New Bill aims to open up US sales for foreign-flagged yachts

U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel to introduce legislation allowing U.S. sales of foreign-flagged yachts

In November Congresswoman Lois Frankel plans to introduce legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to purchase foreign-flagged yachts while in U.S. waters without paying a costly import duty prior to the sale.

Congresswoman Frankel made the announcement during a Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA) press event at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) is expected to be a co-sponsor of the bill.

“The interest in the marine industry is huge and it is a giant economic driver for South Florida,” said Congresswoman Frankel. “We are going to talk about taking a super industry and putting it on steroids.”

“We are thrilled that Congresswoman Frankel recognises the efforts of FYBA and scores of other marine industry businesses and organizations to repeal this outdated law that costs the US yacht sales revenue, tax dollars and jobs,” said Cindy Sailor, FYBA executive director. “Congresswoman Frankel has been a tireless supporter of our industry, and we thank her for working with us to repeal this law and expand the ability of U.S. brokers to sell foreign-flagged yachts in the US.”

Removal of this 107-year-old law would allow US residents to board and purchase foreign-flagged vessels while in U.S. waters without first paying an import duty; something currently only non-U.S. residents are permitted to do. Also known as “deferred importation”, repeal of the law would defer payment of the duty until the boat is sold, just as other nations require of US-flagged vessels sold while in their waters.

Studies show that implementation of deferred importation would generate thousands of yachting industry-related jobs and encourage $2.46 billion in additional U.S. recreational marine sales and economic activity.

“FYBA has led the fight to repeal this law, and we applaud the efforts of Congresswoman Frankel for supporting our cause,” said Jeff Erdmann, chairman of FYBA’s Legislative Affairs Committee. “Removing this law and allowing yacht buyers in the U.S. to pay import duties at the time of the sale will provide an added boost to our industry and the U.S. economy.”