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Old 30-12-2010, 10:53   #1
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Keeping a Canadian-Registered Boat in Florida

Hey everybody, I'm a Canadian headed to Florida to hopefully buy a boat in a few weeks time. If I purchase one I won't be able to move it until June or July.
The boat I was looking at is a Florida reg. boat but I'd prefer to have my boat registered in Canada. If I did reg. it in Canada would I be able to leave it on the hard in Florida until this summer without paying Florida's sales taxes?

Thanks
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Old 30-12-2010, 17:59   #2
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Anyone????
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Old 30-12-2010, 18:13   #3
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Some have said 90 days is allowed after purchase to clear Florida waters, if registered out of state.

I believe, relatively recently this limit was extended to 180 days.

Maybe someone has the link?
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Old 30-12-2010, 18:22   #4
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I've only been through the process of buying a US registered boat once, but to the best of my knowledge as a Canadian you can not directly register a boat in the US. Perhaps via a company registered in Delaware. If you register it in Canada, and if it's a smaller Monohull, under 50' or so, it will be a relatively simple process, otherwise you get into tonnage survey requirements. I know nothing about US rules, regs. and taxation..

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Old 30-12-2010, 18:49   #5
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Thats a good question to raise with the broker. HE would most likely have come across it before.

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Old 30-12-2010, 20:07   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I guess I'll just have to look into it some more
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Old 31-12-2010, 06:45   #7
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Here's a link to the Florida government website with the information you need...

Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

It's really pretty simple, though. If you bought the boat less than 6 months ago you have to pay Florida sales tax (minus a credit for any sales tax you already paid). If you keep the boat in Florida for more than 90 days you have to register it with the state and pay registration fees.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:36   #8
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The Florida tax man allows 90 days for non residents to remove their boats after purchase. The broker will organise it for you. If that is not long enough then . . . .

Assume you are close to settling, you can save a little time with registration by asking the broker to organise a tonnage survey before you make your final payment. After buying you gather all the papers and $$ and register in Canada.

Some weeks later armed with your Canadian decal, papers and number you return to Florida and sail to Nassau for a few days. On your return to Florida ( with freshly applied Canadian numbers ) you apply for a US cruising permit. They are only $27.50 for a whole year which will be more than enough time. Details here

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pleasure_boats/

This method avoids all the hassle with Florida taxes and you get to visit the Bahamas too. Such a deal.

If you can't beat the 90 days and can't make Nassau then you will have to try flying under the radar. Good luck.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:40   #9
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There is no charge for a US cruising permit. You may be charged Customs clearance fee on entry. If you buy a customs decal no clearance fee is charged. The usual fee is under $20, the decal costs $27 or so, used to be $25 but it went up a few years ago.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:42   #10
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I would think if the boat is on the hard, nobody would be the wiser... Don't ask, don't tell!
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Old 24-05-2011, 20:50   #11
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Re: Keeping a Canadian-Registered Boat in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by IreCraEra View Post
Hey everybody, I'm a Canadian headed to Florida to hopefully buy a boat in a few weeks time. If I purchase one I won't be able to move it until June or July.
The boat I was looking at is a Florida reg. boat but I'd prefer to have my boat registered in Canada. If I did reg. it in Canada would I be able to leave it on the hard in Florida until this summer without paying Florida's sales taxes?

Thanks

I have done just that. there is some paperwork involved. i strongly suggest a documentation company. ASAP boat documentation is who i used. awsome.
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Old 25-05-2011, 06:32   #12
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Re: Keeping a Canadian-Registered Boat in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by IreCraEra View Post
Hey everybody, I'm a Canadian headed to Florida to hopefully buy a boat in a few weeks time. If I purchase one I won't be able to move it until June or July.
The boat I was looking at is a Florida reg. boat but I'd prefer to have my boat registered in Canada. If I did reg. it in Canada would I be able to leave it on the hard in Florida until this summer without paying Florida's sales taxes?

Thanks
But why register it in Canada? The only reason I can think of is if you plan to use it there most of the time. When you cross the border, CCRA will hit you with HST, and an import duty, which together can be as much as 20% of what the Customs agent thinks your boat is worth. If you don't agree with their valuation you will have to hire an appraiser and appeal. More expense.

Only US citizens can own US Coast Guard documented vessels, but state registration is a viable alternative. Some states don't have sales taxes, and the requirements for registration are different for each, so do your homework. Or you may decide to just pay the sales tax in the state where you be keeping your boat, so you are not subject to a time limit.

Here are a couple of links that may help:

http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sales.pdf
Boat Registration & Title Information - MarineTitle.com
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