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Displaying items by tag: RYA

The RYA has published a new document outlining where British recreational boaters stand post-Brexit — with a deal still not struck eight days before the transition period ends.

In its end-of-year summary, which details what is currently understood about a raft of issues that will affect recreational boaters from 1 January, the RYA estimates that “up to 33,000 British people who go boating in Europe could be affected by Customs and VAT issues which would be applied to them retrospectively”.

It adds: “These are ordinary people who, as UK nationals and residents, have followed the rules and utilised freedoms that were available to them from the UK’s membership of the EU.

The document hits out at “inconsistent advice” from MH Revenue & Customs over the last two years — and says late-arriving clarity meant “insufficient time” for affected boat owners to qualify for Returned Goods Relief (RGR), leaving many liable to “double taxation”.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the latest advice from HMRC is for boat owners to carry proof of their vessel’s VAT-paid status at all times — a situation that could be particularly onerous for those who’ve built their own boat.

“At the moment many thousands of British boat owners are facing enormous personal and financial disruption to their lives despite adhering to the law of their country at that time. In many instances, it may even force them to sell their boat,” it states.

The summary also covers Schengen Area rules and new border control regimes both in the UK and the EU’s maritime countries, as well as the changing situation for recognised training centres and instructors working in the EU.

“We have all followed the latest drama of the trade deal negotiations on the daily news recently, but the reality is that sectoral issues have not featured in the high-level discussions involving politicians and negotiators on both sides,” RYA director of external affairs Howard Pridding says.

“That is why the RYA has endeavoured to seek answers from Government officials on the key issues for boaters. As 2020 draws to a close, we have put all that we know together in one document on our website.

“The early months of 2021 are going to deliver uncertainty and many challenges as we enter a post-Brexit era. The RYA Government Affairs Team will be continuing to represent members’ interests and strive to find the clarity that is currently lacking in many areas and we will keep members informed of developments through our website and RYA social media channels.”

Published in Cruising
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Ahead of the 2021-2024 Racing Rules of Sailing which come into effect on 1 January, the RYA has released an update to the World Sailing Rules App — giving sailors access to a ‘one-stop shop’ for the 2021-2024 rules and associated documents.

Launched in 2016, the multilingual app was developed by the RYA in partnership with World Sailing and has proven popular with racing sailors and officials worldwide, ensuring they have all the relevant rules information at their fingertips.

Steen Ingerslev, RYA publications manager said: “We are delighted to be working with World Sailing once again. We’ve made huge advances with RYA eBooks and digital resources in recent years ensuring popular app features like the ‘Integrated eBook’ are more accessible than ever before.”

The ‘Integrated eBook’ links all the rules documents together, enabling the user to navigate seamlessly between the rules and cases, highlighting a number of cases for each rule in both overview and full case detail formats.

A rules mode in the settings allows the user to select Windsurfing, Team, Match, Radio or Kiteboard Racing amendments for their convenience. They can also select a country, enabling any translated rules and showing the local prescriptions from any participating National Authority.

The World Sailing Rules App can be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and Google Play. If you’ve already downloaded the 2017-2020 version, it will be automatically updated. The ‘Integrated eBook’ will be available shortly as an in-app purchase.

Published in World Sailing

Strangford Sailing Club has been named among the finalists for RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year 2021.

Ten clubs across the UK have been selected by the RYA Awards Panel, with online voting now open.

The Co Down club is the only Northern Ireland finalist this year for the annual gong, which saw Strangford Lough Yacht Club and East Antrim Boat Club in the running this time last year.

The RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year award, supported by Gallagher, recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

Voting closes on Monday 25 January, and the award presentations and overall winner announcement will be made at the RYA Virtual Dinghy Show on 27-28 February.

Rules determining UK owned boats’ VAT status will be subject to change after 31st December 2020 and Global marine transport and logistics provider Peters & May has is reminding UK boat owners with vessels outside the UK that as the Brexit transition period comes to an end at 11 pm 31st December 2020, the rules determining boats’ VAT status will be subject to change.

The latest information available from HMRC is that from 1st January 2021 the rule that yachts must return to the UK within 3 years of having last left the UK/EU in order to be entitled to Returned Goods Relief (RGR) on duty & VAT will be strictly enforced.

‘Whether RGR is applicable will be dependent on it not having undergone any repairs whilst outside the EU that increased its value when it last left the UK/EU and the amount of time it has been overseas, the date of its reimport into the UK and whether the place from where is it returning is inside the Customs Territory of the EU,’ says the company’s Sea Freight and Customs Manager Adam Towgood. He continues, ‘In order to claim the VAT relief element of RGR, it must also have not changed ownership since it last departed. Where a boat does not meet RGR criteria, duty and VAT will be payable to HMRC upon reimport’.

