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Old 22-08-2014, 19:42   #1
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"Not for Sale... "

I found a really nice catamaran that is in florida.. it's been listed for 18 months... but it has a disclaimer that it is "not for sale is US waters or to US citizens"

WHY?!?!? it's docked in FL... can someone explain this?
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:31   #2
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Re: "not for sale... "

It's not a US flagged boat so they have to say this. A US buyer will simply sign the papers offshore and now you own the boat. It's done all the time.
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:34   #3
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Re: "not for sale... "

Avoiding sales tax - seller pays. You buy it off shore you may be liable to pay import duties on the value.
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Old 22-08-2014, 20:39   #4
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Re: "not for sale... "

Probably has more to do with taxes than ownership. If they advertise it for sale in the US to US citizens, the Feds will want their import duties paid up front. Something to figure into the price you are willing to pay as you'll get stuck with import duties as soon as the boat changes hands in the US and/or is registered in the USA. Not sure what the ramifications are if you keep the boat as a foreign flagged vessel. Any broker handling large yachts should be able to give you the straight skinny.
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Old 22-08-2014, 21:28   #5
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Re: "not for sale... "

To clarify, non US citizens cannot federally document the boat even though the boat is here. You can do sham corporations to get around this. Therefore the boat cannot be legally imported, yet. You buy the boat and the brokerage handles the transfer docs and someone pays the really reasonable 1.5% import tax. Sales tax will be the bigger issue depending on what state you register it and/or keep it in.
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Old 22-08-2014, 21:37   #6
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Re: "not for sale... "

Quote:
Therefore the boat cannot be legally imported
SC, I don't understand this. Just because the boat can't be documented isn't a reason that it can't be legally imported. Can you elaborate on your logic here, please?

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Old 23-08-2014, 03:55   #7
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Re: "not for sale... "

Jim Cate:
The way I understand it is first you have to legally import it and pay the 1.5% duty and then you can document it or state register it. A foreign owner can also post a bond to sell it I think.

boat registration, cruising permits, duty, clearing customs, vat
Duty: Vessels cannot be sold in the United States unless they are duty paid. If a vessel has become part of the commerce of another country…by way of actually physically exporting the boat AND paying duty to another country, the vessel must be Custom Cleared by a Customs Broker, and duty must be paid…currently about 1.5 percent. (Simply flagging a vessel foreign does not mean that duty is due). Also, U.S. built and Canadian built boats are duty free, but must still be custom cleared, upon entry for sale in the U.S. It is advisable to contact a customs broker to answer all of the possible scenarios prior to placing the vessel on the market.

ASAP Yacht Documentation, duty on yachts, foreign flagged yachts
FOREIGN FLAGGED BOATS OFFERED FOR SALE HERE IN THE U.S. while under a U.S. Cruising Permit.

Recently U.S. Customs “detained” several yachts in Florida which were Foreign Flagged AND offered for sale, while operating in U.S. Waters under a U.S. Cruising Permit.

The language on the Cruising Permit states that the boat cannot be offered for sale or charter, and further states that if the vessel is offered for sale or charter, the Cruising Permit becomes invalid.

On those yachts that were detained, the vessels had not made a formal entry by paying the 1.5% duty or posting bond.

At this point we are not sure what will happen to those vessels that have been detained. They are “subject to forfeiture” if the owners have indeed offered the boats for sale without the following language being added to ALL ADVERTISING:
“NOT FOR SALE TO U.S. RESIDENTS WHILE IN U.S. WATERS”
(This includes all SIGNAGE posted on the Yacht itself by the Yacht Broker.)

PLEASE CONTACT A CUSTOMS BROKER IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS … we are more than pleased to refer you to Mr. Steele Reeder at Howard S. Reeder, Inc. 305-371-8431 or you may email him at steele@howardsreederinc.com

IN FLORIDA, once the vessel is duty paid, the Florida Dept. of Revenue expects to receive the sales/use tax on the value of the boat, (now capped at $18,000.00).

Burkard Yacht Sales | Yacht Broker | Naples, Florida | Boat Sales
A Custom Broker gets involved with all facets of a foreign flagged vessel, whether it be to provide Bonds for a vessel to be shown at a Boat Show for sale or paying the duty of a vessel so it may be registered in the U.S. A Custom Broker will also arrange for Cruising Permits.
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Old 23-08-2014, 04:12   #8
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Re: "not for sale... "

regarding the comment on keeping the boat foreign flagged, you should look into the laws of the country where it's presently flagged to see if that is even an option for you. Most countries only nationally register or flag vessels if the owner of the vessel is a citizen of that country, or if it's owned by a company or organization located in and paying taxes to that country. A US citizen cannot, for example, flag his boat with British registration and flag. Paying import duty is not the same as flagging. Two different issues. Import duty is a customs/taxation thing. I don't believe the customs people give a rats patoot how many life jackets you have on board or if you're operating safely in their waters. The flagging/home port thing is a registration. It's like the difference between paying sales tax on a car you buy and paying to register and inspect that same car.

