About Us

Why www.vesselstatement.com was founded:

In 2018, the EU commission decreed that a sharper definition of a seagoing vessels eligible for 0% VAT was necessary. This due to situations in EU member states where 0% tax deliveries had been applied to broadly. This was followed by court rulings. Since, ship operators, ship owners, managers (hereafter all called operators) as well as the suppliers of goods and services active in European ports are obliged to have a written form stating the nature of the applicable 0% VAT status of the cargo vessels.

A list of publicly available references and verdicts can be found here.

Where a “ship stores in transit” designation had traditionally been sufficient for 0% VAT deliveries and subsequent VAT free invoices, ship suppliers and operators are now forced to provide a written statement indicating the basis of VAT exemption. VAT status had to be proven following a set of criteria that, on request, must be supported by e.g., historical AIS data and / or the ship’s log. This can potentially harm not only the ship operators, but it may also suppliers within the EU who are exposed to prosecution and risk serious financial penalties.

The statement is subject to annual updating which causes additional repetitive administrative burden on suppliers and operators while the actual VAT status of the vessels in most cases do not change.

As EU each member state is attempting to streamline the implications for them and the way to enforce the ruling, while tax authorities in some countries have taken the lead in writing up tax rules to abide by the EU court ruling.
vesselstatement.com was created to help mitigating any risk to neither operator nor suppliers while making the administrative burden as light as possible.

Since the first ruling, subsequent rulings and issued fines, shipowner associations and maritime technology suppliers in several countries have sought to discuss the specifics with their respective governments.

These “vessel statements”, according to the Dutch tax authority:

1. Are form free, but need to contain certain minimal information
2. Need to be updated every calendar year
3. Need to be updated with the then applicable tax exemptio# to be signed by an authorized individual from the owner/representative
5. Can be issued per vessel or for the full fleet integrally

It is our view that if such a statement prevents financial and legal liabilities, we recommend being Safe rather than Sorry.

www.vesselstatement.com seeks to alleviate shipowners, ship managers, operators, and suppliers from this yearly non-core business but mandatory requirement of issuing these vessel statements.

Ship owners/operators/managers and suppliers can sign on here!

We aim to support the maritime industry in all European ports!