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Old 20-02-2015, 09:59   #61
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Great stuff, now let me ask you something for the future (US East Coast cruising). Can my wife and I (both "aliens") incorporate "La Morocha Corp" or LLC and appoint our 18-year old daughter (who cannot even drink in most US states) be "Chairwoman, CEO and Sole Director" of "La Morocha Corp" or LLC without using any nominees, etc. I am sure she would be proud of all those titles.

That would be more credible (than nominees) in other countries where to let you in as cruiser they want to see a link between owner and the person clearing in..

Thanks in advance!
She can't legally drink in any US state. In some states you can do that. That does give her legal control. To take the boat to other countries you would need her signature and statement on behalf of the corporation. This all assumes she's a US citizen. Now, also, be sure she's trustworthy as if she receives some notice in the mail and fails to respond to it, that's your tough luck and your only recourse would be suing her. lol.

Keep in mind that every state has different laws on incorporation. Some allow one person entities. Others require three officers. This is something unique about the US that we have 50 states, all with different laws on things like this.
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Old 20-02-2015, 10:12   #62
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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She can't legally drink in any US state. In some states you can do that. That does give her legal control. To take the boat to other countries you would need her signature and statement on behalf of the corporation. This all assumes she's a US citizen. Now, also, be sure she's trustworthy as if she receives some notice in the mail and fails to respond to it, that's your tough luck and your only recourse would be suing her. lol.

Keep in mind that every state has different laws on incorporation. Some allow one person entities. Others require three officers. This is something unique about the US that we have 50 states, all with different laws on things like this.
Thank you and Dockhead for alll the good stuff. Yes, she is a US citizen but I would not think of suing my daughter/CEO/Chairwoman/Director because she is studying law and would kick my butt!
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Old 20-02-2015, 10:55   #63
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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V

One other thing I'm not sure anyone mentioned -- cruising in the U.S. involves lots of tax question. if your boat was brought in from outside the US, you can be forced to pay customs duty when you reflag or even if you stay over a certain period of time (I think). This is different from sales tax. Then you've got sales taxes upon registration (not applicable in Delaware), and various taxes the different states impose in certain circumstances -- Florida and Georgia are notorious. I don't really have any knowledge of all of this; you'll have to do some research.
Huger understatement. Not only taxes but multiple taxes and registration fees and every state has different rules so a brief list.

-First, customs duty of 1.5% of the value of the boat may be required.

-Second, states may require you to register the boat in their state and this is unlimited. Some require it in as little as 60 days, others 90, some don't require it for documented vessels. But you could easily in the course of two years of cruising find yourself required to register in as many as 4 or 5 different states.

-Third, sales and use taxes. Again, every state has different rules depending on how long you owned it before bringing it there. Most give some sort of credit for taxes paid to other states.

-Fourth, property taxes. Again, some states have very short terms before you're responsible for property taxes, others have no property taxes on boats at all, and a third group has property taxes typically based on where you're docked on January 1, unless you can prove that's not a regular place you dock.

Basically in cruising the US one pretty much needs to look up the laws of each state as they get ready to approach. Just heading down the west coast, Washington would have required registration after 60 days so we made sure we visited Oregon or Alaska to avoid that. Oregon, we just fairly quickly passed through. California is quite easy in regards to registration, just collects property taxes based on January 1 and we were to be in San Diego on that date so had to present a lot of documents and even meet with the collector to prove it wasn't a permanent location, we were just passing through, when we arrived in California and when we would be leaving.

Our boat is USCG documented and is registered in Florida although we still haven't reached Florida with it yet, Purchased in Washington. However, once we do get home, it is often our pattern to cruise somewhere and then leave the boat there while we fly home on a break. One has to know how long it can be left in each state without incurring taxes or registration obligations. And every state once again has different rules on all the issues above. So go to 10 states, you have 10 different rules on registration, sales tax, and property taxes to deal with. Generally, except property taxes in some states, if you're passing through fairly quickly it's easy. However, if you intend to leave the boat there a while, better be knowledgeable.

