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Old 14-08-2008, 15:59   #1
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Citizenship and registration

We are in the process of buying a new sailboat (Beneteau 37, with 29HP aux inboard).
I have discovered that I cannot get USCG registration as I am not a US citizen. I can get state registration (NC), but have been advised that If going offshore, it's better to have a national flag (registration). I have UK and SA citizenship. Would any fellow cruise like to advise on:

1 - is it necessary to get national registration?
2 - what are the pros/cons and hassles involved?
3 - if I only have NC registration will I have difficulty sailing/entering Bemuda, Bahamas, various carribean islands?

Have done extensive web search, and only see headaches ahead

Thanks in advance
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Old 14-08-2008, 23:10   #2
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Why don't you register it as UK or SA?
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Old 15-08-2008, 01:36   #3
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i had the same problem and registered in jersey, channel islands. it was a very simple process.
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Old 15-08-2008, 05:07   #4
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It's possible no one will ask about your registration. It only matters when it does. I would doubt you will have trouble in North America with an NC registration, but at some point you could. Where it all may matter more is where you expect to end up after the trip.

Registering in a country you are not a citizen requires a 3rd party. The third party will charge you money. You can't do it in the USCG system and a lot of other countries easily. It's done with commercial vessels to escape taxes and it's done with recreational vessels for the same reason. If the cost of it all is less than the tax you may want to do that.
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Old 15-08-2008, 05:19   #5
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in Slovenia the tactic to sail under USA flag (Delaware state) is more and more popular but the owner has to report the boat in Slovenia and pay tax to Slovenia. handy to the owner is also the fact that this kind of agencies, the agency u made the usa flag with, don't report the boat to Slovenia/ don't give info about their clients. in addition Croatian authorities make you papers for seaworthiness for your boat -> most of these kind of boats sail in Croatia; of course Croatia don't need to report the boat to Slovenia also (for the moment)
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Old 15-08-2008, 05:31   #6
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The whole process of who tells who is beginning to change in many ways. I wouldn't bet a lot of money that it won't change even more. The war on terror brings with it the war of cooperation as well. The flow of information is a goal even if not yet a reality.
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Old 15-08-2008, 05:50   #7
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I registered in the British Virgin Islands by creating a business company there too.
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Old 15-08-2008, 07:41   #8
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Its not that hard to do. If you plan on voyaging outside the USA you should probably get a national registration. IF you are not technically resident in the UK you will need to get a part 1 registration on the SSR. This involves a tonnage survey by a UK approved surveyor. THis is most like a USCG documentation, you will have to provide a bill of sale etc. IF you can claim residency in the UK you can get a part 3 registration, this can be done online, although it does not technically provide a proof of ownership, it is accepted worldwide. the fee is 25 pounds for a 5 year document.
Rhosyn Mor is ssr registered on part 3 and we have no problems. For part 3 you will need a UK address. hope this helps

one more thing.... if you register in the US under a UK flag and the vessel was not made in the US you will need to get a cruising permit and the vessel must leave the US every year and make a foreign landfall. If your vessel is US built I think you still need to get a cruising permit but hte leaving requirement is waived- not too sure on that one..
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Old 15-08-2008, 16:33   #9
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Wow, Thanks all - lots of replies in no time at all

Looks like we'll live with just the state registration. With any luck I can trade in my green card for citizenship in a year or less and can then reregister with USCG. Did think it might be nice flying the red duster for a change, but the UK requires 6 month residence per year and SA requires lots of expensive measurements, so we'll stick with North carolina
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Old 18-08-2008, 19:23   #10
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cheetham - i suggest you look at jersey. there is no residency requirement but you must be a citizen of UK or commonwealth or a similarly domicled company/corporation (i'm a new zealander living in azerbaijan). jersey registration "is" uk registration (i.e. you can fly the red ensign and get uk consular protection). you need an approved surveyor (i found one in florida). i found the whole exercise simple and cheap (apart from the survey) and i did everything by email (or courier) with the registrars in jersey. the people i dealt with were very, very helpful Welcome to Jersey Harbours

i completed the registration process january past so i doubt if much has changed
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Old 18-08-2008, 21:28   #11
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Sounds so much like "Monkey" Flagging to me.
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Old 19-08-2008, 15:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
It's possible no one will ask about your registration. It only matters when it does. I would doubt you will have trouble in North America with an NC registration, but at some point you could. Where it all may matter more is where you expect to end up after the trip.

Registering in a country you are not a citizen requires a 3rd party. The third party will charge you money. You can't do it in the USCG system and a lot of other countries easily. It's done with commercial vessels to escape taxes and it's done with recreational vessels for the same reason. If the cost of it all is less than the tax you may want to do that.


I agree sounds like a hassle good luck!!
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Old 17-09-2008, 13:39   #13
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cheetham , I just went through the same process that you are talking about. We were traveling with RI state Regsistration, RI title, and Coast Guard Bill of Sale showing that I am the owner.
I have a green card with RI residence. I was flying the US flag. we had no problem in Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, and the Virgins. So far thats how far we got. In DR, Comandante complained because if you look at RI Title or Registration, there is nowhere that says United States. Bill of sale says US Coast Guard and that kind of saved me.
On the other hand, I just got sworn in this morning , finnaly after 17 years. So I wasted no time, I immediately mailed in my new Naturalization certificate, and app for a US passport. Likewise I mailed in the application for US Vessel Documentation. Interestingly for Coast Guard Doc. you don't need to send a copy of citizenship or Birth certificate, but I guess they will check it.
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Old 17-09-2008, 14:22   #14
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Quote:
On the other hand, I just got sworn in this morning , finnaly after 17 years.
Welcome aboard! We call that doing it the hard way.

Quote:
you don't need to send a copy of citizenship or Birth certificate, but I guess they will check it.
Actually they don't, or at least I never knew if they did. It would be a federal crime to attempt it not being a citizen. Passports are a whole other situation. They want everything and they check everything. You do need to renew the USCG document yearly (free of charge) and they will mail the new request for renewal each year. You fill that out and send it back for a new certificate. They use the address supplied as the mailing address. This isn't a one time thing since you mail in request every year. They make the application so you just fold it over sign it and add postage. They just don't charge you any more money.
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