U.S. Customs & Border Protection may require a formal consumption entry for any merchandise valued over $2,000 if deemed necessary for (a) import admissibility enforcement purposes, (b) revenue protection, or (c) the efficient conduct of Customs business. (19CFR143.22).
It is the standard practice of CBP offices in the Pacific Northwest to require that a formal entry be filed on all boats valued over $2000 imported into the U.S., whether imported for personal or commercial use.
If the vessel is sold, chartered, or offered for sale or charter without the owner first having filed a consumption entry and having paid duty, the vessel may be subject to seizure or a monetary claim equal to the value of the vessel (19CFR4.94(d)(1)&(2)).
The U.S. Customs regulations require that boats imported for sale, lease or charter be imported under a consumption entry and any applicable duties and taxes paid.
Any offer to sell or charter (for example, a listing with yacht brokers or agents) is considered evidence that the vessel was brought in for sale or charter to a resident or, if made within one year of entry of a vessel brought in free of duty as personal effects, that the vessel no longer is for the personal use of the non-resident. (19CFR4.94)
Dutiable merchandise imported and afterward exported, even though duty thereon may have been paid on the first importation, is liable to duty on every subsequent importation into the Customs territory of the United States (19CFR141.2)
Therefore, a foreign-manufactured boat imported into the U.S. may be subject to duty, even if that boat was previously registered in the U.S.
Boats and Vessels
“The word vessel includes every description of watercraft or other contrivance used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, but does not include aircraft.” (19CFR4.0(a)).
Arrival and Entry of Vessels
“The phrase “arrival of a vessel” means that time when the vessel first comes to rest, whether at anchor or a dock, in any harbor within the Customs territory of the U.S.” (19CFR4.0(f))
Report of Arrival of Vessels is Required
“Upon arrival in any port or place within the U.S., including…the U.S. Virgin Islands, of any vessel from a foreign port or place, any foreign vessel from a port or place within the U.S., or any vessel of the U.S. carrying bonded merchandise or foreign merchandise for which entry has not been made, the master of the vessel shall immediately report that arrival to the nearest Customs facility or other location designated by the port director.” (19CFR4.2(a)).
Vessels Required to Enter, Place of Entry
Unless specifically excepted by law, within 48 hours after the arrival at any port or place in the United States; the following vessels are required to make formal entry:
Penalties for Violation of Vessel Reporting and Entry Requirements
“Violation of the arrival or entry reporting requirements provided for in this part may result in the master being liable for certain civil and criminal penalties…
The penalties include civil monetary penalties for failure to report arrival or make entry, and any conveyance used in connection with such violation is subject to seizure and forfeiture.” (19CFR4.3a)
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A temporary import bond, or TIB, is a temporary importation of goods under bond, not imported for sale or sale on approval, without the payment of duty and with the intent to export or destroy the goods within a certain period not to exceed three years from the date of importation.
Due to the restrictions on TIB’s, boats entered into the U.S. to be offered for sale or listed for sale with a yacht broker would not be eligible for a TIB and would have to be entered under a consumption entry with the payment of duty.
An otherwise dutiable vessel used primarily for recreation or pleasure and exceeding seventy-nine feet in length that has been previously sold by a manufacturer or dealer to a retail consumer and that is imported with the intention to offer for sale at a boat show in the United States may qualify at the time of importation for a deferral of entry completion and deposit of duty (19CFR4.94a).