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Old 22-01-2022, 17:43   #1
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Buying outside your own country?

Hello to all,

I am not sure if this is the right place for this question, if not I will apologize upfront and assume the moderator will move it to the correct location.

My wife and I live in Canada, but so many of the boats that we dream of owning seem to be located in the US. At this point we are reluctant to purchase a boat in the US as Canadian citizens. Number one we have the exchange rate , which is definitely not in our budget favor. Marina fees, supplies and labour if needed, would cost us approximately 30% more than purchasing a boat in our own country.

Number two here is the issue and challenges registering a boat from one country to another, that from what little we know can be daunting to say the least.

So my question is are there any fellow Canadians, who have purchased a boat in the US, as we would love to know how it worked out for you, what you would do different and what you would do again. In all likelihood given our budget we would need to purchase a boat that at the very least required some TLC, or elbow grease.

Therefore given the exchange rate, and the greater expense to keep the boat in the US, we would have to consider moving it back to Canada, versus leaving it in the US and paying everything in US funds. Have no idea how much it would cost to move a large boat, canít imagine it would be very cost effective, perhaps there are those who have done so and could shed some light on this idea

I do not want to limit the question do US versus Canada, but rather open it up to anyone who has bought a boat outside their own country, in the hopes that perhaps it may help someone else out there with the very same concerns.

As always thank you to those who take the time and put in the effort to answer my questions. It is greatly appreciated.
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Old 22-01-2022, 18:02   #2
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

There are an awful lot of threads on this very subject here on CF, with links to a few, old and new, below.

Iíve never bought a boat in my own country. There are some hurdles, but it isnít that complicated. For Canadians you will not owe anything if you keep the boat outside of Canada. If you bring the boat back into Canada youíll have to fill out some paperwork and pay tax (GST/HST/PST/QST/RST) and possibly duty (which will depend on the country of manufacture of the boat, rather than on where you buy her). If your intent is to bring the boat back into Canada then you really have to factor in the tax/duty into the equation, you could be looking at 20-30% of the purchase price depending on the tax rate in the province and the duty rate for the particular boat.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post2614615

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...tml#post108160

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post1894530
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Old 22-01-2022, 18:14   #3
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Wow Canada is not.good.
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Old 23-01-2022, 00:33   #4
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

It looked like there was some good information in one of those threads regarding my own interest. I asked about transferring ownership and insuring a boat in Central America but I didn't get a response. I must not have asked appropriately. If you don't mind maybe I can get some more insight on this thread.



> Iíve never bought a boat in my own country

What countries have you purchased boats from?



I'm specifically looking at boats in and around Central America.




> For Canadians you will not owe anything if you keep the boat outside of Canada.


Have you ever transferred the boat into a 3rd party country. Say a European boat is for sale in Central America. Have you tried transferring the title / registration into that country perhaps until you can bring it into your own?


I'd assume this will be more expensive depending on the countries involved. But might serve as a middle ground until the boat can be transferred between countries.

Is there any other way to transfer ownership before bringing it into your own country, at least for the USA or Canada?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PippaB View Post
There are an awful lot of threads on this very subject here on CF, with links to a few, old and new, below.

Iíve never bought a boat in my own country. There are some hurdles, but it isnít that complicated. For Canadians you will not owe anything if you keep the boat outside of Canada. If you bring the boat back into Canada youíll have to fill out some paperwork and pay tax (GST/HST/PST/QST/RST) and possibly duty (which will depend on the country of manufacture of the boat, rather than on where you buy her). If your intent is to bring the boat back into Canada then you really have to factor in the tax/duty into the equation, you could be looking at 20-30% of the purchase price depending on the tax rate in the province and the duty rate for the particular boat.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post2614615

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...tml#post108160

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post1894530
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Old 23-01-2022, 19:14   #5
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Captin View Post
Hello to all,

I am not sure if this is the right place for this question, if not I will apologize upfront and assume the moderator will move it to the correct location.

