Compagnie Générale de Location d'Equipements

CGL (Compagnie Générale de Location d'Equipements) is a financing specialist based in Marcq-en-Barœul, France. CGL forms part of the international French banking group Société Générale. For more than 40 years CGL has been active in the marine financing market. With its brand CGI Finance  CGL is the official partner of Bavaria, Brunswick, Dufour, Fountaine Pajot, Hanse and Princess. In addition, since its creation in 1999 SGB Finance , the joint venture financing company of CGL and Bénéteau, has financed all brands of the Bénéteau Group.

The Process of Ship Registration

At the time of payment of the boat your dealer sends all necessary documents for registration directly to our partner - Uhsadel Rechtsanwälte. Upon the basis that the documentation is complete, Dr. Tietjen of the law firm, will start the registration process with the Hamburg Ship Registry. You will receive proof of the application in the form of a preliminary statement. On request you may also receive an allowance of use from the owner stating your right to use the vessel until the end of the financing contract. Please keep both these documents on board.


 (refer to transfer of title vs. mortgage)

Purchase Option

The leasing contract allows the lessee to purchase the boat by taking up the purchase option. If the lessee makes use of this purchase option, ownership in the boat will pass to them. The lessee may also make use of the purchase option during the lease term. However, this would lead to additional costs since the VAT on the outstanding lease instalments would have to be paid in full.


Based on many years of experience and mutual trust, CGI Finance and SGB Finance maintain long-standing cooperation agreements with partners including Bavaria, Bénéteau, Brunswick, Dufour, Fountaine Pajot, Hanse und Princess Motor Yacht Sales.

Legal Base of the French leasing

The EU Directive 2006/112/CE as amended by the Directive 2008/8/EC relates to VAT applicable to the provision of services and the place of supply of these services. The rules confirm that for the long term hiring of pleasure vessels by E.U. consumers, VAT on lease instalments will be subject to the French VAT regulations if the vessel is put at the disposal of the lessee in France. This rule is stipulated as well in the German Tax Code (see §3a (3) 2. 4. Satz UStG).

The French tax regime set out in the provisions of Section 259 A 1 of the General French Tax Code and Section 172 of Annex 11 thereto state that VAT is payable on lease instalments accordingly to the amount of time spent in E.U waters. If the vessel is sea-going then, under the provisions of the French Administrative Regulation 3A-1-05 of 24 January 2005, VAT on lease instalments will be charged at 50%. Legal entities will pay VAT on lease instalments at the rate determined in the country in which they are established.

Ship Registry

As a rule boats and yachts are registered in the Hamburg Ship Registry for sea-going vessels. Thus, an unauthorised sale of the vessel to a third party becomes impossible. This registration applies also to inland cruising areas. The renowned Hamburg law firm Uhsadel Wychodil Tietjen will be authorised to take care of the registration process, the costs of which have to be paid by the borrower (loans). For new boats up to a purchase price of € 150.000,00 incl. VAT, SGB Finance or CGI Finance may forgo ship registration. For lessees, boat registration is free of charge.

In Germany the ship registry is run by the district courts (Amtsgericht), jurisdiction depending on the place of berth of the vessel. All sea-going vessels with a length of 15 m and above must be registered in one of the ship registries if they carry the German flag or are entitled to do so.

The ship registries serve several purposes. On the one hand they disclose the nationality of the vessel. On the other hand they provide proof of ownership since they register claims of third parties (as mortgages) on the vessel.

In Hamburg there are 3 separate ship registries: the registry for sea-going vessels, the registry for inland ships and the registry for ships under construction. The ship certificate (Schiffszertifikat) serves as proof for the successful registration in the ship registry.

All details relating to the registry law are laid down by the Schiffsregisterordnung (SCHRegO).

Société Générale

Founded in 1864 Société Générale has a long history. The banking group has 146,000 employees and serves over 30 million individual and professional clients around the world (as at the end of 2015). Team spirit, innovation, responsibility and commitment are the values that guide the actions of Société Générale, internally and externally.

Transfer of Title vs. Mortgage

Your loan may be secured in one out of 2 ways.

Through a transfer of title the lender becomes owner of the boat until the end of the financing. This type of provision is commonly used with the purchase of mobile goods since it is quick and inexpensive. During the financing the borrower may possess and use the financed object. The boat will be registered in the Ship Registry in the name of the lender.

The second option for the provision of collateral is a mortgage. In this case the borrower will obtain ownership of the boat from the start of the financing. However, notarial fees will have to be paid by the borrower for the setting up this type of security. The lender is the creditor and will take a charge on property. The amount of this claim will be registered in the Ship Registry. Ship mortgages are used more frequently for the financing of large yachts and for charter yachts being moored outside of Germany.

Bailiff Procedure

All leased boats are personally delivered in France to the client. Taking possession of the vessel has to be certified by a French bailiff on-site. The appointment with the bailiff is organised by the Back Office of CGI Finance or SGB Finance in Nantes, in agreement with the lessee as well as with the boat dealer or the ship yard respectively. The documentation costs of round about 500 EUR will have to be paid on-site in cash by the lessee.

Documents for the Payment

As a rule, by the time of the payment go boating has to be presented with the following documents in their original form:

For loans: For leases:
  • Loan contract
  • Direct debit authorisation
  • Proof of down-payment
  • Self-enquiry form
  • Proof of boat insurance
  • Invoice or bill of sale
  • Notice of drawdown
  • Closing statement (from the dealer)
  • Lease contract
  • Direct debit authorisation
  • Proof of down-payment
  • Self-enquiry form
  • Proof of boat insurance
  • Invoice or bill of sale
  • Delivery report (certified)

Depending on the status of the case additional documents may be necessary.

Documents for the Credit Check

Go boating is obliged to undertake a credit check. As a rule go boating does not obtain a report from SCHUFA. The following documents are usually required for the credit check:

Brokers of CGI Finance and SGB Finance in Europe

CGI Finance and SGB Finance are both based in and operate from France. Through their official brokers in four additional European countries CGI Finance and SGB Finance offer financial solutions for international clients residing in these countries.

Early Repayment Fee

In case of partial loan repayments or early termination of a loan the lender is entitled to charge an early repayment fee. For loan contracts with a transfer of title the fee for consumers may not exceed 1% of the amount repaid. For further details see §§ 500 II, 502 I BGB.

Cancellation Period

The legislator stipulates a statutory cancellation period of 14 days for all consumer contracts. During this period – starting after conclusion of the contract – you may cancel your financing contract without providing a reason. That is why the finance company will disburse the financed sum only after this cancellation period has elapsed. For further details see § 355 BGB.

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