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Old 23-11-2011, 08:31   #1
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Canadian . . . Registration vs License

Hi everyone,

I am a bit confused as to the difference and benefits of registration vrs licensing in Canada.

I just bought an Alberg 30 in British Colombia.

Questions:

What's the difference and benefits of registration vrs licensing as you can only do one!

How does this affect tax? As far as I understand I pay the 12 percent bc tax for reg.

The kicker....the boat was licensed in Canada....then sold and reg in new Zealand. Now I have bought it here.

The seller has already cancelled the nz reg, so now should I reg or license?

Licensing is free....

Thanks everyone!
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Old 23-11-2011, 09:05   #2
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Re: Canadian...registration vrs licence.

We just went through a similar experience with our US purchased boat. It was registered in the US (I think the US calls it "documented"). We had to undocument the boat in the US, then import it to Canada. This is when we payed the tax (13% in our case).

In the recent past, when a used boat was privately purchased in Ontario (and I assume BC), you only had to pay the provincial sales tax. I'm guessing you now have to pay the full HST, but it might be worth inquiring. In the past, when we licensed our boat, we were sent an invoice for the PST.

Boats in Canada must be licensed or registered. Registration is federal, licensing is provincial. Licensing is free (at least in Ontario) and does not have to be renewed. I think registration costs $250, and must be renewed every three years.

Transport Canada Registration site


Registration allows you to carry the vessel name and port of registry, whereas licensing requires that you show your license number. Otherwise there is no other functional difference as long as you remain in home waters. Not sure how it affects international travel.

One question I do have is whether registration is better/essential for international travel. We have licensed so far, but will likely register this year.
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Old 23-11-2011, 09:16   #3
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Re: Canadian...registration vrs licence.

Registration will cost a lot more. I think it's $300 now. If you're not going to sail the world licensing would be the best bet. About the only thing still free! As for taxes they always get you.
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Old 23-11-2011, 10:45   #4
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Re: Canadian...registration vrs licence.

You can pay less, I recall, for federal registration if you don't change the name of the boat, as this is a "transfer of title" and the boat details don't need to be re-entered or some such nonsense.

We bought a boat already registered in our home port and which had a name we saw no reason to change. I believe we paid $150. For that, we have the only boat in Canada with that name "officially", and as that's linked to the MMSI and other documents, it should be quite a simple matter to alert authorities whenever the yellow EPIRB is thrown or the red DSC MAYDAY button is pushed exactly who we are.

That's the hope, anyway.

By contrast, my other, strictly Great Lakes sailboat is only known to my insurers and me. The number on the bow indicates that it's from London, Ontario, not Toronto, and ceased to have meaning three previous owners and at least 25 years ago.
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Old 23-11-2011, 10:54   #5
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Re: Canadian...registration vrs licence.

The OP's boat is not Canadian registered so it cannot just be a change in ownership. It has to be registered, (if that's what he wants) although nowadays no tonnage survey is required for a 30 footer so the process is a bit easier than it used to be. But it's still at least $300 or more.
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Old 23-11-2011, 16:35   #6
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

Boat registry fees. I didn't realize you paid the Dept. of Justice.

Vessels Registry Fees Tariff
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Old 23-11-2011, 17:04   #7
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

"it should be quite a simple matter to alert authorities whenever the yellow EPIRB is thrown or the red DSC MAYDAY button is pushed exactly who we are."

Priceless!
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Old 23-11-2011, 17:18   #8
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

If you register the boat, you do not have to pay any taxes until you land the boat. Meaning, you only pay the tax when you get to Canada... but if you never get to Canada and sell the boat elsewhere... Perhaps you'd not have to pay at all.
Cheers.
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Old 11-12-2011, 14:56   #9
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

Quote:
Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
If you register the boat, you do not have to pay any taxes until you land the boat. Meaning, you only pay the tax when you get to Canada... but if you never get to Canada and sell the boat elsewhere... Perhaps you'd not have to pay at all.
Cheers.
Paul.
I'd like to hear more about this, since I plan to buy my boat outside of Canada and sell it in NZ.
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Old 11-12-2011, 15:03   #10
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

It is true that you would not have to worry about Canadian taxes on the boat, but you would need to look into selling a Canadian registered boat in NZ. I'm sure there would be NZ taxes and possibly other difficulties.
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Old 11-12-2011, 15:10   #11
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

I understand that might be the case. I'd just like to avoid paying state tax when I buy the boat in the US, plus, Canadian Tax, THEN NZ tax so I can sell the boat. 2 out of three would be bearable, but all three would suck.
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Old 18-10-2012, 14:29   #12
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Re: Canadian . . . Registration vs License

don't forget, with a boat registered in Canada, 13 shares are owned by the Queen! Dunkirk, remember?
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