Hmmm... it looks to me that most of the post here are about a hypothetical situation where a US citizen would erect a BVI company, put the boat in that company, registering it in the BVI, and put it in a marina in the US (or a private dock
behind the house even!). This construction does not make sense.
However, this is a cruisers forum, so I was under the impression that the boat would wander around the world, basically hanging out everywhere incl. (sometimes) the USA. This would not be a problem at all. When you visit
the USA you need to clear in and get a cruising permit
like any other "foreign" flagged boat visiting the US
. The cruising permit
is valid for one year. Only boats that were built in the USA can extend it (indefinitely, see CUSTOMS
DIRECTIVE NO. 3130-006A), all others have to clear out and clear in again (Canada, Mexico
, Bahama's, Bermuda
trips). The cruising permit is federal. It is like your free pass to the individual states as it overrules any state legislation, shielding you from any duties, taxes
I have never seen a marina that charges different rates for different ensigns. So, marina rates will be the same, regardless of where you register the boat. There are no savings in marina fees
when you register in the USA.
It is not strange at all for a US flagged boat to sail in UK waters. The authorities will have no problem with that, and US flagged boats are not rare at all.
You can register your boat in every country that allows non-citizens to own the shares of a local company. Maybe Iran wouldn't want that, there's always exceptions, but it basically is possible everywhere. The reason that most countries are never used for doing this, is because they charge taxes for owning a boat. Bad countries. The list mentioned before are good countries: no tax, not even on any profits that the company makes!
If in the EU, it's not just Jersey that is good for registering a boat. All the channel islands and of course Isle of Man is very popular too. Gibraltar
is becoming a little unstable; it might already be Spanish for all I know ;-)
A BVI flagged & owned boat is completely legal
in EU waters as long as it clears in and stays for the maximum 18 months. It doesn't matter what the nationalities of the crew are, that is something for immigration (might need visa's etc.). The clearing in & out is a customs
procedure. Many Panamanian flagged ships have an EU captain
. Again, the thing is that when you live in the EU and put your BVI flagged boat in your sailing club forever, they are gonna catch up with you some day because that is not legal
I can assure you that foreign flagged boats are not stopped or boarded in US waters when they don't have some sticker that is for US flagged boats only. They do not start jumping up and down when they see a foreign flagged vessel. It's the other way around: you get the nice treatment because you are a visitor. That is anywhere but Miami
(they say but we had no trouble there at all).