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Old 22-10-2010, 08:51   #1
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Aussie Flag or US Flag on Vessel ?

Hi All,
I am an American and Australian citizen. But, primarily live in New York.
I intend to purchase a vessel soon. And live-aboard in NYC, Florida/East Coast with some offshore to Canada and Bahamas within the first year.
I just want to pick the best flag to avoid hassles/fees.
Some have suggested I Aussie flag it and get a 1 year cruising permit for USA.
If a vessel currently has British flag and VAT paid - then re-flagged as Aussie or USA , does the VAT remain for the next(European) owner?
What are the experiences and opinions?
Cheers
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Old 22-10-2010, 09:10   #2
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I don't mean to be rude but if you're an American citizen living primarily in NY why would you want an Aussie flagged vessel? I realize you're an Australian citizen too. Your cruising to Canada and the Bahamas will be much easier with an American flagged vessel. You will not be required to get a cruising permit and move your boat in and out of the States every year like an Aussie vessel would have to.

As far as EU VAT goes, I stand to be corrected but my understanding is that once it's paid, it's paid.
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Old 22-10-2010, 09:30   #3
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I don't mean to be rude but if you're an American citizen living primarily in NY why would you want an Aussie flagged vessel? I realize you're an Australian citizen too. Your cruising to Canada and the Bahamas will be much easier with an American flagged vessel. You will not be required to get a cruising permit and move your boat in and out of the States every year like an Aussie vessel would have to.

As far as EU VAT goes, I stand to be corrected but my understanding is that once it's paid, it's paid.
Hey mate,
not being rude.
I would prefer the no hassle approach of USA flagged etc.
Just someone suggested would be better. Want to hear other opinions.
I don't think traveling to Canada and Bahamas will be any different. And will be going there anyway, so would not be leaving just to get another cruising permit.
But if I only stay in USA for 1 year - well that's a lot of dosch for taxes etc for nothing(especially if the dollar becomes defunct)..
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Old 22-10-2010, 10:00   #4
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if you intend to stay in the usa for awhile i would definitely us flag it. i've met a number of foreign boats here who have had no end of hassles from the water nazi's.
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Old 22-10-2010, 10:04   #5
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You fly the flag of where the boat is documented or registered. The flag on a vessel is for the vessel not the owner.
That's like commercial ships may be American owned but flagged in another country...
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Old 22-10-2010, 10:10   #6
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if you intend to stay in the usa for awhile i would definitely us flag it. i've met a number of foreign boats here who have had no end of hassles from the water nazi's.
thanks
that is a big issue.
i was here on Aussie flagged vessel in 1997. Very liberal and fair with me, just like when I travel by air.
last port of call was Havana.
"why did you go to Cuba?"
"because i wanted to"
shrugs his shoulders - "ok".
traveled to Bahamas several times. Upon retuning only had to call customs.
Can't imagine it would be so easy going now. I believe you have to inform Homeland security if moving from one marina to another.
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Old 22-10-2010, 10:11   #7
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You fly the flag of where the boat is documented or registered. The flag on a vessel is for the vessel not the owner.
That's like commercial ships may be American owned but flagged in another country...
Yes mate that's what I mean.
I can document the vessel in Australia as I am a citizen. But can't in Great Britain.
Other options are company ownership in Cayman's, channel Islands, etc.
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Old 22-10-2010, 13:48   #8
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NYS will charge you sales or use tax after 90 days in the navigable waters of the state. Other states will grab you somewhere between 30-183 days, so where you physically keep it will change your tax bills. Then there are questions of import duty and customs, US/vs/Oz, even beyond VAT questions.

But unless you plan to go to Europe to buy a boat (why? for the trip back?) and unless you plan to resell it back to the EU, instead of the US or Oz...why get involved in VAT in the first place?

