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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > non resident to buy a yacht in usa,how to do it?
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Thread: non resident to buy a yacht in usa,how to do it? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-03-2008 12:00 PM
nickj johnny, i can't PM you, because i don't have a high enough postcount, however i wanted to ask how things ended up for you with the boat reg etc? i'm also sailing back home to oz, however i left from holland, and am currently in nyc. PM me if you get this... cheers, nick

bigoceans.com
01-18-2008 09:02 PM
hellosailor "Register the boat in Rhode Island."
That doesn't help him unless he keeps the boat in RI or keeps moving it around between states. Register it in RI but try to take out a seasonal mooring in some other state--and you may find yourself with a tax lien on the boat. Not to mention, a marina that won't give you the contract until they see a local registration on it.
And that's assuming RI would register the boat--without a local address for the registrant. (Will they really?)

No, the tax men have been wise to sailors' tricks for many years now. And they help each other out. Sometimes you can beat them, sometimes you can lose the boat. Not to mention, an alien committing tax fraud in the US could have his visa revoked awfully fast--and the boat held behind, under the lien.
01-18-2008 08:27 PM
jentine Register the boat in Rhode Island. There is no sales tax for resident boats. The registration fee is determined by the length of the boat and is for two years. Everything can be done by mail.

Jim
01-18-2008 07:33 PM
chris_gee Documentation doesn't just apply to commercial shipping - where it applies to all trade and fishing vessels over 5 nett tons. That it is not a measure of weight but of volume said by CG to be the equivalent roughly of 25' length.

Pleasure vessels of the same size may be federally registered. This would usually be required for international clearance. However certain countries close to the US accept state registration.

An american boat is accepted by CG as as american if it is either Fed registered, or state registered and owned by an american citizen. All others are considered foreign whether registered elsewhere or not. As such certain restrictions apply namely reporting to customs and having a cruising permit for pleasure boats, and incidentally advising of presence at each port.

It is an offence in NZ Australia and I imagine most other countries including the US for a vessel to endeavour to mislead as to the boat's nationality, which includes flying the flag of a country other than that to which it is entitled.

Obviously an american in a small craft is entitled whether registered or not to fly an american flag. However, a foreign owned vessel is normally required to show the flag to which it is entitled, entering and leaving any port and in port during daylight. It would seem to me that a foreign vessel is not entitled to fly the US flag (other than as a courtesy flag) and may well be committing an offence in doing so. Flying a flag on a vessel in foreign waters is different to flying a flag elsewhere to acknowledge say a particular day.

If boarded the OP could be asked for proof of ownership and identity. It seems to me clear that that would establish that it is foreign owned and requires a cruising permit. It seems to me that that could lead to problems.

The OP has a choice. 1. Establish via customs exactly what his position is, because posters here do not have full access usually to the law and cases, myself included, and the law is not always clear.

2. Rely on the fact that GTOP got away with it, and hope to do the same. I doubt that the CG would take "Oh this guy on the internet said I would be ok" as an excuse.

3. Register in Australia on purchase, and get a cruising permit. This seems the cheaper and safer option.
01-18-2008 06:06 PM
cardiacpaul all of the talk of the last couple of day on this topic may be moot.

"Under the new system, which takes effect Jan. 31, Americans and Canadians who are 19 or older will have to present proof of citizenship when they seek to enter the United States through a land or sea port of entry. A passport will be fine. Or a birth certificate coupled with some other ID such as a driver's license.

Chertoff said he had been surprised to learn that simply stating "I am an American" and showing an ID card has been sufficient to get back into the country. "I don't think in this day and age we can afford the honor system for entering the United States," he said. "Regrettably, we live in a world in which people lie sometimes about their identity."

For people other than Americans or Canadians, the rules at the northern border will be unchanged — passports and visas will still be required. The same goes for non-Americans at the Mexican border."
01-18-2008 11:29 AM
hellosailor Ship: Not a pleasure craft usually. Ships start at 100 feet in size.

High Seas: That's outside the territorial waters.

There's a big difference between flagging a ship at sea, and a boat on the coast. And the number of SHIPS that SAIL is so small, they can all be listed in the same slim book, and almost as easily memorized for sight. (This is SAILnet, where the usual context is sailing and small craft, not merchant shipping.)

Wanna sneak a tanker into the US? Rustbuckets are easier to hide under a Liberian (etc) flag. You think Liberia is going to come protest?
01-18-2008 12:36 AM
gtod25 ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
01-17-2008 08:58 PM
chris_gee "The flying of the flag on the high seas identifies a ship as operating under the relevant flag State’s authority, obligations, and responsibilities under its national and international maritime laws. The US Supreme Court in Lauritzen v Larsen offers a comprehensive summary of the law of the flag:

“Each State under international law may determine for itself the conditions on which it will grant its nationality to a merchant ship, thereby accepting responsibility for it and acquiring authority over it. Nationality is evidenced to the world by the ship’s papers and flag. The United States has firmly and successfully maintained that the regularity and validity of a registration can be questioned only by the registering State.”

The national flag (and therefore the register in which a ship is registered) constitutes the source of a country’s responsibilities and obligations in relation to, and jurisdiction over, the vessel."
State in this context means country. Only some powers are delegated by the US as a State to states. Flying the flag is internationally taken as evidence of nationality of the boat, a nationality which is not granted by the US to non citizens.
01-17-2008 07:40 PM
hellosailor gtod, there is no NYS registration requirement for pleasurecraft to fly ANY flag. If there was, the bay constables would have made a fortune enforcing it--and they don't.

The Power Squadron? "Must" ? Try finding a section of the US Code or other federal legislation that requires it for pleasure craft. You won't.

I'm not an admiralty lawyer, but I'm more familiar with both of those areas than most. And most don't fly any flag unless it is for decoration.

If you do, I'll eat my hat.
01-17-2008 07:39 PM
chris_gee Except state registration is not a national registration even if some local countries accept it. To be registered as an american boat it has to be CG registration only available to an american citizen, or a company 75% owned by americans.
It is correct that the flag is determined by national registration, but with the exception of flags of convenience and the costs of that, registration is only extended to citizens it makes the boat subject to that country's laws and protection.
State registration is only intended as a control over boating not to provide internationally recognised legal standing.
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