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Old 05-19-2019, 02:09 PM   #1
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US ownership of a BC boat

A friend, in Portland, spotted a small pleasure craft he likes in BC. The boat has an Alberta “license” (AB###).
The boat would remain in BC and looking online it seems a Canada issued ID is required to transfer ownership:

Valid pieces of identification include the following documents:
--provincial/territorial birth certificate
--certificate of Canadian citizenship
--valid Canadian passport
--provincial/territorial driver's licences
--other forms of government-issued identification (preferably with a photograph)

This being a holiday weekend, we thought someone here might have personal knowledge of this “alien” ownership.

Thank you.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #2
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Ownership is transferred with a bill of sale. The “license document” is not a tltle document. You’d have to call the Alberta licensing people to see if an American can be on record for an Alberta boat license. I’m thinking no, but not sure.

Licensing in BC would trigger the provincial tax people to look for their cut.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soin2la View Post
A friend, in Portland, spotted a small pleasure craft he likes in BC. The boat has an Alberta “license” (AB###).
The boat would remain in BC and looking online it seems a Canada issued ID is required to transfer ownership:

Valid pieces of identification include the following documents:
--provincial/territorial birth certificate
--certificate of Canadian citizenship
--valid Canadian passport
--provincial/territorial driver's licences
--other forms of government-issued identification (preferably with a photograph)

This being a holiday weekend, we thought someone here might have personal knowledge of this “alien” ownership.

Thank you.
Our second to last boat was a BC boat, owned by a US citizen, working and living in BC. He bought the boat as a Canadian Registered boat, but as he is not a Canadian, had to de-register and license the boat in BC. Whatever his status was that allowed him to work in BC apparently was good enough to license the boat here. Licensing triggered the obligation to pay the sales tax. The rates are currently 5% GST (Federal) and 7% PST (Provincial).

If your friend hasn't the status to license in BC, he will need to remove the boat to his home jurisdiction and deal with their rules.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:17 PM   #4
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Thank you Screamin04.
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Originally Posted by koliver View Post
If your friend hasn't the status to license in BC, he will need to remove the boat to his home jurisdiction and deal with their rules.
koliver, thank you as well. I've read some of your posts and it seems you know regulations, as well as being active with SAR/CG.
You reinforce our thoughts, but just wonder what "status" entails.

Asked a broker and got a non answer. It's a 26' boat, so taking it OR and back is awkward and would probably cost as much as the boat.

Dealing with local officialdom can't happen until Tuesday and will no doubt take time as well but he will test that and see where it goes.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:55 PM   #5
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Landed immigrant or permanent resident probably.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:18 PM   #6
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Thank you Screamin04.
koliver, thank you as well. I've read some of your posts and it seems you know regulations

It's a 26' boat, so taking it OR and back is awkward and would probably cost as much as the boat.
Koliver indeed knows Canadian regulations.

For several years I lived part time in Vancouver, but as a US citizen kept my trailer boat in Washington. When we wanted to zip from WA to BC we'd drop it in the water in Bellingham or trailer it into BC.

It may be easier overall for your friend to buy a trailer boat in WA and use it similarly to what I described. Also there could be an import duty to bring vessel from Canada to US.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:40 PM   #7
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Northern Spy/sunchaser, thanks.

It's a private, clean older 26 Tolly, so US built. It just so suits his "next 5 years."
It sold from a BC owner to the current AB resident some time ago.

The broker we questioned said "no problem, just let me handle it."
Not going to happen.

I keep telling him to pick up something in WA and bring it up, but this one checks all the boxes so he's deaf.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:56 PM   #8
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Koliver indeed knows Canadian regulations.

For several years I lived part time in Vancouver, but as a US citizen kept my trailer boat in Washington. When we wanted to zip from WA to BC we'd drop it in the water in Bellingham or trailer it into BC.

It may be easier overall for your friend to buy a trailer boat in WA and use it similarly to what I described. Also there could be an import duty to bring vessel from Canada to US.
After spending a few minutes searching on line:
to license a vessel in BC, which you will need to do if you buy a boat in BC that is to stay in BC, even if the last owner licensed it in Alberta, you will need one of the kinds of ID shown on the vessel licensing web page. For your Portland resident, this will present a difficulty, as the only piece of valid ID that he might acquire is a BC Drivers License. In order to get a valid BCDL he will need to prove that he has become a BC resident, and hold a valid DL from Oregon.
Best bet for him is to see if he can get a license from Oregon electronically, without bringing the boat to Oregon.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:05 PM   #9
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Best bet for him is to see if he can get a license from Oregon electronically, without bringing the boat to Oregon.
Thank you for taking the time away from the BBQ to do that bit of research; very helpful.

We wondered if an OR registry, without the boat being in OR, might be possible and he will look into that tomorrow. It just might add another twist to resale in a few short years though.

