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Old 20-01-2022, 15:40   #1
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Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Hey guys,

I'm a Canadian looking to chat with anybody who has bought in the States that is also Canadian. I have a few questions!

I found a perfect boat (hoping it's not too good to be true) but I'm hoping to engage a broker though here on a different thread to handle the buy but I have a few questions if anybody can spare a few mins about the process, the legal perspective, duty/taxes - I have no interest in bringing the boat back to Canada at present.

Cheers!
Jordan
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Old 20-01-2022, 15:55   #2
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

What is the custom's clearance or country of origin status of the vessel?

If it has been previously imported into the USA then it will be of duty paid status.

When you purchase a good, such as a vessel in the USA, you may incur a sales or a use taxation, if the state in which you purchase the boat has such sales or use taxation.

What State is the boat located in?

What State will the boat's purchase be in?

What State will the boat reside to be used in?

50 States, 50 sets of taxation rules.

There is NO Federal Sales or Use Taxation.

There is No VAT in the USA.

Provide guidance as to the questions above then specific guidance and reference links to the laws and the tax rates and the procedures can be provided. Not all States have Sales or Use taxation, some have property taxation and excise taxation.

You will need to have the boat registered and perhaps titled if the state of principle use is a titling state. You could pursue a Canadian flag registry.

Devil in the details. Provide the details.

If you import the boat back to Canada you will incur your GST, or what ever it is called in your province upon entry to Canadian waters and will have to clear customs but there likely will not be customs duty depends on country of origin.

All the best.
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Old 20-01-2022, 17:22   #3
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Hey Montanan,

Thanks for the reply!

It's currently located in Florida. I would be buying it in Florida, taking it through the Caribbean then selling it. Would I still need to flag it Canadian as a Canadian owner or could I keep it flagged in the States as it would never end up in Canada. I don't mind paying the taxes to import it into Canada if I have to but since it would never see Canadian waters under my ownership, I was hoping to K.I.S.S. as much as possible.

It's an Irwin so it's American made.
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Old 20-01-2022, 17:41   #4
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...at-258944.html


https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...da-256141.html


I found these by doing a search on "canadian florida". There are many more.
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Old 20-01-2022, 17:41   #5
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLin View Post
Hey Montanan,

Thanks for the reply!

It's currently located in Florida. I would be buying it in Florida, taking it through the Caribbean then selling it. Would I still need to flag it Canadian as a Canadian owner or could I keep it flagged in the States as it would never end up in Canada. I don't mind paying the taxes to import it into Canada if I have to but since it would never see Canadian waters under my ownership, I was hoping to K.I.S.S. as much as possible.

It's an Irwin so it's American made.
Florida, well that narrows the subject.

https://www.floridasalestax.com/docu...t%20this%20tax.

https://www.flhsmv.gov/motor-vehicle...registrations/

States do not provide nationality to a vessel, only the US Federal government and that is done by documenting the boat with the US Coast Guard but you are not an American so that is not an option.

Florida is a registering and a titling state.

You could flag your vessel by registration with Canada and thus avoid the 6% State sales / use tax and the counties typically have a small discretionary use taxation. The maximum tax will be $18,000. If you Canadian flag the vessel you will need to get a cruising license from the US government to avoid State use taxation. You will need the cruising license so as to be free to move your vessel from US port to US port with out having to clear each time with customs. Since you intend to keep the vessel in Florida for more than 90 days you will need to register the vessel with the state, even if it is Canadian flagged, but you will not title with Florida for your Canadian flagged vessel.

Foreign Flagged Vessels

Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license to cruise issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Licenses to cruise are available only to boats flagged in countries that have a treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as long as you do not violate the provisions of the license to cruise.

Cruising licenses are valid for up to one year then you need to depart and return and can obtain another license.

Cruising license info:

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Artic...language=en_US

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Artic...language=en_US

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Artic...language=en_US

If you have a dinghy that is motorized, or have any boat over 16 feet [motorized or non-motorized] it will need to be registered with Florida separately, ana apart from your main vessel.
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Old 20-01-2022, 17:54   #6
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Another item to attend to for Florida, all operators of the boat will need a Boating License [think of it like a vehicle driver's license].

