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Old 25-08-2011, 16:29   #661
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
I am at a loss to understand why some find this is so difficult.

As Surfer Girl inferred (along with some others), you got only two choices:

1. Do it by the book
or
2. Do it you own way and take your chances that the "book writers" either won't find out or won't care.

It just isn't that hard.
Maybe jealousy of the fact that some of us have done it and are just trying to pass on first hand experience while they are still keyboard cruisers. I think the vast majority who read these posts will have understood and deciphered what is required. Challenging me (Savoir) to prove what I and any other poster is silly all they have to do is contact AMSA, customs and Australian Quarantine but then they would probably not believe them either.
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:34   #662
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Third Choice...

There is a third choice, which is to employ an experienced customs agent.

I seem to recall a post that recommended an agent and commented that it was a very positive experience.
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:54   #663
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

I wrote suggesting a customs agent was the way to go.
A It was very cheap
B They are dealing with Customs on a daily basis, Customs know the agents are not going to risk there license by trying to cut corners so they tend to call off the hounds.
In my own case they were pressuring me to have many of the documents in within twenty four hours of arrival. But as soon as I engaged an agent he did an electronic lodgement of pending importation and Customs were happy.
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Old 25-08-2011, 17:20   #664
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

Indeed, Australian Registration (or any other country rego) is purely a function of international movement of a vessel - it's the boat's passport, if you like. It serves no other purpose. Once you have imported the boat into Australia and presumably you're not 'cruising internationally' anymore, and are now residing back in your home state, Australian Rego is irrelevant. You then need to have it State registered - I guess an analogy is owning a car which has to be registered in a State. To the State authorities (NSW Maritime, Queensland Transport, Vic Roads, etc) your Australian rego is moot.

Quote from D&D
"there is a view that suggests it may not be required...and the prospect of the single, Federal system in 2013"

I obviously came late onto this thread (and am new on this forum) so don't want to be involved in any arguments, however as I mentioned above, I was recently employed by NSW Maritime ( left to start my own business ) and know the legislation as it applies in NSW. D&D, the only "view" that counts when talking about legalities is the law. The "prospect of a Federal system in 2013", is just that, a prospect and it ain't 2013 yet. So all we can deal with now, and advise now is what the legislation requires - and that is quite simple. If you reside in a State you need State rego - end of story. I also, seriously doubt a federal system will get off the ground because the State goverments are too addicted to their revenue grabbing and boat licencing and boat regos bring in a lot of revenue!

Sure, there are people living aboard who dodge the system. There are even liveaboards in Sydney Harbour, and unlike Queensland, you're not allowed by law to 'live' permanently on a yacht in NSW. Though of course many do, they just have to keep moving around. But even if you live aboard and tell the authorities "I don't own a house, I live on this boat", you still have a bank account, a medicare card, a driver's licence, etc all needing an "address" (even if it's your sister's place...) AND therefore, you are deemed to be a resident of that State, and therefore you need that State's Vessel Registration....

People all round the world, dodge the authorities and what the 'system' says you have to do (European Gypsies have been doing it for centuries) but I am advising what the law requires here and further, in my experience of 30 years of travelling (yachts, Kombis, living abroad), it is much 'easier' to blend into obscurity when you have what is required by the authorities rather than become a 'person of interest' on their radar because they think you are trying to pull a fast one...
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Old 25-08-2011, 17:29   #665
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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Originally Posted by Surfer Girl View Post
...............

People all round the world, dodge the authorities and what the 'system' says you have to do (European Gypsies have been doing it for centuries) but I am advising what the law requires here and further, in my experience of 30 years of travelling (yachts, Kombis, living abroad), it is much 'easier' to blend into obscurity when you have what is required by the authorities rather than become a 'person of interest' on their radar because they think you are trying to pull a fast one...
Indeed.

