Dockwalk - Increased EU Customs Inspections Untitled Page

Increased EU Customs Inspections

Jul 23rd 09


This summer Med season has seen a significant increase in yacht boardings by Customs & Excise officers in France, Spain and Italy, reports the Fraser Yachts July 09 FYI newsletter.

“Many Captains report that they’ve been stopped by officers wanting to check the fiscal status of commercially registered vessels. Upon arrival on-board, the officers are asking to check the details of any charter contracts and are also closely monitoring the amount of time an owner heads out in a commercially registered yacht for private use,” says the Fraser article.

Some speculate that the increase in the number of boardings this summer is simply a sign of the bad economic times. Fines can be stiff for violating the terms of commercial registration, upwards of €100,000, so it’s fair to guess that the inspections may be a good source of income. Another theory is that there are fewer yachts in the Med this summer, so there’s more time for officials to check up on a larger percentage of them.

Fraser Yachts also reminds us that the customs officers have the right to inspect the contents of the yacht safe and any duty free or bonded stores to ensure compliance with EU regulations.



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  • we got boarded on the Spanish coast enroute to Italy in June (in the middle of the night) although i suspect they were looking more for drugs and illegal immigrants. Oh and according the google Saint_Pierre_and_Miquelon are part of the EU.
    Posted by Dee_2 28/07/2009 12:55:34

  • Oh and just thinking... Perhaps a Canadian or Frenchie knows.....the year the French VAT guys gave me a good look over in St Malo was confusing. We had just completed a Northern cruise that had originated in Canada. I was very close to maximuin days in the EU with the yacht and the sharp eyed inspector spotted ....Saint-Pierre Miquelon in my logbook. Even they seemed to be unsure. Does anyone know if these islands are part of the European Union ??
    Posted by junior_1 25/07/2009 11:32:49

  • They are checking nearly everyboat here in corsica
    Posted by faybion 24/07/2009 18:47:52

  • Nothing new here. The French have always had a first class civil service keeping a sharp eye out for VAT evasion. Spain is catching on fast. Twenty five years ago I ran a Monegasque yacht. Paperwork was always closely inspected. Its not just the French Mediterranean coast. Two years ago in St Malo my ships log was thoroughly inspected.
    Posted by junior_1 24/07/2009 10:21:51

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