Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) plans to introduce in mid-November legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to purchase foreign-flagged yachts while in U.S. waters without paying a costly import duty prior to the sale. Frankel made the announcement during a November 10 press event hosted by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA) at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS). Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) is expected to be a co-sponsor of the bill.
“The interest in the marine industry is huge and it is a giant economic driver for South Florida,” said Congresswoman Frankel during the press conference. “We are going to talk about taking a super industry and putting it on steroids.”
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 currently 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, just as other nations require of U.S.-flagged vessels sold while in their waters.
According to FYBA, studies show that 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.
Jeff Erdmann, chairman of FYBA’s Legislative Affairs Committee, said, “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.”