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Old 20-01-2014, 14:00   #1
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USCG vs US State Registration for customs

Is there anyone that has cruised the Caribbean with just US State registration, or does everyone end up getting USCG documentation.

I have seen comments about local customs on the islands not accepting state registration docs, which are often small cards with minimal information......
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Old 20-01-2014, 14:18   #2
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs



This one has been asked before and you're never going to get a satisfactory answer. There are two camps; those who will tell you state registration is fine, and those who will tell you horror stories about state registration. FWIW, we've cleared in and out of more than 50 countries (including most of the Caribbean islands nations) with state registration without any problems.YMMV
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Old 20-01-2014, 14:46   #3
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

Really? I did search and couldn't find anything....
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Old 20-01-2014, 18:34   #4
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

The on site search isn't the greatest. Here are a couple of threads:

Cruising the World with a State Registration ?

State Small Craft Registration: Legal as Documentation?

State registration and foreign travel

More registration problems

Should I Document the Boat
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Old 20-01-2014, 18:40   #5
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

Documenting your boat is one of the few free things the US government will ever do for you. Given that most countries say they want national documentation (though many may accept state registration in the absence of what every other flag's vessels have) why would you NOT want to do it?
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Old 20-01-2014, 18:43   #6
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

I am not a US citizen, I can't get the USCG documentation.
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Old 20-01-2014, 19:00   #7
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
I am not a US citizen, I can't get the USCG documentation.
Why can't your boat be "documented" in your home country? What relevance is there in the boat's location? Location is irrelevant for USCG documentation except to specify a "home port," which has no relevance with the boat's actual home port or location as long at it is in the U.S. Meanwhile, if your boat's home is in the U.S., you may be required to be registered in that U.S. state (not in California, at least. My USCG-documented boat need not be, and is not, registered here in California, but required to pay property tax.)
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Old 21-01-2014, 08:04   #8
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
I am not a US citizen, I can't get the USCG documentation.
Most of the time it is no big deal, but you might run into a Port Captain or other government official that decides they don't like it...

These Officials, like most government employees are very Black & White. They tend to do best with normal, not unusual.

Most boats cruise with Documentation, so having a state registration from the USA and carrying a passport from another nation might raise suspicions or problems.

If it were me I would Document the boat to avoid the possible hassles.
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Old 21-01-2014, 09:28   #9
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

As a Canadian living full time in the USA for 30+ years I can not document a boat in the US. In fact I was required to un- document or remove documentation from the boat I purchased in 2009. For me to document the boat in Canada would mean paying additional taxes and a lot of paper work as I no longer live there. State registration will have to do.
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Old 21-01-2014, 09:33   #10
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

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Originally Posted by irwin37 View Post
As a Canadian living full time in the USA for 30+ years I can not document a boat in the US. In fact I was required to un- document or remove documentation from the boat I purchased in 2009. For me to document the boat in Canada would mean paying additional taxes and a lot of paper work as I no longer live there. State registration will have to do.
As a Canadian, I was informed that as long As the boat does not enter Canadian waters, no extra taxes apply.

Is there a specific reason you feel that there may be additional taxes?
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Old 21-01-2014, 10:20   #11
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

what avb said. I live in upstate NY and researched the ins and outs of moving boats across the border - The Canadian brokers know all about it and out of curiosity I asked them about moving boats the other way into Canada. They said the taxes apply at the moment you sail the boat back into Canadian waters. Until then it is not "imported" and so no tax is due.

But I aint no expert on this stuff. Ask a real Canadian who has actually done it.
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:05   #12
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

If I do not bring it into Canada they will not tax me, but they also will not document the boat as I am living in the US.
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:09   #13
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

The real answer to this is to give the boat to my wife %100 and let her document the boat. Maybe?
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:13   #14
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Re: USCG vs US State Registration for customs

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If I do not bring it into Canada they will not tax me, but they also will not document the boat as I am living in the US.
You have been mis-informed. I am a Transport Canada Appointed Tonnage Surveyor and routinely perform tonnage measurements and handle registration for people in your position. As your boat is under 15metres you do not even need a tonnage measurer, you can use the "Simplified" measurement form. All the forms are available on Transport Canada's website.
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