Importing a Boat into Canada? – Here Is Your Checklist

Importing a Boat into Canada

If you are interested in purchasing a yacht, it may not have been made in Canada. It would help if you thought about whether or not your watercraft will be subject to import tariffs and whether or not it will be permitted into Canada at all before you purchase a boat, regardless of whether or not it is new or used, a catamaran or powerboat. Importing a boat into Canada is more complex than buying one from a local dealer or online store. Particularly if you purchase your vessel from a source outside North America, the regulations governing vessel importation are extremely particular and convoluted. Check out the “Checklist” for all the steps you must take when transporting it back from another country if you are already acquainted with importing your watercraft into Canada.

Research the Import Regulations

Because Canada is such a large country, the federal government has enacted numerous import regulations to ensure the safety of its citizens, their property, and their animals. These regulations cover everything from automobiles to aircraft components to domesticated animals. If you want to transport a watercraft into Canada, you must comply with these regulations.

The good news is that the federal government of Canada maintains an entire webpage dedicated to explaining the criteria that must be met to bring a watercraft into the country. Some of these guidelines seem self-explanatory, but others might take you by surprise.

Determine Whether You Need To Get a Permit to Import a Boat into Canada

This is an especially convoluted subcategory because many variables influence whether or not an import license is required. The simple response is yes if your watercraft is longer than 24 feet and is being delivered to you from outside of Canada. There is usually no need for one on a plastic or metal yacht under 24 feet long. Shipping a watercraft from the United States adds another complexity to the process.

Canada still has the right to “import vessels temporarily for personal use,” as the US Coast Guard states, even without an import license. The boat must be for personal use and not “for sale or resale” when imported into the nation, but it’s good to know that, at least in the United States, you can transport vessels over 24 feet long without an import permit. Details can be found on the US Coast Guard page.

Determine Whether It Will Be More Cost-Effective To Purchase or Rent a Vessel in Canada

Purchasing a new or used automobile may be some people’s most practical means. Some states have import limitations on cars older than a certain age and ones with high miles, so keep that in mind if you plan to purchase a vehicle for your relocation. There may be barriers to importing a boat into Canada due to differences in emissions and safety regulations between states. Therefore, before buying your car, you should double-check with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles.

Suppose you’re bringing a used car across the border into Canada as your primary residence from the United States. In that case, you should be aware that your provincial government may require you to pay sales tax on the car’s value if you’re doing so less than six months after purchasing the vehicle in the United States. If you hire a car instead of buying one, ensure your trip times are within the rental term to avoid additional daily or weekly fees.

Importing a Boat into Canada

Find out What Your Insurance Requirements Are, Both in Canada and the United States

The first thing you need to do is research the laws of the nation where you intend to ship your watercraft. A certificate of sale or other formal boat ownership document will be required in most instances. If there is no ownership, have the vendor provide you with a certificate of sale that specifies who the legal proprietor is.

You should also must if you have to pay any taxes on the deal; you can do so at the customs office where you bring your watercraft. Moreover, getting a watercraft can be difficult based on where in Canada you reside. If you are unsure how to go about this, contact the immigration agency in your area.

Contact the National Vessel Registry Center with any questions about importing a boat into Canada from the United States. The National Vessel Registry Center is your first choice for vessel importation into Canada, and we can help you through the process.