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Old 12-11-2015, 12:01   #16
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

Bob: There is a difference between licensing, and registration. The Washington license is like a cruising permit: and the registration is like documentation. BTW I recently had a shakedown by US customs and they were surprised but I had done my homework .

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Old 12-11-2015, 12:08   #17
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

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Originally Posted by BobH260 View Post
When you say "registered in Canada" do you mean documented ? or licensed ?
In canada, what we call "registered" is what you call "documented".
ie... registered vessel = coast guard documented.

We also have licensed vessels. There have been a few changes in recent years to our licensing system. Licensed vessels have a number on the bow that starts with ON (official Number, not to be confused with ONtario).

Registered vessels have only the name (port and startboard) and city of registry on the stern. You can lookup registered vessels and names here:

Vessel Registration Query System

Although they claim there are no fees to license a vessel in canada, they will pass along the sale info to revenue canada who will contact you to collect HST on the sale.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:11   #18
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Any corporate registered boat must be 50% owned by a US citizen if you are trying to get a USCG registration.
]
Not so. I met an Israeli couple who registered their boat through a Delaware corporation. Their lawyer and secretary acted as the US citizen officers of the corporation.

From the CG.
Citizenship is established by completion of form CG-1258. In addition to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other entities capable of holding legal title may be deemed citizens for documentation purposes. Corporations must be registered in a state or the U.S; the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens, and no more than a minority of the number of directors necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens. In addition, at least 75% of the stock must be vested in U.S. citizens for a coastwise or fisheries endorsement.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:14   #19
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

I wish the moderators would let me post an article about this. There is so much misinformation spread about this issue.
If you are not a US citizen and you want to document with USCG, you can, IF and only IF you are not engaging in coastwide trade (taking commercial trips other than chartering), or fishing, AND
It is owned by a US corporation, whose chairman and Chief Executive Officers and a majority of the Board of Directors are US citizens
There are other ways, using trusts, partnerships, etc but more complicated

see the regulations here
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text...t-67/subpart-C

So, you can form a corporation (please not Delaware, it is way too expensive for what you get) and have 1 citizen as the sole director and as the chairman and CEO, and a foreigner can be the CFO or whatever and own 100% of the stock. And you can register with USCG for pleasure craft.
Or you can register in any state.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:18   #20
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

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Originally Posted by psiow View Post
Hi. Can I seek advice from anyone who knows of a foreigner purchasing a sailboat in the U.S. You see after buying a boat in the US I don't intent to immediately move the boat out of the US but would like to keep it in the US for at least one year before taking it back to my country.

I know I cannot register the boat as a USCG documented boat since I am not a US citizen. I also think I cannot register it with the DMV since I don't have a social security number.

Helpless! Has anyone done this before?


Philip
We purchased a USCG registered vessel in 2013.

As soon as a foreign national completes a bill of sale USCG deregistration proceedings commence.

We registered on the Australian Ships register. It took 10 months to complete the process.

Our documentation broker found an expired lien during the closing process. We withheld funds until the original owner addressed the issue.

A bank had failed to update their records back in the 90s. This took 6 weeks to resolve.

We then had to deal with bureauracracy from the Aussie side. Good thing we planned to stay in the US. Not sure how we would have left the US without some form of registration.

If you dont have an SSN you cant register it with the DMV. An Australian must by law register a vessel outside of Australian waters on the Aussie ships register. State registration, either in Australia or overseas, is not an option.

You can normally request a provisional registration from your home country ships register. For an additional cost.

You can also explore flag of convenience registration. Most require you lodge a substantial bond. Ie $50k.

If you leave it on the hard you could leave it unregistered. In a marina you will need to be insured. This means you need to have applied for registration somewhere.

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Old 12-11-2015, 13:18   #21
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

I don't think you have to be a US Citizen to own a US documented vessel. You probably do have to have a US address. Call the USCG National Maritime Center. Many foreign companies own US documented vessels.
As others have said, US documented or not, watch out for state tax rip-offs. These people will stop at nothing to get your money and7or impound your boat.
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Old 12-11-2015, 13:31   #22
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
I don't think you have to be a US Citizen to own a US documented vessel. You probably do have to have a US address. Call the USCG National Maritime Center. Many foreign companies own US documented vessels.
You either have to be a US citizen or own the boat through a US corporation. This is the site to go to.
USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Fee Page
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Old 12-11-2015, 13:32   #23
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
I don't think you have to be a US Citizen to own a US documented vessel. You probably do have to have a US address. Call the USCG National Maritime Center. Many foreign companies own US documented vessels.
As others have said, US documented or not, watch out for state tax rip-offs. These people will stop at nothing to get your money and7or impound your boat.

You absolutely must be a US citizen to document a vessel in your name. Corporation ownership is different as explained several times above.

Not to mention in probably hundreds of similar threads.


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Old 12-11-2015, 13:49   #24
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

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Originally Posted by Jman View Post
You absolutely must be a US citizen to document a vessel in your name. Corporation ownership is different as explained several times above.

Not to mention in probably hundreds of similar threads.


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This stuff is so easy to find on the internet I don't know why folks keep on asking or posting erroneous info. Maybe it's because we reply to it.
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Old 12-11-2015, 18:45   #25
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Re: Foreign ownership of sailboat the US

I am not a US citizen, when I bought my boat in Florida I was advised by a friend to go the Delaware route. He made enquiries on my behalf and gave me this:
Yacht Registry (Del) Tel: (302)477 9800
They may have a website but were very helpful with phone advice.

I didn't register in Delaware in the end but that was for a different reason.
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