Did it a year ago almost to the day, bought a Catalina
in Michigan. Simple process IF you buy a boat made in the USA (or Canada
as well I think), if not built in NA then you are going to be in for duty and it will be at whatever rate CBSA decides to levy. For NA built boats you will pay no duty, but you will get clipped PST & GST, no way you can get around it. You will need a bill of sale
from the seller and that's all, I had clear title and previous owner registration
documents but they weren't interested.
I am told that private sales are scrutinized more closely than if you have a bill of sale
from a broker. If the selling value in a private sale looks low in their opinion they have the right to assess it at whatever they feel is right. We bought through a broker so it took about 5 minutes to do the paperwork no questions asked. We also didn't play silly buggar there is way too much paper trail to do that.
Went to Service Canada
when we got her home, showed them the bill of sale and the receipt from CBSA showing taxes
paid and walked out with a Canadian registration
number, that cost zero dollars believe it or not a government service
in Canada for FREE!!! At first they tried to stick me with some stupid rule
that said I had to tell the previous registration authority the boat had been sold out of state, I refused to do that, in a nice way of course, and they said OK don't bother.
I used Bothwell Boat Works to haul her home, he did the brokerage at the border and all the paperwork for $100. Dave Kopriva is his name, very good to deal with. He is not my brother in law and I don't have any other relationship with him, his name was given to me by the selling broker. He has stout equipment
can handle just about any boat and he got her home in great shape despite really nasty fall weather
If you decide to sail her home you just phone
CBSA at first port of entry and tell them what's up and where you're going and they will give you direction on what to do next, usually they just record
your data and you can report to the CBSA office nearest to where you live and pay your taxes there.
Sure wish the buck had been where it is now last October! But still a sweet deal and I would buy a boat out of the US again in a heartbeat.