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Old 27-02-2013, 09:24   #16
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Location: A real life Zombie from FL
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Re: buying a boat in america

Originally Posted by fender59 View Post
Thanks for all your help seems, to be a conflict of information between Syserenity and Hellosailor . The point is that my residence while in America will be on the boat. Hope that clarify s the situation.
Thanks for everyone's help up to this point.
It is sometimes easier to divide/separate the situation of purchasing a vessel that is located in a different country from the country where you are a citizen - into two parts - 1. the boat, 2. you.

Part 1. was covered in many posts above and basically for a non-citizen/LPR ("green card holder") of the USA you cannot use US Coast Guard documentation so you will have to transfer the documentation/registration of the boat to either a State of the USA that permits non-citizen ownership, or document/register the boat in your home country or another country (e.g., The British Virgin Islands or Cayman Islands, etc.).

When you add in the desire to reduce or eliminate any State Sales Taxes on the purchase and want to keep the boat in the USA you need to find a State that both allows non-citizen boat Registration and doesn't have a Sales Tax.

As mentioned by others, documenting/registering the vessel outside the USA will eliminate the State Sales Tax but then introduces the need for a USCG Cruising Permit and puts time limits on how long the vessel can remain in USA waters and also introduces "notification" requirements when you move the boat from one place to another.

With the boat Registered in a State of the USA, the boat can remain inside the USA indefinitely and can be used in any State waters with the limitation being how long the boat has been "continuously" within the boundaries of one particular State.

As mentioned, normally, 90 days is the legal limit the boat can continuously remain in any one State's "waters" before State Tax considerations arise. An often overlooked aspect is that the State Tax considerations apply to the boat actually being "in the water." Removing the boat from the water - that is, putting it in storage in a boatyard will normally "Stop the Clock" for State Tax considerations. This comes in handy when you need to return to your home country while leaving the boat inside the USA.

Part 2. is - how did you enter the USA? Fly in on a scheduled airline and use the Visa Waiver Program to get your 90 day "tourist visa" - or - enter the USA using a "B1/B2" Visa.

Under the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) your cannot take the boat outside US waters and then re-enter the USA with the boat. You and the boat need to remain inside USA waters at all times. Specifically, you can take the boat "out of" the USA waters, but you cannot come back in again.

To be able to leave US waters and re-enter with the boat you need to use a US "B1/B2" visa for your initial entry and all subsequent entries while on the boat.

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Old 27-02-2013, 09:26   #17

Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: buying a boat in america

"As per my own experience, I do have a resident address at the preowners address, since there is the dock I have my boat on and this is the address I use."
And there is the explanation, and the only "conflict" is one of semantics. Your address is only coincidentally the preowner's (in Colonial "previous owner", there's no such word as "preowner") address. Your address is where you have the boat berthed and you obviously have an ongoing dock rental arrangement with them--something that was niether stated nor inferred in the previous posts.

That they were the previous owners, has no relevance ot this.

Our USCG Vessel Documentation authorities are known for being very helpful and professional. However, one should be cautioned that DMV personnel are often not as well trained on their laws, and that an employee's verbal opinion, given on a phone call or in an email, is not a legally binding statement from their employer. If you call someone at a state DMV and they say "Yes, that's OK, bring this and that" and you actually show up and are told those papers are not sufficient--there's nothing you can do about it. You still have to find and follow the actual published laws. Most of the advice is correct most of the time, but often bureaucrats are the same world-over, they will just bluff when they don't know the answer.

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