How To Import Vehicles and Motorized Equipment Into Canada

Your how to guide on vehicle imports into Canada

When importing a car, truck, self-propelled machine or motorized equipment to be driven on roads or project sites in Canada, you must know what government parties are involved, what regulations must be followed, and the fundamental aspects of motor vehicle imports.

Parties Involved:

  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Transport Canada
  • Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • US Census Bureau (US exports only)
  • Customs Broker
  • Carrier

Main Regulations:

  • Ensure your vehicle is admissible for import into Canada.
  • Ensure your vehicle meets the Emissions Requirements.
  • A Form 1 will need to be submitted to CBSA (If using a customs broker, then this is reported in the EDI entry).
  • Notice of exportation needs to be provided to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at least 72 hours prior to arriving at the port of crossing.
  • If you are exporting from the US you will require an AES declaration to be submitted to the US Census Bureau.
  • Be sure to review the Government of Canada’s guide to Importing a Motor Vehicle.

Import Fundamentals:

  • You will be acting as the Importer of Record. Therefore, you are the party ultimately responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the import declaration; as well as, the payment of applicable duties and taxes into Canada
  • Duty and tax must be paid upon importation into Canada.
  • The rate of duty is determined by the tariff of the commodity being imported, the value of the goods and, the origin of the goods.
  • Certain import documentation is required to be presented to the border services officer at the port of entry.
  • Your import may be subject to a customs review, inspection or audit prior to, or after the importation. Additional fees may be levied by the Government of Canada for these services.
  • You are required to keep your import records for six years following the date of import and can be audited by Customs at any point during this time.

FAQ: Vehicle Imports

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying A Vehicle Or Machine From Another Country?
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Before buying a vehicle, engine, or fuel powered generator that you intend to import into Canada, you need to make sure it can be imported. Some vehicles cannot be imported even if the exact make and model is currently sold there. You would be very disappointed to buy a vehicle that is not eligible to be imported into Canada so it’s important to check admissibility first and foremost before purchasing the item.
How Do I Check Vehicle Admissibility?
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There are two ways for you to check vehicle admissibility:

Can I Skip The Import Admissibility Step?
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Yes, you can skip the import admissibility step but we strongly advise that you do not skip it. It is unfortunately very common for an importer to get to the border to find out that their vehicle cannot be imported. They are then forced to store the vehicle while they try to return it to the seller and if the seller does not agree to a refund the buyer must pay storage until they are able to sell it themselves. This comes at significant delay and cost to you which is completely avoidable with an admissibility check prior to purchasing. It can be completed by you using our free tools, or by us for a fee.

How Much Will It Cost To Import My Vehicle?
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The total cost of import is a combination of the federally charged duties, fees and taxes (these vary depending on the import). If using a Customs Broker, additional service fees apply.

How Much Duty And Tax Will I Have To Pay?
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How Much Duty And Tax Will I Have To Pay?

What Do I Need To Begin The Import Process?
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To begin the import process you check admissibility. After import eligibility is assessed, you can setup your import account. You will then provide us with the original title, bill-of-sale, CUSMA certification (if applicable), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) decal confirmation (or alternative). You will then receive an import package at your desired port of crossing which you will present to Customs.

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