Martin Bentham <mbentham@...>
Hello to All,
I joined the group some months ago but this is my first post. I don't have my Amel yet but already have need of your advice.
After searching for some months I recently decide to proceed with purchasing an Amel. The vessel in question is EU VAT Paid and broker listed. For me the VAT paid status is important as I intend to register the vessel under the UK Ship Registry Part 1 (among other reasons this enables me to retain the VAT Paid status). My offer was made based on the seller providing the documentation which proves the yacht has EU VAT Paid Status, to accommodate the sale of the boat, allow operation in EU and International Waters, and accommodate registration in the UK. I went ahead and signed the broker contract, paid my deposit. Survey is completed, handling of any technical issues related to the survey was settled, with the last step before payment being the release of the documents. UK HMR&C (UK Customs) are clear that to prove to them the vessel has VAT Paid status a copy of the original invoice is required, showing the price paid for the vessel and the amount of VAT paid, plus resale of the vessel without such a document would be "very difficult". A copy of all Bills of Sale between the original sale and the current ownership are also required. In the last days before payment was due, the broker informed me the original Amel invoice showing the VAT paid was not available (seller did not have a copy and broker informed me Amel refused to provide a copy - even though Amel attest to the VAT being paid originally without giving the amount - no use to UK customs). In those last days the seller/broker also revealed the hitherto known to them but not revealed to me this was a three owner vessel rather than a single owner as previously discussed. Prior owner documents presented were not acceptable to the UK MCA for registration. In short without the necessary EU VAT paid and registration documentation the purchase cannot proceed. Very disappointing, particularly as the way the brokers contract is written I paid several thousand Euros for the survey, haulout, and other items as part of the purchase process before I get to find out the documentation is significantly deficient. Broker is still claiming vessel documentation is sufficient (I believe customs and MCA officers opinions are the ones that count) and so far has refused to return the deposit, so for now I cannot move on. What a mess. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you any relevant experience? Advice on how to proceed? If you would prefer to contact me directly please email to mfbentham at gmail.
Thank you for reading my story and request.