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Old 26-06-2022, 12:49   #1
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US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

We are buying a sailboat that is located in Turkey. It is flagged in Australia. We are US citizens, though I am in the process of renewing my French passport as I have dual citizenship. We will sail the med/Europe for at least a year if not longer and eventually, at some point, make our way back to the US with the sailboat.
We are trying to figure out the best way to handle the purchase, escrow, insurance and where/how to register the boat. Any advice would be most welcome. No brokers, please. Thanks!
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Old 26-06-2022, 15:18   #2
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

If you have a mailing address in the US that you can use, consider either State registry or Coast Guard documentation. Expect to pay to import the boat into wherever you decide to register her. If you are long term cruisers who are not going to return to the States for some while, maybe French registry is the way to go, especially if you want to spend a lot of time in EU countries. You'll have import duty and VAT to pay. This is a question of due diligence and what will work best for you in the long run.

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Old 26-06-2022, 15:32   #3
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pirate Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

Flag her US and take advantage of the 18mth rule..
However if you use your French passport you'll be hit with VAT.. You could opt for the Polish flag but if you say your French it's vat, if you go USA passport your in the 90day tourist zone.
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Old 27-06-2022, 07:39   #4
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

Ann and Boatman,

Thanks for responding. I have many questions, so I'll start in order...

Since the actual sale won't take place until September, we would like to have something similar to a sale agreement here in the states where we agree to pay X amount and they agree not to sell the boat to anyone else. We then get a survey done a few weeks before the closing date and if anything major comes up on survey, we can get out of the sale agreement.

Once both seller and buyer has a signed agreement, we would pay a percentage (10%) through an escrow account to hold until the survey has been completed.

How would you handle that? Is there some sort of international sale agreement we could use? Would you look for an escrow company in Turkey or the US?
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Old 27-06-2022, 08:05   #5
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

You want a marine escrow company. They hold and disburse the money at the proper times. And also handle all the paperwork for registration and titling. Most of the multinational boat brokers use one.
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Old 27-06-2022, 08:08   #6
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

You won't have to pay US import duty which is only 1.5% until you bring it to the US btw.
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Old 27-06-2022, 08:33   #7
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

There is no chance they could charge fees in both countries of citizenship is there? I am a dual-US/UK citizen and this always vexes me in terms of what implications it has to owning and registering a boat in case each nation wants its pound of flesh. I know there are a lot of complexities in registration and flagging.
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Old 27-06-2022, 08:44   #8
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

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You won't have to pay US import duty which is only 1.5% until you bring it to the US btw.
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You want a marine escrow company. They hold and disburse the money at the proper times. And also handle all the paperwork for registration and titling. Most of the multinational boat brokers use one.
Hi, thanks for info. Would you look for a marine escrow company here in the US or in Turkey?
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Old 27-06-2022, 10:19   #9
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

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Hi, thanks for info. Would you look for a marine escrow company here in the US or in Turkey?

US because there definitely won't be language barrier. Plus legal issues if any will be easier than in a foreign country.
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Old 27-06-2022, 10:34   #10
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

EU VAT will not be due if you flag it in France unless you are a EU resident but I expect you will have to follow French rules if you go to France on equipment, qualification and you can only sail within the RCD category. Does that australian boat even have a RCD certification? I can't see any reason to flag it anywhere except US.
I doubt you find a escrow company in Turkey acceptable to the seller. Normally the broker will hold the deposit.
Will the seller take it off the market for a refundable deposit until September? I would not. If I was buying a boat in Turkey I would fly over and do the survey and complete the sale ASAP.
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Old 28-06-2022, 06:49   #11
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

You will not flag in France unless you are claiming to be a French resident and that will trigger vat

Forget your French passport. Flag the boat wherever you want. Use the EU 18month exemption from vat.

Be careful if your using your French passport to avoid Schengen stay limits. Long stays in Schengen can cause residency status to potentially kick in . Be careful which set of data you hand over as a result of a query.
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Old 11-07-2022, 20:30   #12
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

I would happily help more if the link above is not enough.
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Old 11-07-2022, 20:59   #13
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Re: US citizen needs advice buying sailboat with Australian flag located in Turkey

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Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

I would happily help more if the link above is not enough.
Thanks. I've updated it.
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