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Nautical maintenance and refitting: What are they?

When we talk about “Nautical maintenance or refitting” or “Refit on boats” we mean the overhaul and/or reassembly of boats, or an activity that includes the repair, fixing, restoration, renewal, repair and renovation of boats, ships and yachts.

It concerns both the interiors of the boats and the systems and electronics on board.

To give a more concrete, albeit summary idea, the refit can have as its object:

⦁ The replacement of old equipment;
⦁ Modification of yachts to participate in regattas;
⦁ Customization of the boat to meet the customer’s needs;
⦁ Restoration and modernization.

Nautical maintenance and refitting: the temporary admission regime 

First of all, it is important to recall that in the context of nautical maintenance and refitting, the temporary admission regime is what allows means of transport, registered in a third country, to enter the European Union territory, free of duties, provided that the time limits established by law being respected.

To bind the property to the regime of the Member State of the European Union, it is necessary to cross the border. In some cases, it is possible to opt for what is usually the most quoted option, namely the filing of the verbal declaration of binding to the regime, certifying the date of arrival of the boat for the purpose of calculating the discharge deadline.

The maximum period of stay of non-EU vessels in EU territory is 18 months. The simple exceeding of this limit is sufficient to bring such boats under the temporary admission regime.

This regime differs from “inward processing”, in which works and modifications of the incoming goods are allowed, subject to customs authorization and possible payment of duties.

Nautical maintenance and refitting: customs novelty 

The Customs and Monopolies agency, with the no. 20/2022 circular, in the project to simplify and reduce charges and guarantees required in the field of refitting, has issued new procedures for nautical maintenance and refitting works carried out in Italian shipyards on non-EU pleasure craft.

In summary, the new features are:

Exemption from sureties and VAT for maintenance carried out under the temporary admission regime and reduction of customs guarantees up to 100%;
Procedural simplification for carrying out maintenance and refitting activities of non-EU pleasure boats;
⦁ The identification by the circular, in detailed form, of the maintenance work that can be carried out under the temporary admission regime, with reduced formalities and without the provision of guarantee, as well as those that must be carried out under the more complex inward processing or involving a structural modification of the asset.

With regard to the above, it should be remembered that Italian shipyards in possession of the A.E.O. for customs simplifications could benefit from the exemption of the amount to be guaranteed up to a ceiling of 100%.

Nautical maintenance and refitting: What we can do for you? 

The Arnone & Sicomo International Law Firm has an internal maritime and navigation law department. We assist foreign customers in all phases of the temporary admission procedure and take care of the practices related to the importation of non-EU-flagged vessels.

For more information, just click here