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Old 25-10-2018, 18:11   #1
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USCG DOCS

Question - Can i document a vessel USCG and not any state?

I want to keep the vessel out of the USA and planning to circumnavigate.

Any comments, assistance etc.Vessel is less than $400k.more than 200K if that helps.


Please advise if there are any clever solutions to this.

Cheers!
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Old 25-10-2018, 18:16   #2
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Re: USCG DOCS

Are you a US citizen? If not then you can’t document a vessel with the USCG.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCUMENTATION?
The basic requirements for documentation are to demonstrate ownership of the vessel, U.S. citizenship, and eligibility for the endorsement sought.

Here’s the website with all the documentation information.

https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...on-Center-FAQ/

You don’t need to register with a state.
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Old 25-10-2018, 18:22   #3
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Re: USCG DOCS

And yes, a documented vessel does not need to be state registered if it is not physically present in the state.
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Old 25-10-2018, 18:45   #4
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Re: USCG DOCS

Yes I’m a citizen. Live in the USA and we are buying outside of the USA but it was a boat made in the USA and is not flagged in the USA right now.

We want to document it and NOT register in a state as we are going cruising.

Is that possible? Don’t i need a hail port?
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Old 25-10-2018, 19:01   #5
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Re: USCG DOCS

Yes, not a problem. Its easy to Federally Document a vessel, anywhere on the planet, that is owned by a USA Citizen.

Removing from the registery of another country is often more of a hassle (varies by country).

The most convenient option: A good documentation service can handle both sides of this transaction for you.

You do need to specify a hailing port, but for a recreational vessel, it can be anywhere you choose.

Vessel will need to be marked in compliance w Fed Documentation rules (Doc # placard, name, hailing port).
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Old 26-10-2018, 04:19   #6
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Re: USCG DOCS

One caution about hailing port. Don't use California as they will assume you or your boat is in the state and come after you for taxes. It will then be up to you to prove otherwise, guilty until proven innocent.

Other states might also be a problem but I don't have a list. Best thing is to check out the specific state you're considering.
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Old 26-10-2018, 04:38   #7
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Re: USCG DOCS

We were recently told that Rhode Island has no tax.
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Old 26-10-2018, 05:12   #8
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Re: USCG DOCS

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Originally Posted by njoynthewater View Post
We were recently told that Rhode Island has no tax.
You are correct, Rhode Island does not have tax for boats. Lots of people in Mass like Narragansett bay in RI because it is a great sailing spot and they don't have to pay Mass sales tax. Win Win
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Old 26-10-2018, 05:18   #9
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Re: USCG DOCS

Quote:
Originally Posted by njoynthewater View Post
We were recently told that Rhode Island has no tax.
Correct, RI has neither sales tax on used boats nor annual ad valorem taxes. You need to consider both when picking a state for the home port.
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Old 26-10-2018, 05:45   #10
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Re: USCG DOCS

Just to be clear, you CAN pick any US location you want. You can NOT be taxed on a boat that's not in that state.

However, the tax bureaucrats in many states have learned to scan the documented vessel database for any hailing ports in their state. They'll send a tax bill to each owner they find. It's not their job to confirm the boat is in the state, just to send the bill.

Once the tax bill is in the system, the wheels of another part of the bureaucracy start turning. If they don't receive payment, collection action will eventually begin.

Collection isn't a criminal process, so there's no concept of "innocent until proven guilty." Anyone can claim you owe them money, and it's up to you to prove you don't.

You would win in the end, but is it worth it? Just pick a hailing port in a no-tax state and be done with it.
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Old 26-10-2018, 05:52   #11
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Re: USCG DOCS

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Collection isn't a criminal process, so there's no concept of "innocent until proven guilty." No different from any other collection action, anyone can claim you owe them money, and it's up to you to prove you don't.
If referring to my post, then probably correct this is not generally a criminal process. Saying guilty until proven innocent was a bit of "poetic license" on my part.

From a technical, legal point of view it is better stated as you put it but the end result to the boater is the same. They say you owe it and it's up to you to prove to the state's satisfaction that you don't. I have read a number of horror stories from boaters that used a CA hailing port that claim they were pursued for years including threats of liens and worse.
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Old 26-10-2018, 11:49   #12
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Re: USCG DOCS

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
If referring to my post, then probably correct this is not generally a criminal process. Saying guilty until proven innocent was a bit of "poetic license" on my part.
Your meaning was clear enough. It was such an important point that I wanted to highlight it and add a little detail for anyone stumbling on this thread in the future. Don't assume you can ignore a tax bill you don't really owe. It'll catch up to you eventually.
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