With summer right around the corner, and many Canadians wanting to enjoy the great outdoors, we thought we would address common questions surrounding vehicles used for hobbies. Whether you are looking to purchase a golf cart, UTV, segway, e-bike, or work on your hobby car project by importing some vehicle parts, these are the regulations you will need to know and follow.
Before you buy or plan on bringing your vehicle into Canada you need to understand that as the importer, you are responsible for making sure that the vehicle complies with all Canadian legislative requirements. Transport Canada, under the governance of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA), regulates the importation of many vehicles and motorized equipment based on their characteristics.
The engine for your vehicle is also regulated and its admissibility into Canada is controlled by Environmental and Climate Control Canada.
Transport Canada has a set of guidelines in place for what is considered regulated and non-regulated motorized vehicles - meaning, are they regulated under the MVSA or not.
What Are Non-Regulated Vehicles?
Transport Canada defines non-regulated vehicles as those that are exempt from having to comply with the MVSA at the time of manufacture or importation.
This status is determined by either its design characteristics, the circumstances of the vehicle’s entry into Canada, and/or its age.
Non-Regulated Vehicles Include:
- Vehicles fifteen years (15) old or older
- Buses manufactured before January 1st, 1971
- Vehicles imported temporarily by visitors, foreign students or foreign workers
- Vehicles designed exclusively for off-road use such as farm tractors, construction equipment and utility vehicles (UTV)
- Competition vehicles designed exclusively for closed course competition, bearing the necessary labels.
- Conventional pedal bicycles with motor assist (electric or gas) of any age unable to exceed 32 km/h
Importing a vehicle that does not meet the above requirements? Check out our vehicle import guide here.
Although Transport Canada does not maintain a full list of non-regulated vehicles, below is a few examples:
Examples of A Non-Regulated Vehicle:
- Lawn or farm tractor
- Golf cart
- Single axle personal transporter such as a segway
- Race car
- Power assisted bicycle
- Backhoe or front end loader
However, not all of the above vehicles are created equal. For example, e-bikes that travel at a speed faster than 32 km/h are considered “regulated” and must comply with MVSA. Competition vehicles are only exempt if they are for closed course competition and have all the necessary labeling in place.
Are Vehicle Parts Regulated By Transport Canada?
Transport Canada under MVSA does not regulate individual parts with the exception of:
- Child car seats
- Booster seats
Disassembled automotive parts are not regulated as long as they do NOT amount to one or more vehicles. Also, if you are planning on importing an engine for your vehicle, ensure that it is admissible into Canada, as they are regulated by Environmental and Climate Control Canada.
Import Process Of Non-Regulated Vehicles
Vehicles that are not regulated by Transport Canada must still comply with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) entry requirements.
At the time of importation CBSA will:
- Confirm non-regulated status
- Inspect for possible soil contaminants
- Examine the ownership documents
- Collect the duty and taxes if applicable
- Determine its admissibility according to other Canadian customs regulations that may apply
We encourage you to seek out the advice of a customs broker to help you determine if your vehicle is regulated by Transport Canada or any other Participating Government Agencies (PGA).
In conclusion, whether you are importing a golf cart or vehicle parts, it’s important to ensure you have reviewed the requirements of each import before you buy. It is the importer’s responsibility to research the admissibility of a non-regulated vehicle before attempting to import it into Canada.