Importing a Boat Trailer Into Canada Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Importing something into the country will always call for some paperwork, but the added logistic issues of importing a vehicle make it all the more complicated. Importing a boat trailer into Canada is not exactly an easy process, but just because it involves a lot of different steps. As long as you know what to do, the process can be fairly straightforward. So, if you are looking into importing a boat trailer, here are the steps that you should keep in mind throughout.

Importing a Boat Trailer Into Canada

It’s always a good idea to make sure that you first have the trailer checked by a mechanic who can ensure its proper functioning. The trailer should have a vehicle identification number (VIN), so call the Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles to find out if the trailer’s VIN is valid before you actually buy it. Keep in mind that if the trailer is less than fifteen years old, a Registrar of Vehicles fee will have to be paid. Additionally, you should request a certificate of title, which in the United States can help the owner prove that there is nothing officially being owed in regards to the vessel assets. 

Crossing the Border

Something you need to keep in mind at the time of importing a boat trailer into Canada is that you will need to get a US trailer permit in order to cross the border. Depending on the province you are entering, you may have to pay 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. If your new boat was manufactured in Canada, Mexico, or the United States, federal duty will not be charged. Once you have crossed the border with your new boat and its trailer, you will still have to go through a few last steps before cementing your ownership here in Canada. 

Once in Canada

You should, for one, mail the license plate back to the owner in the United States and buy your own trailer license at a provincial Driver & Vehicle Licence Office. Now will be the time to get Canadian insurance for the trailer and to make sure that it will be able to properly operate within the country and your specific province. Once you do this, you should be able to comfortably use your trailer to move your craft around. Just be sure to save all your receipts in case you are ever asked for proof you paid all the necessary fees and taxes on it. 

Importing a Boat Trailer Into Canada

If you are having trouble importing a boat trailer into Canada, or trying to get its registration here in order, our team here at the National Vessel Registry Center is here to help you with any process relevant to Transport Canada applications. Give us a call at +1 (800) 419-9569, email us at, or fill out the contact form on our website should you need any help.