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Old 28-08-2008, 13:48   #16
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Well this is a turn up for the books. Here’s me planning on flying to Seattle next week to buy an American flagged sailboat, which because I’m British I can’t own, (Jones Act), so I have to undocument it and change it to UK registration. Now I have to pay again, because it’s foreign flag? That’s not a very nice Seattle welcome is it?
They tried a similar rip-off on visiting US boats in the Bahamas and are loosing revenue in all sorts of ways, because people don't go there so often any more.
In this age of instant communication the goose which lays the golden egg can be killed very quickly indeed.

BigCat - Publish Brad Sherman's e-mail. I'll send him a piece of my mind and maybe also tell the broker I'm not buying the boat, because I don't like their tone. See what that brings.
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:04   #17
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Jones Act doesn't have anything to do with yachts

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Well this is a turn up for the books. Hereís me planning on flying to Seattle next week to buy an American flagged sailboat, which because Iím British I canít own, (Jones Act), so I have to undocument it and change it to UK registration. Now I have to pay again, because itís foreign flag? Thatís not a very nice Seattle welcome is it?
They tried a similar rip-off on visiting US boats in the Bahamas and are loosing revenue in all sorts of ways, because people don't go there so often any more.
In this age of instant communication the goose which lays the golden egg can be killed very quickly indeed.

BigCat - Publish Brad Sherman's e-mail. I'll send him a piece of my mind and maybe also tell the broker I'm not buying the boat, because I don't like their tone. See what that brings.
Hi, JR - The Jones act doesn't regulate pleasure boats. Where did you get the idea that it has anything to do with yachts? It regulates commercial passenger-carrying vessels carrying passengers from one US port to another, and paid crew.

The Jones Act
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:15   #18
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That's what I've been told is the law, by US customs: a non US citizen cannot own or operate a US flagged vessel in US waters. But instead of switching the thread to the Jones Act, (since I will change the flag anyway), why not post that fellow's e-mail and let him get blitzed.
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:30   #19
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Annoying US laws

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That's what I've been told is the law, by US customs: a non US citizen cannot own or operate a US flagged vessel in US waters. But instead of switching the thread to the Jones Act, (since I will change the flag anyway), why not post that fellow's e-mail and let him get blitzed.
From:Vessel Documentation & Boat Registration - MarineTitle.com

Ownership Qualifications for Vessel Documentation
- As a general rule, all owners of a documented vessel must be US Citizens. This also applies to legal entities such as Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Partnerships. Corporations must be registered in the U.S. in order to own a documented vessel. Principals who own and operate corporations other legal entities that own a documented vessel must be U.S. Citizens in their own right. An individual person who owns all or part interest in a documented vessel must be native born, naturalized, or a derivative U.S. citizen. Cost Guard documented vessels may be operated or placed under the command of a foreign citizen only if the vessel is used for recreational purposes.

However, several thoughts occur to me. A vessel can be registered with a state instead of docummented. Also, you could move the vessel before the official transfer of title. Or you could ignore the annoying law, since it is very unlikely that it will be noticed and enforced if you buy the vessel and sail it to Canada. The US has other annoying laws, too. You have to call and tell the US government every time you move a foreign yacht to another port in the US. See:
Lesson learned: Foreign yachts must clear customs at each U.S. port, place
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:51   #20
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Cost Guard documented vessels may be operated or placed under the command of a foreign citizen only if the vessel is used for recreational purposes.
I plan to live on it in Seattle for at least the winter, with a quick trip to Canada to negate sales tax. Is living on it recreational purposes? If it is, the Jones Act would indeed not apply? In which case I can leave it US documented, and not have to pay the dreaded pilot fee - right?
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Old 28-08-2008, 15:28   #21
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I think its another one of those laws where a number of factors were not taken into consideration. Laws like this eventually get worked out. Of course pilots don't belong on relatively small yachts. Its a waste of everyones time.
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Old 28-08-2008, 17:27   #22
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Sorry, JR

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I plan to live on it in Seattle for at least the winter, with a quick trip to Canada to negate sales tax. Is living on it recreational purposes? If it is, the Jones Act would indeed not apply? In which case I can leave it US documented, and not have to pay the dreaded pilot fee - right?
Sorry, Jolly Roger -It's catch 22-Foreigners can't own US documented yachts. You can register the boat with the state of Washington, but you will have to look into what is involved in getting a sales tax exemption, or pay 8.9% more or less, as sales tax. If you register with the UK, you might be liable for the pilot fee if you move the boat if you don't pay the waiver.

I don't think it's the Jones act, but some other US law that prohibits your owning a US documented yacht. It probably goes back to the war of 1812-

Or, you can zip up to BC and stay in Victoria or Vancouver, and not deal with all this nonsense. It isn't far, and it's a sheltered passage.
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Old 28-08-2008, 18:15   #23
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The "US Code" (aka "USC") is the body of law that contains information about federally documenting vessels, and states the requirement for US ownership. Probably CHAPTER 121--DOCUMENTATION OF VESSELS would tell you what you want to know [ 46 USC 101 ] and this is one of several "Jones Act"s that have been passed over the years. Another "Jones Act" was critical to shifting our militia systems into what is now called "The National Guard".

JR, you can register the boat as a motor vehicle in the state of Seattle, or any other state where you can provide a redience address, but you'll have to pay sales tax there as well. And when you take the boat up to Canada, customs up there will be looking to see the papers. They'll probably accept a WA state registration without any fuss, the same for when you are returning to the US--assuming that you are still within your visa limits.

Ducking sales tax on the purchase of any vessel, anywhere in the US, is a dangerous game. Almost every state has either sales tax, use tax, property tax, or some other tax that can be applied to the boat. A handful don't--but if the taxmen decide you are committing tax evasion (as opposed to tax avoidance) with a bogus residency, they can seize the boat, jail and fine you, and then deport you--without the boat. Walk that line very, very, carefully.
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Old 28-08-2008, 19:19   #24
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Does anyone besides me wonder why a thread on Washington state is in the Atlantic Ocean category?


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Old 28-08-2008, 19:39   #25
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Wink

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Does anyone besides me wonder why a thread on Washington state is in the Atlantic Ocean category?
That's fabulous! I never noticed that! You better ask Cooper, but speaking purely as a POHM, who has traveled in the Dandenongs, I have to say there is perhaps a hint in his antecedence.
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