We intend during the loop to leave a boat in Tennessee for as long as six months, a year or two years. We will be required to register it there even though USCG documented and Florida registered. This is required at 60 days. We have not looked at use tax or property tax laws yet.
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Old 20-02-2015, 11:24   #64
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

Cruising the US is like cruising 50 small countries. Well, more like 30 as a lot of states don't have waters to cruise.
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:01   #65
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Very little in this world, alas, is set up to be convenient for people who, like you and me, wander from country to country.


If you flag in the UK, you can't register in Florida, and you will be subject to all of the reporting requirements for foreign vessels when you move from port to port. I have heard from English yachtsman that it is a huge PITA. You might need a cruising permit; I don't really know anything about it, but others on here can help. If you plan to cruise the US much, a US flag might be a big advantage.

One other thing I'm not sure anyone mentioned -- cruising in the U.S. involves lots of tax question. if your boat was brought in from outside the US, you can be forced to pay customs duty when you reflag or even if you stay over a certain period of time (I think). This is different from sales tax. Then you've got sales taxes upon registration (not applicable in Delaware), and various taxes the different states impose in certain circumstances -- Florida and Georgia are notorious. I don't really have any knowledge of all of this; you'll have to do some research.
Thanks again. I'm looking at registration of a boat worth over a million. The State of Florida has a registration that cost less than $100 They also have a sales tax and a use tax. If you stay longer than 90 days you pay the use tax even if you paid a sales tax somewhere else. But if you do the purchase docs in Florida than you of course pay the sales tax but you then don't have to pay the use tax. Since 2010 Florida has capped the maximum amount for use tax / sales tax for boats at $18,000. This sounds a lot but a one time cost on a million dollar boat it is OK for me. So no problem paying the Florida tax that gives me stay in Florida rights.

What remains is the issue of taking my boat on trans-Atlantic adventures or from what I'm reading even Caribbean forays. I do not like the idea at all of being forced because of the inappropriate and arcane USCG rules. And I need a national flag rather than just a State Flag to be able to travel hassle free in many parts of the World.

I live in the USA. My homes are in the USA. I own a publicly traded company in the USA. I'm a legal permanent resident of the USA. But I'm not able to register my pleasure boat in the USA unless I use nominee directors as a kind of subterfuge.

Doing this doesn't smell right and if thrown in my face sometime in the future could be made to make me look like I was being dishonest. Sometimes things can be technically legal but they don't pass the smell test if you may ever be involved in a high profile court case for instance. Which I have when suing on some of my patents. So nominee directors is borderline for me. Also I don't think passing all control to a shareholder would stand up if ever tested because it could be argued you are directing the company therefor you are an undisclosed unregistered director. Trust me, a Judge can make very strange decisions. Also I'm not sure under say the corporation laws of Delaware if you can delegate all authority to a shareholder leaving the Director powerless. I'm not a lawyer but just because everyone is doing it is not enough comfort for me.

I need to look into using say a US territory such as the USVI or such. If this was used would it be deemed a foreign boat by the USCG with the then onerous constant reporting rules?

Another question to look into is if you have a US State registration can this free you from foreign boat movement reporting?

This is getting far more difficult than it should. So much for freedom and liberty.
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:33   #66
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

Now this is all over the place. Someone said you can't register a Foreign owned boat in Florida. I haven't found this restriction on any Florida Government site as of yet.

Someone said you can't get title Florida and you need proof of title in many overseas ports. I found that you can get title in Florida. The following is from a Government site....

Where do I apply for a title on my recently purchased vessel?
Applications for vessel registration and title certificates (original or duplicate) are to be filed by the vessel owner with the county tax collector's office in the county where the vessel is located or in the county where the vessel owner resides.


When trying to work our what to do you need to assemble all of the facts and don't base your decisions on what someone "thinks" is correct. Otherwise you could find yourself jumping through unnecessary hoops for no good reason.

