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Old 04-01-2013
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sales tax and import duties

Would appreciate any help on this one.I'm looking at buying a boat in the state of Florida then taking her over to the british isles and living aboard while we have a look around.I still hold a British passport after living overseas, [Australia] for the last 30 years. My question is , am i liable for any departure tax from the States, or any import duties after a period of time in the U.K.. Would be easier buying in the U.K. i suppose , but i prefer American built cruisers.. Look forward to hearing from you, regards, Maco..
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

Just to clarify, you lived in Australia for 30 years, but retained your British citizenship and you plan to buy a boat in the US and bring it back to Britain and liveaboard for a bit.

I don't think you have a departure tax issue on the boat, just yourself, which is only a few dollars.

You are going to have to title and/or register the boat somewhere and that is going to drive taxes. I doubt you want to title it in Florida, but you could. You can't title it with the the USCG, as you are not a US citizen and you must title it with the USCG if you're going to cruise to other countries. So that seems to leave your only option as titling in Britain. I'm no pro on how their taxes work, but I'm sure they are attention getting. I know they have a VAT, but I don't know how it works.

I also have a funny feeling that the UK has standards that must be complied with on their flagged vessels that may not apply in the US, so you could have some modifications to do.

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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

When you buy the boat in Florida you have 90 days to remove it from the state before you would have to register it, and at that same time you would have to pay sales tax on it. If you remove it from the state before 90 days then no taxes and no registration. If you buy the boat through a broker I believe they will require you to sign a form saying that you are going to take it out of the state within 90 days, otherwise they have to collect the sales tax at the time of the sale.

As for what taxes you would have to pay elsewhere... I don't know. Good luck.
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

You are a UK citizen and are entering the UK to become resident here again. As far as I know (aka what I've read in the past) there are generally two issues if you import a boat in to the UK which you will be doing if you are staying beyond a certain time (90 days ?). The boat will be liable to VAT, that is the easy one. More difficult will be that you need to apply for CE certification and sometimes this might even involve alterations to make the craft compliant. There are companies that can help you with the whole paperwork ...

Last edited by FinallySailing; 04-01-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

As EU, your boat will be subject to VAT when you arrive there.
'Foreigners' have up to 18 months
Contact Mid Atlantic Yacht Sales in Horta Azores about paying the VAT in Azores.
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

Go to SSCA Forum • Index page ... a forum of mostly international long-term long distance cruisers, and post your question there ("destinations" sub forum) to obtain the LATEST and ever changing tax/VAT, etc. info.
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

Thanks all for your help , i new it would be a tricky one. Wasn't aware of the EU regulations on boat standards, doesn't surprise me though, they seem to have tightned down on every aspect of life in the new Europe. Will be doing be doing some more research. Anyone out there who has gone through this route, please get in touch. Thanks again, Maco..
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: sales tax and import duties

If you're buying a boat in California, be sure to do an offshore sale agreement. Ask any broker, they will guide you.

If you don't do this you'll pay going rate of sales tax in California.

If Australia is anything like New Zealand, you should be far more concerned about import tax into Aus. In NZ, you pay a percentage of import duty (when I took my boat home, 7%) and then they charge GST on the value of the boat INCLUDING import duty (i.e. landed cost) (on my boat 12%). So on my boat I got no change out of thirty grand to get it into NZ,

If you get suckered for Cal sales tax that may be included in the import duty so you'll be paying tax on tax on tax.
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Last edited by Omatako; 04-01-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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