Importing boats from the US

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If you don't yet have a boat to import then please go to our Find a Boat blog pages. 

Ok, so you've identified a boat to import or have even paid a deposit or purchased.  If the latter we hope you've got your proof of title.

Our services now cover everything from picking up the craft at source (eg US) through to international delivery. 

There are a whole range of things to consider, details of which can be found across this site.  Here  we'll concentrate on a few key points you need to consider:

  • As with any project it's easy to concentrate on the large items and forget some of the details which make the process work.  Big ticket items like boat transport, boat shipping, VAT etc are both obvious and relatively straight forward, but what about things like loading, unloading, paperwork/taxes at either Port and organising/paying for other services?  Doing these on a once off basis presents a steep learning curve and can be risky.  We've done this, as have our partners, so with us at the helm,  the overall cost and risk is more manageable. 
  • Who to call when things go wrong.  Any project taking place far away and using remote resource is subject to risk.  We work hard to reduce this risk but when problems arise are there with you to make sure they get resolved as soon and as economically as possible.  Using our CE Marking Service gives confidence to both you and future buyer(s) of your imported boat, and we hold the CE documents on file for the required 10 year period.
  • Realistic costs.  We are a business and as expected, should make margin on each product and service we provide.  Given the volume of work and our position as a trade buyer we make much of our margin from Suppliers rather than Clients.  Our charges reflect market rates plus a realistic administration fee for managing the process and those involved.   Whether boat shipping or our CE marking service you can be sure of a high value service.
  • Three steps to resale.   Every purchase should consider resale and in Europe a successful resale increasingly requires three key documents: Clear Title,  the VAT receipt and valid CE Documentation.   Clear title will be down to you if you already own the imported boat but VAT and CE will be arranged by us.  What's more, if you give us a copy of the Title we'll scan and archive this along with the VAT and CE documents, for 10 years, for free, just for when you're ready to sell and need to hand these over to the broker.
  • Happy Clients.  We like boats and boating people.  Many of our Clients become friends too.  This is the way we like it so if you want personal service from people who care, come to us.

For a step by step account of the import process please go to the import process page.

Written By: Rowland Smith

Rowland Smith is a Naval Architect and founder of Gablemarine.  His industry experience includes Lloyds Register, British Shipbuilders Hydrodynamics Ltd, Cammell Lairds, BP Shipping Ltd & Conoco.  He has a degree in Naval Architecture, a Diploma in Marketing (CIM) and an MBA (Cranfield School of Management).  He has also held Director level positions in a number of technology and engineering companies, including CEproof, which provides RCD compliance software to builders. 

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