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Old 20-02-2015, 12:42   #67
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Thanks again. I'm looking at registration of a boat worth over a million. The State of Florida has a registration that cost less than $100 They also have a sales tax and a use tax. If you stay longer than 90 days you pay the use tax even if you paid a sales tax somewhere else. But if you do the purchase docs in Florida than you of course pay the sales tax but you then don't have to pay the use tax. Since 2010 Florida has capped the maximum amount for use tax / sales tax for boats at $18,000. This sounds a lot but a one time cost on a million dollar boat it is OK for me. So no problem paying the Florida tax that gives me stay in Florida rights.

What remains is the issue of taking my boat on trans-Atlantic adventures or from what I'm reading even Caribbean forays. I do not like the idea at all of being forced because of the inappropriate and arcane USCG rules. And I need a national flag rather than just a State Flag to be able to travel hassle free in many parts of the World.

I live in the USA. My homes are in the USA. I own a publicly traded company in the USA. I'm a legal permanent resident of the USA. But I'm not able to register my pleasure boat in the USA unless I use nominee directors as a kind of subterfuge.

Doing this doesn't smell right and if thrown in my face sometime in the future could be made to make me look like I was being dishonest. Sometimes things can be technically legal but they don't pass the smell test if you may ever be involved in a high profile court case for instance. Which I have when suing on some of my patents. So nominee directors is borderline for me. Also I don't think passing all control to a shareholder would stand up if ever tested because it could be argued you are directing the company therefor you are an undisclosed unregistered director. Trust me, a Judge can make very strange decisions. Also I'm not sure under say the corporation laws of Delaware if you can delegate all authority to a shareholder leaving the Director powerless. I'm not a lawyer but just because everyone is doing it is not enough comfort for me.

I need to look into using say a US territory such as the USVI or such. If this was used would it be deemed a foreign boat by the USCG with the then onerous constant reporting rules?

Another question to look into is if you have a US State registration can this free you from foreign boat movement reporting?

This is getting far more difficult than it should. So much for freedom and liberty.
And one more time, all you point out is a reason to see a maritime lawyer or a professional in the documentation/registration field. I heard you say just a state registration caused trouble in Europe. But I've known people to cruise to many other countries and have no problem with using a state registration. But that's something for a professional.

USVI just registers boats like a state does. They have no documentation of their own, it still is USCG.
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:48   #68
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Great stuff, now let me ask you something for the future (US East Coast cruising). Can my wife and I (both "aliens") incorporate "La Morocha Corp" or LLC and appoint our 18-year old daughter (who cannot even drink in most US states) be "Chairwoman, CEO and Sole Director" of "La Morocha Corp" or LLC without using any nominees, etc. I am sure she would be proud of all those titles.

That would be more credible (than nominees) in other countries where to let you in as cruiser they want to see a link between owner and the person clearing in..

Thanks in advance!
You have a US citizen daughter? Why didn't you say so?

That greatly simplifies everything. Yes, you can do EXACTLY as you said. That works in Delaware and in all states which follow the Model Corporation Code (written by my first boss, by the way, who was chairman of the ABA corporations committee).

An LLC is slightly different (and might be better -- consult a lawyer) in that, among other things, it has no board of directors. You have to elect to have a board of managers; this has to be written into the articles.

If you don't entirely trust your daughter's immature judgement, the articles can specify that she can't do anything whatsoever with the boat without approval of the shareholders (or members, in the case of an LLC).


But there are still other ways to do it -- you can just register the boat in your daughter's name without any company. If you like, you can set up a revocable trust (can be done in a couple of hours by an inexpensive lawyer) so that you remain the beneficial owner, which means you have the right to use the boat and you can retain the right to direct what is done with it, receive the proceeds upon sale, etc. She is the legal owner but holds the title to the boat for you in trust. This is commonly done with aircraft, by the way.

This is simplest and cheapest of all.

In any case, if you register the boat in a company or trust, you will need a document proving that you have the right to use the boat. This is a simple one-page instrument, usually notarized, which a lawyer can prepare for you.

