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post #1 of 6 Old 03-28-2014 Thread Starter
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Canadian boat purchase for USA import

I am currently in the process of purchasing a 38ft Canadian made sailboat in Quebec City. I am a US citizen and want to take ownership of the vessel, then sail up the St Lawrence river from Quebec into Lake Ontario to Buffalo where it will be hauled, decommissioned and transported by truck to San Francisco. Any pitfall or tips regarding Canadian purchases or problems with customs/import would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-28-2014
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Re: Canadian boat purchase for USA import

No advice, but I'd love to se some pictures. It must be some boat to go to those lengths and the expense of transportation, etc...

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post #3 of 6 Old 03-28-2014
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Re: Canadian boat purchase for USA import

Fairly straight forward stuff. If it is a Canadian Registered Vessel (= to US Documented) you will require a letter of registry release from Transport Canada before you can document it in the US. If it's a Canadian Licensed vessel, no paperwork required.

Have the bill of sale and a credit card ready when you land in the US, they will want their tax on the spot. If she was built in a NAFTA country you will pay sales tax only. If built outside of NAFTA you will also have to pay duty (9.6% I think).

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-28-2014
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Re: Canadian boat purchase for USA import

We just did this last fall, not too difficult although use of a customs broker is the easiest way to avoid complications when you arrive at the US Customs dock. You will need to fill out a form about the engine for compliance to EPA emissions which might be difficult/confusing if it's an older engine without a USA EPA sticker on it (ours had it so it was just a matter of filling in the ser. # and emission info.). There was another form about delivery that was a bit strange ie: a Canadian had to "deliver" the boat to US waters where we took possession of it. If buying from a reputable Canadian broker they should be able to walk you through most of it, but do your homework and check with US Customs to make sure you have all required paperwork prior to arriving at the dock or your boat will be held there until you get it all sorted out.

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post #5 of 6 Old 03-28-2014
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Re: Canadian boat purchase for USA import

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
There was another form about delivery that was a bit strange ie: a Canadian had to "deliver" the boat to US waters where we took possession of it.
I've done dozens of cross border deliveries. The only time I run into that is when a US boat has been sold in Canadian Waters (or vice versa) as that is technically illegal in both Can. & US so actual handover must take place outside of Canada. Not the case with the OP's situation.

That's why you see so many listings on Yacht World saying "not For Sale in US Waters" ... they are boats registered (documented) in other countries, really are for sale but they must run offshore out of US waters to complete the sale then turn around and come back.

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post #6 of 6 Old 03-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Canadian boat purchase for USA import

Thanks everyone for their tips. That confirms most of the research I have done. Once the sale is final I will throw up some photos but don't want any jinxes on it yet. CHEERS
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