Re: Covid, Spanish VAT and the18 month temporary importation rule
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For what it is worth, I found the strictest countries to be Spain and Greece and the most liberal, Malta. Of course, this was my experience several years ago, and as you know the customs officer that you approach varies, some strict, some not. Some Ships Agents get away with everything, some get away with nothing. Some owners are shown leniency from an official, while the same official is strict with another vessel's owner.
Another side note: I really hated to meet with a customs official who was just "lectured to" by an English speaking person, telling him how to do his job. That official assumed the worst with me, simply because I spoke English.
I would try another Ship's Agent, hopefully 3rd-party recommended. I heard that these disputes can wind up in a local court with a judge making the final decision. Even though this can be expensive hiring a lawyer, in the end, this could be good for you, unless the judge had a not-so-good experience with someone he associates with you (like my example above).
I hope this helps, at least somewhat.