Good luck!
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:55   #69
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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And one more time, all you point out is a reason to see a maritime lawyer or a professional in the documentation/registration field.
This, in any case, is absolutely true.

Especially for a boat worth more than a million --

It's very good to discuss with a lot of people and get an idea of what's involved.

But at the end of the day, you must have qualified legal assistance from a licensed professional who will give you a memo on what you are supposed to do, whom you can sue if it all goes pear-shaped.

Informal advice on here can be very valuable, but is no substitute for that.
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:02   #70
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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This, in any case, is absolutely true.

Especially for a boat worth more than a million --

It's very good to discuss with a lot of people and get an idea of what's involved.

But at the end of the day, you must have qualified legal assistance from a licensed professional who will give you a memo on what you are supposed to do, whom you can sue if it all goes pear-shaped.

Informal advice on here can be very valuable, but is no substitute for that.
And it took us 68 posts to realize his daughter may be a US citizen.
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:06   #71
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Thanks again. I'm looking at registration of a boat worth over a million. The State of Florida has a registration that cost less than $100 They also have a sales tax and a use tax. If you stay longer than 90 days you pay the use tax even if you paid a sales tax somewhere else. But if you do the purchase docs in Florida than you of course pay the sales tax but you then don't have to pay the use tax. Since 2010 Florida has capped the maximum amount for use tax / sales tax for boats at $18,000. This sounds a lot but a one time cost on a million dollar boat it is OK for me. So no problem paying the Florida tax that gives me stay in Florida rights.

What remains is the issue of taking my boat on trans-Atlantic adventures or from what I'm reading even Caribbean forays. I do not like the idea at all of being forced because of the inappropriate and arcane USCG rules. And I need a national flag rather than just a State Flag to be able to travel hassle free in many parts of the World.

I live in the USA. My homes are in the USA. I own a publicly traded company in the USA. I'm a legal permanent resident of the USA. But I'm not able to register my pleasure boat in the USA unless I use nominee directors as a kind of subterfuge.

Doing this doesn't smell right and if thrown in my face sometime in the future could be made to make me look like I was being dishonest. Sometimes things can be technically legal but they don't pass the smell test if you may ever be involved in a high profile court case for instance. Which I have when suing on some of my patents. So nominee directors is borderline for me. Also I don't think passing all control to a shareholder would stand up if ever tested because it could be argued you are directing the company therefor you are an undisclosed unregistered director. Trust me, a Judge can make very strange decisions. Also I'm not sure under say the corporation laws of Delaware if you can delegate all authority to a shareholder leaving the Director powerless. I'm not a lawyer but just because everyone is doing it is not enough comfort for me.

I need to look into using say a US territory such as the USVI or such. If this was used would it be deemed a foreign boat by the USCG with the then onerous constant reporting rules?

Another question to look into is if you have a US State registration can this free you from foreign boat movemen
This is getting far more difficult than it should. So much for freedom and liberty.
Welcome to the world of international bureacracy

As I said, the world is not set up for people like us. And I totally agree that it is idiotic that a permanent resident can't register his own boat in his own name.

But it is what it is, so you have to work with what you've got.

Only you can decide what "smells right", but I don't think that owning an expensive yacht through a company or trust is any kind of "subterfuge". It's an absolutely normal way of owning a vessel, almost universal where big ships and aircraft are concerned. I can't imagine any official who would look askance at it in the slightest way, as long as the documents are in order and everything is transparent. You're not avoiding taxes or doing anything which is in the slightest way dodgy.

My boat is owned by a UK company and I've never had the slightest problem cruising through maybe half of Europe's littoral states. Not even a question. The authorities are used to it (it's more common than vessels owned by natural people) and all they care about, in my experience, is that you have the proper documents. I have nothing to hide; I'm not dodging taxes. I just don't happen to qualify to register directly because I don't live here -- everyone understands that. It's not a crime or even a sin to live in one place, and keep your boat in another. I've even cleared in and out of Russia, with my UK company papers! Not the slightest problem.


