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Old 08-07-2016, 08:04 AM   #1
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Importing from Canada to US

As our boat search continues, we are seeing some interesting boats in Canada. The additional paperwork and uncertainty of importing is disincentive but that seems to be reflected in prices.

The ante is raised now that the EPA gets into the act separately regarding the engine:

https://www.epa.gov/importing-vehicles-and-engines

Does anyone here have recent experience with buying a boat in Canada for import to the US? Does anyone know a customs broker in the northeast with a good yacht import track record?

We've decided to pass on Willard's. Much as we love the size, arrangement, and fuel economy; the issues owners report with blistering effecting the structural strength and need to chip out and replace concrete ballast are just too much for us.

Currently giving Albin 36's another look. If we can find one that has had the teak removed and the decks redone, we might be prepared to tackle the fuel tank replacement almost everyone on the market needs.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:47 AM   #2
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Yes, bought a boat in Canada the fall of 2014 and imported to USA, no problem.
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:36 AM   #3
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We bought a boat in Sidney, BC last August. Between the two brokers, the Customs broker and the documentation office, everyone knew what to do and there were no issues. If there was an EPA issue, I never heard about it. I know there are standards for outboard engines, but I didn't think inboard engines ran into the same issues.

I certainly don't think it should be a barrier to importing a boat.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcam View Post
If there was an EPA issue, I never heard about it.
See second requirement listed here:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...-into-the-u.s.

- Proof the boat conforms to EPA Standards. Complete Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Engine Declaration Form 3520-21. For questions regarding the EPA Form and regulations call (734) 214-4100 or email them at imports@epa.gov.

I think this is new which is why I'm wondering if anyone has encountered it.

One place it says engines over 21 years old are exempt and another that the exemption doesn't apply to marine engines. We would need a customs broker anyway so they would probably deal with it.

I'm trying to figure out if it is reasonable to look at a boat 800 miles north and east from home and the feasibility of getting it back this late in the year. Any paperwork hangups would be a big problem.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:12 PM   #5
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I think you need to talk to a broker near you that has experience. You will want a buyer's broker in any event to represent you and deal with the money side of things. He or she should be able to tell you if any of your concerns are valid. We also found that our broker had a good handle on the tricky bits. Those were all handled by the pros.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:18 PM   #6
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Roger,
I'm right now in the process of buying a Grand Banks 32 out of Sidney, BC (near Victoria). The broker has made it easy-peasy. Through him, I am using an import broker and a title company in Seattle. For a fee (total of the two is maybe $1300--cheap, given all the do), they take care of everything.
1. EPA certificate for the engine is essentially just some paperwork, which they handle.
2. For boats built in some countries outside the USA, the 1/5% US Customs duty is waived because we have a trade agreement with them. The import broker will know all about this. GBs are built in Singapore so, even though the boat has been in Canada for many years, I don't have to pay the 1.5%. Woo Woo!
4. The title company will ensure there are no liens against the boat, then register it in the US, either documented or in your state. In my case they are documenting the boat AND registering the dinghy in California.
5. The title company takes a week or so, while the import guy says he can do it all in just 2 or 3 days. Both must be completed before the boat enters the US.
Assuming you are working with a broker who knows all the right people, it's a no brainer. If it's a private sale, you should be able to find import brokers and title companies who deal with marine issues with just a little googling.
Good luck!
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