Skip to main content

IYBA urges Congress to end foreign-flagged yacht sales restrictions

The International Yacht Brokers Association is hosting a media event today with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.
Staley Weidman, chairman of the International Yacht Brokers Association’s legislative affairs committee, is shown with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., when a similar bill was introduced in 2015.

Staley Weidman, chairman of the International Yacht Brokers Association’s legislative affairs committee, is shown with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., when a similar bill was introduced in 2015.

The International Yacht Brokers Association is hosting a media event today with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., to reintroduce a bill to alter a 109-year-old law that prevents sales of foreign-flagged yachts to U.S. citizens while the boats are in U.S. waters.

“It’s garnering more support all the time, but several representatives who were sponsors last year weren’t re-elected,” IYBA executive director Cindy Sailor told Trade Only Today. “This is the 115th Congress. Lois is our main sponsor, and has reintroduced the bill to the new Congress.”

The bill, now introduced as H.R. 2369, seeks to change a law from 1908, which requires foreign-flagged boats to pay an import fee prior to being offered for sale to US residents while in US waters. The bill would not remove the tax paid on the boat, but would defer payment of it until after the boat is sold.

“We’re not asking to get any sort of forgiveness for paying the duty. We are requesting that the time of collection of the duty be changed to when the yacht is sold, rather than when it goes on the market,” Sailor said.

As it stands now, the tax is paid on the estimated value of the boat rather than the actual selling price of the boat.

“It’s counterintuitive to pay the import tax on the value of a boat before you know what the actual selling price is going to be.” Sailor said. “A 1.5 percent tax is sizable and most yacht owners don’t want to pay duty just to put the boat on the market with the hopes of selling it to a US buyer.”

That means lost sales in the United States, which the IYBA says translates to lost jobs and revenue.

“Within the first year of a boat owner buying a boat, a new owner usually spends about 13 percent of the value of the boat on refit, service work, new paint, or a new interior.” Sailor said. After the first year the percentage drops to around 10 percent of the value of the boat for maintenance, crew and upkeep.”

If foreign-flagged boats are discouraged from coming to the United States for sale, that revenue will wind up in other more accommodatingports, the IYBA says. “If a Canadian wants to buy a boat here, no problem. But if an American wants to buy the boat, they cannot.”

Two groups will be heading to the American Boating Congress next week to garner support from Congress, Sailor said. “There will be sevenin our delegation from IYBA, plus three from the California Yacht Brokers’ Association. We’ll be visiting with representatives and senators, burning up shoe leather while in DC to discuss what deferred importation means for US jobs and our economy.”

“Studies show that implementation of deferred importation would generate thousands of industry-related jobs and encourage $2.46 billion in additional U.S. recreational marine sales and economic activity,” Staley Weidman, chairman of IYBA’s legislative affairs committee, said in a statement. “It’s time to remove this onerous restriction, which prevents job creation and discriminates against U.S. residents while in their own country.”

This article was updated at 3 p.m. on May 12 and 8:30 a.m. on May 15.

Related

1_PULSE1

Inflation Stymies Boat Sales

Inventories of new and used boats are improving at the retail level but are still considered comparatively lean, according to the results of the monthly Pulse Report survey.

Norm

Ho, Ho, Ho, You Better Watch Out

It may be too early to decorate the showroom, but it’s not too early to hatch a marketing plan to profit from the holiday selling season.

IBEX

Industry reacts to IBEX cancelation

With Ian expected to hit Florida’s west coast as a major hurricane, the consensus among those who spoke with Trade Only Today say it was the correct decision.

1_ABYCELECTRIFICATION

Ready for a Revolution

Electrification has been an increasingly common buzzword in the marine industry, especially in the past four to five years.

1_MARINEMAX.BOD

MarineMax Makes Appointment to its Board

Mercedes Romero has expertise in global procurement and strategic planning, working with such companies as Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.

1_ PULSE.PING.1

DEALERS: Are Interest Rates Impacting Demand?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers whether interest rate increases are causing a downturn in boat sales. Take the survey here.

1_SPOTZERO

Spot Zero Announces Expansion

The Fort Lauderdale-based reverse osmosis systems manufacturer is adding a 20,000-square-foot production facility.

1_Seakeeper Ride 450_2023 Sportsman Open 232 Center Console

Seakeeper’s New System Targets Pitch

Seakeepeer, whose gyroscopic stabilizers set the marine industry standard for eliminating as much as 95 percent of a boat’s roll, is now turning its attention to eliminating pitch with their Seakeeper Ride system.

7_IMG_0254

Propeller Precision

Yamaha’s new $20 million foundry produces about 100,000 propellers a year