How to Obtain a Boating License in Florida
A Florida boating license is not required to operate vessels in the state. However, boaters may be required to take certain educational courses to operate motorized watercrafts. Once a course has been completed, applicants are issued with a Boating Safety Education Identification Card. Your age and residency status may affect your eligibility.

Methods on how to get a boating license are varied. Education fees may apply. Depending on the type of vessel, you may be required to register and title the boat with the FL DMV. Vessel registrations must be completed in person. Fees may vary.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in Florida?
While a license is not required in Florida to operate a boat, an education card must be obtained. Florida’s Boating Safety Education Identification Card provides proof that the applicant has completed all of the state’s mandatory educational requirements.

Florida Boat License Requirements
Depending on the type and size of the vessel, boating license age limits may apply. Typically, a boat card is only required for motorized vehicles and must be held by applicants who were born on or after January 1, 1988. Furthermore, boaters must pass educational courses if they are operating a vessel of 10 or more horsepower.

In addition to the above boating license requirements, residents must be at least 14 years old to operate a personal motorized vessel on Florida waterways, regardless of whether a course has been taken. Furthermore, boaters must be at least 18 years old to rent a vessel.

Residents must carry a boater education card and a photo ID or official Florida driver’s license with them at all times when operating a motorized vessel over 10 horsepower. Non-residents of the state are not required to take one of Florida’s boating safety courses if they can prove they have passed equivalent requirements in other jurisdictions. Not all applicants are required to hold an education ID card. The following applicants are exempt.

A member of the United States Coast Guard.
A boater operating a vessel on a private lake or pond.
A boater who is accompanied by a licensed adult who holds a license or is exempt from holding a card.
A non-resident boater who can show proof that they have passed an equivalent boaters safety course.
A boater who has bought a vessel within the last 90 days.
A boater who has completed a course in the past 90 days and does not yet have the ID card. Additional proof must be provided.

Getting a Boat License in Florida

A boating license ID card may be applied for by residents of the state. Alternatively, a temporary boat safety certificate may be issued to eligible applicants visiting the state and wishing to operate a vessel on Florida waterways.

The temporary certificate is only valid for one year. To apply for a permanent card, you must first complete an approved education course. Once you have received your certificate, follow the below steps to apply for an ID card:


Submit a letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with the following information:
Your full name
Your date of birth
A return address
Your phone number
Include proof that you have completed the required boating educational courses, such as the certificate.

Send the above items to the below address.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Boating Safety Section
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
A certificate is valid for 90 days after the course has been completed.

Florida Boater Safety Courses
Applicants born on or after January 1, 1988 must complete courses approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Residents have the option to take approved online boating courses, a classroom course or an outdoor course. See below for a breakdown of each method.

Online Boater Safety Courses – There are 12 different online companies that offer boating classes over the internet. Prices and course lengths may vary.

Classroom Boater Safety Courses – There are three main companies that offer classroom courses for eligible applicants. While the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadron offer courses statewide, the Best Boat Club courses are only available in Broward County.

Outdoor Boater Safety Courses – Florida offers its residents the choice to take a Virtual Outdoor Education Course. These courses are free to applicants between the ages of 12 and 18. While the above two options only cover boating, the Virtual Outdoor Course offers a combination of hunting and boating education.

Renewing and Replacing a Florida Boating License

Do Florida boating licenses expire? No. Once issued, a safety education card is valid for life. The course certificate and ID card may be used while you wait for your permanent card to be issued.

Florida Boat Registration Basics

A boat registration certificate must be purchased from a local tax collector’s office or license plate agent in Florida. Boat titles and registration certificates are not required for all vessels. The following boats are exempt.

Non-motorized vessels less than 16 feet long.
Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, racing shells or rowing sculls.

A DMV boat registration must be applied for within 30 days of purchasing a vessel. Once obtained, the registration certificate must be kept on board the vessel at all times during operation. Registrations must be renewed annually. Stickers must be visible and placed in specific locations on the vessel.

Florida Boating Rules and Regulations

Florida boating regulations state that any applicant convicted of a criminal violation or non-criminal infraction must complete educational courses before an ID card can be issued. Exceptions may apply. Violations of boating laws may result in a first or second-degree misdemeanor. The following rules and regulations apply to all eligible boaters.