But that's just my personal experience; you will have to think about it and decide for yourself, of course.
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:17   #72
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
Now this is all over the place. Someone said you can't register a Foreign owned boat in Florida. I haven't found this restriction on any Florida Government site as of yet.

Someone said you can't get title Florida and you need proof of title in many overseas ports. I found that you can get title in Florida. The following is from a Government site....

Where do I apply for a title on my recently purchased vessel?
Applications for vessel registration and title certificates (original or duplicate) are to be filed by the vessel owner with the county tax collector's office in the county where the vessel is located or in the county where the vessel owner resides.


When trying to work our what to do you need to assemble all of the facts and don't base your decisions on what someone "thinks" is correct. Otherwise you could find yourself jumping through unnecessary hoops for no good reason.

You can register in Florida just like you can in Delaware. We told you that already. The problem is getting Coast Guard documentation, which you can't do as a natural person and foreign citizen. I think several people told you, including me, that you can do state registration without any complication, no company, no citizenship requirement, etc..

Whether or not you will be happy with just state registration and no CG documentation is a different question. As long as you stay in the US, and probably Caribbean, you'll probably be fine. Maybe even in Europe. You'll have to do your own research on that; cruising abroad on US state registration alone is beyond my knowledge and experience.

If you do do state registration, you will lose whatever previous flag you had -- keep that in mind. You cannot flag a vessel in two countries simultaneously:

Article 92

Status of ships

1. Ships shall sail under the flag of one State only and, save in exceptional cases expressly provided for in international treaties or in this Convention, shall be subject to its exclusive jurisdiction on the high seas. A ship may not change its flag during a voyage or while in a port of call, save in the case of a real transfer of ownership or change of registry.

2. A ship which sails under the flags of two or more States, using them according to convenience, may not claim any of the nationalities in question with respect to any other State, and may be assimilated to a ship without nationality.


UNCLOS, Article 92
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:17   #73
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

OK. More facts for what it is worth from the US Gov.

A foreign flagged boat can apply for a cruising license. If you are a legal resident than you can easily renew this license. You apply for the cruising 12 month license when you arrive at your first US port.

With a cruising license you don't have to report each time you move your boat.

The following is from the Gov't. site.

(b) A cruising license may be issued to a yacht of a foreign country only if it has been made to appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury that yachts of the United States are allowed to arrive at and depart from ports in such foreign country and to cruise in the waters of such ports without entering or clearing at the customhouse thereof and without the payment of any charges for entering or clearing, dues, duty per ton, tonnage, taxes, or charges for cruising licenses. It has been made to appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury that yachts of the United States are granted such privileges in the following countries:
Argentina Italy Australia Jamaica Austria Liberia Bahama Islands Marshall Islands Belgium Netherlands Bermuda New Zealand Canada Norway Denmark Saint Kitts and Nevis Finland Saint Vincent and the Grenadines France Sweden Germany, Federal Republic of Switzerland Greece Turkey Honduras United Kingdom and the Dependencies: the Anguilla Islands, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Ireland


(c) In order to obtain a cruising license for a yacht of any country listed in paragraph (b) of this section, there shall be filed with the port director an application therefor executed by either the yacht owner or the master which shall set forth the owner's name and address and identify the vessel by flag, rig, name, and such other matters as are usually descriptive of a vessel. The application shall also include a description of the waters in which the yacht will cruise, and a statement of the probable time it will remain in such waters. Upon approval of the application, the port director will issue a cruising license in the form prescribed by paragraph (d) of this section permitting the yacht, for a stated period not to exceed one year, to arrive and depart from the United States and to cruise in specified waters of the United States without entering and clearing, without filing manifests and obtaining or delivering permits to proceed, and without the payment of entrance and clearance fees, or fees for receiving manifests and granting permits to proceed, duty on tonnage, tonnage tax, or light money. The license shall be granted subject to the condition that the vessel shall not engage in trade or violate the laws of the United States in any respect. Upon the vessel's arrival at any port or place within the U.S. or the U.S. Virgin Islands, the master shall comply with 19 U.S.C. 1433 by immediately reporting arrival at the nearest Customs facility or other place designated by the port director. Individuals shall remain on board until directed otherwise by the appropriate Customs officer, as provided in 19 U.S.C. 1459.


