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Old 22-07-2014, 12:05   #1
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Foreigner Buying a Sailboat

Hi fellows
Being a foreigner (Brazilian) I intend to buy a boat in Miami to sail in the Caribbean for 2 years.
After that I'll return to Florida and sell the boat.
What are the minimun legal requirements to do that?
specifically;
1-bill of sale?
2-Titled in my name?
3-Registered with USCG?
4-Minimun liability insurance?
5-Am I permitted to skipper a US flagged sailboat?

Let me emphasize I'm willing to pay a bit more in taxes and fees in order to avoid burdensome bureoctratic processes
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Old 22-07-2014, 15:16   #2
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Hi
You should get a bill of sale or some document that shows the seller is the rightfull owner.
You can buy a USA boat but cannot register it with the USCG unless you are a US citizen.Can register it in Delaware. Delaware Boat Registration Information
I paid no taxes when I bought mine...however I did it in the virgin Islands.
Good luck!
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Old 22-07-2014, 20:49   #3
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Delaware is pretty easy but the link omits to state that they will ask for the boat registration certificate and it must be original. Not a copy.


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Old 22-07-2014, 21:11   #4
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

There are other places to register a boat in Delaware... Google it and will find many. Here are a few
Yacht and Delaware Registry, Ltd - Delaware Incorporation Services - Delaware LLC and General Incorporation - 1 302 477 9800 Wilmington, DE USA | company formation corporation boat incorporate
Home | boat-registration.us | boat-registration.us
Delaware Boat Registration Service
Yacht registration Delaware/U.S.A.

Yes, you can skipper a US registered boat but I don't think you can a USCG registered boat... what I know is that if you are not a US citizen you cannot register your boat with the USCG

Good luck!
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Old 22-07-2014, 21:32   #5
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

delaware is often used to save tax.my understanding is that a delaware LLC{corp.} is same as US person as far as USCG is concerned so a non-US citizen puts the boat into a delaware LLC{company} so-as to get USCG registry and less-expensive insurance.this can also be done with other state LLCs like NV and most likely FLA.seem to recall that NV and delaware have lowest or no tax but havent read the latest laws recently.am sure the LLC process still works for floating assets like boats if USCG registration is your goal. later
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Old 22-07-2014, 21:33   #6
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

To Arrive in the USA on a sailboat you MUST have a B1 B2 visa. It is recommended to have this before you check out of the USA just in case you need to return for whatever reason.
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Old 22-07-2014, 21:50   #7
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexdon View Post
To Arrive in the USA on a sailboat you MUST have a B1 B2 visa. It is recommended to have this before you check out of the USA just in case you need to return for whatever reason.
i havent bothered clearing a boat into USA since9/11 and ICE and all that homeland security stuff started. would not surprize me if i entered and had to give a piss-test nowadays and if i wore a turban every securitycamera would be watching me.ha-ha.be careful going around that USA if you havent done your homework in advance is my advice.people are getting black-listed in that new "homeland security database" everyday for laughable minor infractions. they gotta justify all those new people on the pad so expect to get the soap if you show up dirty .USCG regristration usually saves alot of hassle for non-usa skippers. and you dont need a USCG{6-pack license} yet as far as i know.however the USCG license can lower your insurance costs.later
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Old 23-07-2014, 14:06   #8
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Let me emphasize I'm willing to pay a bit more in taxes and fees in order to avoid burdensome bureoctratic processes[/QUOTE]

Is that not called a bribe?

The info I managed to gather by searching is that only a US citizen can register with USCG. If you, as a foreigner, want to sail the boat in international waters then you will have to register (flag) the boat with another country.
You can however get a state registration and use the boat in US waters. You will need to use a local address and apply for a cruising permit for this.
Why not just register in Brazil?
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Old 23-07-2014, 15:05   #9
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Thanks a lot fellows!!!!

