New European Import Tax for Boats Built or Registered in the USA

12 July 2018

In response to President Trump’s import taxes on steel and aluminum, the European Union enforces a new tax on the import of US-made boats beginning July 1st, 2018.

That means that US-built boats, yachts and Superyachts like Sea Ray, Carver, Marquis, Chris-Craft, Cobalt, MasterCraft, Regal, Chaparral, Monterey, Formula, FourWinns, Cruisers Yachts, Trojan, Bayliner, Larson, Hargrave, Burger, Hatteras, Westport, Christensen, Palmer Johnson, Trinity … in short, all the vessels sourced from the United States are going to have to pay an import tax when brought and sold in the EU. This will necessarily carry a significant sales price increase…

Do not forget, these are political decisions, and in politics, everything can change quickly … so it’s important to stay closely informed.

The yachting industry is thus, directly affected by this new tax and this very recent news could significantly change the yachting industry’s trade. Let’s recap:

It all began with the ‘commercial war’ launched by Donald Trump regarding the tax on European aluminum and steel. The European Union responded with the introduction of taxes on products from the United States since June 22nd 2018.

The bad news is, all vessels longer than 12 meters built in the United States will have customs duties that will from 0% to 25%. And for the smaller ones (less than 12 meters), these duties will go from 1.7% to 26.70%.

US-sourced parts on the above-mentioned boats will also be taxed.

Please be aware this tax also concerns and is extended to the second-hands yachts registered in the United-States and sold in Europe and this, regardless where the vessel physically from or where she’s built! – For example, such is the case of boats under the convenience of the Delaware registry.

Plenty of boat-owners having chosen the Delaware registry are already changing to a non-US registry so their pre-owned vessels are not taxed when sold in the EU, whilst they can still apply for temporary importation while under their current ownership/registry.

The French nautical sector didn’t have time to prepare regarding this unexpected change. Plenty of US-built boats and yachts dealers or agents are concerned about the consequences these new taxes will carry and to which extent this may affect their businesses.

Unfortunately, we expect there will be a significant negative repercussion on their businesses… mostly with regards to their trade policy, but also on the administrative part. Plenty of brands are already anticipating adding up to 25% of taxes on their vessel’s retail prices, which will not be helpful to remain competitive and therefore completing sales.

Please stay tuned with Allied Yachting with more news on the new European import tax for boats built or registered in the USA and feel free to contact us for more details … or for solutions.