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  #1  
Old 01-28-2009
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Buying cross border?

Hi,

My boyfriend and I are currently in the market for a (much) older 21' - 25' racer/cruiser in the sub 10,000 $CDN range. As long as hull/sails/standing rigging is all in decent condition, we're able to do most other minor repairs ourselves. We want her to be able to do weekends, and hopefully even pushed into weeklong jaunts for just the two of us. As we're still in the rather preliminary stages of buying, I'm not looking for specific recommendations quite yet, as we still have to work out moorage options and some of the specific requirements.

We live in Vancouver, BC, and as we have discovered ourselves, and as others have pointed out on here, there doesn't seem to be a a huge market for older boats in that range here. Hence why our eyes have been straying to the Puget sound area to see what deals can be found there. We looked at an Ericson 23 in dry dock, and were lucky enough to chat with the owner for a good half hour. He had originally bought her in Canada, but through a broker, and found the whole experience pretty easy.

What have people's experiences been in buying cross border? How does tax or duty work? Is it worth it on a boat at that price point? Does the simplicity of doing it all through a brokerage help, even if it adds to the final price? Any tips or suggestions? Am I missing anything? How tough would it be to find moorage? One of the benefits I can see of buying local is that likely the spot will be available...
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2009
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If this ericson is in Wash, and it was previously reg/sold in Canada, you are ahead I believe of one issue, that is GST. From what I have read, once paid, you do not have to pay again upon bringing back to canada. "BUT" check with local tax agency, as being a Wa St res, I will not attempt to say I am totally correct here. You should not have to pay WA st sales tax, ie an equal to GST, in that you are taking it out of the state.

I can see how paying a broker/equal to do the paper work, could pay off in headaches, hassels etc getting the boat across the border with the correct paperwork.

I would not worry about where the boat is in the greater puget sound/straight of georgia local. If you see one you like, can travel a bit, moving it is not that big a deal.

As far as trailerable vs not. I know a lot of folks, that rent moorage in the summer, haul in the winter and keep the boat at home. saves some there, and does give you the chance to travel via road, and get to cruising grounds faster/easier with slower moving boats like a 20-25'r! Then again, if you keep it at the side of the home all the time, rigging takes an hour for a small 20'r, and that may not make it so you go out for an evening sail vs if it was moored close by rigged ready to go! Plus's and minus's to both.

I have to admit, my 30'r was $20K, could have found a few for less, still did a lot of interior work, into her about double initial cost, but glad she is moored vs trailered. I would never get out in her if I had to launch and use! vs drive 10 min away, hop in, and 20 mins or so later I am sailing off of Edmonds waterfront. A 45 min sail across the sound to kingston for dinner any day, or a late lunch/early dinner on a weekend. What a way to live etc.

marty
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Old 01-28-2009
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I sold my first boat to a Canadian, the process for importing was very simple, you just need a customs form for Canadian customs, and the registration, title (if it has one), and receipt from the seller, then you pay duty.
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Old 01-28-2009
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Olson 25s are good little boats in that size range.
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Old 01-28-2009
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Importing the boat is not difficult.


This is the law:

When you bring anything that you have purchased in a foreign country into Canada you are liable for GST and PST and possibly Import Duty.

TAXES:

The value that these taxes are calculated on varies depending upon the length of time that you have been absent from the country.

If you are away for more than 7 days, you are entitled to import $750.00 worth of goods without paying duties or taxes. You are required to pay taxes and any applicable duties on the amount that the value of the goods exceeeds the $750.00 exemption.

i.e.: You are out of Canada for more than 7 days

You buy a boat for $10,000.00.

Because you have been away for more than 7 days your expemtion is $750.00.

You will be required to pay tax on $9,250.00

If you are away for more than 48 hours, but less than 7 days, your exemption is $400.00 rather than $750.00

If you are away for 24 hours or more, but less than 48 hours, your exemption is $50.00

When you arrive at the border the CBSA will collect GST on goods you import. You may also be required to pay PST at that time, dependning on what province you live in. If you don't pay PST then. you will be required to pay it when you register or license your boat. If you do pay it, make sure you keep your receipt as you will need proof of payment when you document the boat. You won't be able to insure the boat without documentation, and you won't be able to get into any marinas or clubs wihtout insurance.


DUTY:

There is no duty on boats that are manufactured in a NAFTA country (Canada, US, Mexico).

There is no duty on boats that are manufactured in Costa Rica, Israel, Chile, Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, East Time, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea -Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Western Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Republic of Yemen, Zambia, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos.

