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Old 20-01-2020, 13:52   #1
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Foreign Used Boat in Florida

Hello everyone!

I'm from Brazil and will move to Florida in a few months. I like my boat so much that I intend to move it with me. I am hiring an experienced captain to navigate from Brazil to Florida.
Could you help me with these questions?

- Is it ok to own the boat and use in US for long periods (years)?
- Eventually I will sell it in US. How hard is to register it in US so I can sell it to someone in US?
- Is this situation common? People selling used boats from abroad in US.

Thank you!
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Old 20-01-2020, 14:10   #2
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

The boat may have to conform to some US standards. Colregs for lighting. Flushing head installation. If a diesel engine is fit, there is not really any USCG regulation to worry about.

If the diesel engine was built after 2006, look for complications with the EPA standards. There are some loop holes but I have seen foreign vessels that had to have relatively new engines replaced with an EPA tagged engine prior to import.
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Old 20-01-2020, 14:18   #3
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

HI Alatza and welcome.

Several issues. First if you keep the boat here long term and become an official resident at some point you will have to clear the boat through US Customs and deal with any duties, paperwork and regulations. This I have not done but could recommend some companies that handle this kind of thing.

Second, registration. In the US there are two different ways to register a boat.

The first is national registration with the US Coast Guard and is correctly called federal documentation. This is available only for US citizens so not an issue for you.

You can also register the boat with any US state. This is usually very easy and has no restrictions on citizenship. Unfortunately the process differs slightly in each state but again is easy and usually not expensive. You might have to deal with state sales taxes (works similar to a VAT tax) in some states but if you have owned the boat in your name for some time before moving to the US most states will waive that tax. Generally you would want to register the boat in the state where you will keep the boat, even if that isn't the state of your residence.
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Old 20-01-2020, 14:20   #4
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

Welcome!

Take a look at this old thread:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ida-53445.html
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Old 20-01-2020, 16:45   #5
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for the replies. By my understanding, I have to deal with the following:

- Boat must attend standards or be conformed to them. Since the boat has 2x Mercury 270HP Diesel, I think they should be covered, or close. Also, we have black water tank, safety equipment and stuff.
- US Customs. I already have exported products to US and the taxes are not so scary. But I must talk to an attorney to check the details of my case.
- Florida registration. Since I am not a US citizen, only state registration is applied.

In the end, I think the costs to send the boat by sea can be advantageous. Selling it in Brazil and buy a new one in US won't, and of course, would brake my heart.

tkeithlu, thanks for the link! It's old indeed (2011), but it helped too.
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Old 20-01-2020, 17:01   #6
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

Hi Alatza,

State registration in Florida will be very easy. Just need to have copies of ownership documents like a title, bill of sale, Brazilian registration, etc.

Florida might want to charge you state sales tax which is 6-7% of the value of the boat before allowing you to register. However if you show that you have owned and used the boat for at least six months before applying for Florida registration then you should be exempt from the tax.
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Old 20-01-2020, 17:40   #7
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

If you plan to sell the boat in the US then it will need to be imported. Duties and import entry are actually pretty easy. The biggest task in the importation (from experience) is the engines. Mercury diesels (if relatively new) should be EPA Tier 3 and not a problem. But, for easiest importing they must have an EPA emissions sticker. Many engines sold in the US and also sold internationally do have the sticker, a few do not. I would check now to confirm the EPA label is on the engines.

You will need to complete EPA Form 3520. You should be box "C" (marine compression-ignition engine) in the first question, then you hope you can complete box "1" in the next section.

Quote:
1. U.S. certified engine or engine installed in a certified vehicle, covered by a valid EPA certificate of conformity and bearing an EPA emission control label in English.
If you can't tick that box then it becomes much more complicated unless you can tick box 9 (more than 21 years old) or box 17 (the engine is older than 2004/2006/2007 when emissions requirements came into place for marine diesel engines).

The rest of it is all pretty easy paperwork, but if you don't have the emissions labels on the engines or meet one of the exemptions it quickly climbs toward impossible.
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Old 21-01-2020, 05:39   #8
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

Hello!

So, it doesn't seem too complicate after all to have my boat legally in US. When the time comes I will look for a company to help me with the paperwork.

What about the transportation from Brazil to Florida? What do you suggest? By sea navigating (experienced captain) or by ship (transport company)?

Again, thank you so much for the help.
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Old 21-01-2020, 05:54   #9
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

I think you may be able to bring your boat as part of your household items and avoid duties etc. that US residents must pay when they import a boat.
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Old 21-01-2020, 07:47   #10
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatza View Post
What about the transportation from Brazil to Florida? What do you suggest? By sea navigating (experienced captain) or by ship (transport company)?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. In most cases it is less expensive to go by sea if you count just the out of pocket costs for the delivery compared to on a ship.

With twin 270 Mercury diesels I'm assuming your boat is power boat, maybe 12-13 Meters length? In this case I would recommend ship transport. By sea would add a LOT of hours to the engines which is a significant factor in long term maintenance and repairs on a power boat. Rebuilding or replacing those engines would not be cheap but I'm sure you know that. Also if the boat is around the size I guess it will be much less expensive to ship than the larger sailboats that common by this method.
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Old 21-01-2020, 16:43   #11
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Re: Foreign Used Boat in Florida

No one has mentioned a US Cruising License? Some of the guidelines are here, too:https://iyba.yachts/news/understandi...nts-for-yachts
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