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Old 02-04-2008, 15:15   #1
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Importing a Yacht from US to Australia

I have been looking at yachtworld comparing boats in various places. The prices of yachts in the US seem very reasonable at the moment. Obviously the cost of bringing the boat back across the pacific need to be added. Does anyone know what Aust. goverment costs (duty) would be involved in bringing a boat back.
Thanks Neil
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Old 02-04-2008, 15:30   #2
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I have been looking at yachtworld comparing boats in various places. The prices of yachts in the US seem very reasonable at the moment. Obviously the cost of bringing the boat back across the pacific need to be added. Does anyone know what Aust. goverment costs (duty) would be involved in bringing a boat back.
Thanks Neil
$40k florida to aus by ship. 15% gst and duty (incl the 40k in that). $800 registration, plus 10 to 20K incidentals.

Just doing a quick claculation.. 10k incidentals is too lite...

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Old 02-04-2008, 16:24   #3
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isn't there some sort of import tax?
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:53   #4
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The 15% quoted included 10%gst and 5% inport duty. Because of the FTA between Oz and the US if u can prove the boat was built in the US u can save the 5%.

I wonder if you could keep a yacht US registered being a non-US citizen. If you planned to world sail it wouldn't matter which flag you flew.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:08   #5
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I wonder if you could keep a yacht US registered being a non-US citizen.
Ilegal for anyone but a US citizen to US Document a boat. When you fill out the paperwork it's a question. Your seller would remove the boat from US documentation and so no "transfer" would take place and you would then own an unregistered boat. That works pretty much every place in the world with a few rare exceptions.

A US citizen can have dual citizenship and could register a boat where they were a citizen some place else.

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If you planned to world sail it wouldn't matter which flag you flew.
Sure no problem you could fly a martini flag if you wanted. but you better be able to prove you own the boat with formal registration / title certificate or be accused of piracy.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:21   #6
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Paul,

Thanks for that prompt response. I'm just checking the atlas for martini!
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:57   #7
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. but you better be able to prove you own the boat with formal registration / title certificate or be accused of piracy.
Unflagged or incorrectly flagged boats will be impounded in any country you go to, or when you go back to Australia.
It can be done, of course. A good example was Kerry Packers boat Galu was Panamanian registered to save $5 million tax. But with that sort of saving the lawyers could afford to set up a holding company (or whatever) to work it out.

On my point earlier about the incidentals, I am not joking. Thats the amount on non-negotiable, absolutely must pay, cash in hand, pay now not later, stuff. believe me. Thats what I am doing now, as in I pick the boat up on Monday, so my info is current.

here is an example of how much money you need in cash in extra contingency: Nic and I go to the airport in Fort Lauderdale at 6am for a flight to St Maartin in the Caribbean on a one way air tickets ($600) because we intend to sail out. Counter bitch at American Airlines says we need a return ticket as I have no letter from a Crew Agency saying I am sailing out. I'm owning the friggin boat! So I have to have an air ticket out to the closest island AA flies to which is the Dominican republic - not back to Ft Lauderdale. Cost $600 US! Counter staff dont have Visa card facility for international cards. So I have to ATM $600, but the ATM max is $300 so I incur 2 x $22 bank fees (Now $644!).
Fly to St Martin and try to get refund. Refund wont include $120 in taxes or the $44 - $164. Refund will take 20 days payable only by cheque to postal address in Australia.

Now, don't tell me this whole importing a boat is cheap. Its not. Its expensive and the incidental expenses are HIGH. and you MUST have the money to cover them all. Including accommodation. We have not paid less than $60 per night in dormitories! So the month we have been away 30 x $60 = $2k. And food. remember supermarket shopping without a kitchen is problematic ie expensive. Too many cheap restaurants and fast food.

I've paid $350 bank fees (both sides) in transfering money for deposit and full amount. Thats not including $22 every time I use an ATM! Don't say "withdraw lots and the % is lower. You wont want to walk around a forign country with $500 in your pocket!

And last but not least: The boats arn't free! You hear these great stories about how people can't sell their boats and dump huge price cuts. Offer 'low ball' etc. Well, don't believe it! We found getting a 10% discount off the list price very difficult. A lot of prices above market and not negotiating.

And the brokers are aware. Its used to be rich Americans storming the world paying over the top prices. Now its cashed-up Australians storming the USA paying over the top prices and every broker knows it.
That might not be true but its the perception!


My advice: Yes you will buy cheaper, but take a WAD LOAD OF CASH!
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:00   #8
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PS our current 'money problem' is the EPIRB thats $699 on the internet is $1299 where we are. And its illegal to fly EPIRBS because of the battery!
So essentially I need to pay double..... Sux!
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:00   #9
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I you are an Australian or a foreigner with a non-tourist visa in Oz (like myself), then when you show up in Oz with a foreign-registered vessel they can and will ask for a cash bond of the 15% (add in the $40K for transport to the price). A red-ensign flag, such as UK, BVI, or Gibraltar is a cheap alternative.
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:11   #10
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If you planned to world sail and didn't need to necessarly register your yacht in Oz what other options do you have whch are cost effective. Which other countries allow you to register with out being a citizen?
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:19   #11
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If you planned to world sail and didn't need to necessarly register your yacht in Oz what other options do you have whch are cost effective. Which other countries allow you to register with out being a citizen?
The registration is only $800, plus a bit of faxing and mail, say $1,000. Thats nothing in the big scheme of events of the incidental expenses.

Any country that would let you register without being a citizen would be one of those 'funny countries' that every other country would want to inspect your boat carefully for drugs etc. i.e do you really want a boat registered in Columbia when you are about to sail to the USA? Or a boat registered in Egypt when you are heading to Europe?



All the best

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Old 03-04-2008, 05:31   #12
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But can you then register a yacht in OZ costing say $1000 but avoid paying the inport duty (15%) untill you atuall arrive in Oz.
If you were world sailing it could be years before you returned to Oz.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:33   #13
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But can you then register a yacht in OZ costing say $1000 but avoid paying the inport duty (15%) untill you atuall arrive in Oz.
If you were world sailing it could be years before you returned to Oz.
Oh yes, I agree with you! Thats what we are doing May be many, many years

Sorry if I have misinterpreted your intentions. This forum is full of Aussies who want to fly to the US buy a boat for $20,000 take it back to Aus and sell it for $100,000. Its really not so possible.
But to buy one and go sailing and then at some later stage take it back and not to have lost much money, thats the great idea And you get to start sailing where you want.


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Old 03-04-2008, 09:18   #14
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just a note that when sailing to AUS you must contact AUS customs and immigration by mail or email (within ?48 hrs of anticipated arrival...) to announce your impending arrival. you can't just call them to announce by VHF or cel phone . there is a hefty fine for failure to comply . stories abound on the internet quoting a $15,000 AUS fine for violating this rule....(don't know if they are true...)

PS- don't ask me what you are supposed to do if you are on an oldfashioned yacht without e mail or post capability-- ask them !!!!
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:35   #15
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OK, what about NZ? We were planning on selling our boat here. IS there a similar agreement? Would it be better to sell in Oz?
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