FLAGS CAUSE Surveyor warns, “Registering boat abroad? Watch out!”


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boatThe article containing the experience of Roberto De Varda, who tells us how he registered his boat in Slovenia in a few simple moves (and most importantly, spending a little 610 euros), has caused discussion.

Among the many comments (enthusiastic and less enthusiastic), we publish the opinion of naval surveyor Diego Maltese: it is true, registration operations in Italy are more cumbersome and expensive, he explains, but for superior guarantees. Less expensive practices require greater “awareness” on the part of those who sign them. Also because some technical mistakes could cost very dearly. Here is the letter Maltese wrote to us.


“Good morning Director Oriani.

I read your reader’s letter in which he recounts his experience with boat registration in Slovenia.

It is a fact that in practice everywhere is easier and cheaper than registering in italy, but proper precautions must be taken. The registration of a unit in the Italian registry, guarantees several things: properties, assurance that taxes (vat) have been paid, hull and engine compliance. These things are guaranteed by the Italian state when it issues the Navigation License.

Other commonly used registries (I have been following registrations everywhere for 10 years..) do NOT guarantee this.

It then becomes the responsibility of the owner to make sure you have a valid document proving ownership, a valid document proving vat payment at the time of the first purchase or import, make sure you have the original documents of the boat and engines issued by the relevant manufacturers without which it is not possible to register almost anywhere, and without which it will be very complicated to succeed in selling the boat (I just followed a transaction where the new buyer was forced to pay almost 9000 euros in vat for not being able to prove the original payment made for sure, but of which no one has any trace anymore).

So the Reader was right to approach an agency, but it is good to warn everyone about the dangers of accessing “easy” registrations.

As mentioned, among other things, I have been dealing with registrations for a long time and once in two (very high average) my client does not have all the necessary documents whose search then becomes long and expensive.

Further alert: under different registries it is definitely easy to report a different type of DMV, but once done, re-entering a higher level registry such as the Italian one involves complex, expensive, and not always possible paperwork.

The suggestion, of course, is to rely on serious professionals. This one of mine is not for commercial purposes, the turnover from this area is definitely marginal and I feel it more as a service I offer to my clients.

I would just like to warn. Easy often means unsafe…

Good Wind

Diego Maltese”


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