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Old 10-15-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
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re-importing from Canada

I did search and didn't find anything quite like the situation i am considering.

the boat was manufactured in the US, sold new and previously registered (documented) here to a US citizen. the most recent owner (Canadian) imported to Canada and registered there.

Is the boat subject to US tariffs?

if so at what rate?

is this an open shut kind of sale or should i use a customs broker?

what is an estimate of a brokers fee if i need one?

is there an advantage to taking delivery in US vs Canada or even offshore?
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:53 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. e. From what I understand, I think GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia or NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade_area#Lists_of_free-trade_area would cover goods made in NA and incur no duties or tariffs whilst traveling back and forth over borders but best wait for a definitive answer.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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RT, that is what i am thinking too but...

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...e-into-the-u.s.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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A competent boat broker in consort with a title company can sort this out and guarantee title. This is how it works best according to those I know in Washington and BC. Sometimes doing the sign off exchange in legal international waters is needed.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:31 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr.e. Maybe a phone call: Contact Us | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Get a reference to chapter and verse of ANY regulations quoted, the name, department or badge # of the person you're talking to and if possible get the information in WRITING.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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Contacting US Customs is easy, finding someone who knows about boats is difficult. I had a meeting yesterday with a Miami customs broker to discuss all the latest information. He came to my office for a presentation to all of the brokers here. One of the interesting things that came from the meeting is that different customs offices treat the same situation in different ways, not enough boats get imported to have a standard scenario.
The boat can be re-imported into the US as US built returned goods without any import duty due, but maybe $1,000 in customs and customs brokers fees.
Of great importance is where did the last closing take place when the Canadian bought the boat. If the closing took place in the US, than the boat was not exported from the commerce of the US even if it got registered in Canada and provincial tax was paid. That sounds weird but that is the way the regulations are written. If the closing took place in Canada the situation is different.
The customs broker I met with is Trey Reeder of Howard S. Reeder Inc. and he can be reached at 305-371-8431. Give him a call.
If a Canadian buys a Nordhavn or other foreign built boat that was duty paid in the US the duty paid status is preserved for the next US buyer if the closing was in the US but if the closing was in the Bahamas, Mexico or Canada than import duty will have to paid again. Duty is 1.5% of the value so it is reasonable if it has to be paid again.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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Great answer, thanks Tucker. I will be in contact with the current owner to find where his closing took place.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:15 PM   #8
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About 10 years ago I bought a US made, ~$20k sailboat, from a Canadian broker, in BC, Canada, and brought it back into the US.

When I crossed into the US, US Customs had no interest in the boat other than I needed a way to document it was mine (bill of sale). The Canadian broker did fill out some paperwork that supposedly went to the Canadian government and I had copies of that but was never asked to produce it.

When I got it into Washington (state) I had a period of time to do the state registration and pay the excise tax. I think it was 30 days. There were no other fees involved.

This boat was not documented.

Just a data point. This was 10 years ago and thing certainly might be different now or different in another location.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #9
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In 2013 I bought a boat in Canada that also had been built in North Carolina. This boat according to customs is a NAFTA boat and does not require any import duties or fees. So when I contacted customs in Anacortes WA. the agent said it was just as easy as filling out a form and getting documentation of origination and presenting that at Customs when you clear when returning to the states. Wrong! The Customs Supervisor said that the only way they would handle the re-import of the boat was to go through a Customs broker. No exceptions. So $500 lighter we took delivery of an 18 foot boat in Sidney BC and ran it on her own bottom to Friday Harbor WA. $26 dollars for the customs sticker and we were on the way. Hopefully your experience with Customs will be better than mine. Good luck..........
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:04 PM   #10
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In 2009 we bought our boat in Vancouver, Canada. It is a Canadian built boat. I was told that there would be no problems bringing it into the U.S. because of NAFTA. Also told that I wouldn't need a customs broker. I used a marine documentation service in the U.S. and jumped through all the hoops. They suggested that I have a customs broker on call "just in case".

The broker that we bought the boat from said that they'd brought several boats into the U.S. through customs at Point Roberts, WA and that it was no problem at all, but that they needed to bring the boat into the U.S., not me. I decided that for convenience sake I would have them bring the boat to Anacortes and take it through customs there. I called customs in Anacortes and asked if I needed an appointment, they said no, just don't bring it in on a Friday. So, we scheduled to have the boat arrive in Anacortes around 10:00 am on a Tuesday. My wife and I showed up at customs and announced that we wanted to bring our boat into the U.S.

