How to Import a Car From USA to Canada

The importation of any vehicle, from truck to motorcycle from one country to another has to adhere to the rules and regulations imposed by the countries involved. In the case of the United States and Canada, the process is more or less clear-cut. However, it should be noted that some types of vehicles may not be admissible for entry in Canada. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) contains a list of cars that can be imported in the first place.

The vehicle branding history has to be assessed. The procedure involves assessing the record of prior accidents that are severe enough to cause an insurance write-off or an irreparable status. The RIV allows US brands on the territory of Canada, but importers should confirm the history of the car through commercial VIN search engines.
In addition to this procedure, some cars to be imported may need modifications as to conform to the requirements as laid out in the Vehicle Safety Standards. It is important to know what prior work needs to be done on the car. All vehicles to be imported in Canada need a recall clearance, which verifies that any defect identified by the manufacturer as a safety risk has been remedied prior to entry.

The Registrar of Imported Vehicles allows certain exemptions to registration under some circumstances. The importer should be familiar with these criteria and find out if they are applicable to the car he plans to import. The exemptions listed by the RIV are for vehicles older than 15 years and for temporary importations.
Once the car is at the border, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) needs at least a 72 hours notice before the car can be permanently transferred in Canada from the US. The required documents have to be submitted beforehand as well. The car is to be inspected by the CBP at the point of export.

Upon crossing the border, the Canada Border Services Agency takes over and check the documentation, which normally includes title documents, registration forms, or other evidence of ownership. One of the most important documents that importers should posses at the time of importation is the Supply Vehicle Import Form. It should be filled out where appropriate and as required by the province in which the vehicle will be licensed later on.
The car would then be checked by the CBSA against the List of Vehicles Admissible from the United States for verification. The VIN and the compliance label statement should be made clearly visible for the inspectors to complete the importation procedure.

It is also the CBSA that handles the payment of the imposed RIV fees. Importation by default involves certain costs. To bring in a vehicle from the United States to Canada, one may have to pay duties, provincial and federal sales taxes, permits, insurance, and other licensing requirements.

Upon entry, the importer will receive an inspection form that contains information on the additional required modifications. These should be performed before the vehicle is sent to an authorized RIV inspection center. Cars that have passed the inspection will then be issued licenses.