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Old 27-04-2012, 14:47   #1
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Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Hello dear sailing friends !
It has been a wile since I posted my question regarding the registration of a foreign bought vessel under Canadian flag.

I successfully registered my new sail-catmaran (build in France) under Canadian flag and DID NOT pay any taxes / VAT / Custom fees / Import taxes or any fee in eider country's .
I did this legally and with the help of the Canadian customs who give me all the needed information on the subject.

This is my story:

I am a Canadian citizen but NOT a canadian resident . The last is important!
I live in Belgium where I'm a resident.

When ordering my future vessel, the seller / Builder in France, told me I could escape the 21% tax on the boat by registering the boat under a Delaware LLC company and registered it under US flag.

I created a LLC company in Delaware and the boat was build under the name of the company. While in construction, I therefor never paid tax on anything for the boat in europe as the vessel was to be exported.
(I could have avoided creating this Delaware company by immediately reporting the vessel to the French customs as a Canadian vessel and requested a building registration to the canadian registration office, but I did not know this at the time.)
Federal registration in the US was not possible for me as one need to be a US Citizen, I had not been warned for this when creating the Delaware company ....

When the vessel was completed and ready for the tests at sea,the shipyard requested the French customs to give a temporary French registration for tests at sea of a vessel intended to be exported.
This is common practice and done by phone and fax. One just has to show the invoice / Estimate with a non European address.

At that time, I traveled to Canada, Ottawa, so I could visit the registration bureau, the custom headquarters, the Radio canada office personaly instead of by mail, e-mail or phone....
This is always the best option in my opinion ....

At the registration bureau, they informed me off all the documentation , paperwork, etc... I needed to register the vessel.
As a canadian Citizen, there was no problem for me to register a vessel in Canada.
To hurry up the procedure, they suggested me to register in Nunavut, contrary to Toronto where one need weeks or months to register because of the high demand, Nunavut office, ( located in ottawa) do the paperwork in one day

I did the same at the Radio Canada office for the radio license.

At the custom office they explained me that I would not pay any taxes, VAT, import taxes, or any other fees for the vessel under the following conditions:

1) I needed to be a NON resident of Canada.
2) I could bring the vessel into Canadian waters as a visiting vessel ( Canadian citizen, non resident, visiting canada for holiday) for 350 days per year maximum. Same if it where a car.
3) I would need to register at the customs / immigration upon entering Canadian waters as if the boat was a foreign vessel.

The custom officers at headquarters where of a great help and made me a full photo-copy of the custom import regulations and underlined the paragraph related to my case.

The only problem I encountered was the tonnage measurements survey for the boat.
As it is a catamaran, there are no forms for simplified registration so I had to have a expert fill in a specific survey form. "Normally" following the book, this has to be done by a canadian authorized survey person.... IN CANADA .....
But when calling the Toronto survey headquarters the sent me the list of "international recognized " companies; One is off course LLOYD'S register international, who has offices all over the world. I used the Marseille office.
This procedure has cost me 2000 euros.

I'm now on the way to my circumnavigation, my boat registered in Canada, I did not do anything illegal, I'm perfectly legal with the blessing of canadian and European customs and tax-bureau ....

I will happily reply to any questions.
Marc
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Old 15-10-2021, 17:13   #2
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Thank you Marc for your post on:

"Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen"
you posted this in April of 2012,

any Idea if this is still possible?

(seems a hell of a less complicated than the "Malta Leasing" thingy)

Regulations/proceedures and Laws seem to change all the f§*'ing time...

I would be open to answers from Anybody who "Knows" that this "arrangement" is still "do-able".
I too am a non-res Cdn, currently living in Germany.

With a new Boat costing between 650K - 850K, this alone could well save me well over one hundred fifty thousand Euros MwST (150K !) on my new boat. (with currently 19% Mwst in Germany)

(I have narrowed it down to a few Manufacturers, on which I yet have to make a final decision. It will be built in Denmark, France or Germany... in the E.U. anyway, for sure)

I still have Family in Canada travel there regularly,
so I will dive into this deeper for sure

(the potential savings WILL make the effort well worth it).

and Using the Nunuvit registration Office in Ottawa,
"Tipp" is a keeper.

Cheers "eh", (sorry couldn't resist)
Thomas
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Old 15-10-2021, 18:46   #3
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Hello Thomas,
I don't see why this option would not be valid today ... I did not notice anything changing when renewing the registration over the years ... Since my input ten years ago we finished sailing and I returned the registration earlier this year. The most important is being a Canadian citizen but NOT resident.
Important, for the EU paperwork ( bill of sale) you need a Canadian address ... it the only "tricky" detail. In an ideal world you need to be a Canadian citizen, resident in Switzerland and building your boat in the EU LOL .
Marc
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Old 15-10-2021, 19:03   #4
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Quote:
Originally Posted by New View Post
and Using the Nunuvit registration Office in Ottawa,
"Tipp" is a keeper.

