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Old 30-03-2013, 06:06   #1
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foreign registration concerns

I am considering buying a foreign boat, previous owner(7 years) from U.K., boat registered in U.K., present owner(13 years) is norwegian, vessel lying Grenada, I am canadian, I haven't asked any other questions, yet, other than there is no sales tax or vat on the transaction, I believe some canadian tax will apply, if I ever bring it home, but I don't want to get hung up, clearing in and out, and I know nothing, does anyone know if the current owner has to register the vessel in his name before he transfers to me and where do I check for clean title, any assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated. thank you
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Old 30-03-2013, 16:55   #2
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Re: foreign registration concerns

I don't know about the Canadian end of things but if you want to check on the title it will depend on which type of registration the yacht has. UK registration can be one of two types: Part 1 and Part 3. The certificate will state which version it is referring to. Part 3 is a simple form of registry and is not proof of ownership or mortgage and is of little use to you in checking title. Part 1 however does give proof of ownership and whether any mortgages or charges have been registered against the ship. You can check at the UK Ship Registry Telephone: +44 2920 448 800 Fax: +44 2920 448 820 and ask for a "Transcript of Registry" which will list all previous owners amongst other things. I'm not sure if you can do that by e-mail but try rss@mcga.gov.uk

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Old 30-03-2013, 17:00   #3
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Re: foreign registration concerns

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does anyone know if the current owner has to register the vessel in his name before he transfers to me and where do I check for clean title
That statement is a red flag to me. Are you saying the boat is currently not registered and the person selling it to you can't show you his papers proving it?
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Old 30-03-2013, 17:09   #4
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Re: foreign registration concerns

You will also need to check how long boat was registered for in Grenada and if any fees or fines are due Grenada upon exit, if boat has surpassed it's time limit.
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:50   #5
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Re: foreign registration concerns

No problem a Norwegian owning a yacht registered in the UK. He should also be a UK resident to qualify for UK reg, but many "get away with" simply having a UK address - but sounds like he didn't carry on with the UK registration (or anywhere else?!).

Part 1 registered is better than Part 3, but neither is 100% definative proof of ownership (they are not US style "title"). Ownership is transfered simply by Bill of Sale, which are of course not registered anywhere. Also no requirement for liens on boats to be registered (part 3 has no capacity to register, part 1 has - but no requirement for a lender to use it!, albeit my understanding is that if they do not it can affect their ability to enforce a loan - not always, but sometimes)....what happens is that a Vendor declares in the Bill of Sale that the boat is sold free of all "Liens & Encumberances", and if that turns out to be untrue then you get to hope that the Vendor still has some cash! In practice with UK boats not a biggie as commercial lenders would require a boat on part 1 with their loan registered and mechanics liens etc are not commonly secured on boats (as appears the norm in the US).

If the Norwegian has not transfered the UK registration into own name after 13 years then it will have lapsed on both Part 1 and Part 3 so the boat is unregistered in the UK (and no requirement for a UK boat to be registered - although whether it is still considered a UK boat if the Norwegian is not (never was?) a UK resident and the boat has long since left UK waters is a good question!......would be interesting to know how the boat has moved between countries over the years, if it has?!).

Even unregistered the Norwegian still owns the boat of course!, his proof is the bill of sale from the previous owner. For the Part 1 register it is possible to "re-activate" the registration after it has lapsed (but need the current and the new owner to qualify for UK reg by being residents)....how long after it lapsed you can do that I am not sure - will need to check.

Not familiar with Canadian Reg requirements, but I would expect that they require evidence that the boat is not on any other register - lapsed should count! (and should be easy to prove)as well as not being on any register!....will also likely need Bills of Sale back to the last owner who was registered somewhere (and proof of that - transcript or old / expired reg document), in an ideal world also back through all the owners to new - but with older boats those tend to go walkabout.

If the Vendor has the Bill of Sale into his name from 13 years ago (plus details of the UK reg INO the PO - now expired) then you should have enough to work with - and IMO after 13 years a pretty good chance that it is his boat (the PO probably would have challenged ownership by now, so odds are strong that the Bill of Sale is good), although of course he could have sold it 5 times already last week!, but with a Bill of Sale in your name, a valid (canadian) reg in the post and possession of the boat (being 9/10ths of the law!) then you sound good to buy.

Obviously you do need to check that the above info is good! and exactly what paperwork the Vendor has - a simple receipt on the back of a fag packet from the PO is not a Bill of Sale!, albeit it could be worked with........
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Old 30-03-2013, 19:07   #6
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Re: foreign registration concerns

If you want to register the boat in Canada and if its still registered in the UK then you can do a title search to check for liens. If you purchase the boat do so under the condition that the owner will de-register the boat in Britain. You'll need an original Bill of Sale as well as the British de-registration before you can register it in Canada. There is no tax unless/until you bring the boat into Canada. You can sell it along the way years from now and you'll never pay tax. Canadian registration takes about 2-3 weeks and you can go on their website and get all the forms you need. You'll also require 4 pictures of the boat. One from each side,one from the stern and one from deck level taken from the stern showing the deck right to the bow. Cheers
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Old 30-03-2013, 19:08   #7
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Re: foreign registration concerns

We brought a boat to British Columbia from the states and had to pay PST and GST. Since it was built in the US, we did not have to pay duty but boat built outside of North America (NAFTA) may require duty be paid.
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Old 31-03-2013, 06:30   #8
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Re: foreign registration concerns

Wow! Am I ever glsd that I found this site and you people! Thank-you everyone for everything!
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Old 31-03-2013, 07:05   #9
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Re: foreign registration concerns

Something doesn't smell right to me about this. How could he have kept the boat in the Caribbean all that time without a registration document? In my experience that is the first thing looked at, and most scrutinized by officials when you enter a new country. Has the boat never left Grenada in all this time? Stranger things have happened, but proceed carefully. I am not familiar with Canadian registration issues, but in order for you to proceed to other countries you will certainly have to have a clear registration or documentation from some place in your name. Good luck.
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