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post #1 of 29 Old 09-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Confused non-resident

I cant seem to find an answer to my question. My wife and I currently in Canada plan on purchasing our next boat for cruising within the next year. We would probably purchase in the US most likely CA. The boat will never return to Canada as the west coast sail up doesnt appeal to us. We would probably leave the boat in CA during trip back to Canada to see family (and required every 6 months) Taxes are also lower in CA than in Canada.


If I purchase a boat in California where the primary use will be can I pay the taxes register it in the state even if Im a non resident?


If we decide to cruise if it is regsistered in CA would there be a requirement on having the boat back in the state or do they care as long as the taxes are paid and the boat is regsitered?


Any link or comments would be appreciated...


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post #2 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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I think it would make more sense to register it in Canada rather than California, since, if you decide to go to Mexico, you're might have a problem with a CA-state registered boat, and being Canadian. Just some food for thought.

You probably wouldn't have to pay any import duties on the boat, if it doesn't enter Canadian waters, but would probably have to get an annual cruising permit for your boat.

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post #3 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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What about registering with the USCG?

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post #4 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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If they're non-residents... they're not US citizens...and USCG documentation requires US citizenship by at least 51% of the ownership.

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post #5 of 29 Old 09-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I think it would make more sense to register it in Canada rather than California, since, if you decide to go to Mexico, you're might have a problem with a CA-state registered boat, and being Canadian. Just some food for thought. You probably wouldn't have to pay any import duties on the boat, if it doesn't enter Canadian waters, but would probably have to get an annual cruising permit for your boat.
Thanks..

I was trying to avoid 13% and duties (if not made in the USA-our duty is 9.5% on non US boat.

Revenue Canada states the following:

You do not need to provide customs clearance documents to license a boat that you purchased in the U.S. or outside of Canada, but you still need to remit duty and taxes on the purchase to the Canada Border Services Agency

I dont know if that applies to a boat that I am not bringing a boat into Canada, but after my last purchase and import, I think to get a reg number Im almost positive I would have to pay the above noted cost.

It made more sense if the boat was not returning to Canada (ie purchased and occasional kept in CA) to regsiter it there, save money on taxes/possible import fees, and probably purchase it for a lower price.

SD-why could a CA registered boat be a problem in Mexico?


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post #6 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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I think you can REGISTER the boat in Canada (takes a few weeks and a few $ too), and if you are not importing the boat you won't have to pay the taxes. You will have to pay your sales taxes somewhere (broker may have a waiver for him if you are not paying the the state you purchased it) - and if CA is a good rate for you - go ahead and do that. Sounds sensible. Also if you are Canadian registered, Cuba will never be a problem :-)

I paid VA tax but did not register the boat in VA, it was not easy to find the right forms, but an email to the agency that handles it got a quick reply. You can email the CA folks and just check they won't have any issue with excepting your money (How could they say no?).

I know of another boat purchased in the USA by Canadians "Slapdash" their report says "In the end we had to resign ourselves to the maddening (and expensive) bureaucracy of our home and native land. The process is so tortuous that we actually had to hire a professional that specializes solely in registering non-Canadian boats.". But even that did not go smoothly. Along with other frustrations imposed by the Canadian guys - special bills of sale, and notarized sellers signatures. So be prepared for a few headaches, give yourself plenty of time to get the process completed before you plan on leaving the states with the boat. See Slapdash posts of 19th and 26th September 2007

Good luck, and have fun!

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post #7 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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Sab30-

State registrations aren't always recognized in foreign countries, since states aren't sovereign countries and have no standing in international situations. State registered boats can have problems with customs, as many foreign countries aren't familiar with state-registration documentation. In many cases, you have to check in with customs at every port with a state-registered boat, which is not the case with a nationally flagged boat.

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post #8 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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Actually...Mexico is one of the countries that does NOT require documentation. From Latitude38's Mexico prep advice;

"• Boat Documents — Every boat must carry current vessel documentation that proves ownership and port of registry. If your boat is not a U.S. documented vessel, you must carry state registration papers — and ideally a bill of sale and/or other proof of ownership."
Full details here:Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally: Sailing from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas

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post #9 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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Register in Canada as a Canadian flagged vessel with Transport Canada but if you don't bring the boat to Canada you never have to pay any duty, nor PST. The GST depends on how you finance the boat. I've done this and have friend who've owned more than one boat this way. ONLY when you bring the boat to CAnada would you need to think of the PST and the import duty if not a NAFTA vessel.

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post #10 of 29 Old 09-28-2008
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^ ^^ ^ ^^
I believe this is correct.

I am in Toronto and I wanted to go check out an NY state-registered boat, but as it was French-built, buying it in the States and "importing" it back to Canada would have totalled 24% of the purchase price, making it no bargain at all irrespective of what I thought of the boat (a Jouet 1280, if anyone's wondering).
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