Do I have to pay duty or not? - SailNet Community

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Old 05-03-2011
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Do I have to pay duty or not?

I'm nearing the purchase of a Moorings boat and I'm curious if I'm going to have to pay duty on the boat or not.

The boat is located in The Bahamas. The specs show that it is a "US" flagged boat with registration number 1179048. Does that mean that I won't have to pay the import duty or am I missing something?

Thanks,

Gene

Last edited by gene80; 05-03-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011
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I'm not aware of an import duty tax in the USA. Just the various taxes that a state may or may not apply.
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Old 05-04-2011
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When you bring the boat to the U.S.A., unless it is U.S. documented you will be taxed 1 1/2%.......i2f
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Old 05-04-2011
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That's my question. If I'm bringing a boat from The Bahamas to Florida and the boat spec details show that the boat is flagged US and also shows a registration number should one assume that the US duty has already been paid?

Or will boats be flagged US and have a registration number but still have not paid the required import duty?
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Old 05-04-2011
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I'd just sail it home and not worry about any of it.
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Saying it is flagged is not very specific. Has it been documented by the USCG? There should be paperwork to the effect. The USCG does not issue registration numbers, they issue Official Numbers. The one you listed has the right number of digits. I entered in the USCG search and found:

Vessel Name: NAVIGATOR USCG Doc. No.: 1179048
Vessel Service: RECREATIONAL IMO Number: *
Trade Indicator: Recreational Call Sign: *
Hull Material: FRP (FIBERGLASS) Hull Number: RAC40030J506
Ship Builder: ROBERTSON & CAINE (PTY) LTD Year Built: 2005

Length (ft.): 39.3
Hailing Port: FT MYERS BEACH FL Hull Depth (ft.): 8.8
Owner: MILAM ROSS WEBB
18356 DEEP PASSAGE LANE
FT MYERS BEACH, FL 33931 Hull Breadth (ft.): 20.1
Gross Tonnage: 29
Net Tonnage: 23
Documentation Issuance Date: October 28, 2010 Documentation Expiration Date: November 30, 2011
Previous Vessel Names: No Vessel Name Changes Previous Vessel Owners: MILAM ROSS WEBB

If this isn't what you are buying, I don't think it is US Flagged.
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Old 05-04-2011
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Gene, it sounds like the boat is already USCG documented with a home port in Florida, so it already has been "imported". You might want to make a couple of phone calls, to the USCG Vessel Documentation Center, and to your own state tax and motor vehicle authorities, to find out if it makes any difference (for sales tax purposes, etc.) where you physically take possession of the boat, i.e. in your home state, or out of US waters. Depending on your state tax laws, for instance, if you take possession out of state, keep it out of state, and don't bring it home for a year, you may not owe any sales and use tax on it. Or, that may not matter at all and you may be liable for use tax as soon as you hit home waters. And that's aside from any registration issues.
It pays to find these things out up front, from the sources, because the laws in every state are different and most of them are outright nasty about fines and penalties and interest if you cross the t's or dot the i's the wrong way.
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Old 05-04-2011
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Flag and documentation isn't directly connected to import.

When I bought Auspicious in Sweden I documented her. Easy-peasy. When I first reached the US I paid a fairly nominal import duty. You will also need to get an import bond (essentially an insurance policy to protect the US Government from a too low assessment - a lot like title insurance on a house). The whole process is pretty easy to get through - it took me three hours in Norfolk.
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