APPLICATION OF THE 25% US-BUILT ADDITIONAL DUTY TO A VESSEL COMPLETELY MODIFIED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION?
« We encountered some challenges with an American built boat. The owner asked us to carry out the importation in France using the French commercial exemption procedure.
However, in the meantime, the European Union issued a regulation imposing a 25% customs duty applicable to American builds.
The French customs wouldn’t accept the importation of the vessel unless the owning company paid the duties which amounted to more than one million euros.
We had, as a consequence, to find a solution to that problem. Therefore, we submitted a file to customs in order to convince them that the 25% duty was not applicable to the vessel for three reasons:
- The customs duty was only applicable to vessels exported from the USA after June 22nd, 2018 (which was not the case of “the vessel”)
- The vessel had to be considered an antiquity vessel due to its age. For such vessels, no customs duties were applicable
- The vessel had been refitted in the European Union and only the bare hull had been exported from the USA – many years ago
In these conditions, the French customs refused to accept the first point considering that the vessel had to pay the 25% customs tariff as soon as it became “commercial”. Indeed, the Yacht was exported from the USA as a private vessel many years ago.
The second point required a time-consuming survey and the client was not keen to carry out such a procedure.
As a consequence of our tenacity and experience, customs accepted to relieve the vessel from the customs duty basing their answer on the third point. Indeed, the vessel had been refitted in Europe and had lost its USA origin becoming a European built Yacht.
It has been a great success for YMCA and it proves that we always work to the best of our abilities always providing our clients with a correct and proper solution. »
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