Congresswoman pushes for foreign-flagged boat sales

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) continued her fight to make it easier for foreign-flagged yachts visiting the United States to be sold to Americans.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D- Fla.) promoted legislation Friday at the Palm Beach Interna-tional Boat Show that would allow sellers of foreign-flagged boats to defer payment of the import duty until after the sale takes place. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, (rear at left); Jeff Erdmann, of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association; and Efrem “Skip” Zim-balist III, CEO of Show Management, also attended.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D- Fla.) promoted legislation Friday at the Palm Beach International Boat Show that would allow sellers of foreign-flagged boats to defer payment of the import duty until after the sale takes place. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, (rear at left); Jeff Erdmann, of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association; and Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management, also attended.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) used the Palm Beach International Boat Show to continue her fight to make it easier for foreign-flagged yachts visiting the United States to be sold to Americans.

Boating's economic impact in the United States — especially in Florida — would increase greatly if a 107-year-old tax law is overturned in Congress, Frankel said Friday.

Removal of the law would allow U.S residents to board and purchase foreign-flagged vessels while in U.S. waters without first paying an import duty. That is something only non-U.S. residents are now permitted to do.

"We have an idea we're cooking up in Congress to bring even more yachts and more jobs into not only South Florida, but the country," Frankel told media members, yacht industry executives and boat show officials.

"We have an antiquated law … that requires [the owners of] foreign-flagged yachts ... to pay up front a tax on their yachts. We believe this is discouraging them from coming here to sell their yachts. We have a bill in Washington, D.C., that will allow [owners of] these foreign-flagged yachts to come into the country — year-round — and sell their yacht and then pay the tax."

Frankel said that at any given time there are about 400 yachts offshore that would come into the United States if the law were abolished.

"When a yacht is sold, the upgrade is about 13 percent of the value and the maintenance is about 10 percent," she said. "We have about $2 billion worth of yachts offshore that we think we can attract [into this country] by changing this law. This translates into many jobs in the country."

Chuck Collins, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management, and Jeff Erdmann, chairman of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee, also spoke during the 25-minute press conference.

The law’s removal "would not cost the federal government a single penny and actually would bring more revenue to the state of Florida — $2.46 billion in economic impact," Erdmann said. "That is going to build the economy overall. It’s wonderful to have a champion in Washington working on this legislation. Today trade is so important to our economy."

Seiler said “the marine industry means the world to us, and the congresswoman understands its value. It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Related

NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.

Newport Show Dates Announced

Organizers are planning for an in-person Golden Anniversary edition of the show Sept. 16-19.

Quick Hits: March 5, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers names Brunswick Corp. CFO Ryan Gwillim to its Board of Directors.

Caught Red-Handed

Two commercial fishermen were jailed for possessing an illegal haul that included 100 undersized lobster tails, which is a felony. Also, fisheries management gets new funding.

Bennington Expands Operations

The pontoon builder plans to add jobs at its new facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and increase manufacturing output.

KVH Industries Names CFO

Longtime telecom financial executive Roger A. Kuebel assumes the position that COO Brent Bruun had held in an interim capacity.