HMRC has recently announced the grant of a 12-month extension exclusively for boats that are currently within the EU, having departed the UK before 31st December 2017. These now have until 31st December 2021 to be reimported to the UK and claim RGR.

As Afloat reported previously, Ireland could see an influx after Christmas of visiting boaters from Northern Ireland seeking to secure the VAT and duty status of their vessels as the Brexit transition period ends.

Adam continues, ‘To ensure that there is no VAT payable to HMRC on the reimportation of their boats we are urging UK boat owners to take early action. Owners need to be aware of the dates of their boats’ movements and time away from the UK and act accordingly to claim Returned Goods Relief. A summary of whether HMRC will allow a claim to RGR according to the departure and arrival dates has been posted to our website and shared on social media channels.’

Peters & May has availability on sailing schedules from the Med which will arrive in the UK before the end of December 2020. Owners choosing Peters & May as their transport provide will benefit from the company’s experts managing the Customs clearance process on their behalf.

The Peters & May team has experience working with HMRC and understands the relevant VAT rulings. An integral part of the company’s yacht transportation service is the completion of complicated paperwork on behalf of the owner.

Adam Towgood says, ‘Navigating the import process and paperwork can be a minefield for owners not accustomed to the technicalities and governing rulings. We work closely with our customers to ensure their boat’s journey home goes smoothly and all relevant legal documentation is completed.’

Further information may be obtained by visiting the HMRC website or the website of the UK’s National Governing Body for sailing, the RYA.

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Ireland could see an influx after Christmas of visiting boaters from Northern Ireland seeking to secure the VAT and duty status of their vessels as the Brexit transition period ends.

The suggestion comes after the UK’s Royal Yachting Association earlier this week welcomed “greater clarity” on the position of the customs status of boats from the European Commission.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, British boaters resident in the UK and the EU alike have feared being left in limbo regarding the tax and duty status of their vessels — and facing hefty charges when selling on or even relocating across territories.

The situation could still see a depression of the used boat market in Great Britain as EU-based buyers may be dissuaded by significant import levies.

Addressing UK boaters’ concerns, Howard Pridding, the RYA’s director of external affairs, said: “The Commission is no longer saying that any boat lying in the UK at the end of the transition period will not be eligible for Returned Goods Relief (RGR) as the boat will not have been exported.

“Instead they have differentiated the advice based on where the boat is registered and where the owner is established.

“The Commission’s interpretation of the law provides important guidance, but the final decision on what actually happens when a boat is imported rests with the authorities in the country in which that import is taking place.”

Pridding also noted the European Commission has confirmed the RYA’s suspicions “that documentation (such as a T2L, customs opinion letter or other supporting documentation) issued by the UK before the end of the transition period will not be valid in the EU as of the end of the transition period.

“However, we would recommend that boat owners keep hold of such documents, as they may provide useful evidence of the boat’s history and could be helpful when dealing with customs authorities in the EU27 in the future,” he added.

Meanwhile, as talks continue, it’s also expected that UK boats in the EU will be given a year’s grace to return to Great Britain before losing their UK VAT-paid status.

The situation is less clear for boats currently lying in Northern Ireland, as the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol is still under negotiation.

Nevertheless, a source close to Afloat.ie has suggested Ireland might now “expect to see a lot of Northern Ireland boats” and even boats from Wales “come [to the Republic] after Christmas to be in the EU” and then return to Great Britain in the New Year in the hopes of retaining their current VAT and duty status.

Published in News Update
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RYA Scotland currently employs 12 staff in a wide range of roles, from performance to training, to development alongside administrators. There are also around 60 volunteers contributing and leading its work for the boating community in Scotland. The organisation is expanding the team with recruitment underway for a new Training Development Officer role and two Regional Development Officers.

The Training Development Officer post is in Edinburgh and the Regional Development Officers are based in Inverness and Edinburgh.

The Training Development Officer role aims to inspire curious coaches and instructors in Scotland to thrive, through innovative and accessible development opportunities. With the support of sportscotland, a new Regional Development Officer post is being created to help grow the reach and support for clubs and centres in the North of Scotland and the Islands.

The other Regional post is for the East of Scotland, to continue the work that has been done in this area already.

Closing date 12 noon on 18th November 2020.

Interviews will be held online week beginning 30th November 2020.

Full details of the roles are available here

Published in Scottish Waters
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Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is quiet this weekend after the Royal Yachting Association’s last-minute cancelation of the UK Youth Nationals.

