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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

Some Irish boat-buyers may be able to purchase new or second-hand vessels from the UK free of VAT.

But for most yacht-shoppers, Brexit has pushed the cost of buying much higher — just as it’s done for the used car market.

In response to a number of queries from concerned readers, Afloat.ie understands that the UK’s Sailaway boats scheme could be an option for some buyers, provided they will sail or motor their pleasure craft from the UK to Ireland and will keep it permanently outside the UK.

This scheme is not applicable to boats purchased for commercial use or transported as cargo. For these and all over new vessels, Customs Duty (including import VAT at 21%) will apply.

An exception exists for some second-hand vessels where the UK VAT was paid before the end of the Brexit transition period.

If an individual in Ireland bought a second-hand boat in Great Britain, on which UK VAT had been paid, and the deal was completed and the boat brought to Ireland before 11pm on 31 December 2020, it is Afloat.ie's understanding that the buyer will not owe Irish VAT on the purchase.

All purchases since that date are subject to Irish VAT, however.

It's also understood that second-hand boats purchased from Northern Ireland are not subject to additional VAT if proof can be shown that the vessel has paid VAT and had been owned by an NI resident. But this would not apply to any vessel imported from the UK through Northern Ireland.

Online customs charges are another potential complication for Irish shoppers browsing the UK boat marketplace.

While the Brexit trade deal agreed in December exempts goods made in the UK from customs charges in Ireland, duty will be payable on many products that have been imported into the UK from elsewhere.

Irish VAT will be payable regardless on all packages valued at €22 or more (including postage) until 30 June 2021, after which VAT will be paying on all goods entering the EU irrespective of value.

Afloat.ie understands that the future tax status of boats now depends on where they were as the Brexit transition period ended.

Those in Ireland at that time, regardless of nationality, retain the status of “Union goods” and can — nominally at least — move freely in EU waters.

Those that were in the UK, however, now face numerous restrictions on future movement — not limited to new VAT liability.

Boats in Northern Ireland are for now recognised as having both UK status and “union status” — a move which averted a potential influx of visiting boats and concerned owners into Irish marinas over the Christmas period.

Businesses seeking to import new or second-hand boats from the UK to Ireland will have to register for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number and complete various customs declarations.

Rules for Irish boaters cruising to British waters (and vice versa) are not yet as clearly defined.

While there has been no change for those cruising between Ireland and Northern Ireland, boaters crossing from Ireland to Great Britain (and vice versa) are strongly advised to keep proof of VAT-paid status on board at all times, as well as complete form C1331 for HM Revenue & Customs.

All arrivals in Great Britain from Ireland (except Northern Ireland) must also hoist flat Q on first arrival and keep it flying until clearance is granted via the National Yachtline (charges may apply).

Temporary admission of a UK vessel for private use into Ireland (including spare parts for minor repairs or servicing) is allowed “without formality” for a maximum of 18 months.

Sailboats and equipment may also be imported temporarily for sports events, but paperwork (such as an ATA Carnet) may apply.

Update 9/2/21: This story was updated to clarify a point around VAT liability on second-hand boats purchased from Great Britain before the end of the Brexit transition period. Thanks to Norman Kean for his assistance.

Published in Boat Sales
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“All sorts of strange things” will emerge this year for UK sailors in EU waters as post-Brexit issues remain to be ironed out.

As Sailing Today reports, RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers has outlined some harsh truths for British boat owners who had been used to easy cruising excursions beyond home shores.

“As an example, the whole idea of taking a sabbatical in the Mediterranean, living on your boat, which you’ve bought with your pension, has just disappeared out of the window now that we are subject to Schengen Area visitor visa rules. That is just one post-Brexit reality,” he said.

Meanwhile, EU member states appear to be taking a less than harmonious approach to recognition of British boats’ VAT paid status, as the Cruising Association’s Brexit spokesperson Roger Bickerstaff has warned.

“We’re going to be seeing different countries taking different views,” he said.

Carruthers also noted: “The status of boats in Northern Ireland is also unclear — are they classed as UK goods, Union goods, will they be able to enter Great Britain VAT-free?”

Sailing Today has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruising

Marine minister Charlie McConalogue says he has expressed Ireland’s “serious concerns” at EU level about a “ disproportionate burden being borne” by it in relation to fish quotas lost under Brexit.

Mr McConalogue said he conveyed this at an informal EU agriculture and fisheries council on January 25th, and Ireland was “awaiting to hear how this matter will be urgently addressed.”