The supervisor at Anacortes customs overheard this and lost it. He came up almost shouting, "you don't have an appointment and this boat isn't coming in here today. I'm sick of these Canadian brokers thinking they can do this. Where is the boat?" When I told him the boat was an hour out of Anacortes, he really lost it. "Who's on the boat, is he a licensed captain, it's not coming in here, and on and on. I told him we had been told we could bring it in without an appointment and off he went again "who told you that, what was their name, no one in this office would have said that, we don't have time (there was no one else in the office)". I quietly said that we didn't have time to send the boat back to Canada and start over, so we'll just sit here until someone can work on it.

So, the boat waited outside of the harbor and we sat and waited. I could tell that his staff was embarrassed by his behavior. Finally, he put on his jacket and left and another woman helped us. She worked through the paperwork with us, and told us that we needed a document that we didn't have. Fortunately I had talked to a customs broker and asked him if he would help if we had any trouble. I called him, he took care of the paperwork, we jumped through a few more hoops and finally by the end of the day the boat was allowed into the U.S.

So, I guess what I'm telling you is that in dealing with customs, be prepared for anything and have a customs broker on call. Every situation can be different. It can go easy or hard depending on the staff. I never figured out what his problem was or what the Vancouver brokers had done to him, but he had the power to slow down the process and he did. I believe that if I had shown any sign of resistance or aggression back, I would never have gotten the boat in through Anacortes and would have had to go to another port to enter.

So, have all of your paperwork ready, have a customs broker ready and clear your day in case you encounter someone like the supervisor in Anacortes.
Lyle
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:37 PM   #11
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A few years back, I agreed to purchase a Canadian built boat. The boat was brought to Friday Harbor, by the owner, and cleared into Customs. The final part of the sale took place in Friday Harbor. The import fee was $90. The State got their part when I registered it. If you take delivery in Canada, you will probably be on the hook for BC taxes.(GST and sales tax). It was a surprisingly smooth deal.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norwester View Post
In 2009 we bought our boat in Vancouver, Canada. It is a Canadian built boat. I was told that there would be no problems bringing it into the U.S. because of NAFTA. Also told that I wouldn't need a customs broker. I used a marine documentation service in the U.S. and jumped through all the hoops. They suggested that I have a customs broker on call "just in case".

The broker that we bought the boat from said that they'd brought several boats into the U.S. through customs at Point Roberts, WA and that it was no problem at all, but that they needed to bring the boat into the U.S., not me. I decided that for convenience sake I would have them bring the boat to Anacortes and take it through customs there. I called customs in Anacortes and asked if I needed an appointment, they said no, just don't bring it in on a Friday. So, we scheduled to have the boat arrive in Anacortes around 10:00 am on a Tuesday. My wife and I showed up at customs and announced that we wanted to bring our boat into the U.S.

The supervisor at Anacortes customs overheard this and lost it. He came up almost shouting, "you don't have an appointment and this boat isn't coming in here today. I'm sick of these Canadian brokers thinking they can do this. Where is the boat?" When I told him the boat was an hour out of Anacortes, he really lost it. "Who's on the boat, is he a licensed captain, it's not coming in here, and on and on. I told him we had been told we could bring it in without an appointment and off he went again "who told you that, what was their name, no one in this office would have said that, we don't have time (there was no one else in the office)". I quietly said that we didn't have time to send the boat back to Canada and start over, so we'll just sit here until someone can work on it.

So, the boat waited outside of the harbor and we sat and waited. I could tell that his staff was embarrassed by his behavior. Finally, he put on his jacket and left and another woman helped us. She worked through the paperwork with us, and told us that we needed a document that we didn't have. Fortunately I had talked to a customs broker and asked him if he would help if we had any trouble. I called him, he took care of the paperwork, we jumped through a few more hoops and finally by the end of the day the boat was allowed into the U.S.

So, I guess what I'm telling you is that in dealing with customs, be prepared for anything and have a customs broker on call. Every situation can be different. It can go easy or hard depending on the staff. I never figured out what his problem was or what the Vancouver brokers had done to him, but he had the power to slow down the process and he did. I believe that if I had shown any sign of resistance or aggression back, I would never have gotten the boat in through Anacortes and would have had to go to another port to enter.

