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Old 10-01-2013, 00:19   #1
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Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

Dear cruisers,

I have been actively following all the posts and threads related to registration/documentation of vessels in various parts of the world.

I have searched other forums too with some really scary information flowing around.

What I want is to get a small boat and get it registered where it is possible to register it easily without much hassles/bureaucracy/delays/etc and be able to cruise.

Apparently, in india it is a very tedious procedure for registration and is generally designed for merchant shipping and there is hardly any precedence for sailboat registrations. if a boat is purchased abroad the mission gives a provisional registry certificate valid only for 6 months. Thats it.

Since I will be paying by wire transfer, there is no issue of tax avoidance as the various dept will remain intimated/informed of my financial transactions.

What are the obstacles faced by these vessels which are registered e.g. say in Marshall Islands, BVI, Malaysia, etc, when clearing in a foreign port?

I have read to the extent that if your passport and boats reg paper are not of the same nationality you might even get jailed!! Does this happen often?

What other surprises are expected from the custom/immigration officers?
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:10   #2
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

We have a different nationality compared to that of the boat. It has NEVER been a problem.

India is part of the Commonwealth, so I assume your monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. If that is so, just register it in the UK, pay your 25 quid online and you will be fine for 5 years.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:21   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485
We have a different nationality compared to that of the boat. It has NEVER been a problem.

India is part of the Commonwealth, so I assume your monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. If that is so, just register it in the UK, pay your 25 quid online and you will be fine for 5 years.
Your about 60 years late.

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Old 10-01-2013, 03:30   #4
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

A boat is flagged to a country, a skipper may come from any country, if this was not the case every foreign skipper in the med would be in jail. It's more your own country investigating why youv'e registered it elsewhere.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us
A boat is flagged to a country, a skipper may come from any country, if this was not the case every foreign skipper in the med would be in jail. It's more your own country investigating why youv'e registered it elsewhere.
Both very good points, Lagoon4us

1. However, then why do people say that there might be issues with customs if boat registry + owner nationalities are different? Is there a different yard arm for treating skippers differently since it is their profession to operate on different boats every now and then?

2. A very valid question you raise. Any country should ideally raise a red flag as to why it's national has registered boat elsewhere, mostly for tax related issues but what would one do if there are no provisions built in for buying a boat abroad and sailing there. Touching home port only after say 2 years. This is where it gets complicated because provisional certificate of registry is like a full registry but CANNOT be renewed after 6 months. :-(
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:35   #6
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

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Originally Posted by storyinframes View Post
I have read to the extent that if your passport and boats reg paper are not of the same nationality you might even get jailed!! Does this happen often?
Never even heard of that!

Whilst with recreational boats it is probably unusual for Boat, Owner and Skipper to have different "nationalities" (or indeed to be different people), in the commercial world them not being the same is pretty much the norm - especialy when moving internationally.......I mention that because the concept will be familiar for officialdom when it comes to boats (of all shapes and sizes).

Possibly where some folks have come unstuck is where the (different country) boat reg is held via a company - and the Skipper (and "owner") simply forget that they actually need permission (from the company) to use and possess the boat (even though it really is their own).....and for that some countries can require a bit more paperwork to prove things than in others (most will take a simple letter of authorisation signed by a company Director, others might want proof that the Director is a Director and can authorise).....but I ramble on beyond anything of use to you!


If you are registering the boat personally either (as a commonwealth citizen) reg the boat in Jersey and then re-reg in india when you import her. or be "creative" when coming up with an address in the UK for reg on the SSR (the cheap as chips approach - and easy) - your nationallity is irrelevant, you only need to be a Resident - no one will be checking ........and then re-reg later when you import her into India.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:04   #7
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

thanks for the detailed reply, David_old_Jersey, your 2nd para helps to restore my diastolic blood pressure back to <80 :-)
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:23   #8
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Your about 60 years late.

Dave
You sure, Dave? We have Queen Lizzie as our monarch in Australia. India is still part of the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth of Nations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Any confusion between a colony and an independent country which is also a member state of the Commonwealth?
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:28   #9
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

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You sure, Dave? We have Queen Lizzie as our monarch in Australia. India is still part of the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth of Nations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Any confusion between a colony and an independent country which is also a member state of the Commonwealth?
I think GBN was reffering to the fact that QEII is not head of state for India (they have a President).

India is of course in the Commonwealth (headed by QEII) - but no requirement for her to also be Head of State of member countries.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:33   #10
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

Sorry, you got it, DOJ!

