Importing a Used Boat from USA to Canada

importing a used boat from USA to Canada

There’s nothing in the world quite like finding the boat that you want. When you’ve been searching for a boat, coming up short, and then finally find one that tickles your fancy… it’s the kind of thing that dreams are made of.  In today’s internet age, it’s easier than ever to find the boat you really want, in part because you can find boats easier from much further away. Bringing the boat you’ve always wanted into Canada has never been simpler, however when importing a boat in Canada, there are some facts you need to be aware of. Here’s the low down on importing a used boat from USA to Canada.

Importing a Used Boat from USA to Canada the Easy Way

To be clear, there really is an “easy” way: hire a broker. Really. It’s hard to get much easier than that. They’ll take care of everything for you, and you can just step back into your Canadian life with your new (well, new to you) boat. However, the keyword to this is “hire.” You will have to pay the broker to do this. So, while it’s the simplest, it may not be the most cost-effective. If you’ve just purchased a used boat, (if you’re like plenty of vessel owners) then you may not be too keen to spend much money. Our advice is for if you’re going to be importing your vessel on your own.

Be Prepared

Importing a vessel into Canada isn’t just like driving over the border. This isn’t a “stop, say hi, and then keep on your way” kind of thing – this is far more involved. Maybe the best thing you can do is to have all of your documentation together so that you can present it when you cross the border. Before you make that trek back into Canada, get out: all of the invoices, titles, ads, licences, and documentation of ownership. We recommend actually having these documents separated by those dividers so that you can give each of the documents when you need them. Just handing all of your paperwork to the customs agents in a pile might make the process take that much longer.

importing a used boat from USA to Canada

Specific Documents

When we say “ownership” documents, we mean the documents that say you specifically own the boat. You’ll also want to present the documents that include the cost of the survey and any taxes you paid on the vessel. Word to the wise: customs agents will often ask for the bill of sale, too. Typically, a customs agent will come onto your boat, ask you a few questions, look around the boat, and take a look at your documentation. How long this process takes depends on a variety of factors, but it’s best to plan for a sizable amount of time.  One document you may also want: a “Deletion from Documentation” on your vessel if it was registered.

Saving Money

Too often, when we talk to folks about importing a used boat from USA to Canada, they may be taken aback by some of the fees that they have to pay they were unaware of. A big thing most people don’t know: vessels made outside of North America have to pay far more. There’s a significant duty fee in bringing a vessel into Canada that wasn’t made in America or somewhere else in North America. That’s far from the only fee that you’ll have to pay.

On top of that, you’ll have to pay sales tax on your vessel as well. We’d tell you exactly what that is, except that it’s different province by province. Yes, the sales tax you pay is dependent on the province you enter into. You may think that if you’ve gone through all of that, you’ll have a Canadian vessel. Well… not quite yet. You may also want to get your registration as well. That’s where we come in.

At our site, you can find all of the documents to make your vessel officially Canadian. You can get you first-time registration, your pleasure boat license, or any other documentation that you might need for your vessel. On top of that, you won’t have to mail them in and wait for them, either. Instead, you can fill them out quickly and simply at our site.

We made our site to be specifically mobile optimized, which means that you can access it simply from any phone or mobile device that’s connected to the internet. So, if you really want to get a head start on things, you can drive the vessel on the way into Canada while your spouse or partner sits in the passenger seat and fills out the documentation forms. If you have any more questions about making importing a used boat from USA to Canada process easier, give us a call at (800) 419-9569. Congrats on your boat!