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Old 04-03-2007
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Buying Candian registered boat

HI all;

What are the issues with buying a Canadian registered boat, for registration/documentation in the US?

Do things change if the purchase takes place in the US?
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Old 04-03-2007
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While this is for the state of Texas, most of it should apply to almost any state:

Quote:
Registration of USCG Documented Vessels
Quote:

Effective January 1, 2004, vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard are no longer exempt from state registration requirements.
Requirements for registering a documented vessel:
  • Vessel/Boat Application form PWD 143 (PDF 424.4 KB);
  • Current USCG Documentation Certificate (or copy);
  • Verification of sales tax payment * or proof that vessel purchase date occurred more than four years prior to the date of application; and
  • Payment of registration fee. (Note: Do not submit title fee. A Texas title cannot be issued for a USCG documented vessel.)
* If sales tax has not been paid, a Bill of Sale or Invoice is required and sales tax fee will be assessed at the time of registration. Tax will not be collected for vessels purchased more than four years prior to the date of application for registration. A Bill of Sale or Invoice must contain:Exempted vessels:Placement of Decal on Documented Vessels:
Just remember, if you want to USCG document a vessel, you must be a US Citizen.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-03-2007 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 04-03-2007
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No big deal. You just cancel the Canadian Registration and have it documented in the US. Your broker should be able to look after the details or if he/she can't at least direct you to someone who can.
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You will want to make sure that you are not charged PST (Provincial Sales tax from 0 to 9 percent depending on the province) or GST (Goods and Services Tax currently 6%). I believe you should not have any difficulty getting around this just be aware of it.
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Old 04-03-2007
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Documentation IS a Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall
HI all;

What are the issues with buying a Canadian registered boat, for registration/documentation in the US?

Do things change if the purchase takes place in the US?
I am not an expert in documentation, but I know enough to say you face a problem and should get the advice of a documentation service before proceeding. Hopefully they can advise you if the vessel CAN be documentented and what the cost to you will be for someone like them to do all the work for you.

If you buy a documentated boat, you should have no difficulty with changing it to your name. If you first document a used, un-documented vessel, you may face some issues, as you need to certify the chain of ownership of the vessel, since new, up to your purchase. If the vessel is foreign built, there may be an additional problem related to the builders certificate.

The following paragraph from Admiralty and Maritime Law: Vessel Registration and Documentation lays out the fundamental difficulties:
"One of the most cumbersome requirements of the documentation procedure is the builder's certification and first transfer of title or the establishment of a chain of title, on federal bills of sale forms, to be signed by each and every successive owner. That requirement applies to initial documentation only, whether or not there has been a state chain of title. While this requirement does not present a problem for new vessels, it can be a major challenge for old ships whose builder is no longer in business and which have had many owners. In some cases a waiver may be available but, most of the time it is necessary to rely on the services of documentation companies who track down all the successive owners. "

Yeech!
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A foreign boat must be "imported" into the US prior to advertisement or sale. Canadian-built boats are duty-free, and the fees are nominal.
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