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Old 24-04-2011, 00:54   #1
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Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

Hi,
I am intending sailing a yacht to the Philippines. Does anyone know how long the yacht can remain till duty is payable?
I know that I can remain in the country for up to one year before I have to leave on a 'visa run', I have done that before...but the boat might be another matter..
I tried to get info from the customs in Cebu which is somewhat ambiguous...
Any relevant info is greatly appreciated..Thank
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Old 24-04-2011, 01:44   #2
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Customs Agent, not in Cebu...

My few enquiries into importing anything in to the Philippines have left me with the impression that a customs agent with a good reputation is highly desirable. Without being able to recomend one myself I do believe that there may be some in Manilla.
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Old 24-04-2011, 01:56   #3
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

There are legal answers and then there are answers based on present day practice.

The fact that their answers are ambiguous, indicates that the practice of enforcement is not common, which most owners, (especially by Filipino nationals), of foreign registered yachts staying in the Philippines really appreciate.

Unless you plan to Charter and earn income, I strongly recommend you get to know the accepted practice before you make further official enquiries.
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Old 24-04-2011, 04:17   #4
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

I'll be taking a boat over this year. Are you familiar with Ellen's site?Sail Samal Homepage

The impression I have from asking her is that it is not a big hassle. My wife is a Filipina, so I have her and I, both, listed on all documents as the owners. Even building boats in The Philippines means no more than the right amount in the right hand. If you are married or in a relationship with a Filipina, or have friends there, suss-out if she/any of them have a friend or relative who is with customs. Sorry I can't give a more definitive answer.
Mike
BTW, welcome to the forums!
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Old 24-04-2011, 05:11   #5
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

Not sure if this applies to a yacht .... but this is how PI Customs treat motor-vehicles.



2007 - bought BMW R1200 GS
Bike 0.9M
Customs 0.9M

18 months later - my friend gets posted to Oman.... he brings the bike here - no refund !!!! So what he thinks.... back to Tax-Free life etc....

18 months later.... job here finishes and he moves back to PI.....
before shipping he asks Customs in Cebu area - is duty payable ?

They respond "Yes" , "on what Value ?"

"whatever we think the bike is worth" !!!!

Bike stayed in Oman.

I would keep it foreign flagged.
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Old 24-04-2011, 08:11   #6
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

I second Ellen also. Very kind, and generous with her time. I do believe she is now part of the Holiday Marina, new, in Davao. She & her hubby sailed a boat to the Phils........i2f
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Old 25-04-2011, 14:40   #7
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstar View Post
Not sure if this applies to a yacht .... but this is how PI Customs treat motor-vehicles.



2007 - bought BMW R1200 GS
Bike 0.9M
Customs 0.9M

18 months later - my friend gets posted to Oman.... he brings the bike here - no refund !!!! So what he thinks.... back to Tax-Free life etc....

18 months later.... job here finishes and he moves back to PI.....
before shipping he asks Customs in Cebu area - is duty payable ?

They respond "Yes" , "on what Value ?"

"whatever we think the bike is worth" !!!!

Bike stayed in Oman.

I would keep it foreign flagged.
It's apples & oranges in comparison of importing land vehicles & marine vessels. They scared me off of shipping a truck & other equipment(backhoe, etc.) there, as well. They wanted 53%+ of their "assessed value". If one knows the right person in customs, however...
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Old 25-04-2011, 19:35   #8
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

Welcome aboard. I am finding this thread very interesting since I am planning the same for 2012. I also have a Filipena wife ( married one year) we have property etc. in the Phillipines. I am at present in the process of getting PR status. I have been wondering if reregistering my presently Canadian documented vessel in the Phillipines would be a better idea than just leaving it the way it is.
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Old 25-04-2011, 20:19   #9
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

I too have a Filipina wife and have been in/out of the country since 1970. The people are trying their best to rid the country of corruption, but you know how that goes.

Again it comes down to who you know, not what you know. It is best to just keep your home documents and pay the cruising fees. Import fees are outrageous. Half the country live outside of PI and send stuff home to support families. So the authorities rake the importers across the coals trying to get every little bit they can.

Maybe after you have been there a long while you may get to know someone that can slip you through the cracks and get a reasonable fee, or maybe things will change, as they do a lot.
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Old 29-04-2011, 21:52   #10
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Re: Import Duty on a Yacht into the Philippines

Great advice from delmarrey to remain low key and foreign registered.

This is a great country, but their laws are full of “individual Agency interpretation and forgiveness” that often leads to corruption.

I make it a point to never encourage or respond to bribes, but work thru the legal quagmire to remain an honest resident with foreign status.

The biggest danger of “importing” your boat into the Philippines is that you leave yourself wide open to many strange and fuzzy interpretations under “MARINA”.

Maritime Industry Authority (Philippines) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From manning laws if you have even a small inboard engine, you would get embroiled in a quagmire of agencies that have no concept about private yachts and just assume you are very rich.

Keep it simple and low key by joining a local yacht club that will help to protect you
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