Taxation.
In Denmark, the Danish Ministry of Taxation tells me, that if the boat has been in Denmark for a certain number of years, they assume that VAT has been paid. For example, a boat may have been sold by a company, where the company has paid VAT on a resale, and therefore there is no VAT receipt, as the proof of payment of VAT is in the company’s registered accounts.
It is the same as when you go into a shop and buy, for example, a washing machine, you cannot buy it without the shop paying the VAT.
And a boat dealer or a boat yard cannot sell a new boat to a private person without paying VAT.
There is no authority in EU legislation that demonstrates that authorities in the EU can demand proof of VAT paid by a pleasure craft.
Neither the Danish VAT rules or the EU’s common VAT rules contain rules that special declarations or other documentation must be submitted that VAT has been paid on a pleasure craft.
See the Danish Ministry of Taxation exception that VAT proof of privately owned boats does not have to be documented: The Danich Ministry of Taxation opinion on VAT on privately owned yachts.
This does not mean that you should be indifferent to VAT, because the boat may have been sold by a company abroad, where the company has not calculated this sale, which will be criminal and punishable, but this is again something we can advise on.
The above are some of the things that make it important to have control over the boat’s documentation, and it is of course one of the things that I can ensure you when buying a boat, or help the seller with, so that both the seller and the buyer do not get off on the wrong foot by a trade.