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Old 11-04-2010, 11:21   #1
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Register My New Boat ? HELP !

Hello all, I'm new on this forum, did not even fill in all the info yet.

I was directed to this forum by a search on the net and ended up in a tread regarding registering a vessel in delaware state but I can't find it back.

So I post my questions here.

1) I'm having a new 44 foot catamaran built in France.
2) On the advise of the builder, I started a Delaware company to avoid EU taxes during the construction of the vessel.
3) the boat will be finish in a couple months and I need to register it under a non EU flag to still avoid the 21% vat .....
4) I contacted the Delaware office who deal with my "company". they say it is no problem to register the boat in Delaware, I will pay no taxes, I will fly the US flag.
5) I need to insure the vessel by Loyds of London with a US based insurance company.

So far so good.... I don't mind sailing under US flag.... Not planning to go to any extremist country in the near future...

BUT !!!! Now I have seen on this forum, this is not so simple ????
I need to be a US citizen to register a US flag... Delaware homeports are a "red flag" in other states, etc.... ????

Help help help !!!!

More info.

I'm a Canadian AND Belgian citizen.

The boat cost a fortune..... I can not afford to pay the 21% tax....
I am willing to pay VAT if it is reasonable.... None would be better of course...
I do not necessarily need to sail in canadian waters but it would be nice to spent a summer in Alaska or the inside passage....

I heard I can register the boat in canada and not pay VAT or other taxes if I don't sail in Canadian waters ???

Any help is welcome !!!

Desperately,
Marc
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:31   #2
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The major problem you have that you are not a US citizen so you cannot federally "Document" the boat in the U.S. A State (e.g. Delaware inside the USA) will accept and "Register" your boat but a lot of other countries in the world do not recognize a "less than National/Federal" registration/documentation. However, there are countries like the Cayman Islands, B.V.I., probably Malta, Panama and probably a hundred more where you can get a "Flag of convenience" by setting up a legal entity (corporation) in the country and then get your Documentation there. A lot of the super-yachts do this, especially European ones.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:59   #3
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Thank you for the info so far.
I did not know there was such a thing as a "state" registry AND a "national" registry...
What is the difference ??
For me a official registry document delivered by a government bureau and a home port looked fine...
Marc
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Old 11-04-2010, 13:11   #4
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The terms "registry" and "documentaton" are used differently by different governmental entitities. Actually most large countries have "local jurisdictional" registration requirements for boats that never leave the home country. For International travel you need "Federal/National" level registration/documentation.
Somewhat like personal identification - you might have local State/Provincial/Territorial drivers license or I.D. but need an National/Federal Passport to travel to different countries. Same with your vessel if you are going to use to travel to other foreign countries.
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Old 11-04-2010, 13:55   #5
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Ok, so I can not use the Delaware registry.....!!!!

I'm planned to circumnavigate !!

Good i got this now and not in a few weeks.....

Registering in Europe is financially not do-able .... 21% vat on a 700.000 euro boat !!
And there is no way in Europe to register and not pay the vat, even if the boat will never be in the European waters.

Can someone help my with the Canadian registration ???
"Nationally" Registering the boat, getting a Canadian homeport and all but not paying the canadian VAT (of 23,5 % Vat if my sources are correct ??) If the vessel never get into the canadian waters ??

Are there any specialized offices who do all this paperwork for a fee or do I have to do it all myself ?

Marc
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Old 11-04-2010, 14:59   #6
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Marc: It is not as easy to register a boat in Canada as it seems. I think your biggest problem will be to get it measured for Transport Canada. There is a simplified formula for monohulls, but catamarans are classified the same as tankers or frieghters. The measurement must be done by a Transport Canada certified surveyror. Good old catch22. If there is a sister ship in Canada, the measurements can be taken from its registration.

After deciding what port you want to be registed in, find out if the name you want is available. There is no using roman numerals, similar sounding spellings.

