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Old 12-02-2015, 05:26   #1
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Buying Boat In/Near Mexico

Getting ready to purchase a boat. I'm currently living in Ensenada, MX as a US Citizen. My mailing address is in Las Vegas, NV. I personally hate bureaucracy (filling out forms, jumping through hoops, paying taxes etc) but realize they have bigger guns and cages so you have to play the game to some extent. I want to minimize this though, and make it as easy and inexpensive as possible.

Currently I see two options:

1) Buying a boat in San Diego/maybe LA and then relocating it down to Mexico. My questions on this are, in trying to avoid the deathtrap that is California bureaucracy/taxation:
a. how quickly do I have to get the boat out of US waters to avoid California taxation?
b. Do you register the boat in Nevada or with CoastGuard or ?
c. Can I get the registration paperwork done in the time I need to relocate the boat out of the US to avoid California State stuff?

2) Buying in Mexico (Ensenada, La Paz, San Carlos, Mazatlan). My questions are:
a: Most of the broker websites state they do the actual sale in the US. I'm assuming in CA. Is this accurate assumption? And if so does this throw me into the California deathtrap or just a minor step?
b: How do you go about buying from a private citizen in Mexico (if that citizen is a US citizen)?
c: How do you go about buying from a private citizen in Mexico (if that citizen is a MX citizen)?

Am I missing any options?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:45   #2
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Buying Boat In/Near Mexico

We bought our boat in California in 2000 as an offshore purchase. We called the State Board Of Equalization and asked them about the rules for an offshore purchase. They were very helpful and we legally avoided paying sales tax in California. Back the we had to keep the boat out of the state for more than half of the first six months. In other words, we had just under 90 days to get out of CA ( you could have it in CA for repairs, provisioning etc.) and we move the boat to Ensenada for 91 days. The rules have changed a couple of times since then so check carefully. Start with the State Board Of Equalization.

S/V B'Shert
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