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Old 27-07-2009, 18:22   #1
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Registering vs Licensing Boat in Canada

OK more questions

If I've read and understood correctly there is a difference.

Roughly

Registering is federal and involves registering the name of the boat, which they check title and any lien's? Costs $250 cdn up front any renewal required? Cost of renewal?

Licensing is Provincial and involves transferring license #

In Ontario, what is the impact on taxes? GST & PST. I was told that if you transfer the license you would need to pay PST on purchase value of boat

if you register it no GST or PST?

Why do I see some boats with both a number and name? Some with just a name.
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Old 27-07-2009, 19:25   #2
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If you register the boat you do get a vessel number which you need to display inside the boat on a small plaque. The name is all you need to display on the transom and on each side of the bow in 4 inch high lettering. Every 3 years they send you a new certificate of registry at no cost. If you plan to visit foreign countries having the boat registered is better as it is proof of ownership. If you buy the boat in one province and move it to another province you will not need to pay PST in the province you bought it.
Licensing is provincial and you do need to pay PST. You have to display the number they give you on each side of the bow. You can also display a name however it is not the vessels legal name.
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Old 27-07-2009, 21:29   #3
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As for registering, I did the change of ownership on Espina a couple years ago (she was already registered), and there was no GST/PST charged. Also the Name requirments have changed again, and you only need the Name and Port on the transom if you want. Don't even need it on the bow anymore.

The fee for registering for the first time is $250, plus what it costs to have the boat measured. Change of ownership costs $150. Heres the link to the Transport Canada fees page

Vessels Registry Fees Tariff

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Old 28-07-2009, 02:26   #4
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We recently registered our boat, which did coat us 250 dollars and no taxes, but the vessel must be registered to get a marine radio license with call sign. Also would suggest that there is a loop hole here for paying taxes, if registering no taxes if licensing one must pay, as this is what the register passed along as information to know. I also might add we had to show proof of purchase and the original certificate of ownership being the vessel came from the United States.
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Old 28-07-2009, 05:11   #5
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Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post
We recently registered our boat, which did coat us 250 dollars and no taxes, but the vessel must be registered to get a marine radio license with call sign. Also would suggest that there is a loop hole here for paying taxes, if registering no taxes if licensing one must pay, as this is what the register passed along as information to know. I also might add we had to show proof of purchase and the original certificate of ownership being the vessel came from the United States.
So does this mean if I buy a French Flag boat it can NOT be registered?
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Old 28-07-2009, 06:21   #6
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So does this mean if I buy a French Flag boat it can NOT be registered?
No, you can register it if you meet the requirements. Your best bet is to contact the registrar of shipping in your area and get the correct information of what is required, such as a builders certificate if the vessel is foreign built.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/oep...ation/menu.htm
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Old 28-07-2009, 06:45   #7
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Also would suggest that there is a loop hole here for paying taxes, if registering no taxes if licensing one must pay, as this is what the register passed along as information to know.
The information I got when I enquired about this was that if you're a Canadian citizen and you register the boat and you bring it into Canada you pay the taxes, both PST and GST. As long as you don't bring it home, no tax is paid. No duty if the boat is built in a NAFTA country.

When you go to get a boat licence for an imported boat at Service Canada they want to see a receipt showing purchase value and both taxes paid, if you haven't paid the tax, they will collect it before you get a vessel licence. Again no duty if the boat is built in a NAFTA country.

Regarding VHF licence, you can get a call sign regardless of whether the boat is licenced or registered, it's unrelated AFIK to whether you register or licence your boat. Our current boat is licenced and we have a call sign, we were told we had to have one to use VHF in US waters, if we stayed out of the US we didn't need one. Costs about $35 a year IIRC.

Don't you just love rules and regs and the various interpretations you get from various bureaucrats?
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Old 28-07-2009, 17:55   #8
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Let me tell you guys something. I also was told no PST on the sale of our boat 3 years ago because it is registered only. Well I paid the 250 and thats OK. But guess what, that loophole is closed because the Feds told ONT about the sale and I got a bill almost a year later including interest. I would be very pissed to know now that ONT has dropped that because it was about 5 grand PST on a FED REG vessel. Yes I paid
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Old 29-07-2009, 06:07   #9
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Let me tell you guys something. I also was told no PST on the sale of our boat 3 years ago because it is registered only. Well I paid the 250 and thats OK. But guess what, that loophole is closed because the Feds told ONT about the sale and I got a bill almost a year later including interest. I would be very pissed to know now that ONT has dropped that because it was about 5 grand PST on a FED REG vessel. Yes I paid
Taxes don't go away, especially in Ontario, there is no way they will forgo a source of revenue. You can take a shot if you import a boat and don't register or licence it and just leave the US registration on it, but sooner or later, they will catch up to you, and it will hurt. The Feds and Province have had an agreement on collecting sales taxes on boats for a number of years, and with the soon to be done (God forbid) harmonizing of GST and PST into HST, it will be complete and we will all enjoy paying both taxes on just about everything. Can't wait, who doesn't like paying more tax?
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Old 29-07-2009, 06:35   #10
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updated info

