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Old 06-05-2011, 03:11   #1
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Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines ?

Thread mates,

I am considering buying a used boat here in the PI which was brought in as a visiting yacht back in 2006. The boat was foreign flagged and brought in by a foreigner who sold it to another foreigner living here. I am an American permanent resident, and the second owner wants to sell the boat to me, but it appears that this "visiting yacht" has never left the PI and has overstayed it's 16 month limit by perhaps as much as 5 years.

I assume that, if I were to buy the boat and try to clear out of the Philippines, heading for Kota Kinabalu or Guam, I could run into some serious problems with the Philippine customs folks. I suppose that I could leave without telling them, however, wouldn't that cause me problems at my next, foreign port of call?

Don't want to do anything foolish or illegal, so any experience or advice that folks could share would be sincerely appreciated.

Best regards,

Goner
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:27   #2
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Goner,

Nothing from stopping you dressing up smartly and going to have a chat with Customs. Presumably there is tax to pay on import which you would want to take into consideration as part of the purchase price.

I would always dress smartly, be patient and pleasant for these sort of folk, you need there help

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Old 06-05-2011, 03:35   #3
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Hey Goner, I agree, either get legal advice or go "straight to the horses mouth"

Do not rely on the well meaning forum members here or anywhere else on the web as there experience may be different to yours and could cost or save you a fortune.

Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:44   #4
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

I have no idea about the Philipinnes (went once and didn't gel with the place) - but, same as elsewhere, I would get the Vendor to straighten out the paperwork / taxes / import position before completing the deal, so he gets the unexpected surprises (indeed, probably not possible to get a 100% definative answer beforehand (that could later be relied upon), at least not without naming the boat and revealing all the circumstances - which would likely then move the matter from the hypothetical to actual ) ..........unless she is cheap (even after factoring in all the possible taxes / fines) and you can handle taking a punt.....and maybe looking to depart the PI, re-name / re-register and then "re-visit" the PI
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:15   #5
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Excellent Advice - before seeing customs make sure of the boats present registration position (under which flag)
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Old 06-05-2011, 18:34   #6
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Also if you are resident look into what you as a foreigner are allowed to do versus a Filipino. Sometimes quite different. Example here in Mexico I cannot import a car as a foreigner unless I have met certain conditions. I would consult an accountant,customs and your immigration details .
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Old 06-05-2011, 18:43   #7
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

due to a tropical storm,we left the pilipines with out checking out and arrived in singapore 7 days later,customs there were fine about us arriving with no paper work,ie outward clearance,as long as you have proper reg docments and can fulfill their requirments dont seem too worried about 3rd world countries to thier north,east or west.......
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Old 06-05-2011, 18:49   #8
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
Thread mates,

I am considering buying a used boat here in the PI which was brought in as a visiting yacht back in 2006. The boat was foreign flagged and brought in by a foreigner who sold it to another foreigner living here. I am an American permanent resident, and the second owner wants to sell the boat to me, but it appears that this "visiting yacht" has never left the PI and has overstayed it's 16 month limit by perhaps as much as 5 years.

I assume that, if I were to buy the boat and try to clear out of the Philippines, heading for Kota Kinabalu or Guam, I could run into some serious problems with the Philippine customs folks. I suppose that I could leave without telling them, however, wouldn't that cause me problems at my next, foreign port of call?

Don't want to do anything foolish or illegal, so any experience or advice that folks could share would be sincerely appreciated.

Best regards,

Goner
I would consider NOT buying that boat or I would not consider buying that boat. Either way the same outcome.
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Old 06-05-2011, 20:18   #9
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Normally, if a boat overstays, and the owners do not pay whatever duties and taxes have accrued, the boat will be forfeited to the State. The State may dispose of the boat - usually by auction.
If the boat is being held by customs department pending payment of customs duty - then once this has being paid, together with any other costs. The present owner may make application to sell the boat.

In ether of the above circumstances is the present owner not able to sell the boat.
However, the state can sell the boat to whoever, provided that all other requirements are met.
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Old 06-05-2011, 20:56   #10
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Clearing out?

Have you asked if the present owner could clear the boat out from the Philippines?

If this can be done it may be possible to buy the boat in a country with laws and regulations that are more clear cut and better enforced than the Philippines, and possibly more advantageous than the Philippines.
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Old 06-05-2011, 22:57   #11
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Quote:
Don't want to do anything foolish or illegal, so any experience or advice that folks could share would be sincerely appreciated.
I suggest telling the owner that you're interested in buying the boat if he is willing to discuss this situation in your presence with Customs & Immigration. Get it in writing!
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Old 11-05-2011, 00:06   #12
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Thanks to Everyone ...

... Thank you threadmates, for the worthy advice.

I have looked into some of your suggestions and spoken a bit more with customs. The bottom lline is that the owner wants to sell "As is, Where is", and the price is good, but not sure (after all is said and done) what the final costs will be if I want to go through the proper channels.

Since the owner seems unwilling to do that, I can only assume the worst case scenario, which is that, he is worried about having to incurr big fines, or having the state simply confiscate the boat til he pays up or even permanently.

Of course, if I sneak out of the country with it, I would solve the immediate problem, but that is not legal, from what I know, and, even if I were to STOOP to that level, I would have difficulty registering it anywhere else, since the boat is not big enough to be Coast Guard registered, and I would have to establish residency in a place like Indo or HK or Malaysia in order to register it. That would make the project completely financially unfeasible, since residency usually involves paying hefty fees for special retirement or business visas.

Looks like Im going to have to let this baby go and pursue other more feasible, less dubious dreams.

Thanks to all for helping me sort some of this out.

Regards,

G2L
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:43   #13
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

Just out of interest (aka nosiness ) what is she and how much?
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:25   #14
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Re: Thanks to Everyone ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
... Thank you threadmates, for the worthy advice.

I would have to establish residency in a place like Indo or HK or Malaysia in order to register it.
Thanks to all for helping me sort some of this out.


G2L
As far as Malaysia is concerned no reason whatsoever to take up residency
Langkawi (a duty free port) is also home to a first class yacht registry.
LAYAR - Langkawi International Yacht Registry - Home
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:51   #15
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Re: Illegal to Buy a Visiting Yacht Which Overstayed in the Philippines?

I love how you guys who do not live in a country renowned for its corruption and having many contradictory laws and practices as its bread and butter….. advise others on how to solve a simple problem

Do not approach customs with a problem…. Because if you didn’t have one before…you will now!

Customs in Kudat Malaysia…. does not even want to look at pleasure yacht clearance from another Port since you are not carrying dutiable goods for importation/offload.

So...Have present Owner or his representative sail the boat the 3-5 days down to Kudat (with you on board as a good sea trial).

You organize payment to be made from Kudat….and change ownership registry which can take about a month. (There is a yard where you can store the boat safely if you dont want to stay)

Then Clear out on-board your new vessel (Immigration and Port clearance only since Customs does not want to see you but I always make a courtesy call) and sail back to Philippines

Enter in Subic where customs/immigration/quarantine will all come down and inspect you at the yacht club. Each for an undocumented fee of $50

If you want to clear out at same time give them another $50 each and they will tell you to fill in the dates when you are ready to leave the country 2, 3 or 4 years from now… ....which shows you how things are really done here...
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