Customs: Simplification for refitting in Italy

The Italian Customs Agency has implemented new procedures: they will bring benefits for manufacturing and refitting commissioned to Italian shipyards by ships bearing a non-EU flag

12 June 2022 | by Redazione

With their recent circular published on 27 May 2022, num. 20, the Italian Customs Agency, in keeping with the need to simplify the boating maintenance sector, has implemented new and innovative measures.

In detail: at the moment, these procedures are still in an experimental phase, but they will bring benefits for manufacturing and refitting commissioned to Italian shipyards by ships bearing a non-EU flag.

In practice, when a non-EU vessel is brought to Italy for maintenance or refitting works on the hull, under the temporary admissions scheme (maximum of 18 months), it is no longer necessary at the moment to issue a guarantee. Customs have also clarified that maintenance and repairs on pleasure boats under the temporary admission scheme must concern vessels registered in non-EU registers, belonging to an individual living abroad.

In addition, these works must guarantee improvements in performance as well as an increase in value. For example, the following are considered maintenance of the hull, including the bottom and decks (treatment, varnishing, polishing, wrapping and carpentry), maintenance, repair and replacement of systems and equipment on the unit, propulsion and engine room machinery; interior maintenance and repair.

In the case in which the works carried out substantially modify the pleasure craft, Italian Customs have clarified that this must be under the inward processing relief scheme. For example, the following fall under the inward processing relief scheme: interior renovation of the vessel, variation in interior partitioning, extension or modification of the hull, extension of the bottom or decks, integral replacement of engines, replacement or installation of more efficient and innovative systems.

In this case, operators can apply for a single permit through the CDMS (Customs Decision Management System), listing all planned works. Shipyards with AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status, can ask their local office for a complete exemption from guarantees also in the case of inward processing.

In other cases, based on the valuation of reliability of the operator, an agreement can be reached to reduce up to 50% or 30% of the amount due as a guarantee related to VAT. Lastly, the transfer of various parts to third party subjects involved in the works can, at the moment, be carried out without official customs documents.


Avv. Stefano Comisi

Armella & Associati

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