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Old 22-03-2020, 05:19   #1
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Registering a Dutch boat in the US

Hi, I want to share my experience in purchasing an EU sailboat and then registering it with the USCG. I learned by experience a few things which might be useful and save someone else some time.

My wife and I are US citizens with residence in Germany. We bought a HR38 in the Netherlands. It was a Dutch registered vessel with Kadaster, the Dutch property registry. We reviewed several HR38s and this one met most of what we wanted. We negotiated with the sellers' broker, and did not hire our own broker. Once we agreed on a price we lhad a survey completed. Surveyor found some issues which we then discussed with the sellers and we came to an agreement, a deal made.

Part of the deal was to have the vessel removed from Kadaster, which was done. The whole deal went through a notar in the Netherlands because it was Kadaster registered.

I had the seller sign the USCG bill of sale in addition to the notar bill of sale. Since we speak English, the seller, broker, and notar did everything in English for us. This was key, although I did not realize it at the time.

We had conditions on the sale: the bottom paint is being redone with a new epoxy barrier coat, the rudder bearings are being replaced, the boat is on the hard so a sea trial by the surveyor was not yet possible; all this meant the Dutch notarized bill of sale had conditions, which was also very relevant.

In October I filled in the USCG forms, sent in the Dutch notarized bill of sale, and the confirmation from Kadaster of deregistration, all in English.

Then we waited until January. The USCG seems to be woefully understaffed and has a few months of backlog.

In January we were denied because of conditions on the sale and USCG requested the notarized USCG bill of sale. I had the USCG bill of sale but it was not notarized. Since the whole sale went through a notar, I thought all was ok. It was not. The USCG bill of sale needed to be filled in, without conditions, and notarized by a US notar. So I called the USCG document office.

They were very nice and were not only professional but took the extra few minutes needed to help me out.

First, I could request a waiver for the bill of sale notar since I could not find a local US notar in the Netherlands. Maybe I could get a US notar at a consulate but it would take paying for everyone involved to get there. Second, I could request a priority status as the boat is going back into the water in March and I can not wait another 3 months for a response.

So good, I requested the waiver and the priority and sent in the USCG bill of sale.

Then we got denied again. USCG needed to see the ownership history to verify the previous owners did actually own it. They needed to see the previous registration. I thought the deregistration from Kadaster through a Dutch notar would be sufficient, but it was not.

Fortunately I was able to get the previous registration from the broker. So all good, I requested the priority again and sent in the registration document. Then we were denied again….the registration was in Dutch, not English.

So, I had a certified translation from an online translation company performed and resubmitted my request for priority, waiver, registration, translated registration, and translation certificate. This was the beginning of March, roughly 6 months after initial application.

Then disaster! I was checking the online document status website and my number had disappeared. I thought oh no, maybe it was too long and now I need to restart everything. I called again. Again, very nice, they explained the case was closed and the documents were on their way. A few days later, the official document was in the mailbox, done.

So, lessons learned: make sure you get the USCG bill of sale signed, get the previous owners registration, make sure everything is in English, and if you cannot get it notarized by a US notar, at least get a local notar and request a waiver. If you are purchasing in a foreign country and need documents quickly, request the priority and there is an official way to request it.

In the end, we had time and it all worked out. If I had read all the instructions and understood all the details up front, I could have saved myself and the USCG some time.
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Old 22-03-2020, 06:20   #2
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

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Originally Posted by CNulli View Post
Hi, I want to share my experience in purchasing an EU sailboat and then registering it with the USCG. I learned by experience a few things which might be useful and save someone else some time.

My wife and I are US citizens with residence in Germany. We bought a HR38 in the Netherlands. It was a Dutch registered vessel with Kadaster, the Dutch property registry. We reviewed several HR38s and this one met most of what we wanted. We negotiated with the sellers' broker, and did not hire our own broker. Once we agreed on a price we lhad a survey completed. Surveyor found some issues which we then discussed with the sellers and we came to an agreement, a deal made.

Part of the deal was to have the vessel removed from Kadaster, which was done. The whole deal went through a notar in the Netherlands because it was Kadaster registered.

I had the seller sign the USCG bill of sale in addition to the notar bill of sale. Since we speak English, the seller, broker, and notar did everything in English for us. This was key, although I did not realize it at the time.

We had conditions on the sale: the bottom paint is being redone with a new epoxy barrier coat, the rudder bearings are being replaced, the boat is on the hard so a sea trial by the surveyor was not yet possible; all this meant the Dutch notarized bill of sale had conditions, which was also very relevant.

In October I filled in the USCG forms, sent in the Dutch notarized bill of sale, and the confirmation from Kadaster of deregistration, all in English.

Then we waited until January. The USCG seems to be woefully understaffed and has a few months of backlog.

In January we were denied because of conditions on the sale and USCG requested the notarized USCG bill of sale. I had the USCG bill of sale but it was not notarized. Since the whole sale went through a notar, I thought all was ok. It was not. The USCG bill of sale needed to be filled in, without conditions, and notarized by a US notar. So I called the USCG document office.

They were very nice and were not only professional but took the extra few minutes needed to help me out.

