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Old 09-28-2016, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default Bahamas: Importing a boat

I am considering shipping a flats boat to one of the out islands of Bahamas and leaving it there permanently. If you've exported a boat to the Bahamas from the US and registered it there I'd really appreciate knowing what to expect in terms of stamp tax, import fees, registering the boat + trailer, etc. Any and all information is greatly appreciated!
thank you!
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:30 AM   #2
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I am considering this as well. I don't know for sure since I haven't done it but I would expect 10% duty plus some fees and shipping and then VAT on the total of those. See the car example here

https://www.bahamas.gov.bs/wps/wcm/c...df?MOD=AJPERES
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:06 AM   #3
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Gents, I've shipped two boats over. if you PM me I'll send you my cell phone if you want to discuss. Its not hard but you've got to have your paperwork right on the US side and there are a couple of nuances on the Bahamas side to consider.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:28 PM   #4
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I'm considering doing this: (from the Bahamas website)

How long can I keep my boat in The Bahamas & how much is the fee?

Owners of foreign registered boats (including the US) may keep their vessels in The Bahamas for one year without paying duty and may extend this one-year stay for up to three years by paying a fee of $500 per year after the first.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:11 PM   #5
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I think you're talking about a cruising permit?
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:48 PM   #6
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I guess but it's a good concept to take advantage of:

https://www.bahamas.com/boating-faqs
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 008 View Post
I guess but it's a good concept to take advantage of:

https://www.bahamas.com/boating-faqs
You can't ship a boat and get a cruising permit that I am aware of. Customs makes you pay before they let it leave from the dock. You have to drive it over which isn't feasible in all cases but yes it can be a benefit for the right scenario.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:09 PM   #8
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I've taken a couple of boats to Eleuthera and am a little familiar. If you ship it over, you'll have to pay the customs before you get it off the dock. There are some ways to materially reduce the costs. Andrew at Bahamian Boat Trader can help you through the ins and outs.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:11 PM   #9
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Just shipping a boat over is different than importing a boat. Its important to specify exactly what you're wanting to do.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:23 PM   #10
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I would drive or have someone tow it over, when the permit ran out I would renew it. Hard to resell in the states with a Bahamian title.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuna921 View Post
I would drive or have someone tow it over, when the permit ran out I would renew it. Hard to resell in the states with a Bahamian title.
Thatís what Iím thinking.

3 years is plenty, you can decide then what to do, probably just bring it to FL and sell it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuna921 View Post
I would drive or have someone tow it over, when the permit ran out I would renew it. Hard to resell in the states with a Bahamian title.
If exported from the us what is to say the title has been revoked? Just as long as it has been registered in your name before shipping or driving there and no change in ownership it should still be titleable in the us.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #13
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Selling a boat whether in the US or Bahamas is as simple as "do you have a clear title" and is is a good deal.

If one was to import a boat to the Bahamas and pay duty and now VAT then it would make sense to sell the boat in the Bahamas rather than repatriate it to the US then sell it. IMO, there are advantages to importing the boat rather than just shipping it but heck everyone is different.

In most cases you can ship a boat cheaper than you can take it over, however there is the hassle factor which is pretty high if its your first Rodeo.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:44 PM   #14
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Iron worker and crazy beard are correct. Once imported, you can run to states if needed for service and return it with out cruising permit. When you want to get rid of sell here in Bahamas. Would not import a expensive boat as less Bahamians can afford.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:04 AM   #15
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Why would Bahamians buy an expensive boat when there are apparently numerous Americans who just want to trade boats with Bahamians according to newspaper reports????
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:37 PM   #16
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The duty on the boat is 10% and the trailer is 45% and when you add the VAT it adds another 12% to everything.
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha900 View Post
The duty on the boat is 10% and the trailer is 45% and when you add the VAT it adds another 12% to everything.
Vat is 7.5
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:24 PM   #18
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Based solely on my experience, buying engines and getting work done on boats/engines in the Bahamas is as cheap or cheaper than the US. A fellow just has to do a little shopping.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:08 PM   #19
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True, if anywhere besides Bimini!
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:30 PM   #20
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VAT is 7.5% but when they charge it on the amount of duty you pay, it figures out to a cost of 12% of the overall value of the item. I know, I am a customs broker, and I do entries all day long.
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