First of all, I don’t want to break the rules

Just to clarify my questions and ask for more details

1-I have B1/B2 visa and I’ll go to US by plane. I often go to US for business and I’m updated about security arrival procedures. I think If I announce the authorities my plan of to buy/rent a boat and have vacations in the Caribbean I shouldn’t have problems (I hope!)

2-Your answers are clear: I need a bill of sale and I won’t be permited register the boat in the USCG

3- Threee more question:
- Delawere registration is a “MUST”? may I skip this process?
- Of course I’ll sail in international waters (Carib) with a US flag vessel, are you sure I need to reflag in another country?
- Do I need a US cruising permit? …Brazilian cruising permit is not valid?


Because brazilian import rules that protect local production is difficult to register it here
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Old 23-07-2014, 18:58   #10
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

3- Threee more question:
- Delawere registration is a “MUST”? may I skip this process?
- Of course I’ll sail in international waters (Carib) with a US flag vessel, are you sure I need to reflag in another country?
- Do I need a US cruising permit? …Brazilian cruising permit is not valid?

You can register the boat in Delaware, Florida or any other state as long as you have an address there...the organizations in Delaware that register boats also provide the address. Also, you can register the boat in the UK and do it online..but need some one there with an address who can receive the paperwork. The bottom line is that you need to register the boat somewhere. I had mine registered in Colorado for many years and sailed abroad since the boat was not in the USA and never had any problems. Sailed from Mexico to Canada via offshore and down along the USA with a Colorado registration without any problems. There are no cruising permits in the USA. Buy your boat, register it somewhere and go sailing. Returning to the USA to sell it maybe a bit more difficult than you think since there are so many boats available so you may re-think it and sell it where you happen to be without bothering returning to the USA.

Registering your pleasure craft | nidirect
Good luck!
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Old 23-07-2014, 19:04   #11
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Another interesting thread...

I've never really got my head around registering and/or flagging vessels.
Im a Kiwi planning to buy a boat in the states and take a year off to sail the pacific and end up back in NZ or Aus where I will probably sell it.

By default, being a NZ citizen, I guess I would register a new boat in NZ.
Why would I create an entity and register in Delaware?

I've had a quick look, and the registration oufits say that the number 1 reason is that I could have the 'prestigious American banner'.

There are some potential tax advantages if I were an American and/or reselling in America, but that would seem to be about it.
I dont 'get' the insurance angle, but i suspect that is also an american citizen thing.
I dont 'get' USCG registration, but again, that seems to be an american citizen thing.


I look forward to being enlightened!
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Old 23-07-2014, 21:14   #12
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Hi adgarcia,

I think you are getting some answers that are not clear, not complete or not totally correct. I used to be a yacht broker in the US and sometime dealt with foreign clients so maybe I can help.

As you can see, registering a boat in the US can be a bit confusing so let me break down the process into several steps.

First there are two completely different ways to register a boat in the USA. One is a federal government process through the the US Coast Guard and is correctly called "Documenting" or "Documentation". A non US citizen cannot document a boat in their name. What people are suggesting about Delaware is to form a US corporation that is controlled by you and register the boat in the name of the US corporation. This is a common practice in Delaware and you should be able to find a company that specializes in this practice to help you with the paperwork. It will cost but should not be extremely expensive. I have never done this myself since I am a US citizen but I think should not cost more that USD $2.000,00-4.000,00, I could be wrong on this so you should check.

If you can follow this method it is the best way as the documentation not only covers the "registration" of your boat but the documents from the USCG are also the official boat documents, ownership and show free and clear title. This could make it easier to transfer title if you want to resell the boat in the USA.

If this proves to be to difficult or expensive there is an easier and cheaper way. A non US citizen can register a boat in a separate state in the US like New York or Florida. This is very easy and very inexpensive. In Florida only a few hundred dollars maximum. However, be careful you may become liable to pay a state tax in addition to the registration fee and this will be about 6% of the price of the boat. For a non US citizen the tax may not be required but to be honest this is a point I am not certain about. If you are interested in this process I can contact the Florida tax office to ask for clarification.

