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Old 03-08-2018, 10:31   #1
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Importing from Canada - reality check please!

I'm purchasing a US manufactured boat from a Canadian seller. Both private parties. Recreational use.



We were to meet in Oswego New York to complete the purchase and import the vessel.


US Customs is now telling me the seller must have a broker.



I have anecdotal information including threads here and other forums with no mention of this. I asked the Customs Agent for the CFR [Code of Federal Regulations] but he did have time to look it up or discuss further.


I was told because the seller is coming to the US for the sole purpose of selling the vessel a broker is required.


Anyone know of this or have different information?


Thanks
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Old 03-08-2018, 14:04   #2
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Like it's a business trip?
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Old 03-08-2018, 14:38   #3
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
I'm purchasing a US manufactured boat from a Canadian seller. Both private parties. Recreational use.

We were to meet in Oswego New York to complete the purchase and import the vessel.

US Customs is now telling me the seller must have a broker.

I have anecdotal information including threads here and other forums with no mention of this. I asked the Customs Agent for the CFR [Code of Federal Regulations] but he did have time to look it up or discuss further.

I was told because the seller is coming to the US for the sole purpose of selling the vessel a broker is required.

Anyone know of this or have different information?

Thanks

What you're really doing is buying a foreign-owned boat and importing it. I don't have experience in this, but it might go easier if you were officially "buying" the boat in Canada and then bringing it into the US, or having the owner deliver it into the US? So that the actual transaction is outside of the US.

Just a guess, based on stuff I've read.
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Old 03-08-2018, 14:44   #4
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

That makes complete sense. Buying the boat in Canada would likely be easier, as you'll be importing a US made boat for personal use. Assuming you're a US citizen.

Whereas the Canadian seller is importing a boat for sale. There's quite a difference.

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Old 03-08-2018, 14:44   #5
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Or make a new arrangement where they are coming here for shopping and tourism, and happen to also finalize the transaction with you while they're here
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Old 03-08-2018, 14:45   #6
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

More info, sounds like you need an import broker, not a yacht broker

How to keep yacht listings compliant with U.S. Customs | The Triton
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Old 03-08-2018, 15:55   #7
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
More info, sounds like you need an import broker, not a yacht broker

How to keep yacht listings compliant with U.S. Customs | The Triton

Correct - Customs Broker.


It doesn't make sense. Private sale. He clears into US. We do transaction. I import. Hell, I've got the EPA form and 7501 completed. I spoke with this office 2x earlier and explained what we were doing.
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Old 03-08-2018, 15:58   #8
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfin View Post
More info, sounds like you need an import broker, not a yacht broker

How to keep yacht listings compliant with U.S. Customs | The Triton

From the article:


"The private owner of a foreign-built hull looking to offer the yacht for sale in the United States......"


The boat I'm buying was manfactured in the US and has two unadulterated HIN and clear title.........
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:18   #9
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
It doesn't make sense. Private sale. He clears into US. We do transaction. I import. Hell, I've got the EPA form and 7501 completed. I spoke with this office 2x earlier and explained what we were doing.

Just guessing, but I think the sticking point is the importation for sale, which is what the seller would be doing by bringing the boat into the US in order to sell it in the US. A private cross-border sale can't be done like that, I believe. Hence the broker who's bonded for this sort of transaction, to clean it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
From the article:

"The private owner of a foreign-built hull looking to offer the yacht for sale in the United States......"

The boat I'm buying was manfactured in the US and has two unadulterated HIN and clear title.........

I found that article a bit confusing, and it doesn't make clear whether the seller was a US citizen or legal resident or not.


Anyway, there's a tried and true method to do this: buy the boat in Canada and import her into the US. Period. What's the problem with doing that? You could do the transaction on the Canadian side of the mouth of the Niagara River, then importing her would just require you crossing the river...
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:33   #10
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

The Canuck seller could apply for a "one time exemption" to act as an exporter.
I just did this with two Honda ATVs. I physically transported the ATVs to a US Citizen Stateside. The buyer (The American) was too busy to come to Canada. I used a Broker. The Buyer and the seller (me), split the cost for the Broker. I and the Broker had to explain (the Policy) to the US Custom Officers. There was a fair amount of paperwork. Normally US Customs wants to see the importer (the US Citizen) physically bringing the item over from Canuckland. Not 100% sure if pleasure craft are excluded from any of the above!
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:52   #11
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

^^^
What was the broker fee?
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:07   #12
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
^^^

What was the broker fee?
Approx $400 US


Cheers

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Old 04-08-2018, 07:17   #13
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

I've sold a boat the other way. The boat needs to be sold in the seller's country. Once you own the boat it's relatively straightforward for you to import it as personal property.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:42   #14
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

Thanks for your help folks.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:34   #15
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Re: Importing from Canada - reality check please!

The whole thing becomes a lot simpler if you purchase in the sellers country! We did the reverse a few years ago. Purchased a US boat and imported it into Canada, but then again things in Canada are done a lot more straight forward and simply. All I had to do was "deregister " the boat in the state it was registered in, get Canadian registration for it ( 3 forms and 5 photos and 3 weeks of waiting). Sail it to Canada, call customs and inform them of the purchase price, give them my CC number and they charged me the tax. Whole thing took 15 minutes and 1 phone call!

Why is everything in the U.S. always so complicated and convoluted?

As a side note we even found cruising the US last fall conflicting. We got our cruising permit/license and were told it had diferent expiry dates. and that we needed to call in when we switched CG districts but customs couldn;t tell us where those boundaries were or who we should call. When we finally figured that out and started calling. The CG asked us why we were calling and to stop calling!
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