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Old 12-28-2010
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Buying boats in different countries

I had a hard time trying to find information on this - maybe my search-fu isn't a strong as I'd like to think.

I'm looking for information about buying a boat from a different country (as an U.S. Citizen). Specifically, buying from Canada, but also the U.K. or mainland Europe (the E.U.) Such as...

1. What taxes need to be paid in the country you buy the boat in? The country the boat is registered in? The U.S.? The state you live in (NY in my case)?

2. What about fees (registration, etc?).

3. How difficult is it re-flag the boat with a U.S. flag?

4. What are the pros/cons of keeping it foreign flagged? Is that even possible?

When looking at, I see a large number of boats in Canada that fit what I'm looking for. And usually a few in the UK. So basically I wonder if it's even worth it to look at those listings.

Edit: This would be for a live-aboard, cruising boat. After getting it outfitted, I don't know how often I'd actually find myself wanting to cruise in U.S. waters, but it's certainly possible.

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Old 12-28-2010
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Even a documented boat has to do the NY DMV thing and pay sales tax which is cheep compared to other states some of which charge a yearly fee and there is no place to hide as they all have agents on the water looking to charge after time X in there state

Now the working with the USCG documentation center is easy and a documentation officer can answer your questions correctly once you narrow it down

Obviously what makes sense on a 300k boat does not on a 30k boat it terms of transport costs
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Last edited by tommays; 12-28-2010 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 12-28-2010
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Buying in Canada and taking to the US or vice versa is quite simple; we've brought several boats into Canada in the last 5 years with no complications, we paid local taxes on importation, not in the state of purchase.

With the relatively strong Canadian dollar I'm a bit surprised you're finding 'deals' in Canada - certainly we're seeing them south of the border now from our perspective.

Dealing with the tax situations in the UK or Europe could well be much more complicated.... delivery/shipping is more involved too, of course.

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