Boats imported from all other countries are subject to a duty of 9.5% of the transaction value (which is the price paid or payable for the boat). This is not variable.

The duty is calculated after the currency of the transaction has been converted into Canadian Dollars.

Taxes are calculated on the sum of the transaction value and the duty.

You will need to be able to provide proof of the country of origin of the boat.

There are some situations where you may be able to import a boat that does not originate in one of the duty-free beneficiary countries without paying duty, if it has had extensive repair or refit, in one of the beneficiary countries. This needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis and can be done at any CBSA office.

You need to provide proof of clear title to the boat - at the minimum this would be a bill of sale.

If you manage to find a good boat that is priced below market - which is not unusual these days, you may find that the border officers are a little hesitant about believing the purchase price of the boat.

In the case of dispute regarding the value of imported goods, a Customs Officer may detain goods until proof of the transaction value has been provided. This would happen rarely, and can be easily avoided by carrying copies of pre-sale correspondence, emails, advertisments, etc. In the case of dispute, the onus rests on the CBSA to prove that the price paid for the imported goods were other than that declared.

There is no fee payable to CBSA for the import process.


Hope this helps

Last edited by Sailormann; 01-28-2009 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serah View Post
Hi,

My boyfriend and I are currently in the market for a (much) older 21' - 25' racer/cruiser in the sub 10,000 $CDN range. As we're still in the rather preliminary stages of buying, I'm not looking for specific recommendations quite yet, as we still have to work out moorage options and some of the specific requirements.

We live in Vancouver, BC, and as we have discovered ourselves, and as others have pointed out on here, there doesn't seem to be a a huge market for older boats in that range here. Hence why our eyes have been straying to the Puget sound area to see what deals can be found there. We looked at an Ericson 23 in dry dock, and were lucky enough to chat with the owner for a good half hour. He had originally bought her in Canada, but through a broker, and found the whole experience pretty easy.

What have people's experiences been in buying cross border? How does tax or duty work? Is it worth it on a boat at that price point? Does the simplicity of doing it all through a brokerage help, even if it adds to the final price? Any tips or suggestions? Am I missing anything? How tough would it be to find moorage? One of the benefits I can see of buying local is that likely the spot will be available...
Looking for moorage in the GVRD??? Good luck!
It is getting expensive and hard to find, long wait lists everywhere. Perhaps it may be prudent to secure a slip first then go shopping. If your idea of buying local includes Puget Sound, that is a long drive to go sailing if the purchase includes the slip. Perhaps local means GVRD... At any rate moorage is at a premium in these parts, but I can tell you of one marina that still has 30' slips available, they won't be there for much longer though.
Point Roberts Marina still has a few 30' slips available from previous transient boaters, they all disappear by April 1st though, but some previous years it took until May-June. I doubt they will last this year though with the gas barge being removed from False Creek folks may look for moorage elsewhere. I have a 30' slip there, but my boat is still in the driveway, I started paying annually so that I would not risk losing my slip for the season, it costs a bit more but with the market for slips getting squeezed I will eat the cost. You will need a Nexus Card for crossing the border into Point Roberts on a regular basis to save waiting in the long line-ups and the marina is mostly Canadians so you will feel right at home. There is a fair bit of traffic crossing that little border during season so expect some delays. If you are not familiar with where it is, it is at the far end of 56th street in Tsawwassen, not that far to drive from most points. The Point Roberts Marina will be at the Boat Show next week promoting their marina and may just end up filling those spare slips over the Boat Show weekend. Better take a look.
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Old 01-29-2009
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Thanks for all the great advice! We'll be sure to figure out moorage ahead of time. As we already have dry land storage, which doesn't require full re-rigging everytime (the mast can be left up) if finding a slip turns out to be that difficult, we may just opt for trailerable for now. *sigh*

@sailormann - Thank you for the detailed info. As someone mentioned, buying a boat that once was in Canadian waters may make things easier (and possibly cheaper!) If not, it seems relatively straight forward, but would just depend on where she was made. Does anyone know which form would be required? Obviously, we'll have all documentation from the previous owner, proof of ownership and purchase, registration, passports, and now I'll add in any correspondence about price.

I would imagine that the plan would be (if we buy down there) to get a ride or such to the boat, and sail her home (assuming she's seaworthy). In an ideal world, I'd have a friend sail down with us, and then sail back together. Even with a sea trial with the PO, I'd feel better if there's someone there with us should the unthinkable happen.

