Have your customers had problems with EB29 tax exemptions?

Canada Border Services Agency

August 10, 2021

Recently, we heard from Leigh Robertson of Gold River Marina in Nova Scotia, who informed us that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has changed their position on EB29 tax exemptions and some of his customers are facing unexpected tax bills, potentially in the tens of thousands of dollars.

If you or your customers are experiencing this, we would like to hear from you.

Leigh Robertson explained that, “In a nutshell, these EB29’s are issued by the CBSA when a vessel applies to stay over the winter in Canada for work to be performed to ensure the safety of the vessel. We get a good many of these vessels, originating from the EU and the US, who are long range cruisers.

Gold River Marina (www.goldrivermarina.com) is a prominent full-service yard located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Close to 35% of our revenue is earned from our service to these visitors, for haul, storage, launch, etc. And of course, during the Covid restrictions, we lost these revenues with the exception of storage. Every marina and marine service business in Canada that welcomes these visitors is in the same ‘boat’.

During the 2020 boating season, CBSA provided EB29’s to most foreign vessels who wanted/needed to winter over in Canada, and at the onset of the 2021 boating season, CBSA granted an extension of these EB29’s to the spring of 2022, because our borders were closed (due to COVID19) and these boaters could not remove their vessels. Then, about 4 weeks ago, CBSA reversed their extension and now intends to tax these vessels 5% GST on the market value of their boat.  (Editor’s emphasis on this line)

Of course, there’s been significant push back and outrage from these visitors but, as yet, no change in Canada’s position. This is nothing less than a cash grab by the Federal government and it’s so short sighted, and the ramifications will be horrendous.”

Robertson also shared a copy of a letter from one of his customers to the Canadian Ambassador in Switzerland. The customer is a Swiss citizen whose boat is stored at Gold River Marina. The customer wrote, “The CBSA is now demanding to pay GST, in our case 17‘800 $ or, as you can see on the mail from Jamie Hunsley, to hire a crew to sail 12 M out of Canada and then return.”

The person referred to above is a CBSA representative who suggested that this Swiss citizen who cannot presently travel to Canada, hire a captain and crew, have their stored and winterized boat taken out of storage and be driven out into the ocean the required 12 miles, prove that with a GPS photograph or other documentation, then return the boat to Gold River Marina, winterize it again and put it back into storage and apply for a fresh EB29 to cover the boat for another year. That cost could be higher than the GST charge.

Robertson also pointed out to me that crossing the Atlantic in a small, private boat should only be attempted during a narrow weather window in the summer and that window has passed for 2021 – we are now into hurricane season.

Please let us know if you or your customers are experiencing this. We hope it’s an isolated incident that can be dealt with, but if this is a wider situation, our industry needs to take action fast.

Related Posts

Princecraft Boats upgrade their facilities with an investment of over $4 million for the addition of a powder coating line


Princecraft boats on April 17, 2024, announced to their employees, a major investment in one of their three Princeville plants, which will include the installation of high-tech powder coating capabilities. The nearly $4 million upgrade marks the largest investment in Princecraft facilities since the early 2000s and will improve operational efficiency, product quality and better poise the company for response to demand.

Read More

Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.

The Hydrobike, a key concept that embodies a vision for the future

DECATHLON, determined to erase the boundary between land and water, introduces its latest forward-thinking concept: the HydroBike. This innovation from the French sports giant aims to democratize access to nature while staying ahead in the transformation of their business model. 

The initial assessment: paddle sports are often inaccessible to less experienced individuals, assuming the acquisition of paddling skills.

Read More

ACR Electronics emergency beacons are designed with one purpose: to save lives.

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

An all-encompassing and dependable set of vital resources, ACR GlobalFix V5 AIS RLS EPIRB Survival Kits ensure security and survival in waterborne emergencies. The most advanced EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) available, the ACR GlobalFix V5 EPIRB combines 406 MHz satellite connectivity with Automatic Identification System (AIS) functionality.

Read More