Now if you are a US resident you will have to pay import duties on your boat at 1.5% of the value of the boat. Based on your bill of sale. so if your buying a boat for $1.2 million than your up for $18,000 in duty. This is a once off fee. If your going to leave it in Florida than another on time tax use fee is payable $18,000. Total $36,000

So if your buying say a 2 year boat in Greece and its $200,000 less than anything you could buy in the US then I would be happy to pay these taxes to have it in my back yard.

Now I know I can't get a USCG registration because I'm not a citizen but I have found that I can get a Florida State Title that evidences ownership. Unless I'm missing something this title should be good for ownership proof in foreign ports.
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:25   #74
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

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Another question to look into is if you have a US State registration can this free you from foreign boat movement reporting?
No, at least in theory.

Movement reporting is driven by "foreign" status of the boat ( 19 CFR 4.3 note 9). State numbers do not turn a boat owned by a foreigner into a US boat, even though the lack (or hiding of) a foreign registration TOGETHER WITH state numbers and title may lead people to believe it is a US boat.

My info below may be outdated but it is what I experienced when I lived in California the last time, had a boat with only California registration that had never been out of the US and was not a US citizen. At that time I did not know how to get US CBP to give me a Cruising License on a UK SSR reg for a boat purchased in the US, that would have probably allowed me both to go to Mexico AND also avoid paying 8% or so CA tax.

Bottom line:
a) Any boat owned by an "alien" individual boat is considered "foreign"in the US because of 19 CFR 4.3 note 9, and hence subject to movement reporting (less burdensome if you have cruising license)

b) In practice, while the boat is in the US no one knew or cared that it was a foreign boat because I was not enjoying any duty suspension (as the usual foreign boat under cruising license or entry clearance) and they did not o not even have an entry or cruising license against which to record the movement. The state numbers helped make everything look normal.

An American friend or family member could have taken take the boat to Mexico and back with a letter of authorization from me. CBP had no way to know that the owner was foreign from the California registration (which only shows my name and address).

If I had taken the boat to Mexico then I could have ended up in trouble because when coming back in they should have seen my passport and (correctly) deem the boat "foreign" because owner was foreign ( 19 CFR 4.3 note. 9) ; furthermore, they would make me do a normal entry clearance (more painful reporting later) instead of cruising license because cruising license requires a foreign national registration.

Read this CBP ruling: Customs Rulings Online Search System (CROSS) Document Preview

Also read 19 CFR 4.3 note. 9) that says "Every undocumented vessel of 5 net tons or over owned by an alien, whether or not such alien is a resident of the United States is a foreign vessel.

All that said, I would not worry much about movement reporting provided you can get a cruising license. In most places it is a very simple phone call only when you change areas. AFAIK with a cruising license you can also save state taxes (no idea about country) in many or most (or all?) states . I have o idea about how counties trat CL boats that stay for along time.

There are two little problems with a CL:

a) At least in theory a foreign boat under cruising license or entry clearance has to dispose of all trash (including trash produced while in the US) at an approved place (incinerator, etc) like those for foreign airplanes/ships at airports/ports. AFAIK in practice no one cares, but who knows.

b) The states like to go after the dinghy if it does not have state numbers and tax paid. You can just pay up even if the dinghy is "foreign" just to stop the hassle. Unfortunately my current dinghy is not 16 ft long (minimum for British SSR) because otherwise I would have obtained a separate SSR for the dinghy and the cleared in the sailboat and dinghy separately into the US when I went in the last time!

