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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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Dirt Free
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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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Courtney the Dancer
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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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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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Question (if you're still available to comment at this late date): what happens regarding Canadian PST at the point of sale? The US buyer has to pay sales tax in the state they live in once they import it, but there are some questions arising about BC trying to collect PST on a boat being sold to a US resident. The boat is registered in Alberta but would be picked up in BC.
 

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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.
Hey I have a quick question... I have a friend .. he purchased a home /cabin in the US from a guy in Canada -- the property came w a boat that was Canadian,... he wants to sell it as he has no use for it (the boat) it might have some issues so letting it go cheap.. does he need to register it to the US and if so how does he do so? Does he need a broker? Any suggestions? He is in Canada I am only helping him ,, he is willing to travel of course to make the sale
 
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