I've never crossed state lines on a boat though - I assume you simply cross, and then dock at the nearest point of entry in Canada, contact Customs, and wait for clearance? Which leads me to... Do you have to stop at the first port of entry? If so, which one is that? Can we make it right up to Vancouver without being hunted down and arrested by cranky border agents? I found a list on the CBSA website (but sailnet is refusing to let me post it), but can't seem to find out where exactly I should go...

@CaptKermie - If we buy from the Puget Sound area, we'll certainly be bringing her up here. Unfortunately, Point Roberts is probably not going to be an option. We're looking at at least an hour and a half from his place. I drive a wee 49cc scooter, meaning highways are pretty much a no go if I want to get down there myself. I think we'd be more inclined to head up Horseshoe bay and further along the Sea to Sky (though also inaccessible by scooter...) than out to the South End. Partly because (at least from my recollection) there aren't as many close anchorages out of Point Roberts that won't require a straight crossing. I'm partial to being able to pop down to the boat after work and make it to Doc Morgan's on Bowen and back
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2009
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We've bought 2 boats in the States now and brought them into Vancouver. One by water, the other by truck. As mentioned, it's very easy. If coming by water you don't have to stop at the first point of entry, but the first place you stop should be a customs dock. If it is not manned at the time there will be a phone for you to call and check in. There's a customs dock in False Creek.

In terms of forms - proof of ownership/sale is all we had. An invoice from the previous owner/broker will do the trick, so they know how much tax to charge.

Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2009
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I just purchased boat in Ohio and sailed it to Toronto in June 2008. Process was very simple.

On entering Canadian port call the Customs. They will ask you some simple questions about the boat make, model, length etc and price of cause. And provide you the report number so you can prove that you call in. Official custom paper will be sent to you by mail. In my case they charged me gst + pst on CC number you will have to provide over the phone.

After you get you Custom papers collect all boat documents and head down to Services Canada office to get your license. They will check you custom paper to make sure you pay tax. Verify your boat document so you will have to have bill of sale, registration with transfer of name etc.

One of the documents is nice to have is builder certificate to prove that boat was produced in North America so you don't have to pay duty. We didn't have it but I have asked Dealer to type something in but nobody was asking for it. Your case may be different... If you are buying Catalina or Hunter you will have less trouble. For boat that could be produced in Europe they may ask more question. For alder boats I don't think they would care...

Over all it took about 15-20min to check in to Canada, and another 20 min in Serises Canada office to get license. The only draw back is long line in Service Canada office.

As far as port of entry goes, you have to check in into first port you arrive. In my case my first Port was Port Colborne and I call custom from there. It took me another day to get to Toronto via Welland Canal. If I could go strait to Toronto without stopping at Port Colborne I would check in Toronto.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-29-2009
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Quote:
@sailormann - Thank you for the detailed info.
You're welcome

Quote:
As someone mentioned, buying a boat that once was in Canadian waters may make things easier (and possibly cheaper!)
You will still be liable for any taxes. If it is a boat that was previously imported and duty was paid on it, and if you can prove this, then the duty will be waived. There is a tariff code for goods that have been previously imported. They will be able to provide you with at the Customs office.

Quote:
If not, it seems relatively straight forward, but would just depend on where she was made. Does anyone know which form would be required? Obviously, we'll have all documentation from the previous owner, proof of ownership and purchase, registration, passports, and now I'll add in any correspondence about price.
A signed declaration by the vendor stating the country of origin should be sufficient. You could back this up by Googling the manufacturer or class website and printing off any article you can find that mentions where the manufacutring plant was (or still is).

Quote:
I would imagine that the plan would be (if we buy down there) to get a ride or such to the boat, and sail her home (assuming she's seaworthy). In an ideal world, I'd have a friend sail down with us, and then sail back together. Even with a sea trial with the PO, I'd feel better if there's someone there with us should the unthinkable happen.

I've never crossed state lines on a boat though - I assume you simply cross, and then dock at the nearest point of entry in Canada, contact Customs, and wait for clearance? Which leads me to... Do you have to stop at the first port of entry? If so, which one is that? Can we make it right up to Vancouver without being hunted down and arrested by cranky border agents? I found a list on the CBSA website (but sailnet is refusing to let me post it), but can't seem to find out where exactly I should go...
The important thing is to report in from the first Canadian port you stop in. If you want to sail directly to Vancouver, that's fine. As far as doing the paperwork on the boat goes, it's fine to wait until you get to your home port as long as you do it immediately upon arrival.

Last edited by Sailormann; 01-29-2009 at 11:54 PM.
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