The new European VAT Directive (VAT Package for B2B, since 01/01/2010) regarding luxury yachts and charter activities is creating a lot of added worries and red tape. In concrete terms, the new European VAT Directive means that, in the case of private use, VAT must be paid in the country from which the luxury yacht leaves.
A large number of EU countries are imposing strict checks on the payment of VAT when luxury yachts are used for private purposes. iYachting Services offers a concrete solution to this problem and makes an online platform available so that captains and charter companies have the necessary documents available to them immediately. This platform is not only efficient and user-friendly, but also represents a financial advantage for yacht owners and charter companies.
The digital, online YVAT portal selects and presents the information relevant to a particular sailing trip and provides the necessary documents. The online YVAT portal provides its users with a selection of relevant information and tools. Users will be shown the applicable VAT rates for each charter trip instantly. YVAT will also create the corresponding charter parties and charter invoices to serve as proof of VAT compliance for Customs. VAT numbers and VAT registration can be arranged through the portal as well. Users will be able to pay VAT when required and recover as much as legally possible. The portal is now available for yachting professionals and yacht owners on www.iyachtingservices.com
Bart Vanham and Patrick Gillis have developed the portal. Both have extensive experience with international VAT issues and cross- border solutions for the automotive and yacht industry. Early on, they were aware of the new VAT rules, and analyzed the possible consequences. They understood the implications for the yachting industry and started to work on a complete and workable solution. They combined their VAT knowledge and expertise in the field with the advantages of modern technology, resulting in the online VAT compliance portal “YVAT”.
The new EU VAT rules, effective since 2010, require VAT to be paid over the chartering activities (<90 days) in the country of departure. VAT regulations vary between EU countries. France, for example, still allows a VAT exemption for particular commercial vessels sailing the high seas, even though recently in a similar case, the European Court of Justice ruled that no exemption could be applied. As yacht owners and charter companies are now in general required to pay VAT in the country of departure for each trip, they are obliged to familiarize themselves with the VAT regulations and VAT registrations processes in each of those countries – a time-consuming and bureaucratic activity where uniformity in rules is not available (yet).
Complying with the new rules is mandatory. The EU has been investigating the chartering and VAT compliance of luxury yachts and has imposed severe penalties and claims already.