(PRE-PURCHASING) Step 1: Ensure the Vehicle is Admissible If your vehicle is under 15 years old, it will need to be registered with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV). The RIV outlines a list of admissible vehicles by Make, Model and Year.
Step 2: Determine Additional Costs There are some additional costs to import a vehicle into Canada that are not included in the price you pay for the car. These include: •Duty Amounts: •Vehicles Manufactured in North America - Duty Free •Vehicles Manufactured outside North America - 6.1% on average •Vehicles over 25 years old - Duty Free •Tax Amounts: •All Vehicles are subject to GST - 5%•Vehicles with Air Conditioning - C$100•Vehicles exceeding 2036 KGM - Subject to further excise. Scale based on actual weight. You will also be required to pay a RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) fee of C$209 (or C$224 if in Quebec).This fee can be paid directly to Canada Customs by credit card only. Cash and checks are not accepted. Note: If you do want to pay by check or money order, you will need to mail directly to the RIV. Canada Customs can provide you with an envelope to do this, however please note clearance of personal check will take 10 days and this will take away from your 45 day deadline.
Step 3: Obtain Documentation Once you have purchased your vehicle, you will need to obtain copies of the following documents. The originals will need to be in the vehicle as crosses the border.
•Certificate of Title
•Bill of Sale
•Statement of compliance label (usually affixed to the vehicle)
•Manufacturer's recall clearance letter
Step 4: Arrange Transportation of the Vehicle
If you plan to drive the vehicle through the border, you will want to investigate proper insurance. Although the vehicle may be insured in the USA, once you reach Canadian soil, your U.S. plates are no longer valid.
The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (http://www.findabroker.ca) website allows you to search for an insurance broker nearest you where a temporary permit can be purchased while you complete the importation process.
If you plan to have the vehicle brought to you, you will want to research pricing for various companies who specialize or are well versed in vehicle transportation. You can either work directly with a trucking company, or you can hire a Freight Forwarder who will work for you and handle the investigation and research.
Step 5: Notify Customs at Least 72 Hours in Advance
Documentation for your vehicle MUST be presented to U.S. Customs at least 72 hours before the vehicle crosses.
U.S. Customs has varying requirements in regards to presentation of documentation. Some offices request originals are received where others are satisfied with copies. It is important that you decide ahead of time where you plan to cross the border and contact the office at that port for confirmation of document receipt.
U.S. Customs Port Contacts-
U.S. Customs Management Centers-
Step 6: Payment of RIV Fees Your RIV fee must be paid and cleared before the RIV will issue you a federal inspection form or special modification information. DO NOT proceed with any modifications until you have received this information. You can pay this fee prior to importing your vehicle, or you can pay this fee when you reach the border. If you are paying by personal check it will take 10 days before the payment is processed, and your vehicle will not be able to enter Canada before it has cleared. You can pay this fee at the border by credit card only.
Step 7: Present the Vehicle to U.S. Customs Once you reach the border, you will need to report your vehicle and original certificate of title to U.S. Customs. Once they have matched the paperwork to your vehicle and are satisfied, you can proceed to Canada Customs.
Step 8: Declare the Vehicle to Canada Customs
All documentation you have prepared for this importation will now be presented to Canada Customs. At this time Customs will request you complete a Vehicle Import Form (Form 1) which must be kept with the vehicle until it is licensed.
Note: In order to complete this form, you will need to have a Canadian mailing address. Canada Customs will then check your vehicle against Transport Canada's List of Vehicles Admissible from the USA
At this time your public VIN and manufacture's statement of compliance label will be compared to ensure they match.
If you have not already paid the RIV fee, you will need to do this at the border by credit card only, before your vehicle enters Canada.
Fees are C$209 or C$224 in Quebec.
Your RIV fee must be paid and cleared before the RIV will issue you a federal inspection form or special modification information. DO NOT proceed with any modifications until you have received this information.
Note: Submission of payment and receipt of your completed Form 1 does not mean your vehicle meets all the necessary requirements - you will still need to conform to all applicable provincial, territorial and federal laws.
Step 9: Register & Insure the Vehicle in Canada
Once your vehicle is in Canada and all your fees have been taken care of, you will receive a letter in the mail from the RIV with your Vehicle Inspection Document (Form 2). This will arrive 1 to 2 weeks after clearance and indicates what modifications must be done in order for your vehicle to be compliant. You will have 45 days from the clearance date to have the noted modifications completed and it is recommended by the RIV that you contact the Original Equipment Manufacturer for proper parts or warrant details.
Step 10: Vehicle Inspection
The RIV has contracted with Canadian Tire to perform Federal Inspections in addition to any modification work you may require. Visit http://www.canadiantire.ca to find a Canadian Tire near you. Note: Make sure you keep your receipts for all parts and labor. Upon arrival at the inspection centre, you will need to turn over the following documents:
•Form 1 - Vehicle Import Form
•Form 2 - Vehicle Inspection Document
•Recall Clearance Letter
•Receipts for Modification work - parts & labor
A Passing Vehicle:
Once your vehicle passes the inspection, the inspector will stamp your Form 1. You will have to present this to the provincial or territorial licensing authority in case other testing is required. Approximately one week after passing inspection, you should be sent a new Canadian Certificate label which will need to be affixed to your car. Instructions on placement will be included with the label. Provincial / Territory Contacts - http://www.riv.ca/english/html/provincial_licensing.html
A Failed Vehicle:
Should your vehicle fail inspection, further modifications may be required and the vehicle will need to be re-inspected. There will be additional charges to have the vehicle re-inspected. If your vehicle does not pass inspection within the 45 day time limit, it will have to be exported back to the U.S. If you are going to have trouble meeting the deadline, you should contact the RIV at 1-888-848-8240 as they may be able to assist you.