Peters & May increases sailings to avoid post-Brexit tax penalties

Marine transport provider Peters & May is reporting a surge in enquiries from people seeking advice and assistance about bringing boats back to the UK. This, the company says, is specifically to make sure owners avoid tax levies. Demand means the UK-headquartered company has introduced more frequent sailings between popular Mediterranean and Northern European routes.

Since 1st January, all boats moved between the EU and UK now require customs declarations at the border and face paying import VAT, although for many, a ten-month window still exists in which to get boats home without facing this charge.

Peters & May is currently running regular monthly sailings between locations across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, as well as Northern Europe and the Baltic.

“With late changes having been made to HMRC’s guidance on how VAT on boats in the EU would be imposed, this has been a very confusing time for boat owners,” says Richard Howatt, Peters & May marine sales manager.

“We have been contacted for advice by many brokers, dealers and owners all looking for clarification about the regulations. Having operated in this field for decades, we’re particularly well placed to help; both to transport boats home, despite current travel restrictions, and to handle all the complexities of customs paperwork for clients.”

Brexit changes have also brought added difficulties for those hoping to enjoy long cruises in Europe in the future. UK residents are now restricted to spending a maximum of 90 days in any 180 days within the Schengen area, meaning it is no longer possible to plan leisurely extended trips sailing in EU waters. As a result, vessel transportation has become an increasingly attractive alternative, enabling yacht owners to maximise cruising time by spending the full 90 days exploring their chosen location.

“We’ve been experiencing increasing demand for shipments from the Eastern Mediterranean in particular, to the UK and Northern Europe, including the Baltic Ports. Responding to this we’re running regular shipments to and from the Mediterranean, calling at Southampton, Northern Europe and the Baltic throughout the season,” says Jesper Jensen, sales manager for Germany and Scandinavia.

The Greek ports of Preveza and Corfu have been added as regular calls to the schedules for 2021. Most southbound sailings will now also load in La Rochelle, France. To meet growing interest in transportation to the Baltic, the company will also make additional calls at Northern European ports including Kiel, Rostock, Kristiansand, Stockholm, and Helsinki.

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