Is there proof that VAT has been paid?
HMRC have declared that craft built before 1st January 1985 and in E.U. waters on 31st December 1992 are treated as VAT exempt. For boats built since 1985 the customs authorities may require proof that VAT has been paid on a boat. This is difficult to ascertain in many cases as the documentation going back so 30 years may have been lost. Also, it is often impossible to gain information from manufacturers as they have either gone out of business or do not hold their tax records beyond 7 years. Many boats on the river have been UK supplied and remained in UK waters all their life, it is therefore reasonable to assume that VAT is paid. If you are buying a craft only a few years old it is usually possible to have a copy of the original sales invoice or import documents showing payment of VAT.