Customs or Piracy

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by swabbie, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. swabbie

    swabbie Previous Member

    A friend and colleague has had his foreign flagged yacht a 25m classic ketch confiscated and disposed of by customs in Turkey without any warning, offical or formal notification.

    The reason, the yacht that has been in Turkey for 5 years was in a yard that apparently under a new and recent introduced law was ruled unlicensed for storage of foreign flagged vessels.

    The owner heard of this late Sept, contacted the yard in Oct and was advised to attend asap. He arranged to fly in December then got the news this week, still to be confirmed, that his yacht had been sold.

    Another slant is Turkey is a place where money and connections talk, if some local wanted the yacht and had the right connections, its a very cheap way to buy a million dollar yacht, have a Customs auction.
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Was the boat customs bonded before storage ?
  3. swabbie

    swabbie Previous Member

    Customs bonding doesn't apply even if the vessel remains a year or more as it has been cleared to enter the territorial waters and the owner cleared thru Customs with the yacht - although some countries insist the yacht leave at 12months (departure logged on transit papers) then return again.

    Bonding only applies if goods or an imported yacht is being held pending completion of clearance formalities - if a yacht is being imported from overseas by a local.
    For any foreign flagged visiting yacht sailing in Turk or in any other countries waters once cleared by the harbour master, passport police/immigration man and customs and given a transit log no bond system is applicable.
  4. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    My experience in many countries has been that a non tax, non imported yacht must either leave the host country after a prescribed time, pay the import duty or customs bond it. Im presently customs bonded.

    The yacht is under port police supervision and must not move or be used.

    I dont know Turkish regs. Sounds like something is fishy. Normally a yacht is seized, crime scene taped then the lawyers take over until a resolution has been found.

    The UK is particularly severe with non vat paid yachts . I was asked to put up a bond equal to vat. Everywhere tax authorites are going after foriegn flag yacht to raise revenue. If you have a yacht its best to seek legal advise.
  5. bertho
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    bertho bertho

    Sad story..
    the only real world standard :
    taxi drivers, lawyers and customs dirty habits......!

  6. swabbie

    swabbie Previous Member

    I checked with the owner re. bond and you are correct, apparently there a kind of loss interpretation depending on who ones dealing with. A yacht can stay for five years without necessarily leaving, some graturities may change hands but its ok. Transit log should be left with the yard and renewed each year but if the owner does leave Turkey and the yachts is not listed on his passport some Customs will ask for a 25euro bond.

    But even if all above gets ignored, Customs are unhappy they still shouldn't be able to seize and sell the boat if it has't a lien against it for unpaid bills or been used in a criminal act.
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