And maybe I am guilty of being jealous too - of the European Gypsies.
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Old 25-08-2011, 18:13   #666
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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I wrote suggesting a customs agent was the way to go.
A It was very cheap
B They are dealing with Customs on a daily basis, Customs know the agents are not going to risk there license by trying to cut corners so they tend to call off the hounds.
In my own case they were pressuring me to have many of the documents in within twenty four hours of arrival. But as soon as I engaged an agent he did an electronic lodgement of pending importation and Customs were happy.
What do you call very cheap in a dollar amount, I have no idea, thats why I am asking.
Thanks,
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Old 25-08-2011, 18:40   #667
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

AMSA is very easy to deal with and very helpful. However, the registration cost went up on July 1 from $800 to about $1100. (1st rise in 20 years so they say) Note that Customs import duty is not assessed on what you paid, it's on what they think it's worth. They are not as nice to deal with as the gentlement at AMSA. Registration is relatively quick if you can provide accurate data. Email the info first with mail follow up. Not that difficult and only a couple of things needed. Note that as an Australian citizen you may not own a vessel in international waters that is NOT a registered vessel. If it is offshore, it must be registered if it's in your name. Note also that many flag of convenience countries receive no help from the more reputable flag countries e.g. look at the US list of reciprocal rights places and many are not on the "nice" list (Australia is)
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Old 25-08-2011, 18:54   #668
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

The fact that our national registration is $1100 is pure insanity. Why not find a "flag of convenience" registration that isn't a dodgy country? What's wrong with Canada/UK/etc?

Potentially saving 900 bucks or more would surely make it worth the effort.
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Old 25-08-2011, 19:07   #669
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

It all depends on whose name the boat is in. If it is in the name of an Australian, it must be registered in Australia. That's it. I'm sure you could find ways around it but I'm also sure there are slippery slopes along with that approach.
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Old 25-08-2011, 19:16   #670
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

$1100 is enough to build a set of functional cannons to put on the foredeck. Problem solved?
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Old 25-08-2011, 20:42   #671
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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Note that Customs import duty is not assessed on what you paid, it's on what they think it's worth. They are not as nice to deal with as the gentlement at AMSA. Registration is relatively quick if you can provide accurate data.

Sorry but I must disagree, in theory you are correct but in practice not. Customs will be happy to go by your valuation if it can be substantiated. This is why I recommend using a broker as against private sale. What happens with private sale is if the price looks too cheap taking into consideration place of purchase and exchange rate at time of sale they will suspect that what was really paid as against what the paper work says is incorrect hence independant valuation. Which comes down to what many of us have been trying to get across that being trying to cut corners to save a few dollars will in most cases cause you problems at the other end.
As for the cost of a Customs agent my recollection was $400.
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Old 25-08-2011, 20:55   #672
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

meyermm is right. I've never heard of customs assessing the value (at least for friends importing or bringing over vessels), and they certainly didn't on ours. If your paperwork seems reasonable they won't cause you trouble.

I wonder how many people in this thread have imported boats?
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Old 25-08-2011, 21:05   #673
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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Sorry but I must disagree, in theory you are correct but in practice not. Customs will be happy to go by your valuation if it can be substantiated. This is why I recommend using a broker as against private sale.
That's good to know. It will be years before we are put in that position but we have broker's records etc from a large reputable Sailyard etc plus all documentation. For 4,5 or 600 using an agent makes sense. Rather them than me. I think the price is even on the AMSA registration data?
Still, as I said, it will be years before we approach Australia again.
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Old 26-08-2011, 05:49   #674
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

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When I am sailing international waters does my vessel have an Australian home? I would transfer over to state rego and pay my import tax etc when I "import" it. This is OK isn't it?
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With great respect to Wotname, we would answer 'Yes'...

Yes...if you (generally) intend the vessel will reside in Australia, then it should have an Australian 'home port', part of the process of being entered on the Australian Register of Ships. You will definitely need SOME flag to travel in international waters...and, if you're an Aussie, we say "Fly the flag proudly!"

Yes...you can then pay the import duty and proceed with State registration (or not...there is a view that suggests it may not be required...and the prospect of the single, Federal system in 2013 seems to confirm that view) after you arrive in Australia...although your vessel will then still/always be an Australian Registered/Flag vessel as well.
Do you mean YES as in yes it will be OK sail under the UK flag as long as I import the boat when I get back and pay my fees? I would then just get QLD registration.

Also Nikki, my partner has a dual UK and AU citizenship. Wouldn't this make it totally legit for the boat to fly the UK flag?
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Old 26-08-2011, 16:21   #675
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Re: Importing a Boat to Australia

It's totally OK for a vessel to be registered in another country and skippered by someone who has different nationality as long as the paperwork for the owner of the vessel who's country the boat is registered in, is all in order. After all, this is what professional delivery skippers do all the time.
For you to sail in international waters (back to Australia) with UK rego will be fine if the boat is 'owned' & UK registered in your partners name (with her UK passport).
If you do this, make sure she enters and departs countries under her UK passport always to avoid hassles with immigration/custom authorities.
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