An Oireachtas agriculture and marine committee was told last week that Ireland had taken a disproportionately large hit in the final deal.

Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive Sean O’Donoghue said that if the total loss to nine coastal states is valued at €182 million, Ireland should have lost some €20 million in quotas.

Instead, Ireland’s loss has been calculated at over €42 million, he noted.

Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive Sean O’DonoghueKillybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive Sean O’Donoghue

The frontloading of cuts over five-and-a-half years to 60 per cent this year was also unexpected, he said.

“We have formally requested our government to go back to Brussels and demand that the eight other EU coastal countries step up to the plate and take a proportionate hit on the Brexit deal,” he said.

Mr McConalogue said this week that he had made it clear that "ministers at council must have a direct engagement in the negotiations between the EU and UK to ensure that the fishing industry and other stakeholders have confidence that their concerns and voices are heard and understood".

The informal EU council meeting focused on the preparation for discussions between the EU Commission and the UK on setting TACs and fish quotas for 2021, he said.

Existing provisional quotas are due to end in March, and full-year TACs must be negotiated with Britain before then.

New procedures for interactions with the UK are being put in place, Mr McConalogue said, and member states’ priorities for the negotiations were discussed at this meeting.

“In relation to setting TACs for 2021, I made clear that Ireland is fully committed to respecting setting quotas in line with fishing at maximum sustainable levels (MSY) where this is known, and for other stocks all available data and information must inform TAC setting,” he said.

Published in Fishing
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Marine red diesel is still on sale to leisure vessels in the UK despite Westminster’s pre-Brexit plans to phase it out, the Cruising Association says.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the British Government made clear its intention to legislate for a ban on the use of subsidised dyed or ‘red’ diesel except for agriculture, railway and non-commercial heating.

It follows a judgment from the European Court of Justice that also necessitated Ireland’s own ban on green-dyed diesel use for cruising and leisure boating which came into force at the start of 2020.

Now that Britain has left the EU, red diesel will continue to be legal for the propulsion of vessels in the UK until April 2022, says the body that represents Britain’s small-boat cruising community.

However, red diesel in craft engine tanks is not permitted in the EU27 and other countries — including Ireland.

The CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) says it has received information from HM Revenue and Customs that they agree the Istanbul Convention of 1990 allows vessels to make visits to the EU27 and elsewhere without import prohibitions or restrictions on propulsion fuel.

This includes visiting craft with UK red marine diesel — or red dye traces — in their engine tanks, it adds. But it is unclear whether EU27 countries will implement their own laws in accordance with the Convention as expected.

The situation is also different in Northern Ireland, where the Northern Ireland Protocol means relevant EU directives will continue to apply.

“If this affects what fuel private pleasure craft (PPC) in Northern Ireland can use, HMRC will provide an update at the appropriate time,” the CA says.

Published in Cruising

A crisis in Scotland’s fishing industry since the end of the Brexit transition period has only worsened as a leading logistics provider has called a halt to deliveries of fresh seafood to the EU amid a raft of delays.

As the Guardian reports, DFDS paused its deliveries of live seafood and fresh fish to France, Spain and elsewhere on the continent last Friday (8 January) over issues with health certificates, customs documentation and IT difficulties.

It’s hoped deliveries can resume from next Monday 18 March but the company has warned they will take significantly longer than before Brexit — prompting fears that Scotland’s £1 billion seafood trade with Europe could disappear.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Ireland’s fishing fleet stands to lose more than a quarter of the quota of its largest fishery in transfers to the UK under the recent Brexit trade deal.

And the quota share for herring caught in the Irish Sea will be cut by a whopping 96%, according to figures published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today, Wednesday 13 January.

In its primary analysis of the reduction of quota shares under the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement reached last month, the department estimates there will be a 26% reduction in the western mackerel quota share, Ireland’s largest fishery.

In Ireland’s largest non-pelagic fishery — prawns — the Irish quota share reduction will be 14%.

The other whitefish fisheries where there are notable reductions are hake (3% in Celtic Sea), haddock (11% in Celtic Sea, 16 in Irish Sea, 22.6% at Rockall), megrim (8% in Celtic Sea, 19% in West of Scotland), anglerfish/monkfish (7% in Celtic Sea, 20% in West of Scotland) and pollack (8% in Celtic Sea).

Several smaller whitefish quotas in the Donegal/West of Scotland area have seen sizeable quota share reductions, the report states, with the largest part — 60% — between 2020 and 2021.

