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New rules for lay-up in Norway

On 5th October 2011 the Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise announced that it would be amending its rules relating to lay-up of foreign pleasure boats in Norway. Boat owners whose permanent residence is outside Norway may now leave their yacht unattended in Norway for up to twelve months, provided that the yacht owner applies to Norwegian Customs and Excise for permission beforehand.

Previously it was only permitted for such a yacht to be left unattended in Norway for up to six weeks during a twelve month period, and with no possibility for extending this stay without paying temporary VAT and the Norwegian “horsepower-tax”. This made it almost impossible for cruisers to lay up their boats over the winter months with a view to continuing their cruise the following summer, without having to pay these substantial taxes.

At the biannual meeting of the European Boating Association (EBA) in Interlaken today, the Secretary General of the Kongelig Norsk Baatforbund (Royal Norwegian Boating Federation) Mr Reidar Kjelsrud confirmed the Norwegian Government’s announcement.

Mr Kjelsrud explained, “For a stay longer than the normal 6 weeks, it will be necessary to formally declare that you are leaving your boat in Norway, for which a form will be required, but once you have done this you are free to leave your boat in Norway for the winter without the danger of financial penalty.”

“We are very grateful for the assistance of the EBA in our dealings with the Norwegian Government. I believe that the letter written by the President of the EBA to the Norwegian Prime Minister in support of the Royal Norwegian Boating Federation’s position was instrumental in securing this change to the rules,” Mr Kjelsrud added.

The President of the EBA Mr Peer Bent Nielsen, of the Danske Sejlunion (Danish Sailing Association), said “I am delighted that this issue has now been resolved for the benefit of recreational boating in general. The guiding aim of the EBA is to promote leisure boating throughout Europe and keep rules, regulations or restrictions to the minimum and the EBA was happy to support the Royal Norwegian Boating Federation in this way.”