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Importation of vessels into Canada... By Joanna R. Dawson A Vancouver Lawyer with Bernard LLP - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 30 June 2015

In view of the regular and inquisitive practice of Canada Border Services Agency, Fisheries Officers and provincial sales tax collectors visiting marinas and moorages, looking for vessels of interest and vessels which may be subject to tax, it is very likely that a foreign-flagged vessel will gather much more attention rather than less. A vessel owner should be aware of and consider the many regulations when considering whether to import a vessel into Canada.

The legislation regarding importation and use of foreign-flagged vessels in Canada is complicated. Moreover, there are different rules for Canadians and non-Canadian residents and the intended use of the vessel, whether for pleasure or commercial, is also relevant.

All goods entering Canada, even those imported temporarily, are subject to duties and taxes on their full value unless there is specific legislation in place that will entirely or partially relieve the importer of this obligation. In addition, federal and provincial taxes may also be applicable depending on whether the vessel is imported or “delivered” in the Province.