Originally Posted by Barin
Neil, clearly this thread became very technical and for some reason commercial yachts fell into discussion.
For clarification purposes: Assuming you live in Australia, you are free to purchase these boats, but more importantly, you are free to board and inspect them with the intent of purchasing it while they sit in US waters. The disclaimer you read does indeed refer to a vessel that has not paid US duties. For your purpose you can purchase the boat and either foreign flag it then get a cruising permit to use it in US waters or simply export the boat to wherever you wish. This is entirely separate from the State Sales Tax which varies greatly from state to state. **Recently the State of Florida passed an $18k sales tax cap**
Typically most foreign built boats that are imported into the US through a dealer will have paid the duties upon entering because the duties will be calculated on the manufacturer's proforma invoice (dealer cost) less all parts and equipment that were built or sourced in the states (to avoid double taxation). If the boat comes is to be imported to the states at any point thereafter then it will have to pay duties on the then assessed retail value.
You are incorrect about the thread involving "commercial" yachts.
All of the "technicalities" we are discussing apply to private yachts that are foreign flagged. An owner operated 50 ft Sea Ray with a Cayman Flag must comply with the same CBP reporting procedures as a 200 ft Fedship. If the owner-operator buys a 100 ft or 100 ton yacht (which is not uncommon these days) there are additional rules if it is foreign flagged.
Neil's question was answered within the first few posts. The additional information is supplied so that if he should buy a boat and decide to cruise around in this country at some point, there are "technicalities" that have to be dealt with on a foreign flagged boat, even if it is small and private.