Whether you want to import your own boat, use a rental or hire a boat in Spain there are certain legal and tax requirements to consider. This article aims to help you make the right decisions.

It is a good idea to get professional advice before importación de embarcaciones your own boat to Spain. This is a complex and extensive process that requires expertise and experience to avoid any problems.

Taxes

If you are planning to buy a boat and import it into Spain, you will need to know what taxes are due. These include VAT (Value Added Tax) and import duties.

All yachts built before 1 January 1985 are deemed to have EU VAT paid status if they were in private ownership and within the EU at midnight on 31 December 1992. This can be difficult to prove as log books, marina receipts and invoices from that date have often been lost or destroyed.

In this situation, local customs may ask for evidence of this to prove the boat’s location on that date and you should be prepared to provide whatever documents you have so that the local customs can form a view as to the vessel’s location based on these documents.

If you are moving from another country to Spain, you may be exempt from VAT on importing your boat. To apply for this exemption, you must show that you have lived outside Spain for at least 12 months prior to your move. You can provide a certificate of your tax residency, formal confirmation of your address, or any other document that shows you have lived abroad for at least 12 consecutive months before moving to Spain.

Customs

If you have bought a boat in another country and want to import it into Spain, you will have to pay taxes and duties. The amount of these will depend on the type of boat and the size.

The most common type of customs procedure is the so-called "temporary duty-free import". This means that you can use your boat or yacht within an EU country for a limited period of time without paying any customs duties.

In this case, however, the length of stay can only be approved by the respective country. In most EU countries, this is usually about 18 months.

The boat should be declared out at the first re-entry and this should be proved. For this purpose, you can submit an online declaration through the online system of the Spanish tax agency (see above).

Insurance

Importing a boat in Spain can be a complex process. It is important to contact an experienced specialized broker that understands the ins and outs of marine insurance.

In Spain, the government requires that boats are insured with a minimum of third party liability. Moreover, boat owners need to be covered against any damage caused by sea pollution.

The cost of this compulsory insurance can vary depending on the type of vessel and the coverage required, and it is also dependent on the location. For example, boats that are based in the coastal areas of Cataluna and Baleares need to have a higher level of cover than those located in Andalucia or other inland waters.

In addition, if you intend to bring a British made trailer with your boat, you need to make sure that it has a matching Spanish number plate. Otherwise, you are likely to get a fine or the vehicle and trailer confiscated by Spanish authorities.

Registration

If you import your boat into Spain, you need to have it registered and pay any VAT or IESDMT tax that may be due. This is a good idea, but you should also make sure you take advice from a Spanish lawyer who understands the law and can advise you on any issues that arise.

The registration of your boat in Spain is done through the ship registry. You need to fill out the form with a lot of information about the boat and its owner. This document will be issued by the Maritime Authority and it will be your navigation permit.