My wife and I live in Canada, but so many of the boats that we dream of owning seem to be located in the US. At this point we are reluctant to purchase a boat in the US as Canadian citizens. Number one we have the exchange rate , which is definitely not in our budget favor. Marina fees, supplies and labour if needed, would cost us approximately 30% more than purchasing a boat in our own country.

Number two here is the issue and challenges registering a boat from one country to another, that from what little we know can be daunting to say the least.

So my question is are there any fellow Canadians, who have purchased a boat in the US, as we would love to know how it worked out for you, what you would do different and what you would do again. In all likelihood given our budget we would need to purchase a boat that at the very least required some TLC, or elbow grease.

Therefore given the exchange rate, and the greater expense to keep the boat in the US, we would have to consider moving it back to Canada, versus leaving it in the US and paying everything in US funds. Have no idea how much it would cost to move a large boat, can’t imagine it would be very cost effective, perhaps there are those who have done so and could shed some light on this idea

I do not want to limit the question do US versus Canada, but rather open it up to anyone who has bought a boat outside their own country, in the hopes that perhaps it may help someone else out there with the very same concerns.

As always thank you to those who take the time and put in the effort to answer my questions. It is greatly appreciated.
HI Lady Captin,
I imported a new boat from France to Oz and the process wasn't too bad at all. It was only a 5% duty for OZ (Canada was higher from memory) and of course the obligatory Aus 10% GST.
Some things to watch for:
- The GST or tax is calculated on the boat purchase price and also includes any transport costs. My 50K transport bill added another 5K to the tax bill...grrrr.
- If you freight it, pay attention to insurance cover when loading onto the ship. I had to have separate insurance for the onload and offloading, the insurance cover for the transport of the boat did not cover getting it on or off the ship.
- If you have gas on board, most countries all have different gas connectors and will not accept another countries gas fittings. I had to get a gas fitter to change all the fittings and recertify the gas system even though it was brand new and came with a French compliance certificate. It amounted to a few thousand dollars so not an insignificant amount.
Cheers!
WK
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Old 23-01-2022, 19:41   #6
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Canadian citizen here. I bought our last boat in the USA, back after the '08 crash when our dollars were nearly identical. But buying and importing was not hard, bureaucratically speaking.

All you need to do is have an official bill of sale. And if the US boat is registered, to have it de-registered. This is a USCG process that is not hard. Our US broker did this for us, but I think it's just a simple form.

Once you get to the border, you present the bill of sale, along with the de-registration (if required). They charge you appropriate sales tax (HST or GST, depending on which province you're importing into). They will confirm the boat is covered under NAFTA (or whatever the new NAFTA is now). Basically, this means a US or Canadian built boat. If it's not, then it may also be subject to import duties, which ran 9.5% back when we did it. Otherwise, no duties.
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Old 23-01-2022, 19:46   #7
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

I don't want to hijack this thread. If anyone has some advice regarding purchasing from Panama or Central American countries, I made inquiry regarding this here:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ce-259495.html
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Old 23-01-2022, 21:22   #8
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post

All you need to do is have an official bill of sale. And if the US boat is registered, to have it de-registered. This is a USCG process that is not hard.
Hey Mike, lets not confuse newbies with incorrect terminology.
"Registered" in the US means "State Registered"
USCG does not register boats they "Document" them.
It's "USCG Documented" vessels that require a "deletion letter".

Some may find this nit picking but I've seen it confuse more than a few.
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Old 23-01-2022, 21:40   #9
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Hey Mike, lets not confuse newbies with incorrect terminology.
"Registered" in the US means "State Registered"
USCG does not register boats they "Document" them.
It's "USCG Documented" vessels that require a "deletion letter".

Some may find this nit picking but I've seen it confuse more than a few.

Ah yes. Of course you're correct. As I was typing that I had that niggling sense it wasn't quite right. Must be a senior's-moment.

