Temporary Importation and Retention of Foreign Vessels in Canada by Non-residents

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Commodore’s Boats has taken all of the hard work away from all of our American customers when it comes to bringing their boat into Canada for repairs and service. The process is easier than you would expect and the rewards are an opportunity to save significantly on your boat repairs or restoration.

Temporary Importation and Retention of Foreign Vessels in Canada by Non-residents

Commodore’s Boats has created this news item so that it is clearly laid out as to what The Canadian Border Services Canada expect when bringing your vessel over temporarily for repairs or restoration.

If you are considering bringing your boat to Canada you can call Commodore’s directly and we will make all necessary arrangements or follow the steps presented here.

Requirement to report

Recreational boaters must present themselves to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) each time that they arrive in Canada.

How to Report

When entering Canada by water, you must contact the CBSA by calling the Telephone Reporting Centre at 1-888-226-7277 after arriving at a designated marine site. If towing your vessel into Canada by trailer, you will report to the CBSA at a land Port of Entry. All vessel entries into Canada are recorded and assigned a report number.

If the boat design allows, it is recommended that the CBSA report number be clearly displayed in the vessel’s dock-side window as proof of report. Otherwise, please ensure that your CBSA documentation is available upon request.

Temporarily importing a vessel for leisure use

You are permitted to leave your vessel in Canada if you plan to make a series of visits to Canada throughout the boating season. You must advise the border services officer of your plans at the time of your initial arrival in Canada and provide the officer the anticipated date that the vessel will leave Canada.

Vessels must be removed/leave Canada at the end of the originally declared date, or within 12 months from the date of importation, whichever is earlier.


There are specific conditions attached to the temporary importation of vessels by non-residents:

  • The CBSA must grant permission to leave your vessel in Canada between visits.
  • It may not be used by Canadian residents.
  • It may not be used for commercial purposes.
  • It must be exported by the exportation date.

Extension requests

If the vessel cannot be exported by the stated date, you must request an extension at the nearest CBSA office.

Temporarily leaving a vessel in Canada for repair or storage

If you wish to leave your vessel in Canada for repair or storage at the end of the boating season, or if you wish to import your vessel strictly for those services, you or your agent, must provide the CBSA with the following information:

  • The work order with details of vessel repairs to be carried out, or the agreement for the vessel storage, or both, if applicable;
  • Both the work order and/or storage agreement must show the expected completion date; and
  • The documents must also indicate where the vessel will be located.

The vessel will be documented on form E29B and a refundable security deposit may be required.

The maximum vessel retention period in Canada without the payment of duty or taxes is normally 12 months for storage and 18 months for repair. Extensions may be possible. While in Canada for repair or storage, the vessel may not be used for leisure or any commercial enterprise; it may not be sold or leased/rented, and it must be exported upon completion.

At the end of the storage period or once your vessel is repaired, it may not be returned back to leisure use or remain in Canada at the end of the CBSA authorization period. Once your vessel is removed from the storage or repair facility, it must be exported.

Extension requests

If the vessel cannot be exported by the date on the E29B, you must request an extension at the nearest CBSA office.

If the new expiry date will be more than 18 months from the date the vessel was first imported, you will have to submit a written request and explain why the vessel cannot be exported.

Partial goods and services tax (GST) is payable if the vessel remains in storage longer than 12 months and up to 24 months. If the vessel remains in storage for over 24 months full GST is payable.

Authorization to act as agent

In some circumstances, you may ask your service provider to act as your agent. In those cases, the documents presented to the CBSA must include the following information:

  • A written and signed authorization allowing the marine service provider to act as your agent
  • The authorization must contain:
    • your full name, home address, and contact telephone number;
    • a description of the services to be performed;
    • the business name, address, telephone number, and contact person who is authorized to act as your agent; and
    • the time frame for which the authorization is given.

Agents must be aware that if a security deposit is required, they will be expected to post it on your behalf.

Export procedures

If the vessel was imported for leisure use during the boating season, and the vessel is being exported before the indicated exportation date, you do not need to report to the CBSA unless specifically instructed to do so.

If you were issued a form E29B, the vessel, along with your copies of the E29B, must be presented to a border services officer for examination and certification of exportation.

If you are exporting the boat by trailer through a land border crossing, you must stop at the CBSA office to present the form E29B to a border services officer for acquittal. If you are exporting the boat by water, you need to visit a CBSA office to report the intended export date and present the E29B for acquittal.

Alternative to Temporary Importation

For unlimited use of your vessel in Canada and access to Canadian repair and storage facilities without any restrictions or authorization from the CBSA, you may choose to import the vessel on a permanent basis and pay the applicable duty and taxes.

The following rates apply for import purposes:

  • duty rate ranging from 0% to 9.5% depending on the country of manufacture of the vessel;
  • up to 6% duty on motors used by pleasure craft, if applicable; and
  • 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the value for duty.

Vessels manufactured in the United States, Canada and Mexico are duty-free but are still subject to the GST.

Upon permanent importation, you may also consider licensing the vessel with Transport Canada. For more information please consult the Transport Canada website.

Compliance Verification

The CBSA conducts random checks at marinas and other service locations to ensure compliance with the temporary importation provisions. If your vessel is not declared, is falsely declared, or is diverted to a use other than that which was approved by the CBSA, you will be subject to enforcement action as provided for in the Customs Act.

Additional information

More information about the temporary importation of pleasure craft by visitors to Canada for leisure use may be found in the Departmental Memorandum D2-1-1, Temporary Importation of Conveyances and Baggage by Non-residents and D2-2-3 Importation of Goods by Seasonal Residents.

Information on temporary importations for storage and/or repair may be found in Memorandum D8-1-1, Temporary Importation (Tariff Item No. 9993.00.00) Regulations.

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