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Old 08-03-2019, 12:27   #1
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Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could help me with some advice or information. We are in the process of purchasing a storm damaged catamaran in the Caribbean Islands.
If we only had the Bill of Sale from the current owner to us, would we be able to register this catamaran in South Africa? We have tried to find out information about registering it here in the USA but it seems we would need more documentation to do this which we don't have.
Much appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:57   #2
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Reference: http://https://www.samsa.org.za/site...%20Sailing.pdf
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Old 08-03-2019, 13:00   #3
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Thanks Montanan but if I click on the link it says the site cannot be reached?
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Old 08-03-2019, 15:47   #4
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Okay it appears that the link gets corrupted when trying to place it on the forum post

Use a search engine for: South Africa sailboat registration
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Old 08-03-2019, 15:54   #5
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Tatum, you are aware that generally the owner, or 51% of the company owning a boat, needs to be a "citizen" of a flag state in order to flag a boat there?

Unless you're doing a commercial registry or other specific options, you can't just pick a country. And in the US, we use "registration" to refer to state registrations. Federal registration [sic] is referred to as "documentation" here.
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Old 08-03-2019, 15:56   #6
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Add https: in front of the address listed below and past into your search engine.

//www.samsa.org.za/sites/samsa.org.za/files/MN%2011%20of%202005%20Procedure%20for%20registerin g%20a%20pleasure%20yacht%20of%20less%20than%2025%2 0gross%20tonnage%20through%20South%20African%20Sai ling.pdf
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Old 09-03-2019, 14:04   #7
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

You cannot buy or own a USCG documented vessel, or document a vessel you purchased with the USCG if you are not a US citizen (not just a legal resident) or a legal entity such as a corporation, LLC or partnership unless it is majority controlled by US citizens.

There are other requirements for USCG documentation as well..
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Old 10-03-2019, 00:56   #8
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Hi.

I would be very careful before considering registering a boat in SA if not a South African resident. There will be taxes and very strict certification of fitness (COF) requirements. I am in SA so would be glad to assist you with information you may need. I can make contact with SA Sailing to get you all the details if this will assist you.
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:07   #9
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatum View Post
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could help me with some advice or information. We are in the process of purchasing a storm damaged catamaran in the Caribbean Islands.
If we only had the Bill of Sale from the current owner to us, would we be able to register this catamaran in South Africa? We have tried to find out information about registering it here in the USA but it seems we would need more documentation to do this which we don't have.
Much appreciated.
Hi there,
I made the same enquiry with South African Sailing and SAMSA just a few weeks ago. This is the response I got keeping in mind that I am South African. Hope it helps:

Every vessel coming onto the register must undergo a pre-registration survey. This survey is to ensure that the vessel is suitable to come onto the South African Ships Register. This survey must be carried out by a SAMSA Surveyor or a SA Sailing surveyor who has specifically been appointed to survey registered vessels or vessels coming onto the register. If the vessel is not at a South African port the all transport and subsistence costs will be to the owners account.
>
> The paperwork requirements will be as follows:
>
> Application for Registration
> Declaration of Ownership
> Copy of the Foreign Bill of Sale
> Deletion Certificate
> Builder's Certificate
> General Arrangement Plan drawn to a scale of 1 : 25
> Three postcard size colour photographs each showing a full and clear view of the bow, side and stern of the vessel
> Certified copy of the owner(s) South African identity document
> Copy of a valid Radio Station Licence issued by ICASA
> EPIRB Registration to the MRCC
> Copy of the EPIRB Test report
> Copy of the EPIRB Programming Certificate
> Pre-Registration survey report from the attending surveyor
>
>
> For the issue of the LGSC
>
> Survey Check sheet
> Safety survey report
> Hull survey report
> Copy of the Radio Operators Certificate.
>
> If ownership will be held by entities other than an individual or individuals the please contact me and I will give you the additional requirements.
>
> The fees should be as follows:
>
> Pre-registration survey fee R1940.00 - If done by a SAMSA Surveyor
> Registration Fee R2075.00
> Issue of the Carving and Marking Note R 975.00
> Issue of the Local General Safety Cert. R 120.00
>
> These fees exclude all Transport and Subsistence Costs, SA Sailing Fees if they are asked to survey the vessel. (in this instance the R1940.00 will fall away and SA Sailing will charge their fees) and all survey fees.
>
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:44   #10
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Hi Tatum

Do you intend using the boat in SA. What they have failed to mention is haul out fees etc. Personally if you are intending to bring back to SA and then leave again I would look into alternatives like British Small ships registry or another alternative. I have been looking at purchasing a boat and the only reason I have decided to put up with the limited overpriced market in SA is for this exact reason.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:42   #11
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Registration from scratch is really difficult. It's pretty unrealistic to have to bring out a SAMSA/SA Sailing surveyor at huge cost.

Not wanting to hijack the post - what is the procedure for renewing the 5 year SAMSA registration? Our boat is not in the country anymore and won't be sailing it back for some time. I think all the SA long term sailors have the same problem. I tried to research their website but cannot find any detail. Also it's difficult to do long searches as internet is scetchy.
Any help appreciated.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:32   #12
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Hi. The same applies. The restrictions etc are so onerius, expensive and full of red tape. The costs for A Cat. Offshore certification are ridiculous as you have to inspect on the hard, place in the water to check then haul out again.????? In addition if you are not present in SA you have to pay for a Samsa inspection wherever you are, flights, accom. Etc. They believe they are the only qualified surveyors out there. Most people I have spoken to re this issue have found alternative countries to register thier boats due to the red tape here. In SA offshore boats are clumped together as commercial vessels/ ships, so stupid issues arise re water tight bulkheads arise. Etc. In addition half the inspector's have never been on a yacht?????.
Let me know if I can give you more info, search alternatives and how to.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:00   #13
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackie Swart View Post
Registration from scratch is really difficult. It's pretty unrealistic to have to bring out a SAMSA/SA Sailing surveyor at huge cost.

Not wanting to hijack the post - what is the procedure for renewing the 5 year SAMSA registration? Our boat is not in the country anymore and won't be sailing it back for some time. I think all the SA long term sailors have the same problem. I tried to research their website but cannot find any detail. Also it's difficult to do long searches as internet is scetchy.
Any help appreciated.
Hi there, it seems that for the re registration the documentation must be redone before the end of the 5 year period. I can find no mention of new inspections. It seems that they are very strict and yacht will just be struck off the register if the forms aren't submited.

The period of registration of a ship, excluding vessels on Bareboat charter, unless terminated earlier is valid for a period of 5 years .

This 5 year period is calculated from the date the vessel was last registered and the expiry date is indicated on the certificate of South African Registry and will expire at the end of that period unless it is renewed.

From their website:
Period of registration
A vessel's registration is valid for 5 years. Before expiry, the Registrar will send the registered
agent a renewal notice. If the agent does not respond, the vessel's registration automatically
expires and will be closed.

https://www.samsa.org.za/sites/samsa...%20Sailing.pdf

Hope that helps
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Old 10-03-2019, 14:51   #14
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Re: Registering foreign boat in South Africa

Thanks for all the info - really helpful. I still have a bit of time before expiration date so we'll check it out.

I'm sure the info is handy for other SA cruisers as well

Fair winds.
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