What is going on with yacht registration in Delaware?

Many yacht owners do not exactly know what they are allowed to do and what they are not. This blog specifically looks at yacht registration in Delaware, the US state.

Delaware is an American state on the Atlantic coast in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state is a popular jurisdiction for the incorporation of businesses and corporations.

Yacht registration in Delaware: a popular place 

You are most likely to come across Delaware-registered yachts sailing internationally and in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is possibly one of the most common “foreign” yacht registrations. Indeed, registering in Delaware is very popular with yacht owners due to its low cost and easy process.

Laws and regulations

The Delaware yacht registry is a popular system. Both existing and potential users should recognize that Delaware boat registration is a state registry. This local registration applies only to yachts operating primarily in the coastal and inland waterways under state jurisdiction. Importantly, US state registration does not grant US nationality to the yacht. Therefore, it does not automatically provide access to US international treaty rights, privileges, or protection.

Delaware regulations specify that if owners use, moor, or navigate a vessel in Delaware waters for more than 60 consecutive days, it will have its principal status of use in Delaware. Then, the State of Delaware issues vessels a card-sized Delaware State Certificate of Registration, indicating that owners must use the boat primarily in Delaware.

Consequently, a foreign jurisdiction may invalidate a vessel’s Delaware registration, arguing that owners cannot use state registration for navigation outside US waters and/or that the vessel does not primarily operate in Delaware waters.

Breaking news

Delaware yacht registrations have come to an end for international yacht owners. As we have been informed, Delaware authorities have decided that, effective IMMEDIATELY, Delaware Yacht Registration will NO LONGER be available to international yacht owners.

Plus: any existing Delaware yacht registration for international yacht owners will NO LONGER be renewed! And Delaware authorities will NO LONGER issue any proof of removal for any expired or withdrawn yacht registration.

With this decision, many Delaware-flagged yachts will be walking straight into trouble! Thus, this requires IMMEDIATE action on your part for any of your clients who have a Delaware yacht registration (active or expired). It is our advice that you contact them immediately and offer a quick solution to this problem! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask us!

To learn more about offshore yacht registration, click here.

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