Originally Posted by Steffen
Does anybody know what "requirements" I would need to "meet/fill", if I, as a foreigner (Norwegian) bought a sailing vessel (49') in California and wanted to get a "Panama registration" on it.
I believe that the vessel is now registered in Oregon
, but is docked in California. I live in Panama so I assume it would make life "easier" here (in Panama) if I had Panama flag flying from the mast
. Would the USCG or someone else require that I get a "special/navigation" license
or something like that while sailing in US waters? Do I have to pay California or federal taxes
on purchase price
for the vessel?? Any "Captains / Navigation
license" required for sailing in US, Mexican or Central American Countries? Is insurence a must regarding (international) regulations
? I would like to head
soutwards asap, while paperwork for insurance
may take some weeks to get done?
Any other questions I have forgot to ask??
Any info and advice would be very much appressiated .
Would there be a drawback sailing with a Panama-flagged vessel? If I pass the USCG safety inspection
before leaving California, will this be enough or would I need other "international" (vessel)certifications??
Time frame for vessel registation/change of ownership
etc., are we normally talking days or weeks for this to be done and what can I do, to be as prepared as possible.
Thanks again in advance for any help!
Many questions, all reasonable. I only know the answer to a few.
If you're living in Panama, and will keep the boat there as a home port at least, then it may make sense to register under Panama flag. Contact the nearest Panama Consulate to get the info. They're a "flag of convenience" for international ships, so are used to dealing with ship sales and foreign nationals.
For a 49' sailboat, at least in the US, you do not need any captain's license unless you're carrying passengers (or freight) for hire. So to sail your own boat, you're good to go, at least in the US. Panama laws tend to mimic US maritime law, so maybe not there either, but you'll have to check. And if you're pleasure sailing, there's no inspection certificate required (unlike for commercial
vessels carrying passengers or freight). Just a valid registration
required. Your boat may be state-registered in Oregon, or may be federally "documented" with the Coast Guard. Either is "legal", though I'm not sure if a non-US national can own a documented US vessel. If so, you may want to go direct to Panama registration.
A courtesy inspection by the Coast Guard Auxiliary is nice to have for your own peace of mind, but not required. Bear in mind that you can be boarded for a safety inspection (in the US anyway, by the Coast Guard or by the Marine
police of a state when in that state's waters) so you want to have all the required safety gear
, but you want to have that anyway. Insurance is a very good idea, but not required unless you have a bank who lent you money
who requires you to maintain insurance.
That's about all I know to tell you. Keep asking and you'll get the rest of the answers.