What Are Temporary Importation Bonds?

Anyone wanting to import a yacht into the United States for personal use is normally required to pay 1.5% duty on the value of the vessel, unless it is from a country with a trade agreement in place. They are also subject to a merchandise processing fee of .21%, with a maximum total of $485.

There are times, however, when you want to temporarily import a yacht into the United States. Examples of such situations include:

  • Entering the country to undergo required repairs
  • Using the vessel as demonstration equipment or a trade show sample

To accommodate these legitimate short-term needs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection permits the importation of goods (such as boats) into the country under a temporary import bond, which allows you to forgo paying duty under the following conditions:

  • The importation is temporary
  • The vessel is not going to be sold, directly or on approval, unless duty is paid
  • It must be exported within three years from the date of importation

Instead of paying the import duty, you post a bond for twice the amount of duty, taxes (which are at .3464% and capped at $485), and related fees that would typically be owed if the yacht was being imported. The bond is issued to you on the condition that you export the vessel within one year (unless an extension is granted) or pay damages valued at twice the standard duty.

Extending a Temporary Import Bond

Temporary import bonds remain in effect for one year, although they can be extended for up to two more years if you submit a request letter detailing the reason for the extension. It is important to be aware that the extension is not automatically granted:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection must approve your application. If it is granted, the yacht cannot be used for anything except for display, as no cruising permit can be issued.

Closing the Bond

After the reason for the temporary import has been satisfied, you may close the temporary import bond by exporting the yacht under the supervision of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Once the agency receives proof that the vessel has arrived at a foreign destination, the bond closing will be complete.

Applying for a temporary import bond is not always a straightforward procedure, given the extensive paperwork required and strict criteria for compliance. The marine documentation team at Howard S. Reeder can assist you in importing your yacht for short-term purposes by completing and submitting the necessary paperwork on your behalf, helping you obtain an extension if required. For more information contact us today.

Written by Howard S Reeder Inc

Howard S. Reeder, Inc is a family-owned business which has been in operation since 1940 when Howard S. Reeder Sr. founded our customs brokerage company and began helping importers bring products into the United States. Now on our third generation of ownership, both our company and our areas of expertise have greatly expanded over the more than 75 years since our inception.