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Old 21-11-2010, 22:33   #1
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Sailing Yacht - Country of Registration

Hi, I'm an Australian Citizen looking at buying a yacht to live-a-board in Asia.

I'm an Australian citizen, and the yacht I'm looking at purchasing is registered in Sweden, but located in Asia. I will not be taking the yacht back to Australia, but will be keeping it in Asia, particularly sailing it around Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. I understand there is advantages to me in having the boat registered in Australia, but how important is it? If so, should I register it in Victoria (my home state) or just register it under the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Australian Shipping Registration Office

By registering it in Australia, am I liable for import duty or any taxes, despite the fact that the yacht will never enter Australian waters?

Would love some advice on this, thanks.
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Old 21-11-2010, 22:41   #2
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Old 21-11-2010, 23:25   #3
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Why change the registration?? Can't you just leave it as registered in Sweden?
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Old 22-11-2010, 00:10   #4
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Why change the registration?? Can't you just leave it as registered in Sweden?
Thanks for your reply and suggestion. My query is then, if registration needs to be renewed, and it will need to be transferred into my name, and as i'm not from Sweden and the yacht is also not in Sweden, does that create problems? It would seem strange transferring it into my name but leaving the registration with Sweden when neither the yacht or I am there or from there.

Maybe I'm wrong???
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Old 22-11-2010, 00:44   #5
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In Sweden you have to be a citizen to register a yacht and that includes change of ownership. I don't even think non-citizen full time residents can have a Swedish yacht.

I don't believe Vic rego is enough when cruising internationally. If you register the boat in Aus, you do not have to pay customs duty/GST until you land at an Aussie port.
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Old 22-11-2010, 03:44   #6
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If you are an Australian then by international law you must get the boat on the Australian ships register. Failure to do this and you are liable to a $500 p/day fine and no country will allow the boat into their port with out it. when you check in two items they will want to see are the ships registration and your passport if you are the owner they need to match.
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Old 22-11-2010, 04:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
In Sweden you have to be a citizen to register a yacht and that includes change of ownership. I don't even think non-citizen full time residents can have a Swedish yacht.

I don't believe Vic rego is enough when cruising internationally. If you register the boat in Aus, you do not have to pay customs duty/GST until you land at an Aussie port.
Thanks hoppy, what you suggest sounds feasible and you sound like you know what you are talking about.

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If you are an Australian then by international law you must get the boat on the Australian ships register. Failure to do this and you are liable to a $500 p/day fine and no country will allow the boat into their port with out it. when you check in two items they will want to see are the ships registration and your passport if you are the owner they need to match.

Thanks SimonV, it sounds like good advice. Your advice is well apreciated.

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Old 22-11-2010, 05:09   #8
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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
If you are an Australian then by international law you must get the boat on the Australian ships register. Failure to do this and you are liable to a $500 p/day fine and no country will allow the boat into their port with out it. when you check in two items they will want to see are the ships registration and your passport if you are the owner they need to match.
Where is this "international law" published?

Some countries like the UK, allow foreign nationals register their boats there, IF they are normally resident in the UK. Sweden does not, but this may be in contrvention of the EU's freedom of movement laws. The US does not allow foreign ownership.

You may register the boat in the UK, Malta and quite a number of countries if you register a business which owns the yacht.

But for the OP, the Aussie rego is the most sensible and easiest option even if there are a few hoops to jump through.
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Old 22-11-2010, 05:39   #9
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Hi Swannee
Registering the boat on the Australian National register is a one off cost and will give you proof of ownership and Australian Flag status. There is no tax or other charges unless you bring the boat into Australia. I have had 3 boats on the Australian register, none of which has ever been home but the certificate of registration satisfies all questions of ownership and registration when entering another country.
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Old 22-11-2010, 05:50   #10
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Melis has it right. For a one time only fee of $800 or $900 it is registered in Oz and the problem and guesswork is over.
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Old 22-11-2010, 06:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
Where is this "international law" published?

Some countries like the UK, allow foreign nationals register their boats there, IF they are normally resident in the UK. Sweden does not, but this may be in contrvention of the EU's freedom of movement laws. The US does not allow foreign ownership.

You may register the boat in the UK, Malta and quite a number of countries if you register a business which owns the yacht.

But for the OP, the Aussie rego is the most sensible and easiest option even if there are a few hoops to jump through.
Its all very complicated but you can start here. United Nations Convention on Conditions for Registration of Ships (Geneva 1986)

and there is a lot more from the admiralty and UN.
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Old 22-11-2010, 06:35   #12
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1. Subject to the provisions of article 7, a State of registration, when implementing this Convention, shall observe the principle that a satisfactory part of the complement consisting of officers and crew of ships flying its flag be nationals or persons domiciled or lawfully in permanent residence in that State.
As I was getting at, the flag and owners passport do not need to match.

It is up to the individual country to decide whether just citizens or if legal residents are allowed to fly the flag.

A company registered in a country would satisfy the international regulations for "residence" in regards to the flagged country. It's up to the country to decide it's own rules about the companies ownership and the eligibility to fly it's flag.
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Old 03-10-2011, 00:00   #13
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Re: Sailing Yacht - Country of Registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
If you are an Australian then by international law you must get the boat on the Australian ships register. Failure to do this and you are liable to a $500 p/day fine and no country will allow the boat into their port with out it. when you check in two items they will want to see are the ships registration and your passport if you are the owner they need to match.

Thanks for the input SimonV, but for you and everyone else reading this, that information is not accurate. I am registering the yacht in Malaysia.


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Melis has it right. For a one time only fee of $800 or $900 it is registered in Oz and the problem and guesswork is over.
Thanks DHHong Kong, yes Australian registration is a one off fee, but the cost has gone up from under $800 to more than $1100 for the registration in a few months, so this has helped me with my decision to register in Malaysia.

Thanks to everyone else for your input.
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Old 03-10-2011, 00:08   #14
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Re: Sailing Yacht - Country of Registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
If you are an Australian then by international law you must get the boat on the Australian ships register. Failure to do this and you are liable to a $500 p/day fine and no country will allow the boat into their port with out it. when you check in two items they will want to see are the ships registration and your passport if you are the owner they need to match.
what a load of bull **** i am an aussie with a british flagged vessel and have sailed the med for past 17 yrs and been back to oz 3 times with my yacht
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Old 25-11-2011, 00:16   #15
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Re: Sailing Yacht - Country of Registration

When you sailed the med on your British registered yacht what was its VAT status?

I've just bought a VAT exempt boat in Greece using my Australian passport.

I also have a UK passport and was think of registering the boat as a British boat so that when I return to Australia I can get a 12 month cruising permit before deciding to import, or not.

I'm worried about the VAT situation if I register as British and then cruise the med....how do I keep the VAT collectors at bay? Use my Aust passport?

How do Aust customs see things when I return with UK boat and UK passport...even though I also have Aust passport and house, etc in Australia?

Maybe you can shed some light?
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