Understanding the Cruising License Renewal Process

If you have a foreign-flagged pleasure boat from one of the countries that has a reciprocal agreement with the United States, your vessel can be issued a cruising license that permits you to enjoy your boat in U.S. waters. These licenses are issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at the port of entry where you arrive in the United States. They are normally valid for one year at a time.   With a Read More

What You Need in Order to File Entry on a Vessel

If you are bringing a private Marine vessel into the United States, you need certain documentation in order to file entry. This will occur when you first arrive at a U.S. point of entry. Read on to learn which documents you will need to present to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent. Upon arrival report to immigration Immigration now has a Phone app to download called CBP ROAM. This allows you to Read More

3 Steps to Document Your Vessel with the Coast Guard

If you are a US citizen and own a vessel with a net tonnage of at least five tons, you can document it with the US Coast Guard. Reasons why you might want to do so include:  1. Protection by the US flag if you sail to foreign waters.  2. Your vessel is easier to track across state lines should it ever be stolen To document your boat, you will need to confirm that you own it, you are a US citizen and that the Read More

Five-Year Renewals Now Available for Recreational Vessel Certificates of Documentation

On December 4th, 2018, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 was signed into law. It deals with long-standing issues such as the regulation of discharges incidental to normal vessel operation (e.g., grey water and ballast water discharges) and clarifies the process for qualifying a vessel as U.S. built. One of its provisions enables those who hold recreational vessel Certificates of Documentation (CODs) to Read More

Understanding Safety Surveys

A boat safety survey is a detailed vessel inspection carried out by a qualified marine surveyor for the purpose of assessing its overall condition and seaworthiness. The goal is to confirm that the boat can safely be used for its designed purpose and identify what repairs or maintenance work may be needed, either immediately or in the near future. There are different times and reasons for arranging a safety Read More

4 Steps to Registering Your Vessel in Florida

Florida law requires all motorized boats that operate on its public waterways to be titled and registered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You have 30 days after buying the boat to title and register it, but until the process is complete, be sure to keep a proof of purchase (which includes the date of sale) aboard at all times, as operating an unregistered boat after 30 days is a Read More

Who Gets the Yacht in a Divorce?

When a married couple divorces in Florida, all marital property - which may include a yacht - is subject to equitable distribution. This means that if the couple doesn’t come to their own agreement regarding which spouse receives what assets, the court will attempt to split everything as fairly as possible. With a high-value asset like a yacht that the couple bought together, the typical outcome is that one Read More

4 Tax Mistakes Yacht Owners Make

As April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts) draws near, you may be wondering if there is any way that you can claim expenses related to your yacht. Given the fact that boats are big investments that can cost their owners thousands of dollars in operations and maintenance, many yacht owners explore ways that they can “write off,” or deduct, these amounts. The answer is yes. According to the advice Read More

4 Elements of a Departure Manifest

Each time a vessel leaves the United States, the master, owner, or an agent is required to present a collection of forms called a “departure manifest” to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of departure. This traveling manifest is updated and annotated at each port and consists of the following four primary elements. 1. CBP Form I-418 Also known as the crew list, this document may include Read More

4 Forms You Need for Arrivals/Departures at US Ports of Entry

When a vessel arrives at a U.S. port of entry, the owner, master, or agent must present a collection of forms to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. This package, known as an arrival manifest, consists of these four documents. CBP Form I-418 This form is the official crew list. All crew members are listed alphabetically along with the following details: Date of birth Nationality Travel Read More