Cheers "eh", (sorry couldn't resist)
Thomas
There have not been regional offices of TCMS since around 2012. There is only one office now in Ottawa. The delay factor was never correct as all Regional Offices have always forwarded the applicants paperwork and the tonnage measurement to the same office in Ottawa for final vetting and approval. There never was a Nunuvut office.

PS. I am a Transport Canada Appointed Tonnage Measurer and been doing this work for 25yrs. There are a number of other incorrect statements that I won't bother to detail. I suggest you do your own research before moving along this path.
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Old 15-10-2021, 19:37   #5
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

You might be a tonnage measurer for 25 years, this do not give you universal knowledge. And don't make you a government employee... I know the paperwork I filled and send, the surveyor I was referred to in France Etc. ... I know the information I was given verbal AND in writing, in person by the Toronto office, the Ottawa office with one person dealing with Nunavut ! I was sitting in the Ottawa office in person wile the lady registered the paperwork ; not you ... I was at the Canadian customs office in Ottawa where they copied the pages referring to the taxes for me ... NOT you ... This was back in 2010 All the information I have written back in 2012 are FACTS ! How otherwise would I have legally obtained my registration ? ! You write yourself things changed in 2012, two years AFTER I registered and visited the multiple offices myself. Finally, yes, Thomas should make his own research as things might have changed but the " path" was perfectly valid for me.
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Old 15-10-2021, 20:12   #6
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Too bad I don't know how to attach attachements, I could post the documents I write about.
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Old 16-10-2021, 05:26   #7
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonobo View Post
You might be a tonnage measurer for 25 years, this do not give you universal knowledge. And don't make you a government employee... I know the paperwork I filled and send, the surveyor I was referred to in France Etc. ... I know the information I was given verbal AND in writing, in person by the Toronto office, the Ottawa office with one person dealing with Nunavut ! I was sitting in the Ottawa office in person wile the lady registered the paperwork ; not you ... I was at the Canadian customs office in Ottawa where they copied the pages referring to the taxes for me ... NOT you ... This was back in 2010 All the information I have written back in 2012 are FACTS ! How otherwise would I have legally obtained my registration ? ! You write yourself things changed in 2012, two years AFTER I registered and visited the multiple offices myself. Finally, yes, Thomas should make his own research as things might have changed but the " path" was perfectly valid for me.

There has been no office in Toronto for since about 2012 when they closed all the regional offices. There are about a dozen people in the Ottawa office, not one. Your 2010 experiences are irrelevant to the system in place now. You should have made clear in your post that you were talking about 2010.
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Old 28-10-2021, 23:39   #8
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Thanks very much for your post Marc. Although it is a few years old now, it is still much more useful than anything else I’ve seen.

I want to do something similar. I’m Canadian, but currently resident in Singapore. And I want to remain domiciled in Singapore. I want to buy a used boat, either in Canada or the US, and like you register it in Canada as a non-resident citizen. The difference would be that I want to cruise in Canadian and US waters most of the time. Pacific NW, possibly pay to ship the boat around to the East coast and Caribbean at some point. Or the other way around.

I’m thinking along the lines of buying a used boat near Vancouver or Seattle, registering it in Canada if it’s not already. Ideally it would come with a transferable slip. Also, since I’m new to this, I would likely hire a part-time captain for the first little while. Just day cruises and learn the systems at first.

My problem right now is that I don’t know enough about boat-buying to be able to ask the right questions. Please forgive the rambling questions below.

I’m wondering about taxation. Presumably there would be sales tax on the vessel purchase? Also, is there any chance the authorities would try to declare me a resident and charge income tax? I plan to stay out of Canada for at least 183 days per year, and use travel insurance to cover medical expenses.

Also about insurance. Can I as a non-resident get insurance for the boat through an insurer in say Vancouver? Or Seattle?

Any information or insight you could provide would be very helpful. As things become more clear I’ll probably have more (and more specific) questions.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Kevin
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Old 29-10-2021, 05:52   #9
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Re: Canadian registration for a NON RESIDENT citizen

Lurking and reading.... ,


@ Bonobo & Kevin R, Thanks for the Info (posts and discussion),


when I'm closer to Puchase, or find out more infos (pertaining to this topic), I too, will add to this thread.

I might end up buying "used"/Second-Hand as a interm solution,

as for some of the NEW Yachts I'm interested in, have a 2+ year waiting list for their delivery .

and if I end up buying a secondhand (used) yacht (while I wait for the new one to be built), the EU-Tax/(MwSt in Germany) might have already been paid... (ergo incl. in price) so no advantage or tax saving possible...


BUT for the "New Build", this Thread/Post/Topic is still of great interest.


Cheers (eh)...
Thomas
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