There is a possible negative to state registration instead of USCG Documentation. The state registration is not quite as "official". as USCoastGuard Documentation. I have heard comments that some countries may not like the state forms when you come to clear customs. I have no proof of this and have traveled many times to the Bahamas with state registration only. However, other countries further away from the US may not be as familiar with all forms of registration in the US.

Hope this is helpful.

Regards
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Old 23-07-2014, 21:21   #13
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

There are enough of these titling boats threads that I got too curious this morning and decided to look around the internet. After visiting Noonsite, Dept. of Hoomeland Security, State of Florida and State of Delaware here is what I think I am learning although it is still not comprehensive.

Registration - This is "primarily" a States "claim" to the boat for property and sales tax purposes. Unlike most countries that have a national registry each state can lay claim to a boat. Florida says if the boat is there 90 days you must register. Delaware says 60 days (See paste below) - Each state has different rules. This is a tax issue predominantly so it is advantageous to find the right tax treatment while being compliant. To further confuse things in Florida they register boats by county! And the counties may claim tax jurisdiction. In my opinion registration does not "qualify" a boat to fly a "US flag" - Know whether the country you intend to go will recognize registration or "title" for entry purposes.

Title - Not all states may offer this but "Title" is about ownership - The Florida DMV (department of Motor Vehicles) will issue titles in Florida Unless the boat is a documented vessel - Delaware does not appear to Title boats. Proof of ownership is probably through keeping a "Bill of Sale" - or some legal proof - Delaware will require Bill of Sale so maybe once they are done with registration they consider that also to be "titled"

USCG Documentation - Boats over 5 tons may be documented - 5 tons is based on interior volume not weight and equates to about 25 feet. US citizens and permanent residents may document boats. Corporations may document boats but those corporations must have US citizens in the top two positions and must be majority owned by US citizens. My opinion is this is the only recognized way to be a US flag carrier for a boat Yes titled and registered vessels from Florida probably have a flag hanging off the stern but unless "documented" I don't think it is official. It does not matter in the US. And depending on where you travel to may be a technicality or a problem. I would investigate the countries I plan to visit. Spend 5 minutes reading this and dispell all the myths for yourself - USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Fee Page

This post is already too long so I will cover immigration in another post...

Quote:
"Frequently Asked Questions on Boat Registrations

Question: Do I have to register my vessel?
Answer: Delaware law requires the registration of all motorboats, including those powered by electric motors.

Q. What is meant by the "State of Principal Use?"
A. Your vessel must be registered in its “State of Principal Use.” “State of Principal Use” means a state on whose waters a vessel is used or to be used most during a calendar year. Delaware regulations state that if the vessel is to be used, docked, or stowed on the waters of this State for over 60 consecutive days, Delaware is its “State of Principal Use.”

Q. Why should I register my vessel?
A. Registration numbers provide identification for the return of stolen or found boats. Registration also helps locating persons involved in boating accidents, identifying vessels requesting assistance, and helps identify vessels violating the law. Registration fees are used to fund resource protection, educational programs, access areas and their maintenance, and fund safety patrols.

Q. Where can I register a vessel?
A. Your vessel may be registered by completing a Boat Registration Application and returning it by mail to Division of Fish and Wildlife Office of Boat Registration 89 Kings Highway Dover, DE 19901. You may visit one of these Private Agent Locations. You may also visit the State Office at the address above.

• If you are renewing an existing registration or requesting an address change you may do so online at Delaware eGov.

