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Old 03-03-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
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Good Day Everyone,

Im planing to buy a boat in The Caribbean but I'm not sure how to go about getting it registered locally. I live in Australia and as such I don't have an option to get it registered in Australia as only deal here is a provisional registration for a delivery of the boat to Australia so that an import levy can be paid and then the full regio is issued. This provisional registration is good for 6 months only. I'm planing to start my circumnavigation from the Caribbean. What are the options in the Caribbean then? I've checked the BVI and as an individual I can not get the regio dane there. Shelf company is the way. My question is: is there a place in the Caribbean where a private individual (an Australian national) can get a boat registered? Any advice regarding this matter and all other ideas are much appreciated.

Thanking in advance,

Marek

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Old 03-03-2011, 11:21 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=itsMarek;1299185582]

Good Day Everyone,

Im planing to buy a boat in The Caribbean but I'm not sure how to go about getting it registered locally. I live in Australia and as such I don't have an option to get it registered in Australia as only deal here is a provisional registration for a delivery of the boat to Australia so that an import levy can be paid and then the full regio is issued. This provisional registration is good for 6 months only. I'm planing to start my circumnavigation from the Caribbean. What are the options in the Caribbean then? I've checked the BVI and as an individual I can not get the regio dane there. Shelf company is the way. My question is: is there a place in the Caribbean where a private individual (an Australian national) can get a boat registered? Any advice regarding this matter and all other ideas are much appreciated.

Thanking in advance,

Marek

G'day bloke. Welcome. Can't answer the 'Caribbean' end of your question. I'm sure someone in these 'forums' can. I do have a question about the Australian end. Why would you want to registrar a yacht in Australia? As an ex-pat Canuck, having lived in Australia for 50 years I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to pay 10's of 1000's of dollars to - register a yacht in Australia when it is really not necessary to do that. If your going to sail the oceans of the world what difference does it make where the yacht is registered or what the yachts 'home' port is? I'm looking into buying another yacht & doing that in SE Asia which is where I will keep the yacht registered thus saving many 1000's of dollars which I can put in my own personal cruising fund. Whatever you end up doing - do enjoy, keep safe & fair winds to you. Do stay away from pirates & all other avoidable dangers. Ciao, james
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by itsMarek View Post

Good Day Everyone,

Im planing to buy a boat in The Caribbean My question is: is there a place in the Caribbean where a private individual (an Australian national) can get a boat registered? Any advice regarding this matter and all other ideas are much appreciated.

Thanking in advance,

Marek
The first thing to know is

#1 is the boat presently registered ?

#2 if so, where ?

#3 Is it registered to an individual ?

#4 Is it registered to an entity ?
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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Whatever the registration of any boat you might buy, you aren't going to be able to keep that registration. Though most customs and immigration officials often don't pay attention to the name on the papers, it appears that even the least sophisticated official is paying attention nowadays. So don't consider it, don't try it.

Anguilla used to be a good place to set up a registration of convenience. At least two friends of ours did that, though I don't know how it was accomplished. Lots of little "offshore" entities there in the past. Money seems to be all that was needed.

Turks & Caicos used to make this possible if you set up an offshore company there. But I don't know the financial/legal requirements for this. If you were in St. Martin you might be able to get French residency (though they don't make it easy and you have to apply from outside France) and since it's a duty-free island you would not pay import duty (possibly taxes as well but not sure of this part). You'd then have a French registration. Antigua might be another option but I have no contacts there.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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Whatever the registration of any boat you might buy, you aren't going to be able to keep that registration. Though most customs and immigration officials often don't pay attention to the name on the papers, it appears that even the least sophisticated official is paying attention nowadays. So don't consider it, don't try it.

Anguilla used to be a good place to set up a registration of convenience. At least two friends of ours did that, though I don't know how it was accomplished. Lots of little "offshore" entities there in the past. Money seems to be all that was needed.