You must notify the authorities if you are involved in a boating accident and stay at the scene.
You will be issued with a first-degree misdemeanor if found operating a vessel recklessly.
You must adhere to posted speeding signs when applicable.
You must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when operating a vessel. Florida boating rules state that a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is considered under the influence.
You must wear a non-inflatable flotation device when operating a personal watercraft or when riding as a passenger.
You must wear an engine cut-off switch lanyard when operating a vessel.
You cannot operate a watercraft half an hour after sunset or before sunrise.
You must use navigational lights when operating watercraft at night.
A full list of the state’s boating requirements may be found on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website. Additional rules and regulations apply.

Florida Boating License Fees
The fee for a boating license varies depending on the type of course taken. Educational courses may range from $0 to $30. While an education course may incur a fee and is required to receive a boating ID card, the ID card itself is free.
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Old 21-01-2022, 07:08   #7
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

For the “boating license”, or operator card, know that the Canadian CPS-ECP issued PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) is recognized in the US as well as Canada. You can obtain one online via cps-ecp.ca
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Old 21-01-2022, 07:12   #8
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Hi JLin,
We have purchased a boat in the US. This was a number of years back, and we brought it back to Canada. I can share privately some of our experience if you wish but the main point I wanted to bring up, which I don't think was covered here (I confess not to have read all of the Montanan's comment) is that you do not need to have a boat in Canada to register it as Canadian (I.e. you do not have to bring it back and/or pay Canadian taxes). A boat can be registered Canadian by any Canadian. There is a modest fee (approx. $250CAD) for a period of I think 5 years. You can find that out on the federal gov't website for Transport Canada I believe. We are looking ourselves for our next (retirement) boat as well. I will be sure to follow this thread.
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Old 21-01-2022, 07:39   #9
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLin View Post
Hey guys,

I'm a Canadian looking to chat with anybody who has bought in the States that is also Canadian. I have a few questions!

I found a perfect boat (hoping it's not too good to be true) but I'm hoping to engage a broker though here on a different thread to handle the buy but I have a few questions if anybody can spare a few mins about the process, the legal perspective, duty/taxes - I have no interest in bringing the boat back to Canada at present.

Cheers!
Jordan
To avoid Florida state taxes you need to go through a yacht broker to complete the sale and then get the boat out of Florida in 90 days.

You will need a documentation specialist to ensure the boat title is clear. We used https://www.janebeale.com Jane was really good and thorough.

You will need to get the boat registered in Canada. Only US citizens can register a flagged pleasure boat in the US. You need to contact the registrar to do this https://tc.canada.ca/en/marine-trans...gister-vessels

You can use the Canadian Registered Vessel Query System to check if the name you want is available.

https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur...-registrations

You may or may not have to get the vessel measured to get it registered. This depends on size. Below a certain length photos are acceptable.
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Old 21-01-2022, 07:45   #10
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

My boat was bought in USA. Catalina. So made in USA. I kept for year in New York but registered in Canada when i bought it. It was totally legal in NY. When I crossed the border I paid GST on the value of the boat when it crossed the border into Canada. No import duties as it cae from a NAFTA country. If you will never bring the boat to Canada you will not pay GST. It only happens when your boat resides in Canada. I think you would be better off to register in Canada, and avoid all USA issues except maybe your transit permit in USA. I am not sure but I think there is 90 days allowed in Florida and I am sure there would be work around. What I am sure of is there is no problem to register in Canada except it might take a month of Canadian bureaucracy to get your final registration. Sailing Caribbean is no problem for Canadian flagged boat.
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Old 21-01-2022, 08:06   #11
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Just register it in the State. I did this twice in Florida. Buy it from the owner in person and go to the license bureau (DMV) with him. I paid tax of 6% on the agreed price,
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Old 21-01-2022, 08:31   #12
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Bought a couple of boats in the US. Simplest way, with a proviso. If the boat has federal registry rather than state you need to get it de-registered with the Coast Guard. Your broker should know about how to do this and it might be easiest to use an agent to do this. Register the boat in Canada. Transport Canada needs bill of sale and de-register form and any other paperwork you might have. Now you have a Canadian boat in the US, you need to get a cruising permit from a Customs office. This will be good for one year. It means you don't have to pay any US taxes. If you want to keep the boat in the US for more than a year, just before your cruising permit runs out you need to leave the US for two weeks and then re-enter and get a new CP. Note that if your boat is on the hard you can go to a customs office with your boat registration and CP and they will give you another form that stops the clock on your CP, ie if it is out of the water for three months your CP gets extended for three months. A warning, often US officials do not seem to know their own rules so be patient. BTW, Canadian taxes only become due when boat comes into Canada.
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Old 21-01-2022, 10:51   #13
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

