Why You Need a Coastwise Endorsement

A coastwise endorsement is a form of U.S. Coast Guard documentation that allows a vessel to engage in coastwise trade that does not require a registry or fishery endorsement. This includes the transportation of merchandise and passengers between points acknowledged in the United States coastwise laws. If you intend to carry out such trade, you need to obtain this endorsement on the Coast Guard Certificate of Read More

Understanding Duty Paid Status

Duty Paid status is part of the “Delivered Duty Paid” process, which is an Incoterm (International Commercial Term). It means that in an international commercial transaction, the seller assumes the following responsibilities: All costs and risks associated with sending the product or products to their destination Taking care of clearance formalities at the point of origin, such as export permits and Read More

Three Steps to Obtain Your Cruising Permit

A cruising permit is issued to foreign-flagged yachts and other recreational vessels from countries that have a reciprocal arrangement with the United States. Once issued, it exempts the boat captain from having to: File manifests, obtain permits, and carry out related entry and clearance procedures each time the vessel arrives at a U.S. port. Pay tonnage tax or entry and clearance fees at every port it Read More

A Brief Overview of Inward Processing

The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, provides for duty deferral on goods imported into the United States and subsequently exported to Canada or Mexico. These programs include bonded warehouses, temporary importation under bond, and inward processing. Inward processing is a duty deferral program that allows yachts and other vessels to be temporarily imported into the United States without paying duty Read More

What You Need to Know About Transit Visas

Thousands of people enter the United States for various reasons every year. While many are citizens returning home or immigrants looking to build a new life, others are only making an international stopover on their way to another country. If they want to briefly tour their surroundings during this pause in transit, they may have to hold a transit visa (also known as a C-visa). The C-1 visa is intended for Read More

Understanding the Abstract of Title

An abstract of title is a record of all documents submitted to the Coast Guard for a particular vessel. While many think of it as a definitive title history, this isn’t quite true. The abstract only lists information provided to the Coast Guard during the time that it documented the boat, so gaps may exist in the timeline, especially if the boat was ever registered in another state or country. What Does an Read More

Yacht Brokers: Is Your Vessel Legal for Sale?

When you decide to sell your yacht, getting it ready for the market is not a simple matter of tossing out the clutter, giving the vessel a deep clean, and fixing any mechanical issues. There are also certain legal requirements that you will have to comply with. When overlooked or left unaddressed, issues like those listed below can render your boat illegal for sale in the United States and create problems for you, Read More

Keeping Up With the Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law that governs maritime commerce in the U.S. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, it was originally enacted to revive the country’s shipping industry after World War I. When used in the sense of maritime law, the Jones Act refers to 46 USC section 883, which requires goods and passengers shipped between American ports (“coastwise trade”) to be conveyed on vessels built, owned, Read More

Yacht Brokers: 4 Tips to Navigate Customs

When you’re importing a yacht into the U.S., advance preparation is key. U.S. Customs will be requesting certain paperwork in addition to the duty payment, and it all needs to be ready when officials process the vessel and its passengers. If any documentation is missing or incomplete, it can delay the import. To reduce the risk of an unexpected complication, we are providing four tips that make it easier to Read More

Understanding the Sales and Use Tax on Marine Vessels

The sales and use taxes on marine vessels is sometimes confused with duty and importation tax, but it is not the same system. Unlike duty, which is imposed by the federal government at the boat’s port of entry, the sales and use taxation is assessed at the state and local level and applied at the time the boat is purchased. State sales tax is typically collected at the time of purchase if the vessel was acquired Read More