Are You Importing a Vessel Into Canada?

importing a vessel into Canada

Buying a boat from a foreign vendor will involve importing a vessel into Canada, which is far from a complicated process. Well, at least it shouldn’t be one if you keep in mind every step of the process. Let’s take a look at everything you should pay attention to as part of this process.

Importing a Vessel Into Canada

How does the process of importing a vessel into Canada work? Well, before you do anything, even paying for the vessel itself, you need to have the boat inspected by a marine mechanic who can properly determine whether it’s in good shape or not. Once you know 

At the Time of Purchase

You should take everything an independent vendor says with a grain of salt since you can never be too careful. You should also request a certificate of title, a United States document that can help the owner prove that there is nothing officially being owed in regards to the boat assets. For example, if there is a loan on the boat, the lender will end up retaining the title documents. When importing a vessel into Canada, you should ensure that the boat doesn’t have any liens or loans to its name that you might end up having to bear the burden of following the purchase. Once you are sure you want to buy the boat, have the seller write a bill of sale that separates the trailer, boat, and motor. Additionally, you will want a notarized bill of sale that covers all the assets. Contact us here for more information.

Crossing the Border

Now, when the time comes to cross Canadian customs with the vessel in question, you will have to declare that you are importing a boat, which will mean declaring both the value and the selling price. In order to do this correctly, you will have to present proof of ownership and the bill of sale for the vessel and any removable accessories. This will depend on what province you’re entering the country through, but you might have to pay what is known as a Provincial Sales Tax. This includes British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Québec. Meanwhile, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island will charge a Harmonized Sales Tax. You will not have to pay for a federal duty charge if the vessel you’re importing was manufactured in Canada, Mexico, or the United States.

Having Returned to Canada

Once you’re back here with your new boat, there will be a few more steps you’ll have to deal with before fully importing a vessel into Canada. For one, you will have to mail the trailer’s license plate back to the owner and buy a new one here at a provincial Driver & Vehicle Licence Office. Having done that, save all the receipts in case you ever need to provide proof of payment for all the import fees and taxes. Did you take care of that? Great! Now you just need to apply for the corresponding registration or license, which you can do through our platform. Just give us a call at +1 (800) 419-9569 or email us at if you need any help.