Also note that if the boat is in the US under a cruising permit, that permit MAY be issued, and MAY be renewed, but there is no guarantee of either. If the wrong man decides your papers are papers of convenience for tax avoidance purposes, they can always say "No, go home now."
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Old 22-10-2010, 14:55   #9
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NYS will charge you sales or use tax after 90 days in the navigable waters of the state. Other states will grab you somewhere between 30-183 days, so where you physically keep it will change your tax bills. Then there are questions of import duty and customs, US/vs/Oz, even beyond VAT questions.
bastards

But unless you plan to go to Europe to buy a boat (why? for the trip back?) and unless you plan to resell it back to the EU, instead of the US or Oz...why get involved in VAT in the first place?

Also note that if the boat is in the US under a cruising permit, that permit MAY be issued, and MAY be renewed, but there is no guarantee of either. If the wrong man decides your papers are papers of convenience for tax avoidance purposes, they can always say "No, go home now."
bastards
the issue with VAT:
Only asking as many Caribbean boats are VAT paid.
I would hope to keep the VAT with the vessel, as it could be valuable to a new owner, when I sell it.
The question is the VAT lost if I document/flag in America.
And if I pay USA duty, does that stay with the boat too?
Would certainly make the vessel more valuable if duty is paid.
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Old 22-10-2010, 15:37   #10
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Dunno about VAT. But US import duty is simply "import duty". Whoever brings a boat into the US, pays the duty when the boat is brought in. It then becomes a US-flagged or state registered boat, and as long as it stays here (as opposed to being exported out) the duty has been paid--once and once only. Export it, flag it elsewhere...and someone else importing it "again" would again pay import duty, since it would be a foreign boat again at that point. At least, as I understand it.

You think there's anyplace in or around NYC where you COULD dock a 50' cat and be allowed to live aboard it? Liveaboard dockage is rare around NYC, so is dockage for something that big and wide, making it doubly difficult.
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Old 22-10-2010, 20:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllezCat View Post
the issue with VAT:
Only asking as many Caribbean boats are VAT paid.
I would hope to keep the VAT with the vessel, as it could be valuable to a new owner, when I sell it.
The question is the VAT lost if I document/flag in America.
And if I pay USA duty, does that stay with the boat too?
Would certainly make the vessel more valuable if duty is paid.
My understanding is that the VAT paid status on an EU flagged boat will be lost if you flag it to a country outside the EU.

This seems reasonable given that Euro VAT is just that. Its not onerous to keep an EU flagged vessel in the Caribbean, Bahamas or USA so why bother changing.
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Old 22-10-2010, 20:48   #12
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My understanding is that the VAT paid status on an EU flagged boat will be lost if you flag it to a country outside the EU.

This seems reasonable given that Euro VAT is just that. Its not onerous to keep an EU flagged vessel in the Caribbean, Bahamas or USA so why bother changing.
ok,
so since I am not a British subject I could document/flag with company in the channel islands, yes?
then back to the cruising permit issue for the USA.
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Old 23-10-2010, 05:49   #13
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You think there's anyplace in or around NYC where you COULD dock a 50' cat and be allowed to live aboard it? Liveaboard dockage is rare around NYC, so is dockage for something that big and wide, making it doubly difficult.
I have a place in mind - Chelsea piers in the off-season.
summer would be cruising east Hampton and beyond.
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Old 23-10-2010, 06:29   #14
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EU VAT is lost if the boat is sold outside the EU. If you buy an EU boat in USA then you might be liable for VAT if you take it there and exceed the 18 month limit.

Flagging a boat in USA exposes it to state taxes which can be quite high. Many states have a property tax on boats.

Have fun !
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Old 23-10-2010, 06:35   #15
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EU VAT is lost if the boat is sold outside the EU. If you buy an EU boat in USA then you might be liable for VAT if you take it there and exceed the 18 month limit.

Flagging a boat in USA exposes it to state taxes which can be quite high. Many states have a property tax on boats.

Have fun !
Thanks
Are you saying that boats incur real annual property taxes?
For you Aussies American property taxes are like "council rates", except can be exceedingly high.
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