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Help with Sale of Boat to Canada


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I might be selling my boat to a guy up in canada Yahoo.gif What would I need in paperwork to get the deal done, also what would I need as far as shipping price and paperwork wise to get it across the border? Is this a giant headache? or is it just as easy as selling a boat here. I live in Arkansas by the way. Any help would be great.

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I have imported one boat but have done the research a few times to bring stuff in. The responsibility will be more with the guy recieving the boat. He is going to have to prove more on the trailer than the boat. IMO the best way to get the boat in is to drive it across yourself... I would recommend that he trailer it across the boarder where he will pay the GST and PST and then a fee for the importation of the trailer (about $200). From there he will have 60 or 90days to get the trailer certified by a local company to be in Canada or be required to get it out of the country. One of the hardest pieces is he will be required to produce a letter stating that the trailer either has no recalls on it or all the recalls have been done on the trailer.

He will also need the ownership when going through the boarder or a letter indicating that the state does not have ownerships for boats or trailers.

I forget the web site but all the requirements to get a boat across the boarder can be located on the internet. I would do a search "import car canada" or "import boat canada" this will turn up lots of stuff on importing it. My friends have meet the vendor at the boarder and then they are both present when the boat comes through, if problems arise you both can address. I have broght one through without much effort at the boarder (but a huge $$$ in taxes).


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the buyer will need the title and bill of sale at the border, if he cannot be there he will need a broker to get it into canada. he will pay taxes at the border and have to get the trailer inspected to ensure it meets canadian regs.

i used u-ship to bring a 35 foot fifth wheel up from tx, it cost me $1.50 mile.

what you want to do is easy and is done every day by lots of guys.

check with Registrar of Imported Vehicles for more info.

Edited by Cervelo
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when i imported my boat i didnt need the recall letter for the trailer. my original plan was to have it shipped to the closest US city and then pick it up from there, it would have saved some on shipping cost. all in all it was very easy to import. showed bill of sale for both the trailer and boat, at the boarder have separate bills of sale. payed my taxes, and got a resistrar of imported vehicles form. then had 90 days to have inspected. it was a 2 minute inspection, basically checking if it had all its tires and lights.

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Ditto to everything jphillips said. I live in Canada.... imported my Malibu from seller in Maine a few years ago.

It's the responsibility on the buyer/importer to Canada.

The buyer will want a bill of sale for the boat. NOTE: Make it the actual amount of the sale. This amount is the basis for the buyer's amount of tax due at the border. (GST/PST) If you make a bill out for a stupidly low amount, he/she will be nailed for being fraudulant.... and could suffer bigger problems.

If you have a "title", you'll want to sign that over as well. (My seller was in a state where there wasn't a"title"... so I just had the Bill of Sale. However, if you plan on financingyour boat and need to put a lien on your boat purchase, you money lender may demand that you get a "clear title". Tough to do if none exists.

Trailer: You need to provide TWO things here. A bill of sale (for the sale) which he/she pays taxes on at the border, and sign over the VEHICLE ownership. He/she will need to get the trailer licensed in Canada. This leaves a sticky problem.... the plate. I assume in your state, you keep the plate. That means he/she will need a plate to move the trailer once in Canada. Tough for him/her to get a plate when he/she doesn't own it yet. If he/she has another trailer plate, he/she could (not really legal) temporarily put on this trailer. In my case, because i drove down to Maine, I was actually able to get a Maine plate in MY name for the trip through he US, across the border, and to my own city. Once I got my trailer registered in my own province, I got a new Ontario plate..... and my $12 Maineplate became a souvenir.

Trailer Recall. For him/her to get the trailer "inspected", he/she will also need a letter from the "manufacturer" stating there have benn no recalls on the trailer..... or...... if there were recalls, proffe the work has been done. In my case the trailer MFG (Elete) no longer existed. I was able to get a letter from a US Malibu Dealer who was a Distributor of that trailer simply stating there had been no recalls.

The trailer "inspection". At the border, the buyer simply pays the $200 fee (no inspection at that time)..... and a few weeks later gets a "Trailer Inspection" package in the mail. He/she goes to an approved Inspector (in Canada that includes a Canadian Tire Store).... and the inspection is done FREE of charge.

Don't foregt to remind him/her to get INSURANCE on the boat/trailer for the trip to his/her home. Don't want him/her to drive off the road in excitement on the trip home and not be covered. Accidents happen.

Sounds complicated, but well worth the savings compared to used prices in Canada.