You have not told us your country of citizenship, country of manufacture of the boat, current location of the boat and if the boat how did it enter the US the last time (who was owner, as US boat, foreign entry clearance or foreign cruising license), which determine detail of options available, how to handle duty, if you can renew the cruising license without taking boat to another country, etc.

You have not told us the use of the boat, which if it is not 100% recreational and not commercial changes everything.

Canadian boats and their owners are another story because they are treated differently by law and custom.
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:33   #75
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Re: Where do we flag our boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
OK. More facts for what it is worth from the US Gov.

A foreign flagged boat can apply for a cruising license. If you are a legal resident than you can easily renew this license. You apply for the cruising 12 month license when you arrive at your first US port.

With a cruising license you don't have to report each time you move your boat.

The following is from the Gov't. site.

(b) A cruising license may be issued to a yacht of a foreign country only if it has been made to appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury that yachts of the United States are allowed to arrive at and depart from ports in such foreign country and to cruise in the waters of such ports without entering or clearing at the customhouse thereof and without the payment of any charges for entering or clearing, dues, duty per ton, tonnage, taxes, or charges for cruising licenses. It has been made to appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury that yachts of the United States are granted such privileges in the following countries:
Argentina Italy Australia Jamaica Austria Liberia Bahama Islands Marshall Islands Belgium Netherlands Bermuda New Zealand Canada Norway Denmark Saint Kitts and Nevis Finland Saint Vincent and the Grenadines France Sweden Germany, Federal Republic of Switzerland Greece Turkey Honduras United Kingdom and the Dependencies: the Anguilla Islands, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Ireland


(c) In order to obtain a cruising license for a yacht of any country listed in paragraph (b) of this section, there shall be filed with the port director an application therefor executed by either the yacht owner or the master which shall set forth the owner's name and address and identify the vessel by flag, rig, name, and such other matters as are usually descriptive of a vessel. The application shall also include a description of the waters in which the yacht will cruise, and a statement of the probable time it will remain in such waters. Upon approval of the application, the port director will issue a cruising license in the form prescribed by paragraph (d) of this section permitting the yacht, for a stated period not to exceed one year, to arrive and depart from the United States and to cruise in specified waters of the United States without entering and clearing, without filing manifests and obtaining or delivering permits to proceed, and without the payment of entrance and clearance fees, or fees for receiving manifests and granting permits to proceed, duty on tonnage, tonnage tax, or light money. The license shall be granted subject to the condition that the vessel shall not engage in trade or violate the laws of the United States in any respect. Upon the vessel's arrival at any port or place within the U.S. or the U.S. Virgin Islands, the master shall comply with 19 U.S.C. 1433 by immediately reporting arrival at the nearest Customs facility or other place designated by the port director. Individuals shall remain on board until directed otherwise by the appropriate Customs officer, as provided in 19 U.S.C. 1459.


Now if you are a US resident you will have to pay import duties on your boat at 1.5% of the value of the boat. Based on your bill of sale. so if your buying a boat for $1.2 million than your up for $18,000 in duty. This is a once off fee. If your going to leave it in Florida than another on time tax use fee is payable $18,000. Total $36,000

So if your buying say a 2 year boat in Greece and its $200,000 less than anything you could buy in the US then I would be happy to pay these taxes to have it in my back yard.

Now I know I can't get a USCG registration because I'm not a citizen but I have found that I can get a Florida State Title that evidences ownership. Unless I'm missing something this title should be good for ownership proof in foreign ports.

Two things about this:

1. A cruising license does not, indeed, exempt a foreign-flagged vessel from the onerous requirement to report your every movement.

See: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...ruising-permit


2. US state registration without Coast Guard documentation may or may not satisfy all foreign authorities. I have heard that there are a number of countries which don't recognize any US registration other than Coast Guard documentation. "I have heard" doesn't mean "it's necessarily so", so you'll have to do your own research. You should at least be aware that there is a question about it.


For example: "As to USCG documentation, you will not be able to enter many foreign countries and islands without it. State registration is not recognized in some of the countries. " Boat Registration... - Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums
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