Our US flagged, USCG documented boat was originally built in England and was imported to the USA in 87. It was USCG documented by the original American owner, and has been owned by US citizens since it was launched. We just imported it to the Turks and Caicos Islands. This does not mean we put Turks and Caicos on the transom. It means we can keep it here as long as we want, as far as the TCI government is concerned. Just like we imported a television. This boat is legally able to be sold in either the US or the TCI, since it has been imported to both countries. I don't know if it would still be legal to sell it in it's country of origin, but possibly.

If you're a US citizen, planning to keep the USA as your home, I'd suggest you just pay the 1.5 percent, import the boat, and document it with the USCG. Your life will get easier after that. USCG documentation is widely recognized and accepted.
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Old 23-08-2014, 04:13   #9
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Re: "not for sale... "

Any non-USA built vessel which has never paid USA Customs duty, or a USA built vessel that has been exported and is currently foreign flagged, can not be offered for sale or charter to US citizens while in USA waters until making a formal USA entry.
USA duty, assessed at 1.5% of the appraised value, is a one time taxable event.
A duty free formal entry can be made if duty had previously been paid and can be proven with a receipt or a returning USA built vessel.
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Old 23-08-2014, 08:02   #10
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Re: "not for sale... "

wow... what great information!!! thank you!!!

So, knowing all of this.. why wouldn't the owner just sell it in the country where it was registered...?
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Old 23-08-2014, 08:18   #11
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Re: "not for sale... "

Because Florida is a great place to sell a boat. At 18 months on the market perhaps this one is overpriced or has issues. How about a link?
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Old 23-08-2014, 12:15   #12
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Re: "not for sale... "

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Because Florida is a great place to sell a boat. At 18 months on the market perhaps this one is overpriced or has issues. How about a link?
Oh I would love it if you took a look at it. It is just about perfect for our needs... and we would definitely consider looking at it... But... I do wonder about the 18 months on the market... Do you think it's because of the disclaimer (under "duties" on the link) about not being for sale in us waters? I'd love some input.. and perhaps someone knows about this boat... here it is:

The Catamaran Company || Customer Login
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Old 23-08-2014, 13:01   #13
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Re: "not for sale... "

I think the long time on the market is because many older cats including Privileges have one or 2 aft mounted helms which means exposed to the weather. Catanas still have this. If it is a 2 digit model like this one then it is aft mounted, the later 3 digit models (435 etc.) have a protected helm against the salon which people really like. Most modern cats have an arrangement similar or the raised fly bridge like the L440. Additionally there are only 2 P42s on YW and this one is $60,000 more. The other is a charter configuration with no data on anything so maybe this is worth the extra.
The sails are 13 years old which is getting there and that one engine has almost 4000 hours. That's getting there too. No generator hours listed and no real details on many items like rigging, last haulout. How old etc? These are not deal breakers but negotiating points. According to law the foreign owner cannot use the boat at all once it's put up for sale so you have a really good negotiating point there. 18 months of no fun. And somebody is paying for the dock space.

Make sure they put the dink and outboard in the deal because they say it's not.
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Old 23-08-2014, 13:16   #14
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Re: "not for sale... "

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
I found a really nice catamaran that is in florida.. it's been listed for 18 months... but it has a disclaimer that it is "not for sale is US waters or to US citizens"

WHY?!?!? it's docked in FL... can someone explain this?
"not for sale is US waters or to US citizens" is not a correct posting and the concept has nothing to do with citizenship or sales tax.

The correct terminology is “not for sale to US residents while in US waters”.

This restriction applies to boats that have not been imported or re imported into the US, i. e duty not paid.

By law these boats can not be offered for sale in any way (including showings) to US residents (regardless of citizenship) while in US waters.

Aside from the caveat in the advertising, this notification is required to be posted on the boats themselves.

Brokers skirt this all the time but US Customs is out there and any broker that even shows one of these to a US resident as part of a sales effort does so at their own risk.
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Old 23-08-2014, 13:17   #15
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Re: "not for sale... "

I actually prefer this one. US flagged so no extra hassles.
1995 Privilege 45 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

New engines and generator and lots more. FWIW other posters have said that the forward nacelle cabin has too much motion underway so putting the genny in there may not be a bad thing. Scroll down and look at all the work done in the past few years. Kaching!!!!
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