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Old 06-29-2004
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adrianbara is on a distinguished road
Bringing a boat from abroad

I own a Gib Sea 422 in Spain where I am currently living. I´ve been offered a job in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and I´ve been considering moving to Ft. Lauderdale and bringing my boat.

Could someone tell me which are the implications from a tax perspective ? Any way to avoid import duties ?
The boat has spanish flag. I could sell it and buy a boat in the States, but I invested a lot of work in it and I wouldn´t like to sell it.
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Old 06-29-2004
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Bringing a boat from abroad

Adrian, here are a couple of things to consider:

The value of your current boat includes, I''m guessing, its VAT-paid status. The minute you bring it to the States and then, at a later time (all things change...) wish to sell it, the equity represented by its VAT paid status will not exist within the North American market and you will lose that portion of its value. (Never say never... You may not intend to sell in the U.S., but...)

As a foreign-flagged vessel, you should initially be exempt from the state registration process used with documented boats (I''m not referring to titling the boat in Florida, which is a different registration process). However, are you a Spanish citizen? Will indefinite work and living in Florida eventually matriculate you into the FL tax system? As you can see, I''m leading you towards the question of how "foreign" you may appear over time to FL tax collectors.

Finally, even tho'' you are currently in "sunny Spain", Florida is very much a different climate and I think you''ll be invited by circumstance to modify the boat to accommodate the much hotter, longer, more humid seasons. If you think of modifying your electrical system to U.S. standards, adding air conditioning, adding canvas to keep the sun off your head, and other such "mandatory" options, you may find you''ll be putting out a fair amount of money when you could just buy these in an existing, similar used boat already lying in Florida. And keep in mind that Florida does offer a large inventory and some of the best prices among the major U.S. yachting venues.

Just some things to think about...

Jack
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