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Larus Marinus
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If you want it registered in the Europe Union (e.g Malta), there will be import duty and value added tax to pay. Watch out for the recreational craft directive too, it has to have the appropriate certificate.
 

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"From other threads I learned I can't get a US-Vessel-Registration"
No, more precisely there is no US-vessel-Registration. We have federal Documentation for pleasure craft. The term registration is reserved for state registration of boats and motor vehicles.

As a non-citizen, that's right, there is no way you can be given the protection of a US flag for a boat. You must seek that status from your own sovereign, i.e. Germany.

If you will be keeping the boat in Michigan, you can and probably must register the boat as a Michigan motor vehicle. If you plan to cross over to Canadian waters, you'll have to ask the Canadians about that, and the US about re-entry. It sounds like you are a guest not a resident alien, that will make re-entry harder.

If you need more than a state registration, you will have to document the vessel with another flag--and then it will be subject to terms limiting the length of time it can stay in the US, so you may very well have to get it out of the US (and Canada) by the end of the first year. It will be governed by the terms for any visiting pleasure craft, you can find them on http://www.cbp.gov/ where the terms and regulations for aliens with vessels are all referenced.

For now, your best bet is simply to stay within US waters and register the boat in Michigan. Then flag it in Germany before you take it out of the US for good.
 

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I'm almost in the same position as you - German citizen, permanent resident status pending. I opted to go for a BVI registration for my boat, but at present it isn't in US waters; but as noted elsewhere if you have a foreign flagged vessel you do have limitations on how long it can remain in the USA as well as later on in the EU should you take it there.
The Red Ensign flags document ownership, so you will be able to get a bank loan on the boat if you need it, which you will not be able to do if the boat is not CG-registered as a US vessel. I don't know if that makes a difference to your plans.
As to the length of time the yacht can remain in US waters I think it best to consult a professional, since there are both federal as well as state laws to consider.
 

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Telstar 28
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Generally, state-registered boats can have problems being officially recognized in foreign countries, as states are not sovereign nations. Most of the countries right off of the coast of the US have fewer issues with state-registered boats, but YMMV. I've also been told that in some countries, state-registered boats have to check-in at each port and pay the fees at each port, where USCG documented boats can check in once, and check out when they're leaving the country.

www.noonsite.com might have more information on specific countries/ports of entry.
 

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Generally you have to be registered. I don't know if the Bahamas make an exception because of proximity.
If you register elsewhere you need to check in to the States and if from an approved country can get a cruising permit for one year. The customs site has conflicting information on the scope of this. In one place it says you are exempt from clearance every port, however it also says you must clear, but this may involve less paperwork.
Another site says this was amended last year and the permit itself says you must report at every port.
In other words a hassle.
http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/toolbox/publications/travel/pleasureboats.ctt/pleasureboats.doc
It also talks of a citizen resident in the US as being the owner to define a non foreign boat. Whether intended or not I would take that as meaning a US citizen, and that if you are not then the boat is foreign, and therefore needs foreign registration and a cruising permit.
Sounds messy, but these days if you get caught on a technical point it could mean trouble.
Equally I gather that just because you have a green card but don't have permanent residency if you leave you may not be able to get back in.
Sounds to me like you may want to look at registering the boat to a company.
Guess Australian Customs may not sound so bad.
 

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Interesting!

I´m (we) planning a circumnavigation around the world. I´m from Sweden (where I also live).

The plan is to buy a sailboat in US and start sailing from Florida. What I understand from above, is that I cannot have a vessel registrated on me, right?

So the easiet is to reg. it in the Cayman Islands? Is it then also possible to withdraw the sales tax if I buy the boat in Florida etc?

Regards
Andreas
 

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Tradewind-
Your best bet is to correspond in writing and get your replies in writing. That does not mean they are legally binding but means they may be correct and any penalties (but not fees) will probably be waived if they are wrong, but you affected in reliance on them.
"Additional reporting and entry requirements may be obtained from the U.S. Customs Service, Office of Field Operations (Attn: Passenger Operations Team), Washington, DC 20229. For additional information on legal requirements, contact the U.S. Customs Service, Office of Regulations and Rulings (Attn: Entry Procedures and Carriers Branch), Washington, DC 20229."

I would suspect that you would have to physically remove the boat from the state where it was purchased (typically withint 30-90 days) in order to avoid paying state sales tax on it and to avoid mandatory state vehicle registration.

If the BVI will issue documentation/registration to an alien, that's between you and them, but you would want to contact the US federal offices above to find out if you are eligible for a cruising permit if you are originating from within the US--a opposed to entering it from sea. Everything on their web site is predicted upon entry from outside the US.
Or, you may wish to employ that firm in the BVI as your agents and ask their experience on this. The situation is unusual.

