• An allowance granted by the EU Government to permit non-EU vessels intended for re-export, temporary admission into the EU without customs duty or VAT needing to be paid.


    • The allowance only applies to non-EU resident beneficial owners and non-EU flagged private vessels.







    • The period of use of the vessel in the EU is limited to 18 (eighteen) months (“the period of temporary admittance”). When the vessel is not in use, voluntary customs bonding can, in certain member states, be applied for (see 3 below).


    • Temporary admission begins on crossing the frontier of the customs territory of the EU Community, and ends on re-exportation of the vessel from EU customs territory into Non-EU customs territory.


    • The vessel may move from one Member State to another with no further customs formalities during the 18 month period.


    • Ordinarily, no formal temporary admittance documentation is required (as is the case in Spain), however some Member States may, in the event of an inspection, require an oral or written customs declaration. It is the responsibility of the beneficial owner/Captain of the vessel to keep evidence of the vessel´s movements.


    • Non-EU resident beneficial owners may employ EU residents to work on the vessel, but a formal contract of employment must exist between the owner and the employee as evidence of such employment.


    • Once the 18 month period is over, the vessel must leave the EU, thus discharging the temporary admittance period. If the vessel does not leave on expiry of the 18 months, customs duty and VAT become payable.


    • Beneficial owners are not limited to a single period of temporary admittance. The vessel may be sailed out of the EU (and cleared in and out of a non-EU port), and on returning to the EU a new period of temporary admittance will begin. There is no minimum period in which the vessel must remain outside the customs territory of the EU.


    • Temporary admittance is not available to beneficial owners who have an EU fiscal residence.


    • The 18 month allowance period is only applicable to the vessel, and the beneficial owner must comply with the fiscal residential legislation of each individual member state, as well as applicable immigration laws.


    • The vessel may not be used commercially during the temporary admittance period. In some member states this includes advertising the vessel for sale.








    • When the vessel is not in use, i.e. the beneficial owners are not on board, it is possible to apply for voluntary customs bonding in certain member states. Crew members (providing they have a formal contract of employment) may remain on board the vessel during the bonding process.


    • The effect of customs bonding is that the 18 month (use) period is suspended whilst the vessel is not in use.


    • The vessel may be in bond for a maximum period of 24 months. This period may differ between member states, but in the Balearics it is 24 months.


    • The beneficial owner/representative may in certain circumstances during the period in which the vessel is bonded, request that the vessel be de-bonded (for example for sea trials or moving the vessel from berth to berth in the shipyard). The temporary importation period will then start from where it left off when the vessel was bonded, in other words, the 18 month use clock starts ticking again.


    • On expiry of the (24 month) bonding period, and the (18 month) use period, the vessel is required to leave the customs territory of the EU and clear into a non-EU port, failing which it will be liable for VAT and customs duty.







    • We are proficient in dealing with temporary importation procedure queries, including queries relating to customs inspections etc.


    • We are able to assist with completing documentation required for customs bonding, as well as liaising with customs on your behalf in this regard.


    • We can assist with the re-exportation of vessels out of the EU.


    • Should you wish to remain in the EU for longer than the temporary import and bonding procedure, and wish to pay the VAT, we can assist with those VAT payments.


  • Documentary requirements (for voluntary customs bonding) differ slightly with respect to corporate or individually owned vessels. Should you require information on the documentary requirements, we are at hand to provide you with same on a case-by-case basis.