Last fall we brought a boat NOT made in the USA into Washington from British Columbia. It was easy.
We searched all the usual websites, then called the four closest ports of entry to see what they wanted. There was a surprising variation in what we were told, but in the end we connected with the port that does it most often for recreational vessels and they made it quite straightforward for us.
Oh yeah, and the fee? Zero dollars.
Here's a repost of our experience doing this from British Columbia into Washington:
Now, it's a bit complicated if you purchase through a broker and have the boat professionally delivered to the USA. In that case, the CBP folks say that you MUST use a US broker at this end of the transaction.
But if you bring it in yourself FOR PERSONAL USE it's a very straightforward process, provided that you've done your homework. Here's what the Friday Harbor folks have put together as a checklist:
a. There is no cost for self-importation.
b. The owner should be aboard the vessel as it enters the US or at the dock awaiting its arrival.
c. You need Proof of Ownership showing a bona fide value. A Bill of Sale satisfies this requirement. I used the USCG Bill of Sale (form CG-1340). NOTE: this form has a box for "Consideration Received," which is sales price. But it also says "One dollar and other valuable consideration unless otherwise stated." YOU MUST STATE THE ACTUAL SALES PRICE.
d. You need the vessel's current license/registration in Canada. Note that vessels in Canada are not "titled" like we're used to, but are "licensed" in the province. This license, together with the previous bill of sale from whomever the owner bought the vessel from, forms the proof of ownership. Like our documentation, vessels may also be "registered" on the Canadian Registry of Vessels. If this is the case, you'll need the seller to provide you with a "Certificate of Deregistration" proving that the vessel has been removed from the registry before you can document it in the US. If you're not going to document it you don't need this certificate.
e. Evidence of origin is required, such as a Hull Identification Number, Certificate of Origin, Canadian federal registration documents, builder's statement, etc. They're not too uptight about this; our boat was only one of six or seven built by a guy 40 years ago, and had neither HIN nor any sort of original builder's certificates. We used the above documents plus a survey form that identified what the vessel was (i.e., built in BC) in order to establish that it would be covered under NAFTA.
f. Proof the vessel conforms to EPA standards. Our boat is 41 years old, so this was moot. If the vessel is older than 21 years OR if it originated in the US it doesn't need this. If the vessel is less than 21 years old and originally came from Canada, you'll need to read this: https://www.epa.gov/importing-vehicl...adian-vehicles
. If it's older than 21 and was built outside of the US or Canada, you'll need to read this: https://www.epa.gov/importing-vehicl...es-and-engines
. EPA form 3520-21 will be needed.
g. Bring along a completed form CBP 7501, "Entry Summary." This form is rather complicated because it's designed for commercial importers. Just download the instructions and follow them, box by box. If you're not sure of something, leave it blank and the CBP folks will fill it in for you.
h. Also bring a completed form CBP 1300, "Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement." It's pretty straightforward, but they'll help you complete any blanks that you leave.