Importing Agricultural Equipment Into Canada

Importing Agricultural Equipment Into Canada

If you're searching for agricultural equipment in Canada, your best bet is to explore the vast US marketplace. With more manufacturers located there, you'll have access to a wider selection, better availability, and competitive pricing. Today we will guide you through the process of importing self-propelled or towable agricultural equipment into Canada, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free border crossing. 

Agricultural Equipment: Things To Keep In Mind

Before delving into the process of importing agricultural equipment from the US to Canada, let's address some important information that you may not be aware of. 

Are Import Regulations Based On The Year Of Manufacture? 

Many calls we receive relate to the vehicle year and subsequent import regulations. Generally, the vast majority of self-propelled agricultural equipment is classified as non-regulated vehicles by Transport Canada. It is exempt from entering the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program regardless of age since it is designed strictly for off-road use.

The guide below provides additional measures to meet.

How Agricultural Equipment Importing Works

Most agricultural equipment imported into Canada came from the US; this is how they were brought in. 

Determine Agricultural Equipment Admissibility Before Importing Into Canada

Agricultural equipment is generally equipped with diesel engines, and examples of off-road diesel machines include bulldozers, tractors, and sprayers. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), if you plan to import an off-road diesel engine, the engine must meet the required EPA standards and be declared to ECCC upon importation. The only foreign certification standard recognized in Canada is the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification. 

There are two ways in which importers can show their compliance with environmental standards, which consist of the following; 

  • Keeping US EPA-certified engine certifications 

Conducting an emission test* on engines that have not been US EPA certified to prove compliance. *must be completed and approved by ECCC before importation.

According to the CBSA, to be eligible for importation, vehicles must qualify for entry under one of the following two Transport Canada (TC) principles:

  • Vehicles required to be registered in the RIV Program: Applies to US specification vehicles purchased or originally sold in the US at the retail level or belonging to the category of prescribed classes of used vehicles from Mexico (passage car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, or bus).
  • Vehicles not required to be registered in the RIV Program: Applies to all other admissible vehicle entries (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) vehicles, age-exempt vehicles, non-regulated vehicles, and vehicles imported temporarily).

The vast majority of self-propelled and towable agricultural equipment are classed as non-regulated vehicles by Transport Canada and therefore are not required to be entered into the RIV program. Although these vehicles should be reported to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) when imported, they will be reported as exempt from RIV registration.

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Documentation Requirements For Importing Agricultural Equipment Into Canada 

All documentation would need to be submitted to the CBSA; the list of documents required includes the following:

  • A Bill of Sale or invoice
  • CUSMA certification (US and Mexico imports only, if applicable. This is only required to reduce duty, it is not an import requirement) 
  • Copies of export filings (only required if self-propelled)
  • Title/Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSA/certificate of no title (if available)
  • Proof of EPA certification

It's A Two-Step Process

If you import self-propelled agricultural equipment into Canada from the US, you will be the Importer of Record in Canada and the Exporter of Record in the US. This is a two-step process:

  1. Export agricultural equipment while still in the US (if that equipment is self-propelled)
  2. Import agricultural equipment into Canada

It's important to note that you will be legally responsible for paying duties, taxes, and any applicable service fees. You will also ensure that the entire import and export process complies with Canadian import and US export laws and regulations. 

File Automated Export System (AES) Export Declaration and 72 Hour Notice Before Export 

Exporters must file what's referred to as an AES Export Filing and 72-Hour Notice Of Export.** This is a two-part process with two government agencies. The first step in the process is filing the Automated Export System declaration to notify the US Census Bureau that the vehicle is being exported. 

According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), AES is the system US exporters use to electronically declare their international exports, known as Electronic Export Information (EEI). A customs broker or other authorized service provider must file AES. Once the AES filing is approved, the US Census Bureau will issue the Internal Transaction Number (ITN). This number will confirm that an EEI transaction has been accepted and is on file in AES.

Once the AES filing is completed and confirmed, the 72-hour notice request is sent and filed with the US CBP. It is important to note that this step is not required for towable equipment.

Need help filing your AES? We can help.

Submit Documentation to CBP 

The second step in exporting agricultural equipment to Canada from the US is to submit the following documents to the US CBP 72 hours before the desired exportation date.The filing must be sent to a US port that provides vehicle export services. Filing the 72-hour notice is a service that your customs broker commonly provides after completing the AES export filing. 

  • US Customs vehicle export worksheet, including the Internal Transaction Number (received from the AES filing service provider.)
  • Copy of Bill of Sale (sellers information including phone number, address, and signature.)
  • Copy of Manufacturer's Statement of Origin/Vehicle Title (if these do not exist, a “Certificate of exportation of equipment not requiring a Title” is required to be submitted instead.)
Your how-to guide on vehicle imports into Canada

US CBP will advise the earliest date and time the equipment is authorized for export from the US.The exporter or transportation company must report to US Customs at the specified port with the equipment and original documents to have the equipment inspected, verified, and approved. Once approved, you will have ensured US Customs compliance and can proceed to the Canadian border. 

The following steps are needed to gain entry into Canada; 

Compliance With The Government Agencies Involved In Importing Agricultural Equipment Into Canada 

These agencies have their own rules and regulations based on the type of import entering Canada, and your import could be subject to delays, examinations, and penalties if shipments do not comply with the following government agencies' rules: 

  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Transport Canada's (TC) Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Submit Documentation To CBSA

The submission of documentation can be made yourself as the Importer of Record or by your authorized customs broker at the point of entry. The documentation required consists of the following: 

  • Bill of Sale 
  • Title, MSO, or certificate of no title (as applicable)
  • Proof of EPA Certification
  • Transport Canada Vehicle Import Form 1

If you use the services customs broker, the customs entry (including Form 1) can be presented to CBSA electronically before the vehicle importation for CBSA, TC, and ECCC review and preliminary approval. Upon arrival at the border, the bill of sale, title, and cargo control document are presented to CBSA, who will verify and inspect the vehicle and ultimately approve the importation.

Suppose the Importer opts to make the customs declaration themselves. They will need to present all of the above original documents and information to CBSA upon arrival at the border and complete the customs declaration at that time.

CBSA will inspect the vehicle on CFIAs behalf to ensure it is clean and soil-free. If soil is found on the vehicle, it will be refused entry and returned to the US for cleaning.

Receive RIV Conformation 

When agricultural equipment has entered Canada, the Importer of Record will not be required to pay RIV fees if the agricultural equipment is a non-regulated vehicle type.The importer, however, will receive confirmation the vehicle has been reported as imported. This confirmation is used to obtain provincial or territorial licensing (if required). If the equipment is required to enter into the RIV program, then RIV fees may be applicable, and the equipment may need to be re-inspected at a facility authorized by RIV.

Keep Records

Once you have passed the inspection and made all applicable payments, Canada requires all records on file to be kept for six years from the month of importation. 

9 Steps To Importing A Vehicle To Canada From The US

Crossing the border with agricultural equipment can be a daunting task. But worry not, as we are here to offer import and shipping services that will give you complete peace of mind.

Get in touch today!

Disclaimer: While reading, kindly note the date of this blog. At PCB we do our due diligence to write on the most relevant topic every week and naturally content may become dated as developments in a certain program/topic occur. For this reason, we greatly appreciate your readership and hope you continue reading with the posting date in mind. For the latest information on this topic please use our website's search function, or better yet, subscribe to our "Trading Post" newsletter to receive these updates directly to your inbox.
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About the Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS (CA/US), CTCS, CBSA Prof. Designate

Gloria Terhaar began her career in Canadian customs brokerage 2007. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadian produce industry.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.