So I spoke with a broker and they said. There seemed to be a gap a few years back where the federal government and Provincial were not communicating so the Provincial government did not have the information on boats purchased.

That has since been resolved and now when someone registers as opposed to license the federal government provide the provincial government with the info and you will get a separate letter from the province asking for a receipt showing proof you paid PST


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Old 28-08-2009, 19:47   #11
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Does anyone know if the boat needs to be registered or licenced to obtain a US cruising permit? I can't find any information that says which one it needs to be...
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Old 28-08-2009, 21:29   #12
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Does anyone know if the boat needs to be registered or licenced to obtain a US cruising permit? I can't find any information that says which one it needs to be...
Registration or licensing does not matter. Some of the charter boats I sail are registered, some are licensed. The all have US cruising permits, because the charter companies get them early in the season.

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Old 05-03-2013, 10:51   #13
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Re: Registering vs Licensing Boat in Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbuoy View Post
Let me tell you guys something. I also was told no PST on the sale of our boat 3 years ago because it is registered only. Well I paid the 250 and thats OK. But guess what, that loophole is closed because the Feds told ONT about the sale and I got a bill almost a year later including interest. I would be very pissed to know now that ONT has dropped that because it was about 5 grand PST on a FED REG vessel. Yes I paid
My information is, that you do not have to pay none of the Canadian taxes as long as the boat does not physically enter Canada. And that if you bring the boat to Canada, yes, you have to pay the taxes. From your comment, did not understand, is your boat in Canada?

We are now going through the same hell of registration vs. licensing and tax or no tax, and I was hoping to find some answers here, but after reading all the info from this tread, I am still not sure what to do...

(We are buying a used boat from USA, but we are not planning to bring her in Canada. )

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:20   #14
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Re: Registering vs Licensing Boat in Canada

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Originally Posted by thelifenomadik View Post
My information is, that you do not have to pay none of the Canadian taxes as long as the boat does not physically enter Canada. And that if you bring the boat to Canada, yes, you have to pay the taxes. From your comment, did not understand, is your boat in Canada?

We are now going through the same hell of registration vs. licensing and tax or no tax, and I was hoping to find some answers here, but after reading all the info from this tread, I am still not sure what to do...

(We are buying a used boat from USA, but we are not planning to bring her in Canada. )

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thelifenomadik, you're responding to a thread that has been dormant since 2009, so I suspect the OP has long ago solved his/her problem. However, I did recently purchase a US boat, and did import it to Canada, so I spent some time researching the whole thing. Here's my understanding:

You have to pay both federal and provincial tax if you import the boat to Canada. If you never bring the boat back to Canada, you will not have to import it, therefore you don't have to pay the tax. NOTE: You will also have to pay duty on any boat built outside of NAFTA (IOW outside of North America).

Registration or licensing makes no difference.

Now, in the past I think it was true that some people fell through the cracks and avoided paying PST on a boat purchase (ask me in a PM how I know this ), but the law is clear that both GST and PST (or HST) is due on imported boats.

With regard to licensing vs registering, my guess is that you cannot license your boat without it being in the province. I've read you can register a Canadian boat even while it is outside of Canada, but I suggest you look at the applicable websites for confirmation.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:42   #15
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Re: Registering vs Licensing Boat in Canada

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
thelifenomadik, you're responding to a thread that has been dormant since 2009, so I suspect the OP has long ago solved his/her problem.
Mike, I checked the date for this thread AFTER i posted
I was looking for info about Canadian registration and did not pay attention to the dates... And yes, things change pretty fast.

I guess, we will have to register the boat in Canada: $250, but the problem is, the boat is a catamaran and a tonnage survey is required, which will cost somewhere between $500-1100.
I was trying to see if only a licensing would be enough, which does not require such a survey and is free. (so there is a big difference between registration and licensing...) But it is not an option. And you are right, licensing is for vessels within Canada, registration can be done without the boat being in Canada. I guess, our only option is to find the cheapest tonnage surveyor possible...

Thank you!
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