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ID: 3 Title: What Flag To Fly? Skipper Nationality or Owner Registry? Replis: 4 Read: 2299 Author: 4
Name: Tom Yang  Posts: 110    Vancouver Time: 2003-1-28_13:21:41 Quote    Reply
I am a Taiwanese citizen and a landed immigrant in Canada. As a landed immigrant, I was allowed to register the boat in Canada(equivalent to the US Documentation). The boat is a blue book Crown property, in which the Queen owns 36%. Recently, I was just told that I cannot fly the Maple leaf until I become a Canadian citizen. I have to fly a Taiwanese flag. This opens a whole can of worms. I bet different countries have different rules. However, since sailing, cruising and the flag issue are international by nature. There should be very much one rule.

When I lived in the US, I bought my boat in Miami. I couldn't document the boat since a US citizenship is required. I sort of remember a foreign skipper cannot fly a US flag even if the boat is documented in US... unless the US citizen owner is onboard. On 7knots, we have a lot of professional delivery captains. Please tell us what exactly the rule is. For example, when Phil, a New Zealander take a US boat from San Diego to Singapore via many nations en route. Many crew onboard but the owner is not. What flag does he fly? A New Zealand flag or a US flag? What does New Zealand have to say? Few years ago, there were several Taiwanese sailors bought a boat in LA and sailed her back to Taiwan. Warn by Taiwanese authorities, they were not allowed to fly a Taiwan flag. With a US flag at the transom, they had a hard time in Taiwanese water-- take pilotage, can't move around, etc.

What about commercial ships? I have yet to see one container ship that the flag doesn't match the port registry. The captain change from time to time, Russian, Polish, French... but the flag is always where the port registry is, for example, Panama, Bahamas, Liberia ...etc.

Name: Mike Turney  Posts: 1  **  Vancouver Time: 2003-6-19_7:43:0 Quote    Reply
I have only just joined and even more recently looked at the full list of forum topics so if I am now replying and telling you something that you already know, please bear with me.
Who was it that told you that you have to fly the flag of the owner? I think that the issue here is that in most cases the owner of a commercial ship registers his boat in the country in which he she or it has citizenship. Yes, I said "IT". Most of the ships that fly flags of convenience - Panama, Cayman Islands, etc are owned by corporations that are themselves incorp- orated in the other country in which the ship is registered. The chief stockholder in the incorporated company is actually the real owner of the boat.
That might be the answer for you. Do you have an company that is incorporated in Canada? If so, perhaps you could sell your boat to the corporation, to be used for entertainment purposes, and then you could fly the Canadian flag. It may do something to your insurance, I don't know. If you don't already have a corporation, maybe you might look into forming one.
Hope this helps, but get someone else with a bigger brain to confirm.
Name: Tom Yang  Posts: 110    Vancouver Time: 2003-6-25_23:14:14 Quote    Reply
Welcome to 7k and thanks for the follow up, Mike.
I asked a Canadian Coast guard officer about this issue at a boat show in Vancouver few months ago. He pretty much said they don't care what flag I fly as long as she's a pleasure boat. If I do incorprate my boat, that can be a bigger problem. I can imagine the possible complication when a foreign custom reads the ownership field on the registration.

Getting my Canadian citizenship in half year... that's much easier, eh?

Name: OCEAN SAILOR  Posts: 171  **  Vancouver Time: 2003-7-21_20:13:26 Quote    Reply
Hi and a warm welcome to everyone,

I have added a hyperlink on my Web Page for viewing on this subject for those, who are interested.

Have a pleasant passage unless you have made other arrangements.


Name: YannickLouis Jullien  Posts: 1    Vancouver Time: 2003-10-7_19:36:2 Quote    Reply
Hey tom, I had the same problem when I wanted to register my boat.I was landed emigrant in Canada. The registry office told me that I could not own a Canadian registered vessel unless I was a Canadian citizen.The only way around that would have been to create a company (a fake one in wich I am the main share holder) and have the Canadian company own the boat with a Canadian flag.I decided to hang on my papers,and wait untill I will become a Canadian citizen.(wich hapened only 7 monyh later.)To have the fake company system is perfectly legal. To make a story short,you have by international law to fly the flag of the country of registry. This when you are in foreign waters.You don't have to fly the flag in the water of your country. I do fly the colors of France on the port Spreader(Because even If I choosed to register the boat in Canada,I am proud of the bleu white and red,and because when there is some french sailors, they know they can have a chat in the mother tongue with a good glass in the hand.)The starboard spreader is reserved for the courtasy flag of the country's water we are in. Take care Tom...............................Louis