Fort Lauderdale-based Bahia Mar Marina has announced that it too has been designated as a privately managed Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The designations, which occurred at the same time, now include Lauderdale Marine Center and Bahia Mar and form a part of a concerted effort to enable the local brokerage community to market and sell foreign flagged superyachts to US citizens while in US waters – without the need for restrictive and expensive import duty requirements.
“Since the designation, we have had a lot of interest and been asked a lot of questions,” says Megan Lagasse, general manager of Bahia Mar Marina. “With these designations being the first of their kind, the system is brand new to everyone and there will be a process of education to come.”
Lagasse praises the hard work of the Bahia Mar ownership, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, U.S Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and the Fort Lauderdale marine community.
“It is an amazing opportunity for the property of Bahia Mar to offer brokers and vessels something they cannot get anywhere else in the country. We are providing a significant incentive for foreign flagged vessels to stay in Fort Lauderdale, which will lead to economic benefits for the City of Fort Lauderdale and South Florida’s marine industry as a whole” said James Tate, Bahia Mar co-owner and CEO of Tate Capital. “This designation helps maintain Bahia Mar, and the City of Fort Lauderdale, as the yachting capital of the world.”
When entering the Bahia Mar FTZ, foreign flagged superyachts will need to complete a document that is colloquially known as a ‘2.14’, this document will allow them to be offered for sale to US citizens while in the FTZ. If the broker, owner, shipyard or other controlling party wishes to showcase or service the vessel outside of Bahia Mar, they will need to complete a ‘2.16’. The 2.16 document will allow the vessel to leave Bahia Mar for up to 120 todays and engage in the sales process, but the vessel must return to the marina to check out of the FTZ.
“The input we have had from the brokerage community has been extremely positive as they believe that this will be of great benefit to them and the local industry at large,” explains John Hopwood Jr of RCI Marine Group. “Additionally, the opportunity to buy foreign flagged vessels, as well as providing brokers with more cost-effective marketing solution than boat shows have traditionally been.”
This announcement comes only days after the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Informa Exhibitions signed a new 30-year lease extension to keep the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) on Bahia Mar premises through 2050. This new long-term relationship, along with the new FTZ designation, makes FLIBS the only boat show in the country where FTZ transactions are able to take place.