Guide To Boat Purchase and VAT
Second Hand Boats within the EU
The key rule of buying a second hand boat anywhere in the EU is to ensure that is VAT compliant. There are two main categories in regard to VAT:
1. Boats in use prior to 1985 and in EU waters on 31.12.1992. Such vessels are normally deemed to be EU VAT paid and a VAT liability will not arise as a result of a transfer of ownership within the EU.
2. With any other vessel the vendor should be able to provide paperwork dating back to the original sale when new, proving the payment of VAT on the new vessel. Purchasers should be wary if no paperwork is available, particularly if the vessel has been owned by a company at any stage.
New Boats within the EU
1. New Vessels less than 7.5m in length
These vessels will normally be VAT paid at point of purchase and no liability will arise on their importation into Ireland. If imported free of VAT than the VAT liability arises on their importation and a declaration must be made to the Revenue Commissioners
2. New Vessels over 7.5m in length
Such vessels must pay Irish VAT on their importation into Ireland.
Vessels from Outside the EU
New vessels from outside the EU must pay VAT on their importation into Ireland. They must also comply with the EU Recreational Craft Directive.
Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)
For information on the RCD please contact the RYA – +44 238 0627400
These notes are given as a basic guide. No responsibility is taken by the Irish Sailing for the continuing accuracy of this information. In regard to VAT liability potential purchasers are strongly advised to contact the VAT division of the Revenue Commissioners.