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Pros & cons of the flag you fly
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 5:01 PM
Joined: 08/02/2009
Posts: 2

Is there a list that shows the pros and cons of flying various flags? I believe a US flagged vessel can be taken into US waters by a captain with US citizenship only, a Marshall Islands flag can only do a limited number of charters in some of the Caribbean countries, and if the country whose flag you fly is part of the Antarctic Treaty, there is a different set of regulations, costs, and paperwork to do before heading that way. I would be greatful if you'd share your knowledge to compile a good list of these pros and cons... unless one is already available somewhere...
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 7:40 PM
Choosing your flag really depends upon what you are looking for. Each is different with its unique advantages and disadvantages. Do you operate primarily in US waters? What nationality is the crew? The owner? Do you want to charter in the Med, Caribbean, or everywhere? How is the ownership of the yacht setup? There are a lot of different factors. It would be impossible to put everything into a single table and then pick what you want. Maybe post a more specific question and the forum can answer you. In regards to your statements, those are partial truths that sound like passed down info. This happens a lot in our industry. US citizenship requirements for vessel manning are found in 46 US Code; the Marshall Islands allows certain private yachts to charter on a limited basis, not limited to certain islands; and the rules required by the Antarctic Treaty affect all vessels visiting that continent regardless of their flag. Regulations are international and only get specific when dealing with the national laws of that flag (ie manning, licensing, etc), plus if the yacht is private or commercial. Costs depend on what you are trying to do with the yacht. And paperwork? Nothing these days is paperwork free, but that's why there are doc agents.
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 7:41 PM
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 8:23 PM
Joined: 17/05/2008
Posts: 10

Marco, We are flag-state inspectors for multiple yacht registries, including the Marshall Islands and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. If there is a specific question we can answer, please post it on this forum or email us: Thanks.
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:44 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

Check out the Rally Round the Flag article in the May 2008 issue of Dockwalk here:
Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:15 PM
Joined: 15/09/2008
Posts: 12

It may be best to consult a maritime attorney to answer that question. There are so many variables that a general answer can not be correct for all situations. If there was one flag that was best for all we would see almost all yachts flagged there, that is not the case.

Now that Florida has a maximum sales tax of $18,000 many more yachts that are in the US most of the time will be flagged here.One advantage of a  US flag that is often overlooked and not mentioned often by the agencies that do flagging  is the ability to offer the yacht for sale in the US without restrictions. We all see in the yacht magazine ads the statement "NOT FOR SALE TO US RESIDENTS WHILE IN US WATERS." This is for yachts for sale that are in the US on a cruising permit yet are for sale.


Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 11:32 PM
In our world tours with  a British flag  we had no problems  but now we fly one of the non US recognized flags  it's a nightmare in the US..  but thats the US..  !!   In our experience, one of the worlds most difficult countries to visit or cruise..

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