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Old 13-08-2016, 06:21   #1
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Legal status of ship master

My boat will be owned under a registered company, not in my personal name. However, when sailing to foreign ports there will need to be a letter of authorization recognizing that the captain (me) has full authority (as owners representative) to operate the boat, especially in foreign ports.

The concern is ensuring that foreign countries do not question that perhaps the boat is being chartered or being used in some commercial purpose, which of course would cause legal and tax difficulties.

Has anyone had this situation?
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Old 13-08-2016, 06:33   #2
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Our boat is owned by/documented/registered to an LLC for which I am managing director. I have never had a problem clearing in perhaps a dozen places. In the few places that asked, I pointed out that the address on the documentation matches my home address.

If they were to insist on a letter, I could write one. No one but our insurer has asked for our articles of incorporation.
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Old 13-08-2016, 07:08   #3
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Same set up for me. Never been a problem regarding suspected commercial use.

I keep copies of an authorization letter in the ships papers. Have only been asked for it twice.
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Old 13-08-2016, 09:28   #4
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Ok seems to make sense. My little bit of concern comes from the fact that I have Italian citizenship as well. So when sailing into the EU I need to detach myself from any sort of ownership of the boat. Suppose I can have the owner rep papers signed by a law firm back home. Lots of stamps and seals and signatures will help make it look legit.
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Old 13-08-2016, 09:58   #5
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Get a fancy boat stamp. Write a letter designating you as the master. Stamp away and initial over the stamp. Most places that care about the these details are overly impressed by stamps.
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Old 13-08-2016, 10:02   #6
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Re: Legal status of ship master

That's right Paul. Real 3rd world mentality, but stamps, seals and signatures on all sorts of BS documents have gotten me through a lot of gov't hassles in Syria, the Middle East and India.

Europe isn't much different
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Old 13-08-2016, 11:57   #7
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Re: Legal status of ship master

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Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
That's right Paul. Real 3rd world mentality, but stamps, seals and signatures on all sorts of BS documents have gotten me through a lot of gov't hassles in Syria, the Middle East and India.

Europe isn't much different
Yes, works well in Central America too.

I have a cheap, but official looking, corporate stamp which anyone could have made up, that works wonders. Its actually required on some documents in Belize. Have a fancy embosser too if I really need to impress them.

And bam!, bam!, bam!, the officiials in CA love to slam their stamps down.
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Old 13-08-2016, 12:55   #8
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Re: Legal status of ship master

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Yes, works well in Central America too.

I have a cheap, but official looking, corporate stamp which anyone could have made up, that works wonders. Its actually required on some documents in Belize. Have a fancy embosser too if I really need to impress them.

And bam!, bam!, bam!, the officiials in CA love to slam their stamps down.
Yea funny, it is not just CA that these work in. I used ours for a letter to the passport agency in Los Angeles - worked well.
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Old 14-08-2016, 08:30   #9
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Quote:
Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
Ok seems to make sense. My little bit of concern comes from the fact that I have Italian citizenship as well. So when sailing into the EU I need to detach myself from any sort of ownership of the boat. Suppose I can have the owner rep papers signed by a law firm back home. Lots of stamps and seals and signatures will help make it look legit.
Careful about time limits and VAT. I have dual UK/Canadian and our boat is federally registered as Canadian, but entering the UK on my UK passport for convenience and maybe picking up a bit of work complicates things for my non-UK wife and son.
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Old 14-08-2016, 10:11   #10
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Do you recall if there is still a 30 day exemption for EU residents bringing in vessels?
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Old 14-08-2016, 11:11   #11
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Re: Legal status of ship master

....and also get one of the old kids style 'Bulldog' printing kits and bottles of blue, red and black ink. It really adds to the authenticity. This way you can 'write' your own rubber stamp.


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Get a fancy boat stamp. Write a letter designating you as the master. Stamp away and initial over the stamp. Most places that care about the these details are overly impressed by stamps.
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Old 14-08-2016, 15:06   #12
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Re: Legal status of ship master

the fun of travel: rubber stamps and embossers!
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Old 14-08-2016, 15:55   #13
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Re: Legal status of ship master

Your insurance policy should show you (a human) as an additional named insured along with your company (LLC, Corp., etc.) that is the legal owner. In a lawsuit you (as a human) will always be personally named as a defendant as well as the entity that actually owns a boat, car, airplane, house, business, rental property or whatever.
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Old 14-08-2016, 16:57   #14
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Re: Legal status of ship master

--- and hope that the lowly-thought-of official that has to clear you in, is not a follower of CF. Being a native of one of the Islands so often visited, I am always amazed at the arrogance often displayed here.
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Old 14-08-2016, 17:31   #15
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pirate Re: Legal status of ship master

ROFLMFAO...
After reading this.. I'm amazed I managed to deliver boats around the world with zero hassle...
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