Importing Boats for Personal Use

Before you purchase goods while abroad or complete your mail or online order, be aware of Canadian regulations and duties on boats.

Marine pleasure crafts include any kind of vessel, such as boats, fishing boats, yachts, dinghies, tenders, motorboats, sailboats, personal watercraft, etc., as long as they are used for non-commercial purposes.

If you are a Canadian resident importing a marine pleasure craft, you must report your purchase to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon entering the country.

ARGO Customs Brokers will check the duty for you and estimate your expenses before you complete your orders.

Importing at a Land Border Crossing

If you are importing a marine pleasure craft at a land border crossing, you must declare it to the border services officer; all processing will take place at that location. You must also declare the boat trailer if you have purchased one with the vessel. Please ensure that you have the bill of sale and proof of ownership ready to present to the officer.

Travellers towing watercraft and equipment across borders must ensure that they are not unintentionally transporting zebra or quagga mussels.

Importing at a Marine Border Crossing

If you are importing your marine pleasure craft into Canada over water, you must report to a designated marine site and call the CBSA telephone reporting centre (TRC) at 1-888-226-7277 immediately upon your arrival. You must declare the importation of the vessel to the border services officer at the TRC and follow his or her instructions. If processing cannot take place at the marina, you may be required to report to the closest CBSA office, where you will need to pay any applicable duty and taxes. Please ensure that you have the bill of sale and proof of ownership ready to present to the officer.

For more detailed information on licensing and registering marine pleasure crafts, please visit the Service Canada and Transport Canada websites.

You are obligated by law to declare the importation of your marine pleasure craft to the CBSA upon its initial arrival in Canada and pay all applicable duty and taxes, regardless of where the vessel is licensed or registered. Failure to do so may result in penalties or other legal action being taken against you. As of September 1, 2022, a luxury tax applies to select vessels that have a taxable amount over $250,000. For more information, refer to Luxury tax – Canada.ca

It is recommended that you keep proof of your CBSA declaration or payment of duty and taxes on board the marine pleasure craft for future reference, particularly if you take frequent trips outside Canada.

If the process of importing your boat(s) to Canada seems complicated, let Argo Customs Brokers help. We offer free consultations to help make the process as smooth as possible. Contact us today for more information.

Helpful Links

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Learn more about zebra or quagga mussels here: Towing watercraft and equipment across borders

Telephone Reporting Site/Marine (TRS/M)

Luxury Tax – Canada.ca