Ruling Request No. 99-02

Declaratory Rulings

Ruling Request No. 99-02

Re: Ruling Regarding the Applicability of the Sales/Use Tax Law to Delivery of a Vessel in Rhode Island

Request for Ruling

On behalf of your client you request a declaratory ruling regarding the applicability of the Rhode Island sales/use tax as to the delivery of a vessel and the taking of title thereto within the State of, or in the territorial waters of, Rhode Island.


The facts set forth in your request dated August 19, 1999 are incorporated herein by reference. The salient facts are as follows. Your client is under contract to purchase a WESMAC 38' Custom Family Cruiser, ("the Vessel") from a builder located in the State of Maine. The current contract calls for a series of payments as the construction progresses with your client, the buyer, to take delivery of the vessel at the builder's premises in Maine upon completion.

Your client desires to amend the contract wherein he would take title to, and possession of the vessel within the State of, or in the territorial waters of Rhode Island.


Ruling Requested

Assuming the proposed amendment is added to the contract, the purchase of the vessel will not be subject to Rhode Island sales or use tax.


R.I.G.L. 44-18-30(49) reads in pertinent part as follows:

44-18-30(49). Boats or vessels generally. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the tax imposed by §44-18-20 and §44-18-18 shall not apply with respect to the sale and to the storage, use or the consumption in this state of any new or used boat.

The sale, storage, use or other consumption of boats and vessels in Rhode Island is exempt from the Rhode Island sales and use tax pursuant to R.I.G.L. 44-18-30(49).


The taking of possession and/or title of the vessel within this state or its territorial waters will not create a Rhode Island sales/use tax liability.

This ruling may be relied upon by your client and shall be valid until expressly revoked or until the applicable statutory provisions of law are amended in a manner that requires a different result or the underlying situation described above changes.

R. Gary Clark

Tax Administrator

September 3, 1999