First, I could request a waiver for the bill of sale notar since I could not find a local US notar in the Netherlands. Maybe I could get a US notar at a consulate but it would take paying for everyone involved to get there. Second, I could request a priority status as the boat is going back into the water in March and I can not wait another 3 months for a response.

So good, I requested the waiver and the priority and sent in the USCG bill of sale.

Then we got denied again. USCG needed to see the ownership history to verify the previous owners did actually own it. They needed to see the previous registration. I thought the deregistration from Kadaster through a Dutch notar would be sufficient, but it was not.

Fortunately I was able to get the previous registration from the broker. So all good, I requested the priority again and sent in the registration document. Then we were denied again….the registration was in Dutch, not English.

So, I had a certified translation from an online translation company performed and resubmitted my request for priority, waiver, registration, translated registration, and translation certificate. This was the beginning of March, roughly 6 months after initial application.

Then disaster! I was checking the online document status website and my number had disappeared. I thought oh no, maybe it was too long and now I need to restart everything. I called again. Again, very nice, they explained the case was closed and the documents were on their way. A few days later, the official document was in the mailbox, done.

So, lessons learned: make sure you get the USCG bill of sale signed, get the previous owners registration, make sure everything is in English, and if you cannot get it notarized by a US notar, at least get a local notar and request a waiver. If you are purchasing in a foreign country and need documents quickly, request the priority and there is an official way to request it.

In the end, we had time and it all worked out. If I had read all the instructions and understood all the details up front, I could have saved myself and the USCG some time.
I’m not familiar with the term “US Notar “

A notary can’t witness international documents

When I must have international documents witnessed , I use an apostille

I assume that boat registration is the same

https://schmidt-export.com/legalizat...le-netherlands

P
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:40   #3
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

Hi, so an update here. After two years, our insurer in the EU sent a letter stating that they can no longer insure our vessel because it is registered with the USCG. Apparently there is a tax issue for EU insurers where they would need to register and pay taxes in the US if they insure even one vessel from the US. Since we are living in Germany, the US insurers do not want to insure a US vessel that is kept in EU waters. So after two years, we are now having to give up our US flag and go with an EU flag in order to maintain insurance. I spoke with all the main insurance companies and many who are not well known in both the US and EU, unfortunately there was no way to make it work with the US registration.

Cheers!
Cedo Nulli - Poland
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:49   #4
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

CNulli - unfortunately if go back to a EU flag you will have to pay the 19% VAT on the current value of the boat. Can you contact Pantaenius directly in Hamburg and see if they will insure your boat with the current flag - I think that they will. Otherwise contact Pantaenius in the U.K. who might do so (the two are distinct business entities with different rules)
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:25   #5
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
CNulli - unfortunately if go back to a EU flag you will have to pay the 19% VAT on the current value of the boat. Can you contact Pantaenius directly in Hamburg and see if they will insure your boat with the current flag - I think that they will. Otherwise contact Pantaenius in the U.K. who might do so (the two are distinct business entities with different rules)
Hi, in our situation the VAT is already paid on the boat and since we did not leave the EU the VAT declaration is still valid. Fortunately the VAT is specific to the vessel and not the registration. If we had left the EU for over 36 months, then returned, we would need to repay VAT. But that is regardless of the country registration.
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:37   #6
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
CNulli - unfortunately if go back to a EU flag you will have to pay the 19% VAT on the current value of the boat. Can you contact Pantaenius directly in Hamburg and see if they will insure your boat with the current flag - I think that they will. Otherwise contact Pantaenius in the U.K. who might do so (the two are distinct business entities with different rules)
Vat will not be paid again ( can I say you repeatedly give bad vat advice ) the couple are German residents and entitled to RGR. FlAg state and vat have nothing to do with each other. Even if they removed the vessel they would not have to pay on return
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:42   #7
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
CNulli - unfortunately if go back to a EU flag you will have to pay the 19% VAT on the current value of the boat. Can you contact Pantaenius directly in Hamburg and see if they will insure your boat with the current flag - I think that they will. Otherwise contact Pantaenius in the U.K. who might do so (the two are distinct business entities with different rules)
Pantaenious pulled out of the US market. Very few EU companies will insure US registered boats , in fact I don’t know any that do .

Insurance companies that insure across national borders have to account for different insurance taxes and conditions that apply to boats registered in different jurisdictions. In my case my UK boat was cheaper to insure when I reflagged it into the Irish register as the insurance taxes are lower. ( pantaenious Uk)

The boat insurance market gets tighter each year
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:45   #8
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

Note full Dutch registry is quite expensive. Consider polish registry.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:15   #9
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Re: Registering a Dutch boat in the US

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Note full Dutch registry is quite expensive. Consider polish registry.
Spot on. We did register in Poland. Unfortunately Dutch registration was no longer an option as we live in Germany and the Netherlands changed policy.

We did try every insurance company that we could find, EU, US, UK, and a few other countries. All could not insure us as a USA registered boat in EU. If we had Delaware registration, it was possible.

We will be in the EU for a few more years so we opted for the Polish registration. No annual renewals and we now have a credit card sized registration document, certified plastic so no worries if it gets wet, and it floats...but we hope that is never an issue.

I will miss the US flag flying off the stern but having insurance is mandatory.
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