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Old 05-06-2009, 02:53   #1
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HK Reg Yacht Entering US

Hi,

We have a yacht coming in as cargo on board a large ship from the Philippines to West Palm Beach, Florida. From West Palm, we need to sail to Miami where the yacht will be docked. I have called the Customs and Border Protection Marine Section in Florida and I was told that we need to secure a cruising license to be able to travel from West Palm to Miami and eventually to other ports within U.S. waters and we are not to pay anything since the yacht is coming in as cargo. Please share information based on your experience. How long can we stay in the U.S. without having to make an exit considering that the yacht is registered in Hong Kong? Also, if there are any fees and taxes that we need to pay.

I am hoping I could get a document that clearly states the information that I have gathered as I wouldn't want to be blamed for any miscommunication as soon as the yacht is in the U.S. Things should be sorted out before yacht's departure on the 15th of June.

I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:17   #2
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A cruising permit is good for up to 12 months. The info below doesn't address the case in which a foreign-flagged yacht is initially arriving as cargo, but has some useful information. But, no matter what you read on the Internet, it would be prudent for you to contact CBP in West Palm Beach to get documented advice on how to proceed. The costs of a mistake can be very high.



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The master of a foreign-flag or undocumented foreign pleasure boat must report its arrival to US Customs immediately and must make formal vessel entry on a Customs Forms (CF) 1300 within 48 hours. In the absence of a cruising license, vessels in this category must obtain a permit before proceeding to each subsequent US port. Navigation fees will be charged for the formal entry, the permit to proceed, and for the clearance of foreign-flag pleasure boats. The master of every foreign-flagged vessel arriving in the US is required to make entry and the master must have a complete legible manifest consisting of CF 1300 through 1304 and a passenger list. Pleasure boats from foreign countries, without a valid US Cruising Permit, must obtain clearance before leaving a port or place in the US and proceeding to a foreign port or place or for another port or place in the US.
Cruising licenses exempt pleasure boats of certain countries from having to undergo formal entry and clearance procedures, such as filing manifests and obtaining permits, to proceed as well as from the payment of tonnage tax and entry and clearance fees at all but the first port of entry. These licenses can be obtained from the US Customs port director at the first port of arrival in the US. Normally valid for one year, a cruising license has no bearing on the dutiability of a pleasure boat. Under Customs policy, when a foreign flag vessel's cruising license expires, that vessel may not be issued another license until the following three conditions have been met: (1) the vessel leaves the US for a foreign port or place, and (2) it returns from that foreign port or place, and (3) at least 15 days have elapsed since the previous license expired. (Customs Directive 3100-06, November 7, 1988.)
source: US Customs arrival requirements on private yachts. US and foreign flag entry requirements

Another helpful source: Noonsite: Report Of New Reporting Requirements For Foreign Yachts Entering US

And another: ussuperyacht.com Guide to U. S. Entry
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Old 18-06-2009, 01:06   #3
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Hi Hud,

Thank you for your input and for the links. Things are a bit clearer now but I still don't have the documented advice. I already sent an email to CBP using their decal email address and I hope I will have the answers to all my questions soon, documented.

Thanks again,
Angeli
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Old 18-06-2009, 03:04   #4
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Note that the typical tourist visa is for a max of 6 months, so you have the odd situation of the boat being allowed in the country longer than the owner

No fees for getting the cruising permit last time I checked.
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Old 18-06-2009, 03:25   #5
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Thanks. The owner holds a different type of visa and can stay longer in the US for a year.
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Old 18-06-2009, 07:30   #6
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hey there Angeli,
once you have cleared immigration you will need to go to the local customs office and get a cruising permit. It is good for one year and is free of charge.
If you cruise the US you will need to check in with each different customs zone, the Customs office should give you a complete listing of all the customs offices in the USA with relevant phone numbers ( once you have the original permit, you can check in by phone to all the other offices).
In general I have found the customs officers to be very helpful
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Old 18-06-2009, 08:01   #7
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angeli,

The Homeland Security and Border Protection office at West Palm or Lake Worth, as most cruisers call it, is one of the better run offices I've been in. I'm sure if you call them they will give you all the information you need. This has been my experience when entering on my own hull. The rules for cargo will certainly be a bit different so your freight agent or customs broker might have better info.
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Old 25-06-2009, 13:58   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angeli View Post
Hi,

We have a yacht coming in as cargo on board a large ship from the Philippines to West Palm Beach, Florida. From West Palm, we need to sail to Miami where the yacht will be docked.
So ... you will sail the HK yacht from West Palm Beach, FL to Miami and maintain a permanent mooring/dock for it in the US?

What is the International Tonnage of the yacht?
Does it have any SOLAS documents aboard?
Will you be using it as a charter vessel?

These questions are important not for CBP but for the US Coast Guard. All foreign vessels arriving in the USCG Seventh District (FL is in the 7th District) are required to submit an Advance Notice of Arrival. SOLAS docs and charter info is a bigger deal ... if you plan to charter, PM me and I will discuss the requirements with you (I work for the USCG).

