European Union: When to be IN, when to be OUT

Published on 21 june 2017 at 0h00

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Your brand-new multihull is looking good. It is already tugging at its mooring lines, which it must be said are more often than not tied to a berth in a French port. On the Atlantic coast or in the Mediterranean, Tabarly’s disciples have made boats with two or three hulls their specialty. But in the last thirty years, the development has been radical and current production irreverently treats the often British pioneers as peculiar soapboxes. But perhaps you have fallen for a model built in the very dynamic boatyards of South Africa, in Asia, in Australia, the other multihull land, or in one of the numerous yards in the four corners of the world capable of crafting a ‘haute couture’ catamaran or trimaran. In all these cases, given the sums involved, taxation is an important question. For us cruisers, in love with freedom, living permanently with a sword of Damocles called VAT hanging over our heads is antinomic with our passion. Europe in general, (and France in particular), doesn’t have a good reputation in this matter. However, by delving a little deeper, not only is it not as complicated as all that, but the legislation can even prove to be very advantageous.

Europe is a huge cruising playground, from the fjords in the North to exceptional Greece. (photo: Lagoon - Nicolas Claris)

So, whether you are coming from the other side of the world, or are a native European, starting with a little geo-political information of an administrative nature may be a savior for your finances. In fact Europe is not just a huge boatyard for multihulls, it is also 35,320 nautical miles of coastline. ...

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