Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Purchasing House batteries in Martinique
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You may want to call a customs broker or somehow figure out if batteries are exempt from VAT. We were advised that many electrical components (like solar panels and charge controllers) are exempt from the 8.5% vat. Recently we forwarded a bunch of cargo from the US to MQ and paid roughly 2% in VAT. We could not get an itemized receipt for the tax, so we are unsure whether we paid the lesser 2.1% rate on the whole shipment, OR if we were completely exempt for most of the shipment and paid 8.5% on the non-electrical items.
We were also advised that it's not worth the brokerage fees to initiate the PST process (for tax-free import) unless you are bringing in more than roughly 4000 euro in goods. We were also advised that "yacht in transit" is not a guarantee of anything.
Shipping from the US will be another issue. You may run into issues trying to air ship lithium ion batteries.
Are you planning on hiring someone to install the batteries? If you are getting other work done, you might want to use the PA process for VAT-free labor and parts. Then you can have your contractor import the batteries themselves and then bill you for it. The break-even threshold is 6000 euro for all labor and parts. (It costs 500 euro to do this process, and VAT would be 8.5%. AFAIK Douglas Yacht Service is the only place in Martinique that is authorized to perform the PA process.)
kelly + ryan