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FAQs: Tariff on foreign-owned boats stored in Canada

1. How long can the boat stay in Canada before triggering the tariff?

12 months, but an extension of up to 6 months after date of import may be granted under circumstances that makes it impossible or dangerous to export the boat.

2. Is the tariff a tax or a duty or something else? Is it related to the GST/HST? 

Yes, it is related to GST/HST. It’s not an import duty.

3. What is the tariff rate? 

It’s the rate of GST or HST, whatever’s applicable in the Province the boat is imported into. So for Nova Scotia it’s 15%.

4. Is it the same everywhere in Canada?

No, because Provincial tax rates vary, even though the GST rate is the same across Canada.

5. How is the amount of the tax determined? Is it based on the value of the boat?

Yes, rate is based on the value of the boat at the time of importation into Canada.

6. How is the value of the boat determined (assuming tax is based on the value of the boat)?

Using the value of the boat as stated on the sales receipt if the owner just bought the boat. Or the owner has had the boat for a while, then he/she has to get the boat surveyed by an independent surveyor.

7. When and how does the owner pay the tariff? 

This depends on the specific circumstances of the boat being brought into Canada. A Canadian Border Services Agency officer will advise the owner.

8. Once the tariff is paid, how long can the boat stay in Canada?

The boat can stay in Canada indefinitely as taxes will have been paid on it.

9. If the boat leaves Canada, will the owner have to pay the tax again if it returns?

No, the owner will not have to pay again if the boat returns.

10. Is the tariff payable if the boat is only in Canada to have work (that is not necessarily related to safety) done on it?

No, as long as the proper CBSA Forms (E99 and/or E29B) have been completed by the owner when the boat is temporarily imported into Canada to have the work done.

11. Are there any conditions that would result in the tariff being waived? If so, what are they?

Not that we (NSBA) know of.

12. Is there any tax or duty payable by a foreign owner of a boat built in Canada, and which is berthed or stored in Canada for work to be done at a boatyard in Canada?

The foreign owner would have to pay tax if he/she keeps the Canadian boat in Canada.

13. Is the tax or duty a one-time levy, or is it to be paid annually, for a boat stored in a Canadian boatyard where it is being worked upon?

One time.

14. Who do I call if I have a question about the foreign-owned boat tariff? 

Call CBSA at 1-800-461-9999. You can also go to the CBSA website for more information on the foreign owned boat tariff.