So, have all of your paperwork ready, have a customs broker ready and clear your day in case you encounter someone like the supervisor in Anacortes.
Lyle
I bet I checked in with that same asshat once!..
You could tell his fellow officers thought
He was a idiot too.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:57 AM   #13
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In this day and age, I would have filed a complaint against his tirade and let him answer for it.

I have heard one too many anecdotes, especially from Canadians regarding their treatment by U.S. customs to not start to believe that these tirades are happening on a somewhat regular basis. Many stories about customs officials using the "f" word in completely unprofessional conduct against gentle 60 something folks.

It is also my understanding that homeland does in fact follow up on these types of situations when reported and ultimately these agents wind up in difficult situations come review time if a pattern is established.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:04 PM   #14
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Just did it last month. although built in the orient it was a Fed registered boat in the US for over 30 yrs that had been in BC for 7 years. I got a customs broker and 1300.00 later it was back in. 500.00 of that tariff. He also told me to have a Canadian captain bring it over without me to beat some Canadian taxes. The captain threw a fit said according to NAFTA if tariff was once paid you shouldn't have to ever pay it again. If your like me and once had a reasonably small IRS bill that turned into paying for their new headquarters --I listened to the Import Broker
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:27 PM   #15
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"The captain threw a fit" yes but he is not a customs broker.
"if the tariff was paid" you should not have to pay it again. Yes if you have a copy of the original customs entry or at least the entry number. Customs can not search for proof of the duty being paid by the hull number.
If sometime in the past a US duty paid boat was sold and closed outside of the US it is considered as exported from the commerce of the US, and if you want to bring it back duty must be paid again. The duty is 1.5 percent if the current depreciated value so if it has to be paid again it is a reasonable amount unlike 6 to 11 percent sales tax or 20 or 30% import duty in some countries.
If a US built boat is sold outside of the US and then brought back the new document can only be for recreational use, no coastwise trade.
Yacht brokers in Florida often do a 3-12 closing especially to buyers who are not US residents. We go more than 3 miles offshore so we are out of Florida but less than 12 miles so we are still in the US. Pictures of the GPS and notarized affidavits attest to the location. This way the duty paid status of the boat does not change.
Many people think that if a foreign built boat had a US documentation that they do not need proof the duty was paid. However a US citizen can take delivery of a new boat in Canada or elsewhere, like a new Nordhavn in China, and document the boat with the US Coast Guard but not import it into the US and not pay import duty. Boat buyers should ask for proof that the duty was paid, but it is unlikely to have this proof on older boats.
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:22 PM   #16
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You might be glad that you are not importing a boat built outside of North America INTO Canada. The charges for bringing a Taiwanese trawler, for example, into Ontario would be 13% hst plus 9% import duties!
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:08 PM   #17
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import from Canada

Autumn Dream we imported from Canada. For the customs broker we used believe it or not! FedEx Trade Networks if I remember correctly. They were great, professional,helpful and very inexpensive in their fees. Still had a bunch of other fees, but their fee was fraction of other brokers. We had to pay $450.00 to get bonded to become a an importer for 12 months and about $150 to FedEx, not including duty. This for us was dramatically less expensive than just the other brokers fees on the order starting at about $1500.00.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:29 AM   #18
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You might be glad that you are not importing a boat built outside of North America INTO Canada. The charges for bringing a Taiwanese trawler, for example, into Ontario would be 13% hst plus 9% import duties!
Would like to be clear on the Canadian taxes. Assuming someone in Ontario bought a new Canadian made boat, would they not pay the 13% hst so that the import portion of the "tax" is the 9% import duty?
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:59 AM   #19
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If anyone anywhere in Canada bought a new Canadian made boat they would be subject to paying provincial and federal taxes only. The provincial taxes vary depending on where you live. The only import taxes you would be paying would be materials or components brought into the country and used in the production process, but these costs would be hidden in the final price of the boat.

I bought my Manatee in Seattle. When I brought it into Canada I had to pay 5% GST (Federal) and 9.5% import duty. I live in Alberta which has no provincial tax so got a bit of a break there. It's the only time the customs people are happy to see you.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:16 AM   #20
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I bought my Manatee in Seattle. When I brought it into Canada I had to pay 5% GST (Federal) and 9.5% import duty. I live in Alberta which has no provincial tax so got a bit of a break there. It's the only time the customs people are happy to see you.
Thanks, for us non-Canadians, the HST is used in those Canadian provinces that have a provincial sales tax so that the provincial tax is combined with the federal GST. In provinces such as Alberta without a provincial tax is the tax still called GST?
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