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Old 08-04-2011, 23:20   #61
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

I was discussing simular on another forum. The U.S is pretty over regulated when it comes to boating. Especially when it comes to foreigners.

USCG states:
Quote:
An undocumented pleasure vessel owned by a resident alien in the United States, whether state registered or not, is for Customs purposes considered an undocumented foreign vessel; and is not exempt from entry and clearance within the meaning of the provisions in 19 U.S.C. 1441(3) and 46 U.S.C. App. 91.
19 U.S.C. 1433 in part states:
Quote:
(a) Vessel arrival (1) Immediately upon the arrival at any port or place within the United States or the Virgin Islands of - (A) any vessel from a foreign port or place; (B) any foreign vessel from a domestic port; (C) any vessel of the United States carrying foreign merchandise for which entry has not been made; or (D) any vessel which has visited a hovering vessel or received merchandise while outside the territorial sea; the master of the vessel shall report the arrival at the nearest customs facility or such other place as the Secretary may prescribe by regulations. (2)
In English: I'm a Canadian that owns a vacation home in Washington State. I own a boat registered and purchased in WA. If I go from Point Roberts, WA to Blaine, WA. I'm supposed to report outbound and arrival to customs.

Some jurisdiction are more relaxed, others well they can follow the rules and regulations, federal statutes, overboard annoyingly. By leaving the U.S with a state registered boat, its just not the foreign port hassles, can become a huge hassle with Home Land Security.
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Old 09-04-2011, 00:07   #62
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Originally Posted by zudnic View Post
I was discussing simular on another forum. The U.S is pretty over regulated when it comes to boating. Especially when it comes to foreigners.

USCG states:

19 U.S.C. 1433 in part states:

In English: I'm a Canadian that owns a vacation home in Washington State. I own a boat registered and purchased in WA. If I go from Point Roberts, WA to Blaine, WA. I'm supposed to report outbound and arrival to customs.

Some jurisdiction are more relaxed, others well they can follow the rules and regulations, federal statutes, overboard annoyingly. By leaving the U.S with a state registered boat, its just not the foreign port hassles, can become a huge hassle with Home Land Security.
Forgot the homeland security hassle--you as a non U.S citizen are supposed to report at every new port you arrive at. Even if inside the United States and you never left the country. This does not apply on state lakes or bodies of water that don't flow outside of the United States.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:42   #63
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

Zudnic is correct... I skippered a good size power boat for a non-US citizen after removing it from USCG documentation and registering it in the Cayman Islands. We had to have the boat out of country every year for 2 weeks before returning, clearing in and requesting an annual cruising permit. Theoretically, every time we moved the boat from its marina in Southern CA, we were required to report in to the new Port Authority. In reality, because we cruised a fair bit up and down the west coast, I would call the local Customs and Immigration office either by cell phone or ship to shore and let them know the country of vessel registration, How many aboard and their citizenship, where we coming from, how long we were staying and where we were moored or anchored. Not dissimilar to filing a flight plan. Only twice in several years were we visited by C & I Officers, both times without incident.
Failure to follow these rules could lead to siezure of the vessel, deportation of the non-US citizens and loss of my license as well as a hefty fine.
I got to know the C & I folks at the major ports pretty well even though only met a couple of them in person. They all were polite, accommodating but expected the regulations to be followed.
I never heard of the outcome of any foreign flag vessel that didn't follow these procedures but didn't want to risk finding out. Capt Phil
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:49   #64
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

Back to the OP, I would say register the boat in a state that issues a nice big title certificate with all the curlicues and state stamps etc., as most of the officials I have encountered seemed mostly to be concerned with the ownership of the boat. I think if you can produce enough official looking documentation as to the fact that you own the boat and where it is from you will be fine in most countries. As I've said elsewhere in this thread, I had some friends who basically circled the Atlantic, covered most of the Caribbean, and did a lot of South America with nothing but a New Jersey registration and numbers on the bow. I believe they said the only place they were hassled was on one of the French Caribbean islands.
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Old 09-04-2011, 13:17   #65
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Back to the OP, I would say register the boat in a state that issues a nice big title certificate with all the curlicues and state stamps etc., as most of the officials I have encountered seemed mostly to be concerned with the ownership of the boat. I think if you can produce enough official looking documentation as to the fact that you own the boat and where it is from you will be fine in most countries. As I've said elsewhere in this thread, I had some friends who basically circled the Atlantic, covered most of the Caribbean, and did a lot of South America with nothing but a New Jersey registration and numbers on the bow. I believe they said the only place they were hassled was on one of the French Caribbean islands.
Sure many people have cruised without incidence around the world on state registration.

