Bahia Mar Marina, the home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, has been designated as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) as part of a collaborative effort to enable local brokers to market and sell foreign-flagged superyachts to US citizens while in US waters, without the need for expensive import duty requirements.
Assigned as a FTZ at the same time as the Lauderdale Marine Centre boatyard, the announcement comes just days after the Florida boat show attained a new 30-year lease to keep it at Bahia Mar until 2050, making it the only boat show in the US where FTZ transactions are able to take place.
James Tate, co-owner of Bahia Mar Marina and CEO of Tate Capital said, “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 Launderdale and South Florida’s marine industry as a whole. This designation helps maintain Bahia Mar, and the City of Fort Lauderdale, as the yachting capital of the world.
”To take advantage of these new permissions, foreign-flagged superyachts entering the Bahia Mar FTZ will need to complete a document known informally as the 2.14. If the broker, owner, shipyard or other vested party wishes to showcase or service the vessel outside of the marina, they will need to complete a 2.16 document, which will allow them 120 days’ grace to engage in the sales process elsewhere. The vessel must then return to Bahia Mar to check out of the FTZ.
Megan Lagasse, general manager of Bahia Mar Marina praised the marina ownership and involved parties for their hard work in the effort. She said, “Since the designation, we have had a lot of interest and been asked a lot of questions. 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.”
John Hopwood Jr of RCI Marine Group added, “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. Additionally, the opportunity to buy foreign-flagged vessels, as well as providing brokers with most cost-effective marketing solution than boat shows have traditionally been.”