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Norway Relaxes Law on Leaving Foreign Flagged Yacht

7th October 2011
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Norway Relaxes Law on Leaving Foreign Flagged Yacht
Following the levying of substantial fines on foreign yachtsmen, much pressure has recently been brought to bear on the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and the Norwegian Customs to amend draconian regulations relating to owners of foreign flagged vessels who wish to over-winter in Norway.
On 5th October 2011 the Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise amended the rules so that foreign boat owners can lay up their boats in private marinas for up to one year. (An extension for a further year will probably also be possible). Boat owners must apply to Norwegian Customs and Excise (Tollvesenet) for permission beforehand,. A special application form for boat storage has been drawn up. Currently this form is available only in Norwegian but an English version will be produced shortly.
Information about the new regulations and submitting applications can be obtained from the appropriate Customs Region. Norwegian Customs website is www.toll.no (also in English).
Norwegian yachtsmen have been at the forefront of the protest but overseas yachting organisations have also made representations to the Norwegian authorities. Foremost among these has been the UK's Cruising Association (CA). The CA's Honorary Local Representative in Oslo, Hans Jakob Valderhaug has worked tirelessly on behalf of members in close co-operation with the Association's Baltic Section Secretaries, Graham and Fay Cattell who comment: "This change in the law is a triumph for common sense and we are delighted that our members will be able to enjoy longer visits to Norway's beautiful coast without worry or penalty".
Skippers will no longer be forced to set out from Norway in inclement weather at the end of the season but can now legally leave their boats for the winter. Neither will they have to stump up a (refundable) deposit equal to the 25% VAT on the value of their boat plus a percentage tax for engine and refrigeration equipment.

Published in Cruising
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