But OP cannot license under the United States because they are not an American citizen. As such the potential hassle even cruising inside United States jurisdiction could be a real hassle.

When law enforcement and immigration is involved things can get very complex fast.
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Old 09-04-2011, 16:30   #66
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Sure many people have cruised without incidence around the world on state registration.

But OP cannot license under the United States because they are not an American citizen. As such the potential hassle even cruising inside United States jurisdiction could be a real hassle.

When law enforcement and immigration is involved things can get very complex fast.
The OP's boat is state registered (DE), why is cruising inside the USA a hassle?
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Old 09-04-2011, 17:44   #67
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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The OP's boat is state registered (DE), why is cruising inside the USA a hassle?
Federal law makes even state registered owned boats by non citizens foreign vessels. All foreign vessels need to report arrival when they arrive at a new port inside the US. Say an American has his boat state registered and also foreign documented for a flag of convience. That boat can't be US Coast Guard documented. It would also need to report movement between ports within the US, as well. Its considered a foreign vessel regardless if an American citizen owns it or not!

DE registered does not matter. OP stated they are a non citizen and therefore can't document with the coast guard. So the vessel is always a foreign vessel.

So OP comes back from a foreign country with their state registered boat. They need to clear customs. What happens if they ask about your home port and start checking if he's followed the law? Big fines and even boat seizure is a possible outcome. Not to mention his non citizen status could result in immigration hassles. He can be denied entry if not on a green card.

Even with a green card there is NO GUARANTEE that the U.S. immigration inspector will not exclude you from the U.S. and take actions to take away that green card!!!!!!!!

A favorite of immigration officers that think your pulling fast ones or breaking the laws of the United States. ANYTIME a green card holder leaves the U.S., that person is subject to being accused by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.) of having abandoned the intention of living in the U.S!!!!!
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Old 09-04-2011, 18:14   #68
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Originally Posted by zudnic View Post
Federal law makes even state registered owned boats by non citizens foreign vessels. All foreign vessels need to report arrival when they arrive at a new port inside the US. Say an American has his boat state registered and also foreign documented for a flag of convience. That boat can't be US Coast Guard documented. It would also need to report movement between ports within the US, as well. Its considered a foreign vessel regardless if an American citizen owns it or not!

DE registered does not matter. OP stated they are a non citizen and therefore can't document with the coast guard. So the vessel is always a foreign vessel.

So OP comes back from a foreign country with their state registered boat. They need to clear customs. What happens if they ask about your home port and start checking if he's followed the law? Big fines and even boat seizure is a possible outcome. Not to mention his non citizen status could result in immigration hassles. He can be denied entry if not on a green card.

Even with a green card there is NO GUARANTEE that the U.S. immigration inspector will not exclude you from the U.S. and take actions to take away that green card!!!!!!!!

A favorite of immigration officers that think your pulling fast ones or breaking the laws of the United States. ANYTIME a green card holder leaves the U.S., that person is subject to being accused by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.) of having abandoned the intention of living in the U.S!!!!!
OK, so if a boat operated by a foreigner is considered a foreign vessel regardless whether it's US-state registered or not, why wouldn't the best option to be foreign flag it and request the CBP annual cruising permit? Then cruising outside the USA is universally accepted (which is the OP #1 question).
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Old 09-04-2011, 18:27   #69
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

I don't think the question was about cruising in the U.S.A., it was about cruising around the world outside the U.S.A. There is no law that I know of in most states that says you can't state register a boat--tons of Canadians do this in the U.S.A. For that matter, where is it stated that a state-registered boat can't cruise freely in the U.S.A. if it is owned by a foreign person? Again, I believe tons of Canadians do this all the time. They have a winter place in Florida, register the boat there, and use it freely on its Florida registration. "Foreign-flagged" boats are the ones that need to report in at every port. In any case, once he or she leaves the U.S.A. I suspect the state registration will be fine in most countries, but I don't know that for a fact.
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Old 09-04-2011, 18:45   #70
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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I don't think the question was about cruising in the U.S.A., it was about cruising around the world outside the U.S.A. There is no law that I know of in most states that says you can't state register a boat--tons of Canadians do this in the U.S.A. For that matter, where is it stated that a state-registered boat can't cruise freely in the U.S.A. if it is owned by a foreign person? Again, I believe tons of Canadians do this all the time. They have a winter place in Florida, register the boat there, and use it freely on its Florida registration. "Foreign-flagged" boats are the ones that need to report in at every port. In any case, once he or she leaves the U.S.A. I suspect the state registration will be fine in most countries, but I don't know that for a fact.
Post #61 in this thread states that a vessel operated by a foreigner, regardless of it's registration, is considered a foreign vessel and must report at every port visited, even if the last port was domestic.

