What You Need To Know When Buying A Boat In Spain

Are you looking to purchase a boat in Spain? Driving a motorboat is one of the most exciting and satisfying experiences you can yearn for. Owning a boat gives you the chance to indulge in endless fun due to the unlimited driving time. It is important to acquaint yourself with all the necessary requirements for acquiring a boat in Spain. The following are some of the things you should know when intending to buy a boat in Spain;

Safety Equipment

The Spanish government has introduced 7 different zones for driving from the shoreline. The various distances in miles for these zones include; 0, 2, 5, 12, 25, 60, and unlimited. The distance you can drive your boat depends on the safety equipment of the boat.

The certification of boats is usually done at the buyer’s cost. Therefore, you will have to choose a zone of your preference after purchasing a boat and pay for its certification. In addition, you will have to pay 4000 euros for the zona 2 licensing. Your boat will have to undergo an inspection every 5 years to ascertain whether it meets the theoretical requirements. You will have to remove your boat from the water to allow for the inspection exercise to be conducted. You will also have to get your safety equipment tested annually by an institute certified by the Spanish government.

Registering Your Spanish Boat

There are 11 different ways of registering Spanish boats. The registration typically depends on the usage of the boat, which is often related to tax. You can register your boat either for individual use or for business purposes. Certification is a crucial registration requirement, thus you will have to be a certified boat driver. You can acquire an international certificate of competence (ICC) to help facilitate the registration of your boat.

Purchasing A Spanish Flagged Boat

Purchasing and owning a boat in Spain is subject to taxation whether you are a Spanish or foreign resident. 

Buying a boat for personal use, specifically a new boat, attracts two types of taxation; Impuesto sobre el valor añadido, also known as VAT – 21% and Impuesto Especial de Matriculación – 12%.

Buying a boat for personal use, specifically, second-hand Spanish-flagged for private use attracts Impuesto Sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales taxation, which is 4%.

On the other hand, buying a boat from a business, specifically, a second-hand boat, attracts various taxation. You may need to make an additional payment of up to 30% when purchasing a four-year-old boat. You will not have to pay any tax for a boat that is over four years old. However, all the taxes of such a boat will have to be paid to enable you to enjoy the tax-free purchase.

Purchasing A Foreign Flagged Boat

Buying a foreign-flagged boat, specifically a second-hand foreign-flagged boat, in Spain, attracts Impuesto Especial de Matriculación 12% and VAT.

Re-flagging your boat and registering it from Spanish to another country

Re-flagging your motorboat from Spanish to another country may attract three major challenges:

  1. Hacienda (tax collection)
  2. Guardia Civil (police)
  3. Aduana (customs)

The Hacienda, Guardia, and Aduana are prone to giving conflicting statements. An acceptance by one entity may turn out to be a rejection by another entity. Therefore, you should always ensure that you have cleared all three entities. 

What To Expect When Purchasing A Boat In Spain

You may face a number of setbacks when purchasing a boat in Spain. One of the setbacks is the failure to agree with the seller. You should expect a little back and forth between you and the seller, especially when negotiating the price of the boat you intend to purchase. 

Another setback may be the huge brokerage fees when using a broker. It is usually costly to hire a broker. Dealing directly with the seller will likely be advantageous since you will not have to cater for brokerage fees, thus saving you money.

You should expect to have your boat certified every three or five years. Commercial boats are subject to a three-year inspection known as “lista 6” while private boats are subject to a five-year inspection known as “lista 7”.