The info is at Vessel Registration Office - Operations & Environment - Marine Safety - Marine Transportation - Transport Canada
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Old 11-04-2010, 16:13   #7
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Thank you billhyehh.....

This is getting worse with the minute...
Indeed, I looked it up and the forms are for monohulls and "pontoons"...
I wrote a info request to the office of registration.
No, there is no sister-ship, mine is a unique model in aluminum....

Marc
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Old 12-04-2010, 14:57   #8
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It might be cheaper to find a small (island) country and apply for "citizenship" and then register/document the boat there. Dual/triple citizenship is possible in these little countries with the proper amount of "baksheesh" paid to the right official. One of our former P.M.s in Grenada a few years back was caught selling residency/citizenships to anybody for $xxxx dollars - especially to people from "suspect" countries who would not be able to get into major western countries without a lot of hassles and questions.
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Old 12-04-2010, 15:18   #9
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I was looking through the retirement boards yesterday and apparently getting a second citizenship is not too much of a problem. But does he have to be a citizen of that country to get his boat registered there? I mean, he can keep the boat in France for 5 months or so, then just take off to his country of choice and get it registered there can't he?
Disclaimer- I do not know so I am asking for advice...
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Old 12-04-2010, 15:28   #10
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I think different countries have different documentation requirements. I know many larger vessels use Panama and clearly are not owned by Panamanian nationals, so I did a search and found this. It maybe helpful:

Panama Boat / Ship / Yacht / Vessel Registration :: Panama Offshore Legal Law Firm
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Old 12-04-2010, 20:46   #11
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Most countries require that the boat be owned by a "citizen of the country." This is normally circumvented by forming a version of a corporation which by its nature is considered legally to be a person, and ergo, a citizen of the country the corporation if formed in. Then you become a preferred or majority shareholder of the corporation that owns your boat. There are of course, costs and legalities that must adhered to in the process which normally takes money and time to accomplish. Which is why usually only mega-yachts and larger vessels take advantage of this avenue to save taxes, etc., back in the "home country." Somebody mentioned "Kiribati" as an option. Usually the smaller the country the easier it is to accomplish your objective of "offshore" registration/documentation. But with that you take on the additional burden of having to have a "cruising permit" to operate the vessel in your home country and those are normally also time limited so you have remove the vessel from your home country until it is again eligible to get another cruising permit.
- - Hundreds of people and entities take this path but it is complicated and expensive so unless the vessel is worth more than the cost of the "off-shore registration" - why bother?
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Old 13-04-2010, 17:24   #12
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Form a company in the BVI and flag it there. No taxes on boats.... We have ours there.
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:11   #13
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Thank you all for the info.

At this time I'm looking at two options but I still need more info.

1) Registering to vessel in Canada. A Canadian flag has generally a warm welcome all over the world.
As I canadian citizen ( non resident) I can do this and would very much like to do this.
The Survey / Tonnage measurements is no problem. I called the office in Toronto and they will accept a Survey form from Lloys or Veritas done is France.

The open Question for now..... What about the canadian VAT on the boat ???
Where can I find reliable info regarding this ?
If the vessel never goes into the Canadian waters.... is it true I do not have to pay the VAT on it ?

2) Registering in Gibraltar.... There I would need to create a company, I still wait for info from a couple "brokers"

Can someone help with the canadian VAT deal ???

I met a Canadian who bought a New 55 Feet catamaran in France, he registered it Edmonton AB and told me he did not paid any VAT in France as he "exported" the vessel and he did not pay anything in Canada as the boat would never sail in Canadian waters... Unfortunately this was two years ago and I did not ask specific question...

looking forward to any more help,
Marc
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PyotrBee View Post
Form a company in the BVI and flag it there. No taxes on boats.... We have ours there.
Thank you for the advise, But gibraltar is the same and close for me at this time. I'm looking into it, awaiting for more info...
Marc
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:19   #15
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Wow. Free legal advice on CF. Worth what you pay for it. Expensive boat? Please hire an attorney.
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