Florida congressman announces bills to end foreign-flagged yacht sales restrictions

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U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) announced two bills aimed at creating industry jobs at a press conference on Monday hosted by the International Yacht Brokers Association at Rybovich Superyacht Marina in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The bills support the IYBA’s deferred importation initiative to reform the Tariff Act of 1930. The two bills are included in the tax reform package that Congress will assemble when it returns from summer recess.

The first bill calls for the elimination of duty on pre-owned dutiable foreign-flagged boats offered for sale to U.S. residents while in U.S. waters. The second calls for deferment of the duty until after the vessel is sold to a U.S. resident.

If enacted, either bill would help create jobs by encouraging the owners of these boats to bring them to South Florida’s market to offer them for sale.

“Representative Mast has proven to be a huge supporter of the South Florida marine industry and the jobs this legislation will bring to not only South Florida, but to the industry nationwide,” Staley Weidman, chairman of the IYBA public affairs committee, said in a statement. “This, coupled with Rep. Lois Frankel’s (D-Fla.) sponsorship of bill HR 2369, helps to further our cause and provide our legislators multiple options for including deferred importation in the current tax reform bill package.

“We believe this multipronged 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 U.S. residents while in U.S. waters,” Weidman added. “Ultimately, passage of any of these bills means those vessels will rely on service and support in U.S. ports by U.S.-based companies and workers. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

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