U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., plans to introduce bipartisan legislation this month that will allow U.S. citizens to purchase foreign-flagged yachts while in U.S. waters without paying a costly import duty before the sale.
Frankel made the announcement during a press event on Tuesday that the Florida Yacht Brokers Association hosted at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., is expected to be a co-sponsor.
“The interest in the marine industry is huge and it is a giant economic driver for South Florida,” Frankel during the press conference, according to a statement from FYBA. “We are going to talk about taking a super industry and putting it on steroids.”
“We are thrilled that Congresswoman Frankel recognizes the efforts of FYBA and scores of other marine industry businesses and organizations to repeal this outdated law that costs the U.S. yacht sales revenue, tax dollars and jobs,” FYBA executive director Cindy Sailor said. “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 U.S.”
Removal of the 107-year-old law would allow U.S residents to board and purchase foreign-flagged vessels while in U.S. waters without first paying an import duty, something that 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, as other nations require of U.S.-flagged vessels sold in their waters.
The FYBA says 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.”
The FYBA put together a six-minute video discussing the ripple effect of current tax laws, interviewing several in all parts of the marine industry in South Florida.
The association also put together a website explaining the effects of the 107-year-old law.