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Old 12-02-2011, 09:01   #1
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Yacht Importation into USA

I'd appreciate information/experience on importing a yacht into the USA. We plan to sail our Leopard 42 from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Mississippi next year. The USCG documented boat was built in South Africa, chartered for 5 years in Bellze and then cruised for three years along Central America. I have found the requirements for entry into the USA, but then what about import duty etc...?
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:53   #2
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1.1/2 % of current value is due on arrival -last time i checked
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Old 12-02-2011, 16:10   #3
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Same scenario as above BUT only visiting USVI or Puerto Rico then heading back south
in the Carib? Has anyone been able to avoid importation duty with a temporary stop at a US territory / possession?
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Old 12-02-2011, 16:21   #4
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CUSTOMS BROKERAGE

JamuJoe,

It cost me 2% of purchase price in 2009

Michelle can handle to whole process for you.

CUSTOMS BROKERAGE
Michelle Terrorotua
Vandegrift Forwarding Co., Inc.
4101 Ravenswood Road-Suite 108
Dania, FL33312

Email: mterorotua@vandegriftinc.com
Phone: (-954-583-0903-)
Fax: 954-583-5776

Mark
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Old 12-02-2011, 16:30   #5
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I am no specialist, but I am also thinking of importing a boat in the US, so I investigated a bit ...
On the top of the Customs fees mentionned in the previous post, there is a sales tax to pay at State level. Some states do not have it (RI), and the rate varies. In CT, it is 6%. There is also a "use tax" that is applied whenever the sales tax is not applicable - for instance when the sales is signed outside the US - so you have to pay anyway.
These taxes are due for new, or used boats: at any time the boat is sold, I understand.
The Sales tax is paid when you register the boat in the state. In CT, you only need to register if the boat stays more than 60 days. So, I suppose that if you just transit by the US and signed the sale outside the US, it might be questionnable whether you have to pay the Sales tax.
For the duties it is another matter - I guess that it comes with the registration.

Again, I am new in the country and no specialist.
I am interested in your findings.
best,
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Old 15-02-2011, 21:15   #6
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I am in a similar situation with a boat having been given to me. The boat was constructed in Africa, registered in the Caribbean. What would be the procedure and tax on a gift? Do I just declare a value? thanks
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Old 16-02-2011, 11:25   #7
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I think that the tax man will evaluate the market value of your yacht.

I think that the tax man will evaluate the market value of your yacht.
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Old 16-02-2011, 13:06   #8
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Thanks Ganzi... and how do they do this... do they come and visit it? Do they hire an appraiser? Do I call the customs people, the same ones that issue the cruising permits? thanks
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Old 21-02-2011, 09:10   #9
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Re: I think that the tax man will evaluate the market value of your yacht.

I've been in contact with Michelle Terrorotua (see post #5) and she informs me that the duty wlll be based upon a recent (less than one year old) survey, which can be done by a certified surveyor either in your location or upon arrival in the USA.
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Old 21-02-2011, 10:22   #10
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Re: Yacht Importation into USA

Thanks.....OK...So then a survey is required....This should be interesting, because the survey might cost more than the tax...due to the complexity of the systems which are mostly all in malfunctioning condition. Well, fortunately my cruising permit is good into the Summer, not that I could cruise in boat's current condition. Anyway, its seems now that the world as we know it will end on May 21, 2011. So I will not concern myself with the survey at this time..thanks again for your help. I was thinking maybe I could straighten my affairs out before casting lines.
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Old 21-02-2011, 11:11   #11
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Re: Yacht Importation into USA

here is a little know fact about USA duties; it varies on what the item is, and the reason for that is to protect US industries. for example, there is no duty on wedgewood pottery because no one in the US makes it. I heard, boating or marine items are 1 1/2 %. what boats are I would have to look, I did import a new boat from Canada in 1983. A very important but little known fact is: if you pay duty once ( any amount on any thing). save the receipt!! the next duty on anything is 1/2 the amount, if you have the receipt.but it has to be within 30 days. sooooo, 30 days before you bring in the boat, import a case of Canadien fine beer and demand to pay the duty. save the receipt.
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Old 21-02-2011, 11:24   #12
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Re: Yacht Importation into USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor richie View Post
Thanks.....OK...So then a survey is required....This should be interesting, because the survey might cost more than the tax...due to the complexity of the systems which are mostly all in malfunctioning condition. Well, fortunately my cruising permit is good into the Summer, not that I could cruise in boat's current condition. Anyway, its seems now that the world as we know it will end on May 21, 2011. So I will not concern myself with the survey at this time..thanks again for your help. I was thinking maybe I could straighten my affairs out before casting lines.
The Feds do not require a survey, insurance companys and banks do. if you pay cash for the boat, whatever you claim (within reason will satisfy the feds. ) the states are a different matter. Ohio has no sales tax on used boats. you will have to be creative to legaly avoid state sales tax. When I lived in Vermont, the sales tax was only on the financed amount (that has since changed). generally speaking; if the boat has been legally registered in one state, then other states will assume all state tax burden has been satisfied. But I would think a year or two between re-registering would be prudent.
If you finance the boat, you now have a paper trail, perhaps a lien as well. all bets are off on state taxes.

Good Luck on this!
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Old 21-02-2011, 11:32   #13
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Re: Yacht Importation into USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor richie View Post
Thanks.....OK...So then a survey is required....This should be interesting, because the survey might cost more than the tax...due to the complexity of the systems which are mostly all in malfunctioning condition. Well, fortunately my cruising permit is good into the Summer, not that I could cruise in boat's current condition. Anyway, its seems now that the world as we know it will end on May 21, 2011. So I will not concern myself with the survey at this time..thanks again for your help. I was thinking maybe I could straighten my affairs out before casting lines.
I might add by the way, make a call to the customs folks and tell them excactly what you would like to do, my conversations with them have always been pleasant and they are very helpful to reduce any duty you need to pay.
one thing they do not tolerate is not telling the truth or disrepect for them.
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Old 21-02-2011, 11:37   #14
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Re: Yacht Importation into USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganzi View Post
I am no specialist, but I am also thinking of importing a boat in the US, so I investigated a bit ...
On the top of the Customs fees mentionned in the previous post, there is a sales tax to pay at State level. Some states do not have it (RI), and the rate varies. In CT, it is 6%. There is also a "use tax" that is applied whenever the sales tax is not applicable - for instance when the sales is signed outside the US - so you have to pay anyway.
These taxes are due for new, or used boats: at any time the boat is sold, I understand.
The Sales tax is paid when you register the boat in the state. In CT, you only need to register if the boat stays more than 60 days. So, I suppose that if you just transit by the US and signed the sale outside the US, it might be questionnable whether you have to pay the Sales tax.
For the duties it is another matter - I guess that it comes with the registration.

Again, I am new in the country and no specialist.
I am interested in your findings.
best,

There is some correction here, the use tax is only the price on registration in that state. Not a sales tax. Or, in otherwords you still need the sticker for the bow.
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Old 21-02-2011, 12:33   #15
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Re: Yacht Importation into USA

So, why wasn't the duty paid when the boat was USCG documented? My understanding is that documented vessels do not have to clear customs. Instead, a Report of Departure or Arrival is made to the customs office, and a permit is signed by the captain.
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