Congresswoman Lois Frankel plans to introduce important legislation this November that will allow American citizens to purchase foreign-flagged yachts while in US waters without paying a costly import duty prior to the sale.

Frankel made the announcement during a press event that the Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA) hosted at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

“The interest in the marine industry is huge and it is a giant economic driver for South Florida,” said Frankel during the press conference. “We are going to talk about taking a super industry and putting it on steroids.”

FYBA have been fighting for legislation of this sort for some time now, mainly due to the negative impact that the established law was having on the US brokerage sector. previously covered the issue in more detail here.

“We are thrilled that Congresswoman Frankel recognises the efforts of FYBA and scores of other marine industry businesses and organisations to repeal this out-dated law that costs the US yacht sales revenue, tax dollars and jobs,” adds FYBA executive director Cindy Sailor.

Removal of the 107-year-old law would allow US clients to view and purchase foreign-flagged yachts while in US waters, whereas with the law as it currently stands, they would not have been able to without first paying an import duty.

“At a US boat show an American broker could show a yacht for sale to Vladimir Putin but not to Warren Buffet,” explains Bob Saxon of Bob Saxon Associates. “This [new legislation] will dispel all of that nonsense and is a huge boost to the US brokerage marketplace. Duty would be deferred and paid if the yacht sold but at least the brokers can openly show the yacht to US citizens whereas, prior to, this would have been prohibited.”

The legislation would no doubt shed the shackles and ease the limitations under which US brokers have been operating, which will hopefully lead to an increase in yacht sales.

Spearheading the repeal of this law, FYBA had 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.

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Bob Saxon Associates

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