Q. What forms do I need?
A. A Boat Registration Application must be completed. If the boat is titled in another state the original title must be submitted and will be kept. If the boat comes from a registering state then the registration is required with a notarized bill of sale. If the boat is new, the manufacturer’s original certificate of origin (MCO) must be submitted. All paperwork must include the vessel hull identification number. If the boat is currently registered in Delaware, the old registration card is required with a notarized Bill of Sale including a description of the boat. A notarized Bill of Sale is not needed if both buyer and seller appear in person with picture IDs.
Quote:
Procedures for Delaware Residents for Vehicle Titling
Delaware law requires the following vehicles to be titled in Delaware prior to the vehicle being registered to operate on Delaware highways: All motor vehicles, truck tractors, trailers, motorcycles, mopeds, mobile homes and house trailers. Off-highway vehicles and all-terrain vehicles are required to be registered at the Division of Motor Vehicles but not titled. Boat registrations are handled by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control This link opens in a new window. Boat trailers must be titled and registered at the Division of Motor Vehicles. Snowmobiles are not required to be titled or registered
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Old 23-07-2014, 21:37   #14
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Immigration - Obviously it is a bit more complicated these days. Noonsite was a good overview but not all the detail - Department of Homeleand Security is the overall authority and through the Customs and Border Patrol execute the processes.

There are several accelerated programs. For US citizens, for Canadians and Mexicans (neighbors) & certain countries. The main program that I would investigate as a foreigner is NEXUS - which is a preregistration site. It gets everyone in the system. One still has to report on arrival and meet certain face-to-face requirements but it is a good start.

I did not find argument one way or another whether a foreign Master can bring a US registered or documented boat into the US - I would presume that it is OK simply because I have never heard of a problem here. Likewise I did not find a reference that stated a B1/B2 visa was required to bring a documented boat in. BTW B1/B2 is not permanent residency. It is a mulitple entry visitor visa that depending can give a person a longer period of stay than a visa on arrival or other short term/one time visa.

I did find one gov't web page that described the Mater's responsibility (under NEXUS) on arrival very clearly - I got distracted and lost the web page but it's out there.

This is what I learned in about an hour - took me longer to write these 2 posts.

Figure out who you're gonna believe and trust (I don't suggest you believe me at all) - these gov't websites are pretty easy to navigate and the DHS has phone numbers - I would definitely get my "understanding" together and then I would call them and lay out my plan and see what they say.

I would not totally trust the bureaucrat on the phone either - they get paid hourly like all of us. I would over communicate prior to and upon arrival and I of course would make sure all my crew had appropriate visas etc.

I did have a kerfuffle with US immigration once and the guy at the desk said - regardless of who issued a visa and what the traveler was told, he was the guy who decides entry or no entry. It's the way a messy system works.

I have pasted in some of the links I used in forming my opinion in case you want to try and follow the yellow brick road.

Peace out.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...tering-the-u.s.

Pleasure Boats and Private Flyers | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

yacht - Customs and Border Protection Search Results
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Old 23-07-2014, 21:55   #15
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Re: Foreigner buying a sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
... I have never done this myself since I am a US citizen but I think should not cost more that USD $2.000,00-4.000,00, I could be wrong on this so you should check.
I thought that was expensive, so I called Maritime New Zealand who informed me I'd be paying around either $3,700 USD or $700 USD to register directly with them - depending on the class (A or B) that I would register. (and without creating any entities, solicitors, and other such malarkey)
Part A which provides nationality, evidence of ownership and accommodates the registration of mortgages; and Part B, which provides nationality alone.
The OP is not a kiwi, so feel free to ignore my NZ Investigations. However given the thread title, its probably still interesting to some.

edit
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
BTW B1/B2 is not permanent residency. It is a mulitple entry visitor visa that depending can give a person a longer period of stay than a visa on arrival or other short term/one time visa.
I'm currently working through this and have an interview with the US Embassy next week.
One thing i've learned is that the B1/B2 is definitly required if you plan to buy a boat in the states. You're considered to be doing a business transaction of sorts, so you need the B1/B2 as opposed to just going in on a visitor visa, or a visa waiver (which I could otherwise do).

Getting your ducks in a row is particularly hard while they're still well 'n trully alive!
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