Apparently, only US citizens are afforded unrestricted movement of vessels within the US waters.
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Old 09-04-2011, 18:53   #71
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Post #61 in this thread states that a vessel operated by a foreigner, regardless of it's registration, is considered a foreign vessel and must report at every port visited, even if the last port was domestic.
Thanks, I missed that earlier. Apparently that law is not very heavily enforced, at least here on the East Coast, as I know foreign citizens who travel up and down the coast without ever reporting in and out of each port. In any case, would this stop a Canadian heading off around the world with just a U.S.A. state-registered boat?
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Old 09-04-2011, 19:17   #72
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Post #61 in this thread states that a vessel operated by a foreigner, regardless of it's registration, is considered a foreign vessel and must report at every port visited, even if the last port was domestic.

Apparently, only US citizens are afforded unrestricted movement of vessels within the US waters.
Well, that statement is wrong. First there's the operator and/or owner issue. These can be different. If a foreigner wants to buy and keep a US flagged boat in the US, he will need to erect a Delaware company as registered owner of the boat, which can then register the boat with the USCG. At that point the boat is US flagged and never considered a foreign vessel in the US. But any foreigners aboard must still report to immigration of course.

What Capt. Phil describes is as easy but it requires the boat leaving the US for 2 weeks a year. Which by the way is not needed for boats that were build in the USA. They can renew their yearly cruising permit indefinitely.

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Old 09-04-2011, 20:09   #73
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

The OP's issue of a non-US citizen registering a vessel in a US State really begs the question 'why would that be preferable than registering it in a Canadian Province'? Particularly if he is cruising primarily in US waters, it would seem to me that he is risking getting crossways with either Homeland Security, Customs and Immigration or the USCG
. I checked out how to go about removing the vessel from USCG documentation when my non-US citizen client wanted to purchase the boat in Mexico. I was advised by a US marine title attorney to handle the issues as I've laid out previously.
We did it by the book and had no problems except a little inconvenience of the check in procedures moving from point to point while in US waters. This procedure is not materially different than the Mexican Government requiring Zarpe's and Dispatcho's when moving from one Port Captain's jurisdiction to another or when leaving the country.
As a US citizen and licensed skipper, it made movement of a non-US flagged vessel fairly easy in the US whether the owner was aboard or not.
Nick above has it correct IMO. If you start playing games remember that the rules were made by some pretty smart and perhaps paranoid folks... to try and circumvent them invites a rather messy outcome. Capt Phil
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Old 09-04-2011, 20:15   #74
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

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Well, that statement is wrong. First there's the operator and/or owner issue. These can be different. If a foreigner wants to buy and keep a US flagged boat in the US, he will need to erect a Delaware company as registered owner of the boat, which can then register the boat with the USCG. At that point the boat is US flagged and never considered a foreign vessel in the US. But any foreigners aboard must still report to immigration of course.

What Capt. Phil describes is as easy but it requires the boat leaving the US for 2 weeks a year. Which by the way is not needed for boats that were build in the USA. They can renew their yearly cruising permit indefinitely.

ciao!
Nick.
True for a US citizen or legal resident. The problem is you can't charter or sell while in the U.S. Hence the not for sale or charter in U.S waters. The authorities can be leary of "rich" American boaters having a flag of convience. The authorities start looking for chartering activity and even tax evasion, etcetera. Commercial activity can void the cruising license and hefty penalties exist if they can prove it. Even if you only pleasure use it would be a major hassle if they investigated and you needed to prove your innocence!

A Deleware corporation alone doesn't make it legal. Company needs to be owned 51% by an American citizen. No need for the veil. If no wife that is a citizen or someone else trusted can't be done. Its pretty risky giving someone half a major asset just to document. Easier to do things legally instead of hiding.

Besides if the federal government can prove fraud or criminal activity as the reason to have a Deleware corporation. The secrecy veil can easily be pierced. If a foreigner is sole owner--good buy green card or other immigration benefit--hello huge fines, possible jail time violating immigration laws, ban from United States entry and seizure of the boat.
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Old 09-04-2011, 20:45   #75
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Re: Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

A not purely hypothetical situation ...

Husband and wife own the boat jointly.

Husband and wife chose to register boat in husband's homeland. He is a LPR, "leper", Legal Permanent Resident of the US and she is a citizen.

Can the wife/co-owner or the husband/co-owner take the boat under foreign flag anywhere in the US or would she/he have to enter and exit each jurisdiction separately ?

I gather that the US made (beautiful) boat would qualify for an indefinite cruising permit based upon the above.

Probably time to get a lawyer


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