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Old 20-04-2012, 16:32   #1
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Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Pat's boating suggests that some countries may require "vessel registration." However, the type of vessel that this forum's members typically use for their cruising doesn't require a registration in Canada, and Transport Canada will be satisfied with a licence.

What's the experience of Canadian cruisers out there? Do you carry vessel registration or a licence? If you carry just a licence, did you ever encounter problems while clearing into a country because of it?
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Old 20-04-2012, 17:04   #2
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Vessel registration is voluntary but provides a clear title of ownership and is often required by countries when cruising outside of Canada. Within Canada licensing is both free and sufficient, but may not meet clearance criteria when visiting a foreign port.
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Old 20-04-2012, 17:24   #3
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Ástriğr is "technically" correct.
However, most jurisdictions will not be able to differentiate the technical differences between a Canadian licence & a registration, and won’t think to hassle a licenced boat.
If you have a unique name (& therefore qualify), a registration might be a better choice for foreign cruising.
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Old 20-04-2012, 17:40   #4
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

There is much more to obtaining registration than a unique name. You will need bill of sale from every owner in the chain until you bought the boat. Benefits of a registered vessel in Canada:

1. Only way to prove ownership.
2. No need for ugly letters / numbers on bow.
3. Eligible for a marine mortgage.
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Old 21-04-2012, 06:00   #5
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by muised View Post
There is much more to obtaining registration than a unique name...
Indeed ➥ Procedures for Registration in Canada - Transport Canada
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:12   #6
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

If you buy and keep a boat int the USA can you register it in Canada with out paying HST or duty until you bring the boat into Canada?
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:23   #7
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

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Originally Posted by muised View Post
There is much more to obtaining registration than a unique name. You will need bill of sale from every owner in the chain until you bought the boat.

I only needed my bill of sale when I registered my boat 2 years ago.
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:36   #8
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Provincial registration (licensing) only requires bill of sale - this is probably what you did. Being on the Canadian ship registry is through transport Canada (see GordMay's link). You get papers which are internationally recognized.
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:54   #9
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enovillo View Post
Pat's boating suggests that some countries may require "vessel registration." However, the type of vessel that this forum's members typically use for their cruising doesn't require a registration in Canada, and Transport Canada will be satisfied with a licence.

What's the experience of Canadian cruisers out there? Do you carry vessel registration or a licence? If you carry just a licence, did you ever encounter problems while clearing into a country because of it?
It's rare that State/Province documents create a problem when clearing in, but it has happened. The french specifically have gone thru cycles of insisting on a national vessel documentation and not a state/Province document. It sometimes just depends on the specific official you get and what sort of a day he/she has had. There was a period when the officials in Deshaies harbour (Guadeloupe) were fining boats that showed up without national registration, but I have not heard of that happening in a while.
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Old 21-04-2012, 12:29   #10
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Thanks, everyone.

It sounds like carrying a licence will be enough most or all of the time, but in order to avoid potential headaches registration might be the way to go. Of course, getting a vessel registration may be headache on its own (it costs money, the boat may have to be measured by an approved professional, etc).

Lovely bureaucracy.

John Scott, the answer to your question is yes, you can buy and keep your boat in the US, register (or license) it in Canada, and not pay HST until you bring it to Canada. There are, however, other factors to consider (e.g., will you pay state sales tax?, does the state where you intend to keep the boat allow you to do that?).
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Old 21-04-2012, 13:53   #11
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Thanks for this guys...
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Old 21-04-2012, 14:01   #12
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enovillo View Post
Thanks, everyone.
It sounds like carrying a licence will be enough most or all of the time, but in order to avoid potential headaches registration might be the way to go. Of course, getting a vessel registration may be headache on its own (it costs money, the boat may have to be measured by an approved professional, etc).
Much as I'd love to join you in bashing the bureaucracy, the registration process was dead simple for us. Short form measure means no surveyor required - just fill out the webform. The only part that was even moderately difficult was the 4 specific photos that they require - one of them was specifically from some stupid angle - don't remember the details now. Otherwise it was about as simple as it could be. We did it on two trips into Victoria so we could talk face to face with the women at the registry and we approached it with a "we don't know what we are doing, could you help us please?" attitude. I think they were lonesome and happy to have someone to visit with.
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Old 21-04-2012, 14:12   #13
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Thanks Bob. Now I just have to figure out the ownership thing. Have to do the notary thing or something and then figure out the lien search requirement. I was a bit alarmed about that since I bought the boat from a broker and expected that the liens if applicable would be cleared before closing. Since I have the titles from state registration in hand, I would think that there are none, or the broker would ensure there were none, but now I'm suddenly feeling nervous about it. Hopefully all is well and getting a document verifying there are no liens will be fairly simple.
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Old 22-04-2012, 09:27   #14
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by muised View Post
Provincial registration (licensing) only requires bill of sale - this is probably what you did. Being on the Canadian ship registry is through transport Canada (see GordMay's link). You get papers which are internationally recognized.
Nope. Registered with Transport Canada. With just my Bill of Sale and
several pages of Govt forms to fill out.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:52   #15
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Re: Canadian cruisers: licence or registration?

We had to provide a notarized bill of sale, a few specific pictures, and a simplified tonnage measurement form. Then we filled out a few forms, the office was super helpful and we had our boat in florida registered as a canadian vessel.

Federally registered boats.are better when dealing with coast guards and EPIRB registration. If you are going offshore, get one it's easy, it's $250, and you might avoid problems if stuff goes wrong out there.

Your choice, but for us it was easy to do,.so we did it.
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