Dragonhand, you would most likely be best off registering it as a visiting vessel and acquire your permit
as such, thus avoiding importation tax. From what I gather the Philippine government
now provides at Subic, multi year permit's for visiting yachts and the fees
should be a lot more reasonable than import taxes
If you are a US citizen, it may be as simple as a visit to the US Embassy on Roxas Boulevard in Manila to acquire the forms and register it as a US Vessel. Be sure to have all your papers, notarized bill of sale
, title, proof of citizenship, etc.
However, if you are a Philippine citizen with no dual citizenship status (e.g. US), you may have little choice but to register locally and pay importation taxes
. If your spouse or child happen to be a US Citizens, register the boat in their names instead. As would be expected, the US allows the registration
of a US vessel for US citizens only.
If you are not a US or Philippine ciitizen, another option worth exploring may be to officially register the boat in Lankawi, Malaysia
which claims to have a very open registration
process even for foreign vessels. I do not have first hand experience for this, but some of my research
indicates that this approach may be an option worth exploring. Upon completion of the process, you could then sail the boat back to the Philippines as a visiting vessel and acquire the multi year permit
Importation taxes in the Philippines for boats and cars are extremely high, and can be even higher than what you've paid for the boat. There is no logic in it I know, but that's what it is. I am retiring to the PI next year and have been doing a lot of research
on this very issue. I have already decided to sell all my vehicles including my boat here in the States, rather than have them shipped over. It sucks too because cars are much more expensive over there than in the US, and my Com-pac 25 sloop
and trailer would be an ideal boat for those waters with its 2'6" draft
One last thing, any buyer's broker worth his salt
should be able to help you through this. Besides, buyer's brokers share the fee from the seller's broker and theoretically their services should not cost you anything.
There are other ways to lower your importation taxes through customs
but those other approaches are likely unethical. If we are to have a positive influence on the country and people, the last thing I'd want to do is bribe a government
representative and further perpetuate corruption and become part of the problem. Got to walk the talk.
I would appreciate you sharing your first hand experience as you go through the process since I would have to assume there are others in the same boat so to speak including me next year when I retire. Also, since you already are in Manila, per your CF location signature, it may be worth a visit to Subic and Puerto Galera and talk to the yachty expats over there for their thoughts on this issue.
I hope there are others with first hand experience on this that may provide more useful input than I have. So far, my knowledge has been mainly gathered from researching the web and seeking input from non sailing Filipino friends and relatives.
Good luck. I hope you have your boat by the time I get there next year. And maybe we'll even get a chance to cruise
together. I'll supply the beer