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Old 17-11-2023, 09:30   #1
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Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into the

Wow that's a long thread title.

So I bought my boat in Malta, in 2019. At that time I had the Maltese registration canceled and received USCG documentation. I have never imported the boat into the US. I may do that one day if I decide to keep it and come back to the US full time. I realize that the US import tax is not that much but since the boat isn't there, and I'm not there, I have not imported it.
This winter I may visit the USVI. This will be the first entry into the US. Will I be obliged to import it? Upon 3ntry will the US want any taxes or other fees? Will I need USCG approved life jackets?

Any knowledge that's not just speculation?
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Old 17-11-2023, 09:51   #2
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

I am curious of the official and correct answer.

As far as you entering, I doubt you will have any issues. Check in via the ROAM app, and you won't even see an official unless you have non US citizens onboard. If any taxes are levied, I would guess they do that later, possibly by mail.

But I could be wrong.

Eventually you will want USCG approved vests and flares and a few other things, but only if a USCG vessel decided to board you and inspect you will that ever matter. And if you are cooperative and friendly, they will give you a list of what needs to be addressed, but issue no fines or violations. Just a friendly notice to help you be safe.
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Old 17-11-2023, 10:04   #3
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

The real world answer is that if you have US documentation, the issue of import duties will never come up unless you bring it up.
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Old 17-11-2023, 11:04   #4
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

If you have not gotten the Customs Border Control for your boat and checked in at least once you will probably have to go check in person. The first time we checked in 6 years ago we have to go do the in person again. Since then we have just checked via the app.

I an not sure we really even got checked in last May as the session seemed to time out. But as a US Citizen I am not very worried about be allowed back.
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Old 24-01-2024, 10:09   #5
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

Just a followup. I entered the US in St Thomas. The had me use the tablet in the entryway. One question was what is the decal number. I told them I did not have this. They told me to enter "nodecal". That was the only issue. I am in the US. No import tax due yet. Doubt it will ever come up.
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Old 24-01-2024, 11:51   #6
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

When I entered the US in Friday Harbor, Washington after traveling through Canada in 2020. The US customs agent gave me grief about whether the import tax was ever paid on my (Swedish) boat and if I had any proof that it was. I was somewhat flabbergasted given the boat is 1974 vintage and has had multiple owners before me. The agent relaxed after leaving me to sweat a bit, but I do think they may very well ask you to pay it especially since this would be your boat's first entry into the US. My boat had been in the country for decades.

FWIW my boat was documented and had the customs decal for years. It's documentation was expired and no sticker when I entered Friday Harbor though I did use its number on the customs entry form.
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:24   #7
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is an unincorporated territory of the United States that was purchased from Denmark in 1917. Although a U.S. territory, the USVI is expressly excluded by statute from the customs territory of the United States. Therefore, the USVI Legislature has the power to establish its own customs duties applicable to merchandise imported into the territory.

As to your foreign origin of manufactured boat which seemingly will be imported into the USVI directly from a foriegn port of place, it appears that there would be no customs duty by the USVI.

If the boat was delivered to the USVI via transport from the USA then it appears an up to additional 6% customs duty would be due on top of the duty paid upon import to the USA.

One can review the USVI tax code at this link: https://law.justia.com/codes/virgin-...hapter-12/525/

Bon voyages.
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:32   #8
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

There may be the issue of air pollution emission regulation compliance. The US Department of Homeland Security administers the USVI customs and border patrol.

Importing a vessel into the United States, the engine must comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Customs and Border Protection Officers enforce compliance with EPA regulations at time of entry. An importer is required to fill out the EPA form EPA Form 3520-1 at the time of importation certifying compliance with the regulations.

Rates of duty for pleasure boats are generally dutiable when imported into the United States. For duty rates for imports to the USA, see Chapter 89 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS) . For additional information, contact EPA or visit their website.
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:44   #9
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogscout View Post
Just a followup. I entered the US in St Thomas. The had me use the tablet in the entryway. One question was what is the decal number. I told them I did not have this. They told me to enter "nodecal". That was the only issue. I am in the US. No import tax due yet. Doubt it will ever come up.
Did they require you to pay the decal (user) fee? I have the owner get a decal online at DTOPS for boats I am delivering from outside the US, but it appears the enforcement is spotty.
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:53   #10
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

I was not required to buy the decal. Simply enter "nodecal" into the form.

I want to make perfectly clear that I am not opposed to paying what ever tax or duty is required. I do want to understand when that will apply. It's a matter of knowing and budgeting rather than being assessed on the spot and perhaps being fined or getting into some kind of trouble.
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:53   #11
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

Will there be any non-US citizens or non-US permanent residents onboard?

If not then the following is not applicable.

If so then they will be in need of a B1 or B2 visa to enter the US territory by private boat.

A B1 / B2 is obtained at the US consulate or embassy in the country of citizenship or permanent residency of the person desiring to enter the USA. Such visa is not available upon arrival at the border when arriving by private boat.

The Visa Waiver Program does not apply to arrival by private boat.

The wait time for an interview appointment to pursue a B1 / B2 visa can be very long, weeks, months, years.
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Old 24-01-2024, 12:59   #12
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

Regarding the EPA approval. The Yanmar 4JH4AE does have a sticker that says that it meets the EPA requirements. I would have to dig through some things because it is with the warranty paperwork and not affixed to the engine. There may be a certificate stating the same.
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Old 24-01-2024, 13:01   #13
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

I am the only traveler aboard and am a US citizen. I also now have the CBP app and I am now a Trusted Traveler. That took all of 10 minutes to establish.
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Old 24-01-2024, 13:12   #14
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogscout View Post
I was not required to buy the decal. Simply enter "nodecal" into the form.

I want to make perfectly clear that I am not opposed to paying what ever tax or duty is required. I do want to understand when that will apply. It's a matter of knowing and budgeting rather than being assessed on the spot and perhaps being fined or getting into some kind of trouble.
If you come to the mainland, you will probably be required to get the decal. I doubt import tax or EPA regulations will come up.
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Old 24-01-2024, 13:13   #15
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Re: Entering a US territory with a US Flagged Vessel that has not been imported into



Bon voyage.
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