I have attached a CBP document lightly discussing cruising licenses ... here is a link to a CBP "Customs Directive" that my help:

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...t/3130-006.txt

Good luck.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CBPpleasureboats.pdf (53.6 KB, 242 views)
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Old 25-06-2009, 14:07   #9
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In May we obtained a US cruising certificate for our British registered sailboat in West Palm. The customs and immigration offices are right on the dock and in the same building, the officials were very friendly and helpful and the total cost was less than $25. They gave us a 12 month cruising certificate, which can be renewed yearly providing you leave US waters for 2 weeks, and we then sailed to Miami. They also knew about as much about the Coast Guard requirements as we did...nothing!

While I have great respect for the work done by the US Coastguard they are so busy chasing terrorists and drug runners they appear to have very little time to bother cruisers. In 10,000 miles in US waters all we every had was friendly waves and smiles. However, I was overflow 5 times by a CG helicopter when I had a crew of bikini clad blond women!

Phil
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Old 25-06-2009, 14:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christmasisland View Post
These questions are important not for CBP but for the US Coast Guard. All foreign vessels arriving in the USCG Seventh District (FL is in the 7th District) are required to submit an Advance Notice of Arrival.
.
Are you sure that this requirement pertains to pleasure craft??
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Old 25-06-2009, 16:01   #11
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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Are you sure that this requirement pertains to pleasure craft??
Yes, I'm sure.

It does pertain to all FOREIGN vessels (recreational or cargo) arriving in D7. There's a 300 ITC (GT) limit for other districts - it must be a foreign flagged vessel ... the requirements for US vessels to submit a Notice of Arrival are limited to commercial vessels. Follow this link (it opens a pdf file; pg. 2):

http://www.nvmc.uscg.gov/NVMC/Newsle...Newsletter.pdf

So in accordance with 33 CFR 160.203(b)(1) all foreign vessels in D7 must submit a Notice of Arrival (NOA) ... if the voyage is less than 24 hours the vessel must submit the NOA at least 24 hours before entering the port of arrival. An electronic NOA can be submitted here:

https://enoad.nvmc.uscg.gov/

The important part of the discussion should rest on the other three questions, they could cause problems with compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).
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Old 26-06-2009, 00:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christmasisland View Post
So ... you will sail the HK yacht from West Palm Beach, FL to Miami and maintain a permanent mooring/dock for it in the US?

What is the International Tonnage of the yacht?
Does it have any SOLAS documents aboard?
Will you be using it as a charter vessel?

These questions are important not for CBP but for the US Coast Guard. All foreign vessels arriving in the USCG Seventh District (FL is in the 7th District) are required to submit an Advance Notice of Arrival. SOLAS docs and charter info is a bigger deal ... if you plan to charter, PM me and I will discuss the requirements with you (I work for the USCG).

I have attached a CBP document lightly discussing cruising licenses ... here is a link to a CBP "Customs Directive" that my help:

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...t/3130-006.txt

Good luck.


The yacht will be coming in as cargo from the Philippines. What do you mean by SOLAS documents? The yacht will not be for charter and will be for the sole use of the owner. It will only be visiting the US.
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Old 26-06-2009, 01:34   #13
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Originally Posted by Rhosyn Mor View Post
hey there Angeli,
once you have cleared immigration you will need to go to the local customs office and get a cruising permit. It is good for one year and is free of charge.
If you cruise the US you will need to check in with each different customs zone, the Customs office should give you a complete listing of all the customs offices in the USA with relevant phone numbers ( once you have the original permit, you can check in by phone to all the other offices).
In general I have found the customs officers to be very helpful

We were told by our yacht transport provider that under a temporary import the yacht can remain for one year. Documentary proof of export is required to avoid a penalty of double the duties.

Projected costs for temporary import are as follows:
Customs entry: USD 450.00
Customs bond fee: USD 1990.00
Harbour Maintenance Fee (customs): USD 8750.00
TIB Close Out: USD 250.00
Messenger fee: USD 45.00
GRAND TOTAL OF USD 11485.00

Please advice if we should be paying for these fees due to the fact that we are bringing the yacht in on a ship as cargo instead of its own power and these are just part of the shipping process. Appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
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Old 26-06-2009, 01:45   #14
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You should not be "importing" the vessel (the quoted customs entry/customs bond fees) - you are just getting a cruising permit that allows the boat to be in the country.

Unless this is a very big yacht a lot of these sound like bogus fees. The "Harbour Maintenance Fee" sounds totally ridiculous for a private yacht just visiting US waters.

Ask your yacht transporter for the reasons for all these fees and who is requiring them. Then contact US customs directly. I imported my Canadian yacht into the US when I sold it in the US, and we did have to pay some customs and bond fees - but that was because we were importing it

Just how big is the boat?
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Old 26-06-2009, 05:52   #15
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Since it sounds like you will be using this vessel for pleasure only - the only US Coast Guard concern is that you submit an Notice of Arrival at least 24 hours before entering your next port of call (Miami, I guess).

SOLAS documents are international documents that would have been issued to the vessel by Hong Kong or a recognized organization on their behalf ... if you don't know what they are you probably don't have them.

Good luck with Customs, if you have any specific questions about US Coast Guard requirements please PM me - christmasisland out.
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