The aggregate final quota transfer by Ireland after five years (in 2026) is estimated to be €43 million which amounts to a 15% reduction compared to the overall value of the 2020 Irish quotas.

Alongside Germany, this represents the largest transfer as a proportion of quota value among the EU’s maritime states.

The report, which is attached below emphasises that it is based on a preliminary analysis of available data and should be used as a guide only.

Published in Fishing
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Larne Harbour is set to get dedicated facilities for post-Brexit checks on imports of food and livestock from Great Britain later this year, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Currently a team of 12 environmental health officers are working “24/7, in a 365 role on 12-hour shifts” checking documentation on goods shipping across the Irish Sea border established by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s last-minute trade deal with the EU.

The new infrastructure, expected to be in place by September, will allow for physical checks on food imports as well as live animals such as horses as they arrived into Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK.

Meanwhile, veterinarians in Northern Ireland have been helping businesses fill in the required forms to trade across the Irish Sea.

Speaking to a Stormont Committee, NI’s chief vet Dr Robert Huey said his staff have had to help “overwhelmed” hauliers fill in food standards and customs paperwork to comply with the new regulations.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is in contact with UK officials after a Donegal trawler was prevented from fishing around Rockall.

RTÉ News reports on the incident yesterday (Monday 4 January) in which the Greencastle-based Northern Celt was boarded by crew from the Scottish fisheries patrol vessel Jura.

The trawler’s skipper Adrian McClenaghan said he was informed “that we could no longer fish inside the 12-mile limit of Rockall” since the end of the Brexit transition period last Thursday 31 December.

The outcrop in the North Atlantic has been disputed territory for decades. While the UK claims sovereignty, Ireland does not recognise this claim.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, two Irish experts in maritime law have said Scotland is within its legal rights to assert a 12-mile territorial limit around Rockall as it warned it would do last year.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue says that the EU Fishing industry will, unfortunately, have to concede some of the fish previously caught in UK waters arising out of the agreement between the EU and the UK on their future relationship.

The Minister has acknowledged the need to support fishing communities to address the negative impacts of the deal.  Irish Fishing groups have been quick to deliver their response that now includes a demand for a Mackerel quota transfer as compensation over a ‘Poor’ Brexit trade deal.

Minister Charlie McConalogue says the impact of the deal will be much less than what the UK was demanding throughout, and right up to the end of these negotiations, but he was acutely conscious that these quota reductions will affect important parts of Ireland’s fishing industry. He confirmed that the Government will work hard with the industry to do all it can in supporting and addressing these challenges.

Minister McConalogue added: "I greatly appreciate the input of fishing industry representatives throughout the negotiation process ensuring that Ireland always spoke with one voice. I would like to reassure stakeholders that the Government fully understands their concerns regarding a cut in a number of quota shares, and we will work together with the sector to develop the necessary supports and approach to address these impacts. We will also examine the wider economic impacts on the agri-food and fisheries sectors that will arise, and consider the development of appropriate and targeted supports, including through engagement with the European Commission on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.”

Published in Fishing
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Negotiations on a Brexit trade agreement concluded today (Thursday 24 December) with what European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen described as “a good deal”.

News of the agreement has been generally welcomed across the majority of Irish businesses and representative groups — with the notable exception of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, which says the deal fails the Irish fishing industry.

And the body is demanding compensation in the form of a transfer of quotas in mackerel — Ireland’s most lucrative catch — from other EU fishing states.

“We cannot stand idly by and allow decades of investment in developing a successful enterprise, to be sacrificed by the shape of this very poor deal,” KFO chief executive Seán O’Donoghue said in a statement.

“In spite of a seismic effort to redress the imbalance of the proposed deal in recent days, not enough has changed and our highly developed mackerel fishery stands to lose out dramatically.

“While the full detail of the text is not yet available, it will require very close examination and analysis. Make no mistake — we will be seeking compensation from our EU colleagues to put right this grievous wrong.

“We won’t accept this. Moreover, we fully expect the Irish Government to deliver the requisite compensation in the form of transfer of mackerel quota from the other EU coastal states which pro rata, have seen a much less severe impact on their respective mackerel fisheries.”

As reported in The Irish Times, Taoiseach Micheál Martin acknowledged that fishing communities would be disappointed by today’s outcome.

“I believe the agreement reached today is the least bad version of Brexit possible, given current circumstances,” he said.

“I know that, more than others, our fishing communities will be disappointed with the outcome. But compared with the prospect of ‘no deal’, which would have seen them completely excluded from British waters, the negotiators have worked to minimise the damage.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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