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Old 28-10-2012, 09:49   #1
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Where to register my Sailboat?

Currently my Hunter 42 sailboat is registered in Panama. It was imported there in 2005 from Florida where it was first registered and built. All the fees and duties were paid at that time by the previous owner.

Every 3 years the registration comes up and with attorney fees (you need an attorney) it costs around $1500 to $2500 (all expenses including travel expenses to get there.

We have decided to not live in Panama anymore so we are looking at registering the boat in Oregon (no sales tax) where we currently reside (except when we are cruising). I believe the registration will cost under $200.
I am an Oregon resident with permanent residency and drivers license here.

It seems like a cut and dry answer, but maybe I am not seeing the whole picture.

I would like to re-title and register the boat in Oregon as a USA vessel.

Does this make good sense and does anyone have any insight or have done the process before taking a foreign registered vessel and registering it in the USA where it was first registered. It seems simple. Does Panama Maritime have to approve this?

Any comments or analysis of this would be very welcome. Thanks
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Old 28-10-2012, 09:59   #2
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

I believe Oregon is one of the States that levies a personal property tax. You might want to look into that. For reference, in Virginia, we paid about 1.1% of the assessed value of our boat to our county, annually. It adds up!
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Old 28-10-2012, 10:04   #3
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

I am guessing that you boat is large enough to qualify for as a US Documented Vessel so you may want to have your boat reflagged. Go to USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page for the forms and procedure. The previous owner of my boat, a Columbia 41, had the boat documented. I only had to have the documentation changed to me, the "managing owner". If you have your boat documented, State registration is not needed. You will have to pay a small fee for a State sticker. I pay $35 here in DC. There may be other local taxes such as personal property as in VA or a one time water use tax as in MD.
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Old 28-10-2012, 10:06   #4
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

Cars and boats are exempt from this tax. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 28-10-2012, 10:06   #5
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

This has come up a number of times... Here are links to previous threads that may help you:

Live aboard in Florida

Purchase tax, laws, and state stay time questions

Where to register a boat

To Reflag or Not, That is the Question

Registration and Title in US
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Old 28-10-2012, 10:08   #6
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

When we purchased our boat, we took possession and documented out of Coos Bay..
saved us a bundle.. but Oergon has a regestration fee of about 250 per year if we keep the boat there..
We opted to Document but not regester there...
for the last couple years we've opted to hang out in the California Delta and re-build the kitty.. California has gotton to us for about 1000 per year for property tax..
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Old 28-10-2012, 21:44   #7
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

Like all things there are confusing conflicts. My "guess" is that if you bought an "exported" boat in Panama, where it was before is irrelevant.

When you bring it back to the USA I think you are importing and pay import duties.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...e-into-the-u.s.

(Don't know how or if NAFTA or any free trade agreement plays in this) - I'd call CBP and ask.)

Once that hurdle is cleared the requirements in Oregon seem pretty easy and pretty clear.

State of Oregon: Oregon State Marine Board

State of Oregon: Titling & Registration

Titling & Registration Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 28-10-2012, 22:03   #8
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Re: Where to register my Sailboat?

As I recall, my boat's USA import duties (2011) were something close to 2.5% of the boat's value. As the boat resides in California, it was subject to a one-time use charge (like sales tax) as well as annual property taxes, but not annual registration as the boat is USA documented. States vary, however. Check your state's (where the boat will be used) website.
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