BTW, now that you've attracted the eyes of BP here, I'd lean on him (gently, of course ) for advice in all these matters. He's an actual expert.
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Old 23-01-2022, 21:49   #10
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by discord View Post
....Have you ever transferred the boat into a 3rd party country. Say a European boat is for sale in Central America. Have you tried transferring the title / registration into that country perhaps until you can bring it into your own?


I'd assume this will be more expensive depending on the countries involved. But might serve as a middle ground until the boat can be transferred between countries.

Is there any other way to transfer ownership before bringing it into your own country, at least for the USA or Canada?
Donít confuse where you buy the boat with where you flag the boat. Our last boat was flagged/registered in Switzerland, we bought it in NZ, and documented (registered) it in the US while it was still in NZ.

If you want to fly a Canadian flag on your boat you can do that and never bring the boat into Canada. Canada makes it a bit more complicated than some other places, anything over 12m (multihull) or 15m (monohull) requires a formal tonnage survey by a property accredited surveyor. Boatpoker just above could lay out the details. For a smaller boat you can opt for the simplified form you fill out yourself.

The things to look out for:
1. Every country has a deletion process where you remove the vessel registration from that country and re-register it where you like. The exact process will depend on the flag on the vessel when you purchase it.
2. The country where the sale takes place will have Customs regulations of which you will need to be aware. Mexico and New Zealand both have a temporary importation program under which a boat can be sold by a foreigner and bought by another and the temporary permit follows along. Australia and the US arenít nearly as easy. Central America is a big place, each country will have its own rules.
3. Make sure you understand the rules of the current flag country with regard to title/ownership of the vessel. How do you know the person selling the boat actually owns it and there are no liens/loans? At the same time, make sure any bill of sale/transfer is properly completed according to the country where you will flag the boat. Do you need a notary/apostille? Do you have to use a specific form?
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Old 24-01-2022, 10:52   #11
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

I am a Canadian citizen (Toronto) and in the fall of 2016 I purchased a U.S. built 38ft catamaran in Florida.
After I had the bill of sale I got the Canadian Ontario License (not full national Registry) as we planned to spend the winter on the boat in Cuba and the Bahamas and then return to Ontario in the early summer. This was online and for a small fee and no taxes paid at the time. These countries will accept boats with local licensing and do not demand national registry.
Florida state rules say you must take the boat of of Florida within 90 days of closing or pay Florida taxes, so we headed to Cuba as soon as the boat was ready and then emailed back a copy of the entry papers into Cuba to prove we were out of Florida. You cannot return to Florida for one year, as that was where the purchase took place. When returning from the Bahamas we sailed direct to Brunswick, Georgia, to clear into the U.S. for the cruising permit. We then continued up the IntraCoastal Waterway and along the New Jersey shore, up the Hudson River through the New York State barge canal system and cleared into Canada at Toronto the following July. Taxes of 13% were then due, the same taxes as would be due if the boat was purchased in Ontario. If the boat were built in France, South Africa, etc. an additional import duty of 9% would have been added.
We continue to sail around Lake Ontario with the boat due to Covid.
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Old 24-01-2022, 12:19   #12
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Bought a French flagged boat in Tahiti, deflagged French, reflagged US, sailed to Hawaii, cleared customs, easy, no problem. Or you can hire a service to do it all for you.
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Old 27-01-2022, 08:33   #13
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

Worth checking to see if the new(ish) free trade agreements between Canada and the EU covers boats built before the agreement existed. That is the case with Canada/US free trade. If so, you can bring European boats in without duty - I think the rate is 9%.
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Old 28-01-2022, 07:16   #14
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Re: Buying outside your own country?

I live in the US and bought my (then UK-registered) HC33 in Spain. Put her on a ship and brought her over. The shipping company handled all of the importation documents for me and I paid a reasonable importation fee, which IIRC was 1% of the value of the boat. Yes, it was more complex than buying locally, but it was not an ordeal by any means and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
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