Scandinavian country amends its tax laws

British yacht owners can now lay-up their yachts in Norway after the country changed its tax regulations.

Foreign boats may now be left unattended in Norway for up to a year, as long as Norwegian Customs and Excise is informed beforehand.

Previously boat owners with permanent residences outside the Scandinavian country could only leave their yacht unattended for six weeks in a 12-month period without paying substantial temporary VAT and ‘horsepower tax’, making wintering a yacht there very costly.

But after lobbying from the European Boating Association (EBA), Customs and Excise has amended its rules.

RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers, who is also general secretary of the EBA, 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.’

Reidar Kjelsrud, secretary general of the Royal Norwegian Boating Federation, told the EBA’s biannual meeting: ‘For a stay longer than the normal six 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.’

Laying-up tip: In absentia.

Laying up tip: Save your topsides in the winter gales.

Laying up tip: Help the yard remove the rig.

Laying up tip: Turn automatic bilge pumps off before the lift.

Photo of the Ålesund Boat Festival courtesy of Terje Borud /