Exhibiting at a boat show

Boat show: what customs and fiscal procedures do I need to follow to exhibit at a boat show?

To exhibit your client’s vessel at a trade show, you must first comply with certain customs and tax procedures. These steps vary depending on your client, the type of vessel and the Member State where the boat show takes place.

This guide is intended for yachting professionals in charge of ship management and likely to exhibit the yacht on behalf of a client at a show in the European Union.

Exhibiting a yacht at a boat show: how does it work?

To get the precise details and steps to follow, contact the organizers of the boat show that your client, the shipowner, wants to take part in.

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Did you know that?

Did you know that? These organizers usually rely on local experts like Easytax International.

Customs rules for exhibiting a yacht at a boat show in the European Union

Scenario n°1: the commercial or pleasure yacht is in free circulation in the European Union because it was acquired including VAT, was imported into the European Union or was the subject of an intra-community acquisition.

See our “Pleasure yachting” guide.

In principle, there are no customs or tax obligations in this scenario. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if a vessel from EU Member State A is delivered to a boat show in Member State B and is sold on the spot to Member State C or to a non EU countryThere are many different situations that cannot be covered in an exhaustive guide.

Scenario n°2: the yacht flies the flag of a non-EU country and its owner is established in a non-EU country or the yacht comes from a non-EU country (outside the European Union).

Your customs or tax obligations vary according to different parameters specific to each Member State. So, regardless of the state in which the vessel is exhibited, it is best to contact a customs representative. The latter will support you with the relevant information and possible steps to take.

Exhibiting a yacht at a trade show in France: your customs obligations in 3 steps

  1. To participate in a boat show in France, you need to get customs approval for the yacht concerned, usually with the help of a customs representative.
  2. Once these steps are completed, the yacht will be temporarily imported for the time of its commercial activity (the time of the boat show).
  3. At the end of the boat show, the ship will be re-exported.
Top Tip

For vessels that circulate under the 18-month Temporary Admission scheme, the 18-month period is suspended when the goods are placed under a different scheme, rather than Temporary Admission.

See our “Pleasure boating”.guide

Please note: even if the boat is placed under the 18-month Temporary Admission scheme and then under special schemes, it must not stay in the European Union for more than 24 months.

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