Andreas-
You will find the Florida motor vehicles offices and sales tax offices have web sites. They explain that a non-resident, who purchases a boat in Florida and then takes it out of the state within 90 days, does not have to pay sales tax on it at the time of sale. A broker would normally collect sales tax, an individual seller would not collect it, relying on the fact that you would pay it during state registration. We use the termn "registration" for state registration only, and the term "documentation" for USCG titling for US citizens only. There is no federal registration per se in the US.
Again, you would need to check with the Caymans to find out about registration for an alien, whether you might need to form a corporation, and how you would renew your status from outside the Caymans. If you purchase the boat in Florida and promptly leave, I do not believe you need the cruising permit but again, as an alien originating your purchase and trip from within the US, rather than entering from the seas, you would want to check with the US offices cited above.

You could get caught in limbo, if you were stopped trying to leave the US without proof that you had legally entered it with your boat. The USCG or US Customs should both be able to answer that, and if their answers are at all different--try again.
 

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Buy the boat, put in on the hard for any work needed. A boat on the hard doesn't need registration in most States.

I don't know about most states but tha does not work in Florida. 90 days and you pay regardless.
How do you register a boat in RI if the boat is not there and you do not have an address there?
 

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Cam-
You're confusing taxation with registration. In many states, sales tax is due on the sale within xx days unless the boat is removed from the state. Howeve, registration is a separate issue and often is only required if the boat is in the "navigable waters" of the state, i.e. not required if the boat is on the hard.
In the case of a private sale, the state authorities have no notification of anything, so nothing triggers the demand for sales tax, until someone goes to register the boat. (Brokers may be filing paperwork.) Of course there are marina visits by taxmen, so there's some risk in just trying to evade sales tax when it is due.

Tradewind-
You're doing something similar to what the lawyers call "venue shopping".<G> You might get away with it bu it isn't legal. If you are not a RI resident, and the boat is not contracted for a mooring in RI, they're probably going to stop you and ask "How come your address is in Kansas, Sir? We can't accept this." and wave you goodbye. Note that they say "If the principal mooring area (more than ninety days per year) of your boat is in Rhode Island," so you might have to buy the boat and immediately BRING it to RI in order to do this legally.
Then, of course, you may not be able to bring the boat into the BVI and if you can bring it in, you may not be able to "register" it there, since you have no federal chain of title and lien status, just a state registration document. Check carefully to see if the BVI would allow the entry--and accept your casual title.

Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, but if the taxmen think you are in tax evasion--they'll seize the boat, physically arrest it and put a lien on it, and no yard will splash it until you've cleared that up in the courts. In the worst case, if they convict you with tax evasion, that might be reason to cancel your green card and deport you--while the boat was still here. A real mess, a good reason to be very very careful about how creative you try to get.
 

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HelloS...you are correct...I oversimplified. Nevertheless for FLORIDA the facts are as I have stated and since Florida is where Andreas planned on buying his boat here is the law:
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/taxes/sut_boat_owner.html

Boats Sold to Nonresidents

A boat may be purchased tax-exempt if it is sold by or through a registered boat dealer or yacht broker to a nonresident who will remove the boat from the state.
The following requirements must be met:
  • The purchaser must sign an affidavit stating that he or she has read the law and rules regarding the specific exemption claimed and agrees to remove the boat from Florida.
    • A boat of less than 5 net tons of admeasurement must leave Florida within 10 days of purchase or immediately be placed in the care, custody, and control of a registered repair facility for repairs, additions, or alterations. The boat must leave Florida within 20 days after completion of the repairs.
    • If the boat is 5 net tons of admeasurement or larger, the purchaser may obtain a set of Florida Department of Revenue boat decals, which authorize the boat to remain in Florida waters up to 90 days after purchase. The decals can be obtained from the selling dealer or broker. This 90-day period may not be extended for any reason.
Exemptions From Registration
Vessels exempt from registration include:

  • [*]non-motor-powered vessels,
    [*]vessels used exclusively on private lakes and ponds,
    [*]vessels owned by the United States Government,
    [*]vessels used exclusively as a ship's lifeboat.
    [*]
http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/dmv/vslfacts.html#3
There is no exemption from registration for boats on the hard.
 

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Uh, this is dumb. YOU live in Michigan, right? Why not just go and become a citizen of the U.S.? Or are you just trying to stiff all the governmental agencies the world over on their taxes? Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's! :mad:

Sure would solve some of your problems... or register it in Deutschland.
 