The RYA says it made the decision “to safeguard sailors and their families, volunteers, race officials and event staff in light of the severe weather forecast and in the context of the current COVID-19 situation”.

Mark Nicholls, RYA youth racing manager and Youth National Championships event director, said: “It is hugely disappointing to have to cancel the 2020 Youth Nationals for the 29er, 420 and ILCA 6 classes, and it was not a decision that was taken lightly.

“However we have always maintained that we would only go ahead with this event if we could do so safely, and with a forecast for heavy winds combined with COVID-19 restrictions we feel that cancelling the regatta is the best option to protect the welfare of all involved.”

RYA director of racing Ian Walker added: “We have been dealing with a constantly changing situation and while we desperately wanted to host this event for all the young sailors who have had such a difficult year, in the end it has all conspired against us.

“Despite this, we will continue to try and support training and racing for so long as it is safe to do so. Our thanks go to all our stakeholders for their support and understanding, but especially the team at WPNSA who have been incredible as always.”

The RYA says refunds will be issued for all competitors, with details to come.

Meanwhile, next weekend’s RYA Olympic Ranker, Youth Nationals and 470 Nationals regatta at Weymouth and Portland from October 30 to November 1 is still on course as of time of publication.

Published in Youth Sailing
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The RYA Dinghy Show is to be a virtual event for 2021 due to the current escalation of Covid-19.

The show had been due to take place over the weekend of 27-28 February at its new venue, Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Organisers, the RYA says it is now exploring the opportunities for dinghy sailing fans to enjoy highlights of the show from the safety of their homes.

A webinar consultation has shown a substantial majority preferring to postpone until 2022 to due to the high levels of uncertainty around what restrictions may still be in place in February 2021.

"This combined with underlying seasonal risk factors has led us to make the difficult decision to run the event virtually," an RYA spokesman said. "Although nothing can fully replace the unique atmosphere of the RYA Dinghy Show, we're committed to giving our visitors an exciting online experience with virtual exhibitors including clubs and classes, expert talks, coaching sessions and much, much more."

More from RYA here

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The Royal Yachting Association is hosting a free webinar this Wednesday 14 October at 4pm to share news on its latest lobbying activities over Brexit.

Representatives from the RYA’s cruising and legal and government affairs teams will cover the latest communications with the UK Government on the Brexit-related subjects that RYA members are most concerned about.

These including cruising access to the Schengen Area, the Return Goods Relief for boats, the validity of sailing qualifications in the European Union and changes to border controls.

Registration for this free one-hour webinar is open now.

Published in Cruising
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British boaters face a choice between extra costs rising into four figures or seeing their vessels being stranded in the EU after the end of the Brexit transition period, unless the UK Government acts now.

That was the warning in a joint statement issued yesterday (Thursday 1 October) by the RYA and British Marine, which castigated Whitehall officials for failing to provide guidance and transitional arrangements despite the mater being raised more than three years ago.

The two organisations say their understanding is that Returned Goods Relief (RGR) will only be available for goods returning to the UK provided RGR conditions are met, and that the goods must have been exported from the UK and returned within three years of export.

RGR has not yet been incorporated into UK law and HM Revenue and Customs confirmed last month, after what the RYA and British Marine said was “an unacceptable delay”, that it “would not in fact be universally available”.

This will mean that, after the transition period, all boat owners established in the UK whose boats have not been in the UK in the last three years will likely have to pay VAT for a second time if they want to bring their boats back to UK waters.

The same issue will also “create turmoil” in the UK’s second-hand boat market, which is already fighting to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

RYA and British Marine are now calling on the UK Government to commit to transitional VAT and import duty relief for UK boat owners bringing vessels back from the EU until the end of 2023.

“Having waited over a year for HMRC to agree to a meeting, we assumed that HMRC officials would be in a position to definitively tell us what the UK legislation will be from the end of the transition period on 31 December,” said the RYA’s Howard Pridding.

“Regrettably, the meeting gave the RYA and British Marine no confidence that there is an understanding of the recreational boating market and that any of the issues we have raised are being given appropriate consideration by HMRC.”

British Marine chief executive Lesley Robinson added: “This is now a serious situation and it will create turmoil in the second-hand boat market. For UK brokers and distributors in the marine industry there remains doubt and confusion as to where they stand.

“There is a high probability that current VAT-paid boats (that will no longer have EU27 VAT-paid status after Brexit) will be devalued and become less attractive to buyers, which will impact businesses and ultimately jobs in the industry.”

Published in News Update
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