If you are interested in importing or exporting a vehicle, our vehicle clearance services can make your this experience very simple and seamless. Since all types of vehicles that are sold or manufactured in Canada, USA or other countries cannot be imported or exported the United States cannot be imported into Canada. Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency require that vehicles being imported be declared on a Vehicle Import Form.
What can we do for you ?
- We can help you in identifying vehicles that are compatible, or admissible, for import from the U.S or other countries.
- If you are importing a vehicle from overseas, we can again help you in customs clearance, and inland transportation to your location.
- We can also help you in the customs clearance of your vehicle at the boarder so that you could drive it home.
What is “Vehicle Importing Program” ?
Transport Canada defines a “vehicle” as any means of transport that is capable of being driven or drawn on roads, by any means other than muscular power exclusively, but that does not run exclusively on rails. This includes not only motor vehicles, but also recreational, camping, boat, horse and stock trailers, as well as wood chippers, generators or any other equipment mounted on rims and tires.
Please note that some vehicles that are sold or manufactured in the United States cannot be imported into Canada? If you are thinking about buying a vehicle in the U.S., please visit the Registrar of Imported Vehicles web site for information and the import e-form. You should also see the Vehicle Import Compatibility list to check which vehicles are admissible for import from the U.S.
You must pay taxes and/or duties, and bring a vehicle through customs, before it can be inspected for importing into Canada. Vehicles that fail the inspection, or that are not clear of recalls, cannot stay in Canada, even though taxes and duties would have been paid.
Vehicle Import E-form
Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency require that vehicles being imported be declared on a Vehicle Import Form. Submit this form at the border. The Vehicle Import e-form may be completed online on the Registrar of Imported Vehicle (RIV) web site. Print the form and give it to customs officers at the border – it cannot be submitted online.
Vehicles Compatible for Import from the U.S.
Transport Canada compiles a list of vehicles that are compatible, or admissible, for import from the U.S. Information is provided by vehicle manufacturers on a voluntary basis. The list’s accuracy cannot be guaranteed and its content can change without notice. There are also no guaranties that a vehicle listed as admissible can be successfully modified to meet Canadian requirements.
Importing Vehicles from the United States
Not all vehicles that are manufactured for sale in the United States can be imported into Canada. As a general rule, if the vehicle you plan to import was manufactured for sale in the U.S. and is less than 15 years old, or is a bus manufactured on or after January 1, 1971, you must find out if it qualifies for importation under Transport Canada’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program. Before you import a vehicle, you should also contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. This is an agency contracted by Transport Canada to administer a national program to ensure that imported vehicles are brought into compliance with Canada’s safety standards.
The carrier transporting your vehicle must deliver an electronic report to the CBSA prior to arrival that includes specific information about the vehicle and a list of personal goods inside it. At the Canadian border: When your vehicle arrives in Canada you can
- pick up your vehicle and goods yourself, or
- authorize an agent to pick them up, or
- move your goods to an inland sufferance warehouse for clearance.
When the vehicle and any related goods arrive in Canada, you must request their release at the CBSA office where they have been delivered.
Inland Sufferance Warehouse
If you or your agent chooses not to claim the vehicle and goods at the border, you can authorize the carrier to move the goods to an inland sufferance warehouse for clearance. The operator of the warehouse will charge you a fee for the service.
Returning to Canada
If you return to live in Canada and you bring back the same vehicle you exported while working or living abroad, your vehicle may be exempt from Transport Canada’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles documentation requirements. The following conditions apply:
- Your vehicle is certified by the original manufacturer to comply with Canadian motor vehicle safety standards
- You can substantiate that your vehicle was purchased or registered by you in Canada before your departure, and
- Your vehicle did not undergo substantial modifications or alterations while you were abroad.
Under Canadian legislation, returning goods to Canada after they are taken out of Canada is considered to be importing them. This includes Canadian-owned and registered vehicles that are transported to Canada by commercial carrier. Canadian goods returned to Canada are duty and tax free if they are returned to Canada without having been increased in value or improved in condition.
Repairs or Alterations to Your Vehicle, Vessel or Aircraft
If you intend to have repairs or alterations made to your vehicle, vessel or aircraft outside Canada, check with the CBSA before you leave. The CBSA will no longer consider it to be Canadian-made if you increase its value, improve its condition or have it modified outside Canada. As a result, you may have to pay duty and the goods and services tax (GST) or harmonized sales tax (HST) on the entire value of the vehicle, vessel or aircraft when you bring it back. You can make emergency repairs to your vehicle, vessel or aircraft while you are travelling outside the country to ensure your safe return to Canada, but make sure you declare the value of the repairs and replacement parts when you return to Canada with the vehicle.
Countries Other than the United States
Vehicles manufactured for sale in countries other than Canada and the United States do not comply with the requirements of Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act, cannot be altered to comply with these requirements and cannot be imported into Canada. The only exceptions to the rule are vehicles 15 years old or older and buses manufactured before January 1, 1971.
Visitors and Tourists to Canada
If you are entering Canada as a visitor, under a student visa or a work permit, or are passing through Canada on your way to another country, you can temporarily bring your vehicle to Canada for your own use. You cannot sell or dispose of the vehicle in Canada and it must be exported when the time limit of your stay has been reached.
Taking Your Car into the United States
Canadians are permitted to drive in the U.S. without U.S. licence plates or a U.S. driver’s permit. Canadians who are not residents of the U.S. may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use for up to one year if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner’s arrival. Vehicles imported under this provision that do not conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirements.
Taking Your Own Car Abroad
If you intend to take your own vehicle with you when you travel abroad, you may need a “Carnet de passages en douane,” which offers a guarantee to a foreign government that the vehicle identified in the Carnet, if granted temporary importation status, will be removed from the country within the time limit imposed by the respective jurisdiction. It allows free movement and unencumbered access between foreign countries. Most countries, but not all, allow this option. A Carnet is available through the Canadian Automobile Association and is valid for one year from the date of issue.
If you will be driving your car or a rental vehicle overseas, you may need an International Driving Permit, which allows you to drive internationally when it is accompanied by a valid Canadian drivers’ licence. The International Driving Permit is available through the Canadian Automobile Association