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Old 10-16-2008
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Buy a boat in th US as an alien

Hey there,
I work in the States so I am a US resident but not a citizen. I found out that I could buy a sail boat here, sail it under the flag of my European home country and get a Cruising license valid for one year. The only thing is, it say in the fine print of the cruising license application 'the boat is dutiable if the owner is a US resident'- thus I was wondering if this applies only if I enter the US with a foreign vessel or also if I buy the vessel already here?
Thanks a lot in advance for any comments,
Ch
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Old 10-16-2008
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Why do you want to sail the boat under Europinian Flag? Do you want excessive attention from locals, including Coast Guard?
You can register the boat in a state of your residence, very much like a car.
As alien you cannot get Coast Guard documentation (federal registration), but you will not need it anywhere around here...
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Old 10-17-2008
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If he wants to sail to other countries, state registration isn't going to cut it. If he buys the vessel or enters the country with a foreign vessel and LIVES in the USA normally, he has to pay duties on it AFAIK. Can't have it both ways.
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It seems odd that he would have to pay duty (that's a tax on importing something) on a boat that is already in the USA. It would seem that he would technically be EXPORTING the boat if he bought it here and then reflagged it abroad. But maybe he is then effectively RE importing it if he then "brings it back" to cruise here.

Sounds like one for a lawyer or tax accountant to me. But if your foreign flag is any of the countries in NAFTA then there is no duty! I checked this out when looking at boats in Canada.\

Edit - Oops I forgot you said in the original post your country is European. So forget the NAFTA idea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
If he wants to sail to other countries, state registration isn't going to cut it. .
Why? I pesonally know more than one boat with State Registration is sailing in far away places. Yes, there is constant stream of hearsay that cruisers may run into trouble with state registrations, however I didn't hear a single story of unsolvable problem. Such problems are typical for countries where official expects a bribe, tip, bashli, взятка etc. and official will look for any reason to get it, regardless of registration. For other countries proof of ownership is more important document than registration.

Becides obtaining federal documentation may not be so easy if boat is old, small, or chain of ownerships is unknown.
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CrazyRU-

If you're not a US Citizen, some countries may look at a US state registered boat and non-US citizen owner and give you trouble. YMMV. Personally, I wouldn't risk it...
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As a non-us citizen who resides in United States a person could most certainly buy a boat here in US, and register it using state registration just like he would register a vehicle. This is perfectly fine for sailing within US waters and often works ok for nearby islands like Bahamas. My first boat was state registered, back when I wasn't a US citizen. Worked out just fine.

Coast Guard documentation requires vessel owner to be US citizen, on the other hand (and is presumably preferable for sailing to far away lands, but how often does that happen?).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
CrazyRU-

If you're not a US Citizen, some countries may look at a US state registered boat and non-US citizen owner and give you trouble. YMMV. Personally, I wouldn't risk it...
Well, if you are not US Citizen and you are going to sail non-US registered boat in US as your primary waters, then US government may be more troublesome. By law (see the tread about Canadian cruisers) you will need to call coast guard every time you leave marina...
Besides most local governments impose some additional restriction on how long you can stay without paying some additional taxes or fees.

It is logical to have a boat registered in a state where you live. Such registration work OK for Caribbean region and Canada. If owner decided to sail around a world then he will need to
get us citizenship and get a boat federally documented
or
get the boat registered in the country of his origin
or
Get other convenient offshore registration - there are many ways to do it, some legal and some are not so…
Or carefully pick destinations and route. Every country is different
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Most state governments are going to get those same additional taxes and fees regardless of where you register your boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyRu View Post
Well, if you are not US Citizen and you are going to sail non-US registered boat in US as your primary waters, then US government may be more troublesome. By law (see the tread about Canadian cruisers) you will need to call coast guard every time you leave marina...
Besides most local governments impose some additional restriction on how long you can stay without paying some additional taxes or fees.

It is logical to have a boat registered in a state where you live. Such registration work OK for Caribbean region and Canada. If owner decided to sail around a world then he will need to
get us citizenship and get a boat federally documented
or
get the boat registered in the country of his origin
or
Get other convenient offshore registration - there are many ways to do it, some legal and some are not so…
Or carefully pick destinations and route. Every country is different
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

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