Deep sea fishing vessels

Commercial deep sea fishing

Commercial deep sea fishing is fishing done for profit outside the waters of the state of Washington. It excludes sport fishing, operating charter boats for sport fishing, kelping, purse seining and gill netting as these fishing methods can be performed only within Washington waters.

Reference: WAC 458-20-176

Sales tax exemption

Sales tax does not apply to sales of watercraft or component parts, labor and services for constructing, repairing, cleaning, altering or improving vessels primarily used in conducting commercial deep sea fishing. Income from these sales is subject to B&O tax under the retailing of interstate transportation classification.

Component parts

Component parts include all types of tangible personal property which are attached to or a part of the watercraft. They includes dories, gurdies and accessories, bait tanks, baiting tables and turntables and spare parts designed for ultimate attachment to the watercraft. Equipment or furnishings not permanently attached to the vessel (i.e., bedding, utensils, fishing nets, hooks, ice, floats, and hand tools) are not eligible for the exemption.

Documenting an exempt sale

Sellers of watercraft or component parts and/or related services are required to obtain from the purchaser a completed Buyers’ Retail Sales Tax Exemption Certificate to document the exempt nature of the transaction. The certificate must identify the purchaser by name and address, the vessel name, and vessel number and the buyer must mark the block for commercial deep sea fishing operations.