What You Should Know About Canadian Car Importing


If you live near the US-Canada border, international travel is pretty accessible.  And as an international traveler you will probably procure different things on either side of the border, which means you will have to declare these goods at customs when you return home.  Most of the time this process is pretty simple, but if you buy something much larger, like a car, the process of bringing it back across the border can be a little more complicated.

The Canadian Registry of Imported Vehicles

For one, preparing to bring your car across the Canadian border from the United States, will require some knowledge of Clearit.ca regulations described in the Canadian Registry of Imported Vehicles (RIV).  The RIV is an organization that can help you to understand what is and is not allowed when it comes to importing a vehicle into Canada from another country. Indeed, there are various regulations depending on the type of vehicle and the country of origin.

Vehicle Modification

One of the most important things you can learn from the RIV is what types of vehicle modifications you might need to make on your car before you will be able to register it in the country of Canada.  This could involve replacing or updating a part or removing an aftermarket part you could have installed.  This is important because Asia, Europe, the US, and Canada all have different sets of standards; the RIV will keep you updated.

Emission Taxes

When you check with the RIV you will also learn about Canadian vehicle emission requirements.  Every state in the US has its own emission requirements, but there is only one set of emission regulations for the entire country of Canada.  If your car does not adhere to these regulations you will not be allowed to drive it on any road in Canada until you make the required modifications.  Most of these changes should be pretty simple; so make sure you do them because you could have to otherwise pay a $4,000 high emissions fee.

Driving Abstract

It is also important to bring your driving abstract and accident history for the vehicle in order to register your car in Canada.

Customs Clearance

Finally, you should know that you have to pay for customs clearance before you can register your car in Canada. And for that reason it is usually a good idea to hire a customs consultant who can advise you on the regulations and expedite the process.