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I'm not sure how similar purchasing a boat from Canada is to purchasing a jet-ski, but this was my experience for importing a jet-ski. At Customs, I told them I needed to make a personal import (coming back into the US), they had me pull off to the side and go into a building. They don't have titles in Canada, just bill of sale, so I had that with me, and had to fill out a few forms to take to Secretary of State and apply for the title, paid regular MI taxes and a small import fee and that was it. It was easy as cake. You must stop and declare the personal import at the border though, otherwise you will not be able to apply for a title at SOS (Don't ask me how I know this). You need the correct paperwork from customs to get the title.
 

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Do they charge that extra tax on a big sale like a boat? Otherwise you should be able to stop at Customs and fill out the paperwork for a refund of that tax. We did it for hockey equipment a few years ago.
 
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