When you live close to the US border, international travel is common for any Canadian. Of course, on these travels you might buy things from the US and bring them home with you. This is usually a very simple process, though you might have to declare these goods with a customs agent. If you travel down to the US and buy a car, however, this process might be far more complex
As a matter of fact, you might have to treat this car purchase like you would an import. And, yes, that can be very complicated; so here are a few things you need to know about Clearit car importing in Canada.
CANADIAN REGISTRY OF IMPORTED VEHICLES
The first thing you need to do when preparing to bring your car to Canada from the United States is read up on the Canadian Registry of Imported Vehicles (RIV). This agency will help you to better understand what is and is not allowed in terms of vehicle import.
For one, the RIV will inform you what types of modifications your car might need before it can be registered in Canada. In some cases this means you might have to add or change a new part or it might request that you remove an aftermarket part and restore the vehicle to factory conditions. The US, Asia, Europe, and Canada all have different standards, so this registry just keeps you up to date.
Checking with the RIV will also help you understand vehicle emission requirements in Canada. While this requirement is decided upon by the state in the US, the whole country of Canada follows the same emission regulation and if your car does not qualify you might have to make modifications before it can be registered in Canada. If you do not pass this test—and don’t make modifications—you could be subject to a $4,000 high emissions fee.
While you are not “selling” the car when you bring it across the border, you still need to have the car’s diving abstract and accident history if you want to operate your vehicle in Canada.
You might also want to think about hiring a customs clearance consultant. These are professional customs brokers who can advise you on paperwork and processes to ensure your border crossing is as efficient as possible.