Anyway, for the SSR, you need to be a citizen of the Commonwealth. The head of state is irrelevant. Why is Jersey registration better than the SSR?
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485
Sorry, you got it, DOJ!

Anyway, for the SSR, you need to be a citizen of the Commonwealth. The head of state is irrelevant. Why is Jersey registration better than the SSR?
My understanding is

An Indian citizen or other commonwealth citizen cannot register under UK part 1 , and unless they are " established" in the UK. The nationality act of 1981 gave the status of British overseas citizen to those that did not in effect take up local citizen ship. BOTC can of course use the part 1 register. Any person established in the UK can use the SSR

While a percentage of SSR registrations are handled out to people using " addresses of convienence " ( let's call it that) it is illegal and I would suggest that it would be foolish to register an expensive vessel invalidy simply to avoid some local bureaucracy.

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Old 10-01-2013, 08:20   #12
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
My understanding is

An Indian citizen or other commonwealth citizen cannot register under UK part 1 , and unless they are " established" in the UK.
But they can in Jersey . (well, so says the website - never done it myself. mainly because I am not Indian ).

Quote:
Any person established in the UK can use the SSR

While a percentage of SSR registrations are handled out to people using " addresses of convienence " ( let's call it that) it is illegal and I would suggest that it would be foolish to register an expensive vessel invalidy simply to avoid some local bureaucracy.

Dave
- Illegal to pretend to be UK resident to obtain an SSR? - 100% for sure .

- odds on getting caught? - unless you do something else illegal (smuggle drugs, attack a Battlship or summit) then chances are slim.

- Downside for getting caught? - likely simply boat being de-registered rather than trip to the Tower of London. Likely but no certainty . Of course "you" not being in the UK would in practice kinda help avoid any actual prosecution as even if an extraditable offence da gubberment probably has better things to do. Probably......

- Downside for getting boat de-registed? - Depends how sudden and inconveniant it is (IMO likely to get some notice of bad news coming down the pipe, if only from them initially querying your UK residency - could be weeks, likely in the months. and also how much of problem will depend how much where you are cares that the boat has no reg (or finds out your reg has been cancelled ).

- Insurance? - slippery buggers are Insurance companies!, a tendency to seize on stuff to refuse a claim - whether relevant or not.........

Obviously no one in their right mind would advise someone else to break the law!, especially not in writing, and doubly especially not on a public internet forum . It's probably called grooming or summit and punishable by waterboarding .

But having said all that, for a 10k boat (and especially if SSR intended as only a temporary measure - i.e. until boat got to India and was registered there, just as a random example!) then I would seriously consider going the SSR route.

If the boat had any great value I would not do so, and would want all my i's dotted and t's crossed (principally on the Insurance)......therefore Jersey Reg! (and suck up the higher cost).

As a compromise, if you are connected to the Indian Diaspora in the UK - you could register the boat in a freind's name on the SSR, with them giving you a simple letter of authority.

The good news with the SSR is that it is not proof of ownership / title (as in other countries), so if you get a bill of sale signed up in advance (from your freind to you) and undated you can reclaim ownership at anytime you like and later either transfer the SSR into your own name (if you move to the UK!), cancel the SSR reg or simply let it expire.....plus you have the comfort of a) being in sole control of the boat b) your freind not actually knowing in which country the boat is located! and c) that your freind going legal to try and claim / enforce ownership of the boat would be expensive (especially accross multiple jurisdictions) and out of all proportion to the value of the boat (20k? in legal fees for less than half a chance of getting a 10k boat!).

All ideas simply for mulling over - not advice. no sirree, definately not advice .
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:00   #13
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

good volley of ideas/thoughts to ponder over.
thanks David_old_Jersey / goboatingnow / Jimbo485
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Old 10-01-2013, 16:18   #14
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I forget David how " unusual " the bailiwick is LOL


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Old 10-01-2013, 17:42   #15
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Re: Obstacles faced while clearing in on a flag of Convenience

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(...) I have read to the extent that if your passport and boats reg paper are not of the same nationality you might even get jailed!! Does this happen often? (...)
We rtw'ed 2003-2007. No issues ever. Crew with passports different from the flag of the ship.

Some countries were a pain in the lower back: there was a drunkard harbour master in one place, there were ignorant officers in another, in yet another we were sent from one door to another, and there were five of them, all this in 40 degrees Celsius and 99.99 humidity ...

Clearing in and out is sort of part of the adventure ;-)

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