Foreign Flag Registration

Hello, First of all, thanks for publishing your knowledge.. It is appreciated. I’d like to know what your latest opinion is in regards to new yacht registration outside of the US. My wife and I are going to cruise the Caribbean before setting up shop in the BVI to charter on a multi-hull. Other then sales tax/use tax issues within a specific US state, do you know of any other advantages, considerations or pitfalls? Thank you for your time, Jay

Hi Jay: There are two other issues to consider: 1-Flying a foreign flag may improve your liability situation with regards to someone suing you. In some situations, if a judgment is obtained against you the claimant has to come to your “home” country (i.e. where the flag is from that you are flying) to collect the judgment. In some areas the aware amount will be retried under local law. This can be a big advantage compared to the situation in the USA. However, you need to check with local counsel to see what the current legal situation is. 2-If you are cruising in the US with a foreign flagged vessel you will need to clear into and out of each district. If you obtain a cruising permit, this can be done with a phone call. Only countries with reciprocal arrangements with the USA are eligible for this treatment. British flagged vessels, for example, qualify. Good Luck–Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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