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Old 01-01-2014, 11:32   #1
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Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

We are a British couple currently boat shopping in Florida.

One of the boats under consideration is an ex charter boat, registered in Canada (and I understand owned by a Canadian) it states that the boat is not for sale in US waters. I presume that is because no sales tax has been paid anywhere on said boat?

Our intentions are to cruise the (Caribbean + Eastern seaboard) 6 months on six months off or maybe a year at a time and leave my boat in Florida where I have family when not in use.

We really need somebody to clearly set out what our options are regarding registration etc as we are currently driving around the state like mad things looking at all sorts of options.

We have read a few bits online but sadly are just struggling for time to research this thoroughly at this moment.

If anybody can map out the options clearly we would be eternally grateful, obviously we would like to do this with the least impact on our budget.

Regards

Richard & Gill
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Old 01-01-2014, 13:34   #2
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

The Canadian boat you refer to is most likely here on a cruising permit which does not allow the owner to sell the boat here. Not a big deal, just means your closing will take place offshore. After purchase you could reflag with a British flag and obtain a US cruising permit yourself which will entitle you to spend up to a year in the US before renewal. You must be out of the country for 15 days between renewals. So when you leave the country for the Caribbean you must remember to surrender the permit before you leave, then simply obtain another when you return.
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Old 01-01-2014, 13:53   #3
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

Good explanation.
As a Canadian, years ago, bought a Germany-flagged FP Athena38 that was in Florida on a cruising permit. The sale was completed offshore, I registered the boat in Canada, and then brought it back to the US on a cruising permit.

I would pay Canadian Sales Tax ONLY if I brought the boat back to Canada.
I would pay US Sales Tax ONLY if I imported it to the US for selling to a US resident.

Sold the boat a few years later in Florida to a Brazilian, following the same offshore process.

Not aware that the regulations have changed. Working with a broker will help with the paper work which they do often.
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Old 01-01-2014, 16:04   #4
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

OK, thanks for the clarification.

I assume my other alternative is to keep the boat in Florida and pay import duty (1.6%???) and Sales Tax (6%???). Is that correct?

Advantage would come when I choose to sell I can then sell in US waters.

I hate bureaucracy
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Old 01-01-2014, 18:59   #5
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

I would check with a broker for the latest information just to be sure.
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Old 01-01-2014, 19:29   #6
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

All of the above is still correct. SSr registry will be easiest for you. You can even get it before you buy the boat it you want!
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:12   #7
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffflinger View Post
OK, thanks for the clarification.

I assume my other alternative is to keep the boat in Florida and pay import duty (1.6%???) and Sales Tax (6%???). Is that correct?

Advantage would come when I choose to sell I can then sell in US waters.

I hate bureaucracy
Or you could buy my British registered boat which is already in Florida, tax paid
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:57   #8
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

*****Please note that if you elect to pay the import tax (1.6%) and sales tax, if you keep the vessel in Virginia, the maximum sales tax paid on any cost vessel is only $2000!! So that and 1.6% import tax is not a bad deal to legalize your vessel here in the USA.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:28   #9
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

If the boat was built outside of the NAFTA countries you will also have to pay duty to import it into the US.

You will also need a letter from Transport Canada confirming that it has been de-listed in Canada before you can register it anywhere else.
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Old 02-01-2014, 13:41   #10
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

And a Brit cannot legally get federal documentation for the boat although there are ways around that. State registration yes, fed no. People do cruise internationally on state registration but to me it seems like a PIA.
You might want to try the BVIs.
http://boatregistrationbvi.com/
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Old 02-01-2014, 14:37   #11
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Re: Ex charter boat (not for sale in US waters) please explain

FWIW Florida sales tax valuation maxes out at $300,000 on boats. So $18,000 is the most you will have to pay.
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