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Old 28-07-2008, 10:09   #16
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Vasco - Ok, then with that proviso we have agreement in principle on the issue. I see the real problem in that it means that if you go through a company you need to chose your straw men/women carefully as they actually become the legal owner. And if that friend happens to go through a nasty divorce then you will be giving away half the boat to their better half.

Since the law is intended to make sure that control (and ownership) of vessels remains in American hands, trying to circumvent that intent by playing with loopholes might work but can also lead to trouble. Back then my lawyer convinced me to not try to play the system and I will stick to his advice.

If the boat isn't intended to remain in the USA and the purchaser is not a resident I don't see any advantage to keeping a US Flag. My red ensign ownership is cheap, simple and is certainly a more neutral flag than many - plus as a EU citizen you have a choice of owning directly or going through a shell company.
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Old 28-07-2008, 13:49   #17
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"This is not correct. You can, as a non US citizen, own a US documented vessel. You just have to do it through a shell corporation."

IF AND ONLY IF the corporation is 51% owned by US citizens. Now, if someone wanted to set up a shell corporation, which was actually a sham corporation, and they made false claims regarding ownership or "laundered" it through some paid parties...that's a delicate line to walk. Among other things, it would leave the partners exposed to liability issues and the 'real' owner could have the boat sold out from under them. But that's the risks one takes when trying to evade the laws.

And if the US authorities (state or national) decide the corporation is a sham corporation? Yes they can and will seize all the assets, and that's just where they start.
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Old 29-07-2008, 19:14   #18
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You don't need to be a US citizen but a resident is enough. I lived in the US on a working visa hense i had a US address and a social security number. During that time I registered a Catalina 380 in the US. Later when i moved to Germany i went back bought a Mainship trawler, registered and cruised the Bahamas for three months and then shipped it to Sweden. At the registration office i just gave them my old SS and the address of the shipping company. No problems.

On the CE question, no problems getting it insured in Sweden. This issue has been discussed on several boating forums in Sweden and most insurance companies do not ask if the boat is CE approved and there have been no people having any claims issues.

Just do it as you say over there.

Cheers, Johan
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Old 29-07-2008, 20:30   #19
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Johan-
"You don't need to be a US citizen but a resident is enough. I lived in the US ...a US address and a social security number."
As a practical matter that could work--but only because no one checked. If for any reason someone checked on your citizenship, i.e. asked for your passport as identification during part of an insurance claim or a vessel search, you could lose everything and be prosecuted for criminal fraud. The US statutes still restrict US vessel documentation to US citizens--and that does not include resident aliens.
And of course, the insurer could refuse to make any payments involved, leaving you at a great loss even if the governments did nothing. Risky business.
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Old 30-07-2008, 01:10   #20
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Johan - I was in the same position, a non-LPR with various long-term visas (H1,E2)and what HelloSailor says is correct - you can do it with a SS number and US address and nobody will notice ... until something happens.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:57   #21
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I would say with the crushing down dollar.... nothing is cheaper in europe than the us.
Everyday it's getting better bying in the lost US of A.
Way the go George! (i'm going to place another order at some online chandler shop today in your beautifull country, life is gooood!)
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Old 01-08-2008, 14:07   #22
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The problem has never been in the use of a boat after import without going through these hoops. The problem is when you come to sell the boat.
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Old 01-08-2008, 21:37   #23
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Also that does not seem the case. In the East med (Greece, Turkey, Coatia, Italy) in 5 years time nobody ever asked for VAT proof allthough we have paid and proof and everybody there knows this. So no worry on selling the boat as long as you mention it.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:29   #24
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I would say with the crushing down dollar.... nothing is cheaper in europe than the us.
Everyday it's getting better bying in the lost US of A.
Way the go George! (i'm going to place another order at some online chandler shop today in your beautifull country, life is gooood!)
A cheap currency is a good thing in a slower economy. Did you know that countries like Japan do everything they can to artificially keep the value of their currency down? Do you know why?

The low value of the dollar has virtually offset the recent housing slump. US manufacturing and exporting is on the rise. If you are building something in the US, times are good. If you are going on vacation in Europe, not so much.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:15   #25
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In the commercial world, there are companies that specialize in "owning" U.S. flagged vessels for foreign buyers. Title to the boat is put into a U.S. trust with a U.S. trustee. The trust then charters the boat to the foreign "owner."

And this structure makes ownership of the boat easy to transfer. You simply convey the beneficial interest in the trust to the new owner. Title remains in the U.S. trust. Of course, you have to pay the ongoing fees of the trustee.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:27   #26
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In the commercial world, there are companies that specialize in "owning" U.S. flagged vessels for foreign buyers. Title to the boat is put into a U.S. trust with a U.S. trustee. The trust then charters the boat to the foreign "owner."

And this structure makes ownership of the boat easy to transfer. You simply convey the beneficial interest in the trust to the new owner. Title remains in the U.S. trust. Of course, you have to pay the ongoing fees of the trustee.
Thanks, do you have any link to a company who work with this? I have to read more aobut it....
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:53   #27
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Any good maritime law firm will know people willing to act as a "strawman" for a fee. But my guess is, that for a sailboat, the firm would recommend reflagging the vessel in a tax free jurisdiction of convenience, such as the British Virgin Islands or the Caymans. Much cheaper and easier. You could set up a trust to own the boat just as easily in those jurisdictions, and you could insure the boat through Lloyds just as easily.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:57   #28
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The advantage of the BVI is that if you are an EU citizen you do not need to create an offshore company in order to register the boat there; although at $750 per year it might be worth going through an IBC in order to avoid inheritance taxes should yuo predecease your boat.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:23   #29
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The advantage of the BVI is that if you are an EU citizen you do not need to create an offshore company in order to register the boat there; although at $750 per year it might be worth going through an IBC in order to avoid inheritance taxes should yuo predecease your boat.
Thanks, can you give me a name on a company or what should i search for to find one.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:24   #30
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There is a long list of these companies on yachtworld.
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