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Importing a Canadian Built Boat to the US-gctid356336

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    Importing a Canadian Built Boat to the US-gctid356336

    I've seen a number of posts over the years about Canadians purchasing boats in the US and bringing back to Canada. How about the inverse?

    A friend of mine is in the process of purchasing a Canadian built Cooper Prowler located in Vancouver Canada and plans to bring it south to Washington. When he first asked around, brokers indicated it was an easy transaction. The marine title company suggested that he needs to have the broker complete a NAFTA form. He has been told he needs a customs bond for the US customs to the tune of $400+. He has spoken to people at the Canadian and US customs offices, a Customs Broker, Yacht Brokers and a marine title company-- it appears that none of them have a complete understanding of the process.

    Has anyone been through this that can shed some light on the topic? Thanks, Rick
    Rick
    2002, 3788

    #2
    Log on to this customs site.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...3gHnO-4c3Nj7eg
    Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

    Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
    Twin 350 GM power
    Located in Seward, AK
    Retired marine surveyor

    Comment


      #3
      There should be no duty under NAFTA. The buyer needs to be specific about asking this for customs and be prepared with proof of where it was built.

      The duties listed are for non North American built boats.

      Cooper yachts was bought by Queenship in BC. perhaps you can contct them for info.

      In the scheme of things $400 to clear it is peanuts if a broker can take all the headaches away.
      "Adios Dinero"
      1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
      Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

      Comment


        #4
        One issue is unless it is a registered vessel in Canada (which is different from a licenced vessel) there is no national central records of liens/mortgages like there is for a US documented vessel. You are expected to check for liens registered in each province and territory to ensure all is free and clear.
        1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

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          #5
          Is your friend getting agood deal? Usually, prices for boats in Canada are a lot more than in the US. I've seen 32 Bayliners in Canada that were so-so going for $3000 to $6000 more than the same boat would sell for in the US. In fact, I sold a 28 foot Carver Voyager to a couple from BC who came to the US for that reason. At the time (6 years ago) my Carver sold for $36,000. In Canada the couple told me that boat would cost $42,000 or so. Anyway, hope your friend is getting a good deal for all the hassle he's going through.

          Frank
          "Safe Boating is No Accident"
          Everett Sail and Power Squadron

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks all for your posts.

            My friend found a customs agent out of Bellingham that was very helpful. It appears that he will need a bill of sale and a letter from the broker stating the boat was originally built in Canada. The agent took the boat information and new owner information, we need to call them when we are an hour out and we should get through without incident. We are still trying to confirm if he needs to "officially take possession" in US waters to avoid any taxes in Canada.

            We are in agreement on the benefits of documentation. He plans to document the boat once he has it in US waters--didn't want to change the name and add another level of complexity prior to getting it registered in Washington.

            As far as price goes, yes he is getting it a fair amount below the asking price for a solid well maintained boat. He has been looking for a while and found this boat that meets his criteria.

            Thanks all for your help. Rick
            Rick
            2002, 3788

            Comment


              #7
              No need to take possession in Canada to avoid Canadian taxes. There might be a reason to do so to avoid US taxes, but I don't think WA has the rules that California has.
              1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

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                #8
                When I bought my boat from a dealer in Canada, the dealer suggested I take possession in US.... not sure why,... Ken

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                  #9
                  Ken, if you took possession in Canada sales tax applies anywhere but tax free Alberta.
                  1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

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                    #10
                    makes sense, Uncle Bob.... thanks.

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                      #11
                      Well we got the boat and after two days of Small Craft and gale warnings, managed to get it from Vancouver BC to Seattle. Even though there were gale warnings posted when we left Vancouver, the Georgia Straights to Porlier pass weren't all that bad-- 3-5 foot waves on our beam. It was wet and bumpy but tolerable. The worst of the winds were forecast for later that afternoon.

                      When we went through customs, they let us back into the US but essentially impounded the boat. We were told that the boat had to be "properly imported" through the use of a customs broker. We managed to get a customs broker out of Blaine that completed some forms and $580 later plus $19 to the US customs the boat was officially allowed into the US and we were free to leave Friday Harbor the next morning. So, if you buy a boat in Canada, it's probably easier to spend the $$$ on a customs broker up front. . . we all have 20/20 hind sight.

                      Tuesday brought 10 to 12' waves (plus chop) on Rosario straight. We saw the Victoria Clipper come out of Deception Pass and hit the straights - judging by the fact that we saw roughly a third of her bottom out of the water I suspect there were some sick people on board. The run down the inside of Whidbey Island wan't bad until we hit Hat (Gedney) Island. From Hat South to Seattle was wet and wild beating into 4-6' waves.

                      We tested every seal on all the windows and made a few stops to adjust the freshly packed packing during our two day adventure. Over all, the boat handled the heavy weather well except for a flybridge seat that broke loose crossing Rosario.
                      Rick
                      2002, 3788

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You're only as lucky with customs as the officer permits. I reported here before that a CDN buddy of mine cleared at Friday Harbor to buy a used dinghy in the San Juans. The customs agent charged him $19 in and $19 out because it was a commercial visit. It was no more a commercial visit than a tourist buying a pair of shoes but that's how that customs officer decided to interpret things. I wonder if you got the same bozo. Glad you have a good sea story to talk about for some time. As they say, the boat can take more than the crew so you are now ready to cross a west coast bar.
                        1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

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                          #13
                          You guys make it home ok?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yes Scott, we made it home ok. Suffice it to say the boat was very salty when we got back. I spoke with a friend that was out on Elliot Bay the Tuesday we were returning-- he clocked winds of 53kn. and was getting beat up in a late model 57' Marlow. . . .

                            You should be getting a call soon about new risers.
                            Rick
                            2002, 3788

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I was thinking about driving my boat from Anacortes to Edmonds this weekend. I am watching the weather closely.

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