Bill to abolish US duty on used yachts proposed


Legislation to abolish tax on used foreign yachts sold in the US has been proposed by Congressman Brian Mast.

Mast hopes the two bills will be incorporated into tax reform currently being considered by Congress, and will boost jobs in the district of Florida that he represents.

He unveiled the two bills – one to abolish duty on used foreign-flagged boats offered for sale to US residents while in US waters, and the other to defer the duty until after vessels are sold to US residents – earlier this week, at a press conference hosted by the International Yacht Brokers Association at the Rybovich Superyacht Marina in Florida.

Introducing the Maritime Industries Relief Act, which he described as “a jobs bill, plain and simple”, Mast said that, if it was adopted, it would make it more affordable to bring used yachts and other qualifying boats into the US, which would mean more work for US service and support companies. It would also make used boats more affordable for American consumers.

“We have a thriving maritime industry, and it’s absolutely critical that, as Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, we do everything we can to help American businesses compete. This is a perfect example of a win-win for consumers and local businesses.”

Mast says the current tax structure “disadvantages” US marine businesses by making it more likely that boats will be taken to ports in other countries for repairs.

Mast’s bills are supported by the IYBA, which is already supporting a Deferred Importation Bill introduced by Congresswoman Lois Frankel, also of Florida. Her Bill also aims to eliminate the “costly import duty” currently paid by Americans on used foreign-flagged yachts when they are offered for sale.

Staley Weidman, chairman of the IYBA’s public affairs committee, said: “Representative Mast has proven to be a huge supporter of the South Florida marine industry and the jobs this legislation will bring, not only to South Florida but to the industry nationwide. This, coupled with Rep. Lois Frankel’s sponsorship of HR 2369, helps to further our cause and provide our legislators with multiple options for including Deferred Importation in the current Tax Reform Bill package.

“We believe this multi-pronged approach will give Congress several choices to consider for adopting this important legislation that, ultimately, will allow foreign-flagged and -built, pre-owned yachts to freely market and sell to US residents while in US waters.”