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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey there.
iam living here in the states for the time being,i am non resident.i will be buying a yacht soon,2 or 3 months,then plan to stay for another 6 to 7 months,
and then head of to the islands for around 3 years,then head back home to Australia with the yacht through the canal,that leg may take me another 2 years to sail back to sydney,
where do i register the yacht?? i have a lot of friends on the east coast and can use there address if that helps,iam sure my broker has the answer but,who knows if that is gospel,
any advice would be very helpful thanks.
cheers johnny
 

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Johnny...there is no problem buying a boat and getting a STATE registration for any state in which you can establish an address. Be aware that SALES TAXES are due once you register a boat here in most states. Better to register or document it in Australia then move between states so as not to get caught in any of their "nets" ...which usually means no more than 90 days in a given state.
You have an American flag on your Avatar...if you have a US passport you can simply document it with the Coast Guard using a USA address...then follow the "keep moving advice" in the above until you depart from the country. Many counties will not accept state registrations...they will want USA or Aussie documentation.
 

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Register in the USVI........

Locate someone with a USVI address and register there. They just want your $150 per year and could care less if you were from Mars. Just watch the tax laws of the state you are in (you may have to move within 90 days) and watch the French Islands who don't like US State Registration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
camaraderie,you always have good info thank you,i have an australian passport.not american.is the sales tax 5 or 6 percent,thanks again johnny
 

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Johnny, sales tax will vary for each county in each state, and sometimes by the city as well. You need to enquire where you will register the boat--if you get a state registration.

But state registration will not be recognized as proof of anything, once you leave the US. For that you need titling. Since you are an alien, you cannot get USCG documentation, which is the US federal titling. In order to bring the boat into Oz, you may be required to have Australian titling on it--and to pay any tariffs that are in effect at that time.

Local (state) registration and taxation can be required if you are in any one state for as little as 30 days. On the 31st day, registration, insurance, and taxation can kick in, because in most states boats are treated as motor vehicles and motor vehicles are required to be locally registered, often in 30 days, sometimes as generous as 90. In some places you cannot get a marina contract without showing proof of local taxes being paid, the tax men are ahead of the game and the marinas don't want to get stuck in the middle.

Your best best? I'd say find out what Oz wants. Catch-22 applies, because if you place the boat under any non-US flag, you need to remove it from the US, get a cruisoing permit, and then reimport the boat--for a period not to exceed one year before you must exit again.

These kind of regs don't just apply to the US, they apply everywhere. Everyone wants a piece, and don't even think about sailing home to Oz without advance clearance as your arrival date becomes closer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hellosailor,the thing is, i will not be back to australia for 3 years at least,i think it might be easer at the moment to stay with usa state registration.as i will be sailing back and forth from ny state to miami bahamas ect,
thanks for your input cheers, johnny
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
gtod25.usa state rego is good for the caribbean,thats good to hear,whats the deal with the french ah!!
cheers johnny
 

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Johnny....HS has it pretty much right except that the Bahamas ans some other islands will accept a state reg. You won't get through the canal that way though so you MUST title the boat in aussieland. If you do that you can avoid state sales tax by moving along. Florida has a 90 day limit and a 6% minimum sales tax with a little more in some counties.
 

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Johnny... Gtod is right AND wrong. Most islands will let you in with just state registration BUT many of their RULES require documentation...so you always are taking a chance on the customs guy being nice to you. French Islands will never let you in! In any case...you NEED Aussie documentation to get through the canal and through the pacific.
 

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One thing that Gtod has missed is that you may have a problem with a US-State-Registered boat, since you are not a US citizen or resident. That may be a complication that Gtod doesn't have, depending on whether he is a US resident or citizen. Titling the boat in Australia would be far safer and probably cause you far fewer problems abroad.

IIRC, a US-State-registered boat isn't allowed to fly the US flag as an ensign in foreign waters, since it technically isn't a US-flagged vessel.
 

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I was not a US citizen or resident for the 4 years I cruised the Caribbean in a USVI registered boat, flying the US Flag. With the exception of minor hassle in the French Islands I never encountered any problems. But seeing you have 17,700 more posts that me, I am not going to argue with you.
 

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I'm betting that the USCG and ICE may have gotten a bit more restrictive about entering and exiting the US since 9/11. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
sailingdog,yes its pain in the ass,but it might be easer to rego her here in nyc,as my girl and myself live in nyc,and then i will deal with the rego in australia when i will have the boat in the islands on a permanent bases.
cheers johnny
 

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Actually bought it in the BVI's......

but it was previously a US documented vessel. Don't let people confuse you on three separate issues.

Foreign nationals entering the US on a sailboat = PITA = need visa = hassle.

US State Registered vessel entering/leaving US = boat tax is a State issue = ICE has no interest, unless they are really having a bad hair day.

Ref flying a US flag on a state registered vessel in international water = who is going to stop you?? I met the USCG once in 7 years in the Caribbean (ending 2006).

Your only major issue will be the Tax in the state you are living in. You may be well advised to pay this, as tax evasion and work permits are possibly a bad mix.

Tooling around in a boat with a big "Skippy" flag :) at the back end will certainly attract unnecessary attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
gtog25,would that be skippy the kangaroo.yes, i do not need any attention flying that flag here,thanks for your input later. johnny
 

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An american boat is implied by US customs to be one owned by a US citizen and if not customs registered has to be state or USVI registered.

It is not clear whether state registration requires citizenship but it does require proof of id. I suspect that if it is foreign owned ie by you state registration would not make any difference to your handling by customs, and these days you could find major problems arise.

In contrast to an american boat "The master of a foreign-flag or undocumented foreign pleasure boat must report its arrival to US Customs immediately and must make formal vessel entry on a Customs Forms (CF) 1300 within 48 hours. In the absence of a cruising license, vessels in this category must obtain a permit before proceeding to each subsequent US port."

While it talks solely in terms of the boat arriving, one would hope that a cruising permit could be obtained for a boat that is purchased there without having to leave first. Otherwise they have to obtain clearance before leaving for another country or US port.

There could also be complications with your visa. Unless you have certain ones, a 2b I think and another, giving multiple re-entry you cannot arrive by sea although you are from a country that is exempted a visa for short stays. Also there is a restriction on obtaining further entry by arriving from adjacent countries Canada Mexico and the Caribbean.

Normally a boat would be registered in the country of which you are a citizen, citizenship being a requirement of registry. The alternative of a flag of convenience means registering a company presumably as owner higher costs and annual fees.

There is no point in paying sales tax in the US when you will be hit by duty and GST on return to Australia. I think you may find it simpler to front up and register as an australian yacht. There are complications but probably less severe than if one wanders into the uncertain bureaucratic nightmare of not being the routine or usual case. You could find yourself deported.
 
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