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Old 13-07-2003, 18:15   #1
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Foreign Boat Purchase

I am a U.S. cit. negotiating on a boat that is Registered in Denmark and lying in Malaysia. I am wondering if anyone a has bought a boat oversea (or has knowledge of such) and can give me advice.

Am I likely to have difficulties with ownership transfer? Or trouble cruising on a boat registered in Malaysia?

I expect this happens all the time but I was warned by some local cruisers-

John
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Old 13-07-2003, 23:36   #2
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I had looked at buying a boat in South Africa and importing it into the states either by ship or on its own bottom. There were a lot of issues involving properly paying duties and import fees as well as the paperwork (some items are considered part of the vessel but some needed to be declared and taxed separately).

We had considered initially registering the boat in either the US or SA and found problems with both approaches. If I registered the boat in SA I had to pay SA sales tax which was 7% if I remember right. If I didn't register the boat in SA I had something like 30 days to get the boat out of SA before I owed the tax, again, not very likely to be avoided.

All told if I did the deal where the boat was sailed up on her bottom the combined taxes and registration fees came to something like 23%. When the taxes were combined with the cost of shipping or delivery, and inspecting and surveying the boat from long distance, it made the boat a pretty poor deal even though it was roughly 30% below US market value.

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Old 14-07-2003, 12:28   #3
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Foreign boats

My boat was bought from South African owners who had already paid the import duty (1.5% I think) into the US. The sale was no problem, but to get the boat US documented, the USCG insisted that the SA gov't release the boat from their documentation before they would do it. If you do buy, make sure beforehand that you are able to get the necessary paperwork from the foreign gov't.
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Old 14-07-2003, 19:22   #4
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Thanks for the input!

Who would I contact in the States regarding the import duties and registration of the foreign purchased boat?
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Old 15-07-2003, 12:52   #5
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Duty and registration

I believe duty is US customs, and documention is USCG vessel documentation (800 799-8362)
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Old 20-01-2009, 17:41   #6
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Multiple Country Boat Purchase

Hello All,

I'm an American living in Thailand. I've been looking for boats in the Asia Pacific region, and I've found a few that may be within my range.
The problem I'm having is that I'm not sure what paperwork is going to be required for me to be able to take possesion and sail internationally.

Here's a quick example. I'm looking at a boat from Australia that is for sale in Thailand. I don't intend to take it back to the US for quite a few years. What is the most cost effective way to take legal possesion? I can take possesion in Langkawi(duty free port) if that makes a difference.

Thanks,

Jerry
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Old 20-01-2009, 19:29   #7
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You need to have the title recorded so you can prove ownership. That would be the one problem that crosses all borders. You need to find out who is going to take your title. For the most part if you are planning on taking it back to the US you should go that route now. You can document the boat if you have a a US address and are a citizen.

If another country will let you title the boat there then you could transfer it as required later. Where it's titled now needs to be released or you don't own the boat! Then you need to title it in your name. Once you have done that you can deal with taxes. Taxes may be more where you are and have little to do with where you are a citizen or resident. The two are different. Proving title should be number 1 issue and taxes number 2.

Taking possession means almost nothing. Proving title is mostly everything. A bill of sale may help you record the title but it is not good enough all by itself. Don't begin the transaction until you have an end game. Once the title is recorded you could resell the boat and never take it back to the US and never owe US taxes. Other taxes are a different matter.
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Old 21-01-2009, 04:04   #8
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I bought my boat in Spain, and it had UK registration --VAT paid. All I needed was for the prior owners to delist it in the UK and give me a bill of sale. I recommend using the USCG form for the bill of sale. Then fill out CG 1258 and send it with the bill of sale and delisting document to the US government along with your check. There is an $8.00 fee for recording the bill of sale along with the documentation fee.

It is very simple and you should get the paperwork back in less than 2 months. In the meantime a copy of the CG 1258 will allow you to sail. There will be no taxes due until you bring the boat into the USA.
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Old 21-01-2009, 05:42   #9
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Thanks Guys,

This helps a lot. Joining this group has already made it worth the price of admission. You wouldn't believe some of the solutions I've heard just talking to people on the docks. More than likely, I'll end up going through a broker, but just in case I end up buying from a private party I just want to make sure I have all of my ducks in a row. I do like the idea of avoiding sales taxes if I don't take it into the states. Now I just have to find out if I have to pay a tax here in Thailand, or if it is beneficial to take the boat down to tax free Langkawi to take care of the paper work.

Thanks again guys,

Jerry
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Old 21-01-2009, 11:42   #10
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John,

I bought a French registered boat in Thailand which would be similar to your situation. The biggest stumbling block I encountered was that I had to secure a release from French customs before I could register it in another county. This took 3 months and a lot of effort by the PO. I felt pretty helpless during this time as the process was out of my control. Once I obtained the release I documented the boat through the USCG. This was made more difficult as I had to have all documents translated by an official translator before the CG would accept them. All in the process took 5 months. If I were to do it again I would stipulate the customs release as part of the purchase contract.

Jerry,

You would have to pay 7% VAT if you buy a boat in Thailand. Most people take delivery in Langkawi, as you mention, to avoid this.

Mike
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Old 21-01-2009, 14:45   #11
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:54   #12
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what about a boat built in Peru and then registered in Venezuela. Peru has a free trade agreement with the US. Can I register it in both places (US and Venezuela) at once as long as its the same owner?
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Old 20-04-2009, 06:20   #13
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Quote:
Can I register it in both places (US and Venezuela) at once as long as its the same owner?
Dual registrations are not allowed. With a few exceptions you can only register where you are a citizen. You could have dual US and Venezula citizenship but not the boat. To US Document you will need a US mailing address. A FL mail drop works for that.
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Old 20-04-2009, 07:15   #14
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:03   #15
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Re: Foreign Boat Purchase

I have a boat Im considering buying out of Guadeloupe (FR) in the Caribbean. Its a perfect vessel. We are intending to then sail for 1-2 years.
Is it best to keep i registered in FR and then deal with the documentation on final return to the USA? What is the best thing to do?
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