Turks & Caicos used to make this possible if you set up an offshore company there. But I don't know the financial/legal requirements for this. If you were in St. Martin you might be able to get French residency (though they don't make it easy and you have to apply from outside France) and since it's a duty-free island you would not pay import duty (possibly taxes as well but not sure of this part). You'd then have a French registration. Antigua might be another option but I have no contacts there.
Thanks JeanneP for your comments. It is most likely that there is no simple way for a private individual to register a boat anywhere in the Caribbean. It has to go through a shelf company structure.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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Thanking in advance,

Marek

G'day bloke. Welcome. Can't answer the 'Caribbean' end of your question. I'm sure someone in these 'forums' can. I do have a question about the Australian end. Why would you want to registrar a yacht in Australia? As an ex-pat Canuck, having lived in Australia for 50 years I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to pay 10's of 1000's of dollars to - register a yacht in Australia when it is really not necessary to do that. If your going to sail the oceans of the world what difference does it make where the yacht is registered or what the yachts 'home' port is? I'm looking into buying another yacht & doing that in SE Asia which is where I will keep the yacht registered thus saving many 1000's of dollars which I can put in my own personal cruising fund. Whatever you end up doing - do enjoy, keep safe & fair winds to you. Do stay away from pirates & all other avoidable dangers. Ciao, james

[/quote]

Good Day,

I wrote my post late at night and now I can see that the result was less than intended.

Taxes are payable only if a boat is taken to the country of registration.

For instance. A German national buys a boat in the Caribbean so he gets it registered in Germany and he pays no tax of any kind unless he sails that boat to Germany (and today, possibly to any EU country) but for his globetrotting purpose all is well. Similar deal goes for many other nationals. Brits are probably the best equipped of them all, but never mind. In Australia no such deal exists. The best you can get is the provisional registration and that is for 6 months only. For one think, 6 months is not good enough for anything and two its obviously out of a question since you would only end up paying the import levy. What I'm saying is that the German example above does not exist in the Australian context and so, one has to find another way of getting the boat registered overseas (if a boat happens to be purchased there). So here is my predicament. I need to find a way to get it registered in the Caribbean. All the best to you too and thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #7
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when you do become a new or used boat owner, be sure to take a boating safety course. Make sure that everyone who will be riding in or operating the boat takes a boating safety course as well. If you are a family of boaters, take the course together. You might be surprised at what you don't know.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what you need to do. But I do know there are law firms that specialize in this kind of stuff that know the legal game and can help you find the best solution for you. For example, if you were looking for help in central America in like Panama, Mata & Pitti is a legit law firm that specializes in maritime law among other things and registers vessels. You should be able to find law firms like that in almost every country. You can try them or see if they have a reference for you or start looking for another law firm to help. Good luck with your situation!
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:29 AM   #9
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It seems your question is one of taxes. If you import a yacht into any country you will have to pay import duty. To avoid the duty, buy the yacht in the country where you plan to register it. Then you also have sales tax. If you buy a U.S. registered yacht, you can register the yacht where there is no state sales tax like Montana. That is easy to do, simply form a company in Montana and register your boat there. If buying out of the U.S. this won't work.

Presumably, you could form a company in one of the tax haven countries and register your boat within that country. I don't know what countries won't charge an import duty.

Since you will be traveling to many countries, you won't be able to leave your yacht in these countries forever without paying duty. As it is, some will charge a "temporary import fee" which does you little good for the long term. Hope this helps.
Best of luck
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:35 AM
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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itsMarek, I don't have the exact answer to your question, but perhaps can impart some info that may be helpful. A group of us own a Beneteau, owned by a USA corporation, documented with the USCG, based in the BVI's. We pay the BVI authorities a temporary importation fee of $200 USD annually to keep the boat based there and have for 20 years. As such, we are not required to buy cruising permits for our 10 months of annual use, which would probably far exceed the $200 figure. gts1544 - George
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:54 AM   #11
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Register the boat in the UK it is easy to do online i think it is about 25pounds for 5years. Good luck
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:59 AM   #12
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Malasia is very lay back no import duty many boats are here for years and pay nothing in fact people leave their boats on anchor in Langkawi and go home 🏡 to work to get the kitty full again.
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