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Old 16-10-2011, 07:39   #1
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Foreign Sales of Boats

Hello Everyone,

I looked on the forum but couldn't find an answer. Why are boats sales (from websites) sometimes say "boat not for sale in US waters"? Is there a way around this? Is it just a tax thing? Thanks in advance. Sorry if I missed an already existing thread - didn't know exactly how to word the question in the search.
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Old 16-10-2011, 08:07   #2
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Re: Foreign Sales of boats

Because that vessel is foreign flagged and cruising US waters on a cruising permit that does not allow the boat to be sold. No big deal though, the closing just has to take place outside the US (12 miles offshore)
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Old 16-10-2011, 08:12   #3
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Re: Foreign Sales of boats

Plus, if you want to register it in the states, you'll have to pay an import tax. I think 1-2% of value or thereabouts.
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Old 16-10-2011, 09:05   #4
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Re: Foreign Sales of boats

This comes up all the time here. Check dollars and cents forum.
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Old 16-10-2011, 09:22   #5
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Actually I respectfully disagree with the above two responses. The statement "not for sale to US citizens in US waters" has *nothing* to do with a vessel's registration. Instead it means that the vessel entered the commerce of another country prior to be offered for dale in the US. Examples of entering the commerce of another county include being sold in New Zealand or chartered commercially on the Med before being brought to the US and being offered for sale.

I.e. A US flagged vessel that was purchased in New Zealand and brought to the US and offered for sale would be required to include "not sale to US citizens in US waters" despite its registration. Coversely a UK vessel on a cruising permit puchased in the US and reoffered for sale 5 years later would not be required to import. It is a huge limitation for a sale because not only can the vessel not be sold in US waters to a US citizen but neither can an agent take a US citizen aboard the vessel. If the owner is serious about the sale, he will import the vessel and pay the duty, so the vessel can be offered to US citizens. Offshore closings cost about $18k to complete in Florida.

Often this time of year, vessels will be temporarily imported for boat shows. This temporary importation is done by putting up the duty during the boat show and them getting it back afterwards if no one purchases the vessel. While the money is temporarily submitted US citizens can board the vessel, ie. during the boat show.

Best to talk to a customs agent for details on a specific scenario. Duty rates vary. Other import fees apply.
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Old 16-10-2011, 20:54   #6
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Re: Foreign Sales of Boats

I should have said that if you want to bring it to the u.s. you would have to pay the import tax.. not that if you wanted to register it in the u.s. The original owner would not necessarily have to pay the import tax.. but a buyer wanting to bring it to the u.s. would.
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