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"YOU live in "
Living someplace is a coincidental condition to being there before your death. He may simply be sojourning here, or visiting here, and renouncing and changing citizenship is something not to be undertaken lightly. US citizenship is not always available, and often requires resignation of the prior citizenship.
Tax avoidance and evasion is something else again. Citizenship is something one chooses usually once for life--not for a couple of years for passing reasons.
 

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Tradewind-
"You mentioned to register the boat in Germany. Show me how to do that with a boat I buy in the US, while I live in the US. "
Well, Germany ain't the States, so this is a foolish guess. But mightn't they allow you to title the boat the same way that a US citizen can do when buying a boat abroad? I can buy a boat anywhere in the world (actually, anywhere, even off-world<G>) and still file the paperwork with the USCG to federally document the vessel. That's because "the flag" travels with me, as a citizen, and I can take possession of the boat anywhere.
I'd more than half expect to find out that in Germany, a boat must be presented for inspection before it can be titled that way. But...perhaps not?
 

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On two occasions I have purchased boats outside of Canada, and had no problems whatsoever having them entered into Canadian Ship Registry. One of the boats I used for six years in Europe, then sold there. The other boat was eventually brought back to Canada and taxes were paid on landing. I am quite certain that a similar process is allowed by Germany.
 

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Tradewind-
Catch-22.<G> If your vessel is German-flagged, the marine SSB license probably also needs to be from Germany, although you might not need that "german boat opeartors license" until you bring it into your home waters.

And of course, once it is foreign flagged...you'll need a cruising permit in US waters. If you find out whether you can get that for a boat originating in the US, rather than clearing in from overseas, do let us all know how that works?
 

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"I don't think it is illegal to have a US state registration and a foreign national registration. " It might be, if they were at the same time.

Bear in mind that even with US state registration, the boat will be titled as a motor vehicle, and the title registration now goes into permanent records. You may need to submit that same title certificate as your proof of title to get a foreign flag registration, and there are often regulations barring any type of dual-registration.

It isn't venue shopping.<G> Then of course, you may need to explain things to your insurer, who certainly isn't going to want to hear about multiple registrations, international movements, and taking numbers off the hull. You may need to form a BVI corporation with whatever native partner (a law firm?) is needed, and flag it as a corporate-owned vessel with a shell company as the holder, and then change that as required once or if you bring it back into the EU.

Without a clear understanding of all the laws, and preferably legal advice from someone who is paid to know them, I can't help think you're going to wind up with a problem. Bureacrats the world over are pretty much the same when it comes to irregular or unfamiliar papers.
 

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Larus Marinus
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TradewindSailing said:
...the ship-register for larger, most commercial ships, the "Seeschiffsregister". But Germany has a second "register" for the smaller boats they call them "Sportboats", ... It is internationally accepted as proof of ownership, and national registration.
I am not sure of that. I think that the small ships register ("Sportboats") is all that is needed in EU waters, but for outside the EU (i.e in America) I think the full registry ("Seeschiffsregister") is required for a German flagged yacht. In the EU, you have to re-register with a new flag/member state and that authority informs the previous flag/member state of the registry, so cancelling the older one.
Certainly you will need matching national radio regulations licenses for the boat to cover all transmitting equipment. If you buy the boat in the US, you will also need to carry the bill of sale and the EU customs document showing that value added tax and import duty has been paid when sailing under a EU member state's flag (at least in EU waters). If the boat is fairly new, it will need a certificate for the EU's Recreational Boats Directive too. Regarding your own certificates, I think Germany will recognise equivalent (EU) certificates for VHF GMDSS short range radio, SSB HF long range radio and radar. For a German registered boat you will also need the competency certificate ("Schifferpatent"?), as that is required in Germany.
Have you tried asking the USCG directly for their solution to your problem?
 

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Hi !
I am new on this forum, just sign in :D
And find this thread !!
I am a bit in the same situation as I am french,resident in the Uk and I bought a schooner in SF bay in 2004 which I am restoring :
www.mavourneen-mary.com
I come in the USA 3 months on a waiver visa,do some work then back home and come back again :p
I registered my boat on the small ship british register after talks with Uk customs, via internet , so i have a British registered yacht.
Now, I have not contacted US officials yet as the boat is under rebuilding in a marina abd I start to wonder what's going to happen when I want to leave the US !!!!:(
Any infos about that ??
Thanks

Lannig
www.mavourneen-mary.com
 

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Lannig - one thing has changed with regards to the US visa waiver program for foreign nationals : everyone now needs a valid visa to arrive and depart the US visa a non-commercial sailing vessel. The application process for tourist visa can take a long time so it is best if you get that sorted out before getting a rude awakening.
 
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