I am a Canadian living in Florida on my 2nd Canadian registered Irwin…. Small world.
Yes you can buy here and register in Canada. You don’t have to pay tax in Canada until you return to Canada with the vessel… I will not take my vessel that far north.
Send me an email GlenCoombe@seacastle.ca and we can exchange more info. I am also the admin for Irwin Sailboats on Facebook. We are 2300+ with a very different feel on FB…almost like being in a group of Canadians…(sorry)
Let me know where the boat is and perhaps I can help from here in Daytona Beach.
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Old 21-01-2022, 14:30   #14
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline452 View Post
For the “boating license”, or operator card, know that the Canadian CPS-ECP issued PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) is recognized in the US as well as Canada. You can obtain one online via cps-ecp.ca


Florida Statutes > Chapter 327 > § 327.395

Florida Statutes 327.395 – Boating safety education
Current as of: 2021 | Check for updates | Other versions
(1) A person born on or after January 1, 1988, may not operate a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater unless such person has in his or her possession aboard the vessel the documents required by subsection (2).
(2) While operating a vessel, a person identified under subsection (1) must have in his or her possession aboard the vessel photographic identification and a Florida boating safety identification card issued by the commission; a state-issued identification card or driver license indicating possession of the Florida boating safety identification card; or photographic identification and a temporary certificate issued or approved by the commission, an International Certificate of Competency, a boating safety card or certificate from another state or United States territory, or a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which shows that he or she has:
(a) Completed a commission-approved boating safety education course that meets the minimum requirements established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators;
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Old 21-01-2022, 15:11   #15
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Re: Any Canadians here who have bought a boat in the USA?

I am Canadian and have bought two boats in the US in two different states.
Each state has its own rules regarding sales tax. Most I think will allow an out of state buyer a window of time to move boat out of state.

It’s not complicated, I bought through the brokerage selling the boat and both were very helpful.
I did use a title agent for the bigger boat to do a lien search, there was one, I knew about it not a surprise, the previous owner had a mortgage on boat.
Sale would pay off mortgage.
You can’t register a boat as us federally if you are non resident.
I registered boats in State, and had title transferred to me.
Then sailed boat back to Canada when I was ready, declared at border first entry, with proof of ownership and documentation of price paid ect.
Worked out first time as 7 percent sales tax.
Worked out 2nd time as 12 percent GST equivalent and sales Tax thanks to liberal gov in BC pandering to used car sales, when extra tax for used cars and boats still applies.
Again it varies with provinces, if they use GST or Harmonized ect.
Basically you pay sales tax on entry.

If the Boat was built in North America it’s covered by free trade agreement no import tax.

If the boat was built elsewhere you would also be required to pay import duty. Exact rate not sure, plus sales tax.

Keep record of tax payment for when re registering boat in Canada or you will get another bill. Not a problem I just sent a copy of receipt.

I don’t think tax is payable until boat enters Canadian waters, but you can’t come and go even when a US state registered.
Best to ask border services. If you can register as Canadian vessel and pay tax on entry,
Up to you when you enter.

Insurance is another complication, not to difficult, to insure in US you need a US mailing address, (you need for state title as well, I used title agents office)
No US address you will need to insure in Canada. Which is more expensive, and had to ask around more due to registry and address being different. I also required more extensive area to do delivery.

It would have been possible to fudge address for insurance but, if I every made a claim it could be problematic.

There is probably a way round all of this if you are v rich and own v expensive boat.
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