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Old 09-09-2015, 08:44   #1
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Importing a Boat From Canada

I recently bought a boat in BC Canada and trying to get it back to the US.
Has anybody ever did this and can give me some advice on what to do for importing a boat back to the US?
I called customs three different time and got three totally different answers on what to do.
Also Has anybody ever filled out the 7501 form (the form that customs said I need to fill out) or have a example of what it should look like? if you look at it it looks like Iím importing a boat load of cargo not just a boat.
Thanks

Rob
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:55   #2
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Re: importing a boat from canada

Hi

If the boat was originally built in either Canada or the USA then NAFTA says it enters duty free. You just have to pay state tax in whatever state the boat will live in.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:22   #3
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Re: importing a boat from canada

Okay.. but do i just go to my slip and call customs or do i need to meet them somewhere i give them all these forms and let them check the boat out?
One agent said go to my slip and call it in.
Another said i have to Meet them at a public marina with the 7501 form.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:12   #4
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Re: Importing a Boat From Canada

If you are sailing the boat in to the US from Canada you have to at least check in to Customs. I don't believe you have to prove ownership or anything if I remember what happened when I did it some years ago, but I would have the bill of sale papers. If the boat was previously on the Canadian Boat Registry then it has to be formally delisted from that by the previous owner.

So first check the boat in to US waters and you have to do that at a designated entry point for wherever you are. Sometimes that means going out of your way to make that stop. Getting different advice is not good but check with local sailors or marinas near by and they will tell you. There may be a way to just go to your marina and call it in but I don't think they do that much anymore and probably would not be happy. They may or may not come down to inspect the boat. You'll need your passport too (you and crew).

Then you can "import" the boat. I don't know if that is form 7501 or whatever. But it was easy when I did it. And then I had to register it with WA state (and pay sales/user tax - ouch). If the boat was manufactured in Canada then you will not have to pay an import US duty. But you will need to be able to show it was made in Canada. If it was made in Europe then you may have to pay an import duty and probably some other paperwork.

You can get the boat "documented" with the USCG, or not, after all that.

This was all from a few years ago but I have not heard of any major changes since then. Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:42   #5
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Re: Importing a Boat From Canada

We did the opposite a few years ago (US boat imported into Canada), and the process was the same as others have said. As we entered Canadian waters we contacted the customs agent who directed us to a dock. We went through the normal clearing-in process, but we also declared we were importing the boat at this time. They wanted to see the official bill of sale, and (I think) the official un-Documenting form. As exMaggieDrum says, if the boat is Registered in Canada then it likely needs to be un-Registered first.

We showed proof it was an American boat, which avoided us having to pay any import duties. Then we paid the applicable federal and provincial taxes, were given a receipt and notice affirming the boat had been properly imported, and were done.

Easy.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:55   #6
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Re: Importing a Boat From Canada

I looked into it a couple years ago,. The import duty was surprisingly low, like 1.5%. You may have to watch for any Ecology import issues.
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:11   #7
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Re: Importing a Boat From Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I looked into it a couple years ago,. The import duty was surprisingly low, like 1.5%. You may have to watch for any Ecology import issues.
Nice ... our government slaps a 9.5% duty on non-NAFTA boats. Guess we gotta pay for that "free" healthcare somehow .
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:55   #8
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Re: Importing a Boat From Canada

Talk to the customs office at the location you are planning to enter, and do what they say. They are the ones that are going to approve you or give you a hard time when you actually enter.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:48   #9
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Re: Importing a Boat From Canada

Form, Instructions, & FAQs ➥ CBP Form 7501: Entry Summary | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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