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jdinafrica 08-26-2006 04:26 PM

Importing from US to Canada
What is the deal with importing a boat from USA to Canada in regards to Duty, GST and PST.

Thanks In advance, John

ebs001 08-26-2006 06:28 PM

You will have to pay GST. If you register the boat instead of licencing it you can avoid PST, otherwize you'll get dinged for PST as well. If the boat is manufactured in North America there is no duty.

dawndreamer 08-26-2006 06:33 PM

There is no Duty if the boat was built in North America. There is GST if the boat has not previously been landed for tax purposes in Canada and there is PST depending on the province in which it is landed. All applicable taxes are payable within 48 hours of landing and are calculated on the purchase invoice plus the cost of any work on or additions to the boat between the purchase date and the landing date. The exchange rate used is the official rate on the day of landing, and you can pay with cash, cheque or the credit card of your choice.

dawndreamer 08-26-2006 06:37 PM


Originally Posted by ebs001
If you register the boat instead of licencing it you can avoid PST, otherwize you'll get dinged for PST as well.

The only way I can see this happening is if you register the vessel in Alberta, where there is no PST.

Faster 08-26-2006 10:20 PM

Agree that avoiding the PST in any province but Alberta is unlikely, registered or licenced. Duty does apply to boats built outside NA, however in our case we were able to get the duty portion reduced by itemizing and valuing NA accessories and upgrades during the boat's time in the US. (eg, cabin heater, new gearbox, recent sails, new stove, etc etc.) We successfully reduced the duty portion by approx 30 - 40% of the purchase price. We had letterhead documentation on this from the selling broker.

Given the recent rise of the CDN dollar vs USD, importing makes more sense than ever, in many cases even if duties (and trucking) are involved. The selection is much better.

ebs001 08-27-2006 07:00 AM

If you licence a boat it gets reported to the provincial government and you have to pay PST. If you register a boat it does not get reported to the province and you do not get dinged. This I got from a broker because it works for boats bought in Canada as well.

Faster 08-27-2006 11:37 AM

Rules changed recently??
We bought a used Canadian registered boat in B.C., transferred the registry and only paid PST. This was several years ago. We likely paid PST because it was through a broker and the sale went through his books.
If you buy privately, then you won't get dinged with the tax until you transfer the "K" number licence. Since any boat under 30' and under 10hp does not require licencing, you can avoid the PST on such boats.
Our latest boat is licenced, foreign built and bought in the US so we were subject to PST, GST and duty. Yet it was still a reasonably good deal.

Johnrb 08-27-2006 12:20 PM


Where was your boat built and what was the duty on a non NAFTA boat?

Thanks in advance.

Faster 08-28-2006 02:30 PM


Our boat was built in Brazil, but I don't think it matters where outside North America it was built. The duty for any non - NA built boat is 9.5%. Pretty steep. Granted, most "general purpose" coastal cruisers are US or Canadian built, but some popular ones are not. Some Beneteau models and other French brands are still built in France, and many boats are built in the Far East.
Despite the duty, however, we still feel we got a quality boat at a decent price, including all costs, duties and taxes and would hope (perhaps naively) to list for more than the landed price should we suddenly have to sell. Not that that's in the plans....
I should also add that while I was able to reduce the duty portion as described in my previous post, a friend subsequently went through the same process while importing a Grand Banks 36 (Singapore built) and was refused the credit by the customs officer of the day. We got lucky, I guess. But it's worth a try in any case.

Johnrb 08-28-2006 02:49 PM


Thanks. I hadn't heard of your method of reducing applicable duty by separating out upgrades installed in the U.S. It's certainly worth a try and it worked in your case.

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