Distribution of Products/distribution of products
QUESTION: Can you answer questions regarding distribution of products shipping export and import and international waters?
ANSWER: Perhaps, depends upon the question.
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QUESTION: Well Mr Hofer I'm going to spell it all out for you!In the future, I would like to produce,distribute,import and export goods to the world. Now suppose I had a company that produces and ships goods, built a structure(barge,aircraft carrier,rig)in international waters acting as a seaport or docks to trade to any and all countries of the world.
What is the legal and economical fesibility of this idea?
ANSWER: Let me start out by saying that this requires the legal expertise of the country in which the vessel is registered. I don't pretend to be such but can relate what I know.
There are precedents for this already: consider tuna trawlers that can the produce at sea, or a deep-sea oil platform (though in recent years the maritime boundaries or economic zones have been extended further into the world's ocean to claim the underlying mineral rights).
Cross-docking at sea is, though not common, practiced by some: for example, oil tankers transfer cargo - sometimes to avoid embargoes (I read somewhere that this is a way that Iran - working with Georgia and India get around the US-led oil embargo). Note however that doing such might invalidate your manifest and/or cancel your insurance.
As I understand maritime law, all vessels are registered and come under their sovereign's jurisdiction even at sea. And most if not all nations have signed up to the UN Convention (which btw celebrated its 30th anniversary this year).
Having said that, anything internationally - say duty free sold on a flight, as I understand it, falls under the rules of "export" usually and most countries treat that as free of VAT or Sales Tax (on the other hand, the airlines mark up the product to such a degree that it's not worth going out of your way to buy at 40,000 feet anyway). This too is an example of distributing in an international zone (albeit airspace, not water). Is this what you're asking about?
There is an institute you can contact for more info (www.imli.org) who, obviously for money, can advise you more and/or find you the right contacts.
As to economically feasible, I have doubts. The risks are huge (eg. sinking, no insurance, piracy, fuel, staffing (and benefits), obvious tax avoidance if not evasion, trafficking, etc.) vs what might be paltry upsides.
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QUESTION: Mr Hofer
My true intentions is hopefully some years down the road I will establish a worldwide, world class shipping and receiving company to import and export goods to any and all countries even the embargoed ones! THIS IS ABOUT MONEY AND TRADE, I DON'T GET A CARE ABOUT FOREIGN POLICY! or building a independent state.But I will need a neutral place so everyone can trade and do business safely.
So my question is who do I go to to help my search for lands in the middle of the oceans to build a structure to support my idea?
This is a question being asked by various sovereigns like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and China. And they have capital, territory and history.
I don't think you're going to find an expert: but say you do, it'll be 1 set of opinions that not everybody will agree to. Let's say you act on it, but the US disagrees, how are you going to protect your position? Do you have some court in mind you think you and the US agrees has super-jurisdiction?
As I wrote before, this is something that requires billions, resources, international recognition. I think it's a non-starter, left to the realm of fiction writers.
But if you insist, try the people who set up Sealand. Perhaps they can give you some ideas.