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Old 11-05-2011, 08:58   #1
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Post Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Hi All,

I'm looking to buy a boat in Southern US (Florida / Carolinas) in November of this year.

I am Canadian and intend on buying a US or state registered boat, sailing through Bahamas, Carribean and then selling enroute or sailing back to Canada then importing.

Does anyone have experience with this or similar?

Is this possible? or, better, is it recomended?!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:05   #2
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Re: Canadian buying boat in US (for use in bahamas, not import)

Young_Engineer... I hope you get a good response to this as I am in exactly the same boat (yes, I know, its a pun).

I believe you can get Canadian registration, which probably means paying the GST/HST, but that is just a guess. What I am not sure is if you need to bring the boat back first.

If anyone can answer this there are at least two buyers who would be grateful!
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:09   #3
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Re: Canadian buying boat in US (for use in bahamas, not import)

It happens all the time.

Just make sure that you are good with your documentation of the purchase and be sure to notarize your purchase docs.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:04   #4
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

This is done all the time. You can document in Canada as a Canadian. Taxes and duty are only payable when the boat arrives at the first Canadian port.
Good move to do so as it seems to be better cruising around with Canadian flag
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Old 25-05-2011, 07:13   #5
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinespike View Post
This is done all the time. You can document in Canada as a Canadian. Taxes and duty are only payable when the boat arrives at the first Canadian port.
Good move to do so as it seems to be better cruising around with Canadian flag

exactly right. did that. used ASAP boat documentation to handle the paper work. what is not clear to me is how to sell the boat now without paying the FL 6% tax.
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Old 30-05-2011, 17:23   #6
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

I just posted this in another thread. US built boats are duty free if brought into Canada from the states. Thank NAFTA. All that other stuff, I don't know. BOB
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Old 30-05-2011, 17:42   #7
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

You need documents for checking in and out of the islands. It can be done with fuzzy doc's, but best to have it in your name and official. BTW, it's a good scheme, if you stay nowhere long enough in the states you dont have to pay the sales tax. Down island no one cares, and if you sell when you return you never pay the sales tax.
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Old 30-05-2011, 18:19   #8
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

I bought a boat in California, about a month ago. If I had wanted to license it in Canada, I would have had the same titling company that I used deal with it. I would 've had to have paid the HST, no duty.

The difficult part is not the titling/licensing but the insurance. I contacted every marine insurance company I could find in Vancouver & they wouldn't do it. I then contacted several U.S. insurers and "no dice" because I didn't have a U.S. residence. Now, I have a "c/o" U.S. residence - a friend's home in L.A. and am doing my insurance through a U.S. insurer. Because I am not sure if I can accomplish everything in L.A. within 90 days of the purchase date, I opted to pay the California tax. I do not recommend this, unless necessary.

All in all, the paperwork takes the fun out of buying a boat!(lol)
Mike
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Old 18-10-2012, 17:51   #9
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Hi Young_Engineer,

How did you make out? I'm in the same boat (hee hee, no pun intended).

I wish to register a boat in Canada but leave it in the Caribbean.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:11   #10
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

I am canadain and i searched florida for a boat and found lots of them.....most were not the same as the discription and the photos dont tell the truth.......but I found a decent boat......a french built benny that I wanted to bring back home to toronto, but like other posters have discribed........you will pay the hst from the province you reside in and if it was built out of country you will be paying 9.5% duty........on 100 grand thats alot of money not to mention the time to bring it back...........

what I did find is there are alot of people in florida that think there boat is worth more than they will ever get......and no matter what boat you will purchase, you will always do upgrades, which in florida its easy to do.......

I found one right here in toronto, which made the transfere very easy........
are there no boats in canada that you could purchase, and work your trip a bit backwards............just my 2 cent
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:44   #11
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Thanks for the advice Navicula but that's not my question. If I register a boat in Canada but do not import it would I have to pay the GST?

Kevin
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:03   #12
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Kevin, no. As stated above taxes are payable only when arriving at the first port of entry into Canada. If you never bring the boat back to Canada you will not pay Canadian tax. What you need to register (Federal) is a copy of a letter asking the US Coast to de-register the boat in the US. (I'm not sure if I am using the term register properly as the US and Canada call it differently...title and register I believe).
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Old 18-10-2012, 20:35   #13
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Thanks DeepTrz,

That's the way is seems to me as well. There is no mention in Transport Canada's instructions on how to register your vessel about GST (or any other tax).

How does that work practically though? After I have had this boat outside of Canada for a long time (say 5 years) but had it registered in Canada, then I sail it to Canada for the first time does Customs Canada ask for proof that the GST has been paid. Seems like a loop hole?

Kevin
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Old 18-10-2012, 21:12   #14
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

so here is what i have done.

i bought a boat in the states (maryland). I paid no tax, registered the boat in canada, brought it to miami. lived on it for 3 years in miami (no tax), then sold it to someone in maryland (no tax).

the reason i was able to do this is as the boat is canadian registered it is not required to pay us, or canadian tax until it returns to canada. no return, no tax.

I lived in florida on the boat on a yearly renewable cruising permit. the official line is that you have to be outside the us for 15 days to renew it, but it's never been a problem (advice from documentation company that has been in the business doing this for over 20 years). This is much less of a problem than it seems. it is very easy, no hassle and cheap.

I have bought and sold the boat using a documentation company, it is around 1000 $ for each privilege, including the use of their escrow account (no brokers involved). I highly recommend it for the security and easy of use as well as the answers to all questions. Here is the one I used, many others available, but I know this one works well and has a physical office.... asap marine documentation.

oh, and as for the insurance do not use a US company. They are infinitely more expensive. I have complete coverage (10% deductible named storm, 2% regular, offshore cruising to tropic of cancer) for 1400$ CAD yearly on 160k$ insurance. I have checked, all you need for canadian insurers to insure you is a canadian address. no need to be a canadian citizen. I have also made a claim using the company, no problems. I used Elite insurance through robinson and robinson of toronto.

Ps. not sure as to the 5 years on a cad registered boat. I know that if you reside in the us for 5 years, you are tax exempt on each item you then bring back to canada (to change your residence back) for 10$k. that means you pay tax on anything over the 10k value. I'm not sure if this would work on the boat also, but good bet that it would. you can check with cad customs and immigration. they have a contact number from 8-4pm mon-fri. you will wait for around 30mins before speaking to a person.
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Old 18-10-2012, 21:31   #15
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Re: Canadian Buying Boat in US (for Use in Bahamas, not Import)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navicula View Post
I am canadain and i searched florida for a boat and found lots of them.....most were not the same as the discription and the photos dont tell the truth.......but I found a decent boat......a french built benny that I wanted to bring back home to toronto, but like other posters have discribed........you will pay the hst from the province you reside in and if it was built out of country you will be paying 9.5% duty........on 100 grand thats alot of money not to mention the time to bring it back...........

what I did find is there are alot of people in florida that think there boat is worth more than they will ever get......and no matter what boat you will purchase, you will always do upgrades, which in florida its easy to do.......

I found one right here in toronto, which made the transfere very easy........
are there no boats in canada that you could purchase, and work your trip a bit backwards............just my 2 cent
asking price is a wish. reality changes very quickly when there is cash, and i mean cash on the table
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