I say he keeps looking.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:31 AM   #10
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Yes, you register in OR but I don't think you can take possession of the boat in BC without BC taxes coming due.

You'll need to import the boat into the US, which is simple. Give the customs office you plan on using a call to see what docs beyond bill of sale they require. There should be no duty as it is a US built boat. You have at least 45 days in WA after importing to move the boat back to BC to avoid WA state tax. When you reenter, BC typically allows 6+ months stay for foreign vessels without any tax. Then you enter US again for a few days (make sure you do not stay more than 60 days a year in WA) and go back to BC again. Fuel is cheaper in the US so there is always a reason to go.

Of course, if the value of the boat is low enough it might be simpler to just pay BC or WA sales tax even though you are an OR resident.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:44 AM   #11
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Thank you gsholz. We understand the mechanics of export, import and OR registration and were wondering if there was a simple solution to leaving it as a BC boat.

Aside from that, the following must be pretty hypothetical as BC marinas have lots of US registered vessels, in the water and on the hard, year round and many rarely casting off.
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BC typically allows 6+ months stay for foreign vessels without any tax.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:58 AM   #12
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I don't know how aggressively BC enforces their customs rules. WA is very aggressive. Best is to follow tax/customs rules on either side of the border to the letter.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:29 AM   #13
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Canada indeed enforces their Customs rules. Best to know what they are and behave accordingly. If one misbehaves they'll kick you out or worse yet impound the vessel. In this age of digital tracking Customs on both sides know where you are and where you've been with backwards tracking available and utilized.

Drugs, terrorist activity and illegals keep us all in the crosshairs. In the OP's case, the simplest route is to buy a US registered vessel or secondly let the broker deal with it to legally get into US. To keep a US vessel in Canada the vessel must be Documented and rules followed for border crossing timing.

Hardly worth the trouble for a trailer boat IMHO.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:40 AM   #14
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He may, at the end of the day, find it easier to bring it back to the states. If the Salish is where he wants to cruise, there are a couple of handy choices. There’s the harbor at Point Roberts, however it’s easy to get weathered in. North Harbor Diesel or their neighbor does dry storage at a very favorable rate in Anacortes, then charges a launch fee. Dagmar’s in Everett is a great choice but further away from the islands and at the same time it’s closer to great cruising in the middle and south sound. The rate includes no limit launches, every day if you want, water and 20amp power. Personally, if I’m going to be 2-300 miles from my boat I’m happier to have it on the hard.
Washington taxes are a 9-10% hit depending on where you do the transfer in my limited experience. Then that kicks off a sliding depreciation secret schedule for the annual sticker taxed at on half of one percent of the value of the boat.
Just some options.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:07 PM   #15
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Cruising area would be Queen Charlotte Strait and surrounds which is where the boat is located now. OR guy has summers off and access to local accomodation.

No one is contemplating illegality, just simplicity. Maybe a surrogate owner with the blessings of the insurer, as the OR owner is an proven, experienced boater?
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:36 PM   #16
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No one is contemplating illegality, just simplicity. Maybe a surrogate owner with the blessings of the insurer, as the OR owner is an proven, experienced boater?
You say no illegality and then immediately start talking about a surrogate owner, which clearly in an evasion.

Now, what I'd suggest, is talk to a documentation agent in the area, familiar with the requirements of both countries, the province, and both states. The agent can then guide you with all the possibilities and help you determine what is legal and practical.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:58 PM   #17
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You say no illegality and then immediately start talking about a surrogate owner, which clearly in an evasion.

Now, what I'd suggest, is talk to a documentation agent in the area, familiar with the requirements of both countries, the province, and both states. The agent can then guide you with all the possibilities and help you determine what is legal and practical.
Your first comment is bordering on insult.
I posed a thinking outloud question.

What is evasive about BC Bob and OR Owen having an upfront and open dialogue with Bob's longtime insurer, to see if Bob could lend his boat to Owen for the summer?

Your second comment is worthy.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:01 PM   #18
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Actually license is a Federal process, not Provincial. It doesn't establish ownership at all. Two owners can be listed on the license.

It actually says on the application, in bold, "Non-residents may use valid government-issued identification from their own country."

Might be over thinking this one.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:07 PM   #19
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Nevermind. Not pertinent.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:20 PM   #20
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Actually license is a Federal process, not Provincial. It doesn't establish ownership at all. Two owners can be listed on the license.

It actually says on the application, in bold, "Non-residents may use valid government-issued identification from their own country."

Might be over thinking this one.
Northern Spy; great comments and yes we are aware of 1) the difference between "licensed" and "registered" as well as the Feds now doing the paperwork for the provinces.

I thought I had read everything, but obviously missed the four words; "from their own country." Thank you.

Somehow, somewhere, I (mis)read, a second owner had to be Canadian and perhaps I took that to mean a sole owner as well.

Great catch, thank you!
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