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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks,

I am looking at purchasing a boat in the leeward islands. My lender requires verification the boat has gone through US Customs PRIOR to funding.

The seller's brokers says,"If you undertake to bring the boat back into US waters as soon as you have purchased her then it normally is okay.
We can do the documentation through a Florida based Documentation agent and the funds can be wired to their escrow. So once you have taken delivery of the vessel you can take it up to the USVI clear in, show them the documents."

Should I be hiring someone to help me with this transaction? If yes, whom? A broker?

This legal speak makes my head explode.
Lawson
 

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Freedom 39
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Sort of confused by your post. You start with a quote and then never close the quotes. What I can answer is that there isn't a way to register your boat in St John, which is just one of the three islands that make up the USVI. You can register your boat in the USVI and name whatever hailing port you want. I'm not sure about VAT or any other import taxes that you may be required to pay by bringing a foreign registered boat into the USA. A little online research should answer that quickly. Or maybe find a local broker in FL to ask some specific importation questions. Registering a boat in the USVI look here http://www.boat-ed.com/abc/abc_specific_images/pdfs/vi_law.pdf
http://www.vicl.org/uploads/1/6/3/4/16349824/mail_in_procedures_for_boat_renewal_registration.pdf
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Hi folks,

I am looking at purchasing a boat in the leeward islands. My lender requires verification the boat has gone through US Customs PRIOR to funding.

The seller's brokers says,"If you undertake to bring the boat back into US waters as soon as you have purchased her then it normally is okay.
We can do the documentation through a Florida based Documentation agent and the funds can be wired to their escrow. So once you have taken delivery of the vessel you can take it up to the USVI clear in, show them the documents."

Should I be hiring someone to help me with this transaction? If yes, whom? A broker?

This legal speak makes my head explode.
Lawson
Which Leeward Island?

Are you buying through a broker.

If not how are you checking that you are getting clear title?
 

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Which Leeward Island?

Are you buying through a broker.

If not how are you checking that you are getting clear title?
I agree it would have to be a special boat or very good deal to go through all the hoops and risk not crossing a t or dotting an i and having the deal go south and loosing your money.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
 

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"US Customs "& "prior to funding" are steps take to prove authenticity of the boat. Where in, they literally descend into the hull and look for the manufacturers plate.
There is a small chance that you can find an "approved US customs inspector" that could travel to the boat for the inspection. A family member familiar with law, did this once twenty years ago.
 

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Lawson-
You say the lender wants proof that the boat has "gone through US customs" which I assume means "proof that it can be documented and all duties have been paid" before they will lend money.
But the seller's broker refers to completing the sale and then sending the funds into an escrow account. Which will be impossible because the boat will not have been imported into the US yet, at that time. They're talking about different timings, as I read it.

And of course, documentation in the US also serves to record the lien on boat, to the lender, as well as making sure you are bringing it in with clear title.

You need to get clarification from the lender.

Presumably they do not want to make the loan until the boat has been formally imported into the US (anyplace in the US) and Customs has signed off as any and all applicable duties have been paid on the import. But you can't import it until you own it, can you? In which case the seller might have to import it. I'd expect that either the seller's broker, or the lender, has done this dance before and that the two of them can figure out exactly what they want to do. But it will have to be specifically agreed upon, between the two of them, to make this a smooth sale.
 

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Presumably they do not want to make the loan until the boat has been formally imported into the US (anyplace in the US) and Customs has signed off as any and all applicable duties have been paid on the import. But you can't import it until you own it, can you? In which case the seller might have to import it. I'd expect that either the seller's broker, or the lender, has done this dance before and that the two of them can figure out exactly what they want to do. But it will have to be specifically agreed upon, between the two of them, to make this a smooth sale.
I think this is why you see some boats listed "for sale to non US citizens only" or such. More trouble than it is worth in many cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"register it in Panama, and insure it with Lloyds of London"

Now you have my attention. Pros and Cons?

To others concerned about the use (or not) of a broker. I do indeed have an experienced broker acting as my agent. Just looking for info while he's tied up at a boat show. And also trying to expand my understanding to make the best decision.

Thanks for the replies.
 
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