Make sure he/she pays you in US funds..... with $$$ or instantly negotiable currency.

It can work!

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Doug has said it perfectly in great detail. An I must encourage you to play the honest on the payment value.... if you don't and the border suspects a thing they will ask for proff of the withdrawel from somewhere on a Canada account. If you can't produce it and they want to see they will ask to see all banking information in Canada... well if you said you paint $10K and actually paid $40K ya better have some sort of bank transaction that indicates $10K US was purchased and transfered.

Now here comes the fun part this time of year..... most insurance companies do not want to insure a thing below the 49th parrallel (about NYC) due to tornadoes. I paid $500 for two days to bring back a boat from Tennesse and it was NEVER allowed to leave the trailer.

Plates well I guess I forgot to think about it and drove the thing from Tenesse to Canada in two days without a plate on the trailer and well I guess I got lucky.. no one said a thing.

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further to being honest about the pricing, when i brought a boat across a few years ago the customs agent actually found the on-line ad for the boat to confirm pricing.

Same thing happened to me. Customs asked what I paid for the boat and didnt believe me and then looked at the ad on line.

If the buyer does everything requiered by him/her it is no problem at all.

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Further to making payments at the boarder for Canadian Tax:

Even if you have purchased a boat for a low low low price..... and can prove it with a Bill of Sale and proof of a banking transaction, the Fed's can still require you to pay tax on a higher "Fair Market Value" of the item. Why? It's because the Canadian authorities know that they have been denied collecting taxes on a Canadian sale..... so have the legal "right" to collect on what the sale would have been in Canada.

The taxes are based on the US amount CONVERTED to Canadian dollars. The exchange rate fluctuates wildly. This time last year, the Canadian dolar was actually worth more than the US buck. You got as much as $1.08 US for each $1.00 Cdn dollar. Made for GREAT bargains by Canadians using their Cdn bucks to buy stuff across the border. Conversely, right now, the exchage rate is about $.93 Cdn for $1.00 US. That means we have to cough up $1.075 Cdn for each dollar of US purchase. It also means the $20,000 US boat not only costs $21,500 in Cdn dollars.... we would have to pay taxes on $21,500.

Duty. No duty (under NAFTA) for boat/trailer if Manufactured in North America. (No problem here. Don't know what would happen if you were importing an Australian built Malibu into Canada ???)

You can pay th tax bill with a credit card at the border. Why not get "loyalty points" on your purchase.

If you buy a boat from a US dealer and plan on bringing to Canada, he still collects his local State tax. Then you get dinged with all the Cdn tax at the border. Canada will not refund the portion of the US tax bill from your Cdn bill. (I asked) However, if the dealer BRINGS the boat to the border, and "delivers" it to you AT the Customs office, he is officially delivering out-of-state, so doesn't need to collect taxes. I've asked a dealer if he could simply deliver a boat in the next state to avoid tax..... but he stated that most states have reciprocal agreements for collecting taxes to stop smart guys from avoiding the tax man.

Again, play it straight, there will be no problems. Try to play games, you'll likely get caught.... not worth the penalties and added hassle.

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While I did not have to test it out with the purchase of the boat as the dealer did not charge me local taxes but other items that I pick up in the states the boarder regularly charges me taxes on the item+local taxes... pisses me right of.

If you do go down one way I figured out to make the payment is through an electronic wire transfer from your bank to their bank it takes about 24hrs, but it is worth it if you are not sure if you are going to take the boat. If you buy the US $ and then have to return it because you did not like the boat on visual inspection you would have paid 2-2.5% to by then sell the US $, so you would have lost about 5%. So I had to go to the bank before I left for the states and work with my bank manager and sign am agrement that I was allowed to call my bank rep and either speak or leave a voice message authorizing the transfer of $ from my account to the US account. Worked great, I called after inspection and 24 hrs later they had their $ and I was on my way (just enough time to tour the BU plant).

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I imported and when I told them I paid $27 for the boat and trailer, I meant $27k, but they asked me: hmmm, $2700, that's a decent deal but I corrected them that I paid $27k which is a lot more, but a good deal. Took me 15 minutes at the border and I had a bill of sale for the trailer and boat both with original ownership paperwork. I signed an affidavit stating that I was taking the boat out of state so I didn't pay local state taxes. I was one of the lucky ones that had the exchange working in my direction. Clap.gifThumbup.gifYahoo.gif Love the boat Yahoo.gif

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