Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-04-2012, 08:06   #1
Registered User
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Harlingen, The Netherlands
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 432
Temporary import of German vessel into US Virgin Islands


I am about to buy a 34 sailboat in the Caribbean. The current owner has her registered in St. Maarten.
As I plan to sail her next summer to Germany I will register her in Germany now, as I can not keep the St. Maarten flag.
I am aware that I need to pay VAT and get a CE stamp when arriving in Germany. Both is prepared.

Now to my questions.

I want to keep her over the summer in St. Croix Salt River in the USVI.
A friend will look after her and do some work on her during that time, to prep her for the Trans Atlantic next spring.

I need some advise now, regarding the temporary entry into US waters, as I could not get hold of US customs.

Does anyone know:

How long a European boat can stay in US VI waters without having to pay VAT or import duties?

If a bond needs to be left with USVI officials until she leaves the USVI again.(Rumors say that this is not the case if works are to be carried out there).

Does anyone know how high this bond would be? The vessel is about 20000€ worth.

Many thanks for your help,

Franziska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 12:36   #2
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,847
Images: 47
Re: Temporary import of German vessel into US Virgin Islands

Hello, Franziska.

I found a document at which seems to address your situation. It downloads as a Microsoft Word file. The red highlights are mine.

I've extracted a few pertinent quotes from it, below.
NONRESIDENTS. A nonresident for Customs purposes is a foreign visitor to the United States, a person emigrating to the United States, or a person who left the United States with no intent to reestablish residency.

Nonresidents may bring vessels into the United States for their own use without having to make formal consumption entry or pay duty on the vessel. Informal entry at the first port of arrival must still be made, however. If a pleasure boat that was admitted duty free is sold within one year of its importation without paying the applicable duty, the vessel or its value, which will be recovered from the importer, will be subject to forfeiture. 7

TEMPORARY STAYS/IMPORTATION UNDER BOND. Boats entered for the following purposes may be entered without payment of duty as temporary importations under bond:

Alterations or repairs,

The length of stay in these circumstances is normally one year and may not exceed three years.
If the boat remains in the U.S. for longer than 90 days, the importer will be required to post a bond. (If the importer knows that the boat will be in the U.S. for longer than 90 days at the time of entry, the bond should be posted when the initial arrival takes place.) If the boat is in the U.S. for more than 90 days, and a bond has not been obtained to satisfy the conditions of a Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB) the boat will be subject to forfeiture.

Bond is taken in an amount equal to twice the estimated duty. Cash may be deposited in lieu of surety on the bond. The bond (or cash) will be refunded if the boat is exported under Customs supervision within the time limit required by the TIB.
RATES OF DUTY. Pleasure boats are generally dutiable when imported into the United States.[1] The following duty rates apply to boats imported for recreational purposes:

Sailboats and motorboats other than outboard motorboats........1.5 percent
It seems that a refundable bond would be required in your case.

As with all things dealing with Customs and Immigration, it would be prudent for you to personally contact the appropriate authorities to confirm the requirements.
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 12:31   #3
Registered User
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Harlingen, The Netherlands
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 432

Many thanks, looks like the final green light :-) Perfect.

Details point to that they want 2x 1.5% Boatvalue as Bond = 600 € which would be okay, especially a it is refundable on exit.

Cross your fingers..
Franziska is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Change of Plan boatman61 Pacific & South China Sea 245 08-10-2012 07:01
Sausalito to the Gulf of Thailand CALFtoTH Navigation 81 08-09-2012 21:07
"Vessel Name" programming into AIS Transponder ka4wja Marine Electronics 44 09-04-2012 13:56
Can't Seem to Make Sense of Preheat Solenoid Resistor on Westerbeke 20B Two New Song Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 08-04-2012 19:51
Sausalito to the Gulf of Thailand CALFtoTH General Sailing Forum 3 07-04-2012 05:19

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:35.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.