You say cheerio to your mum, jump on a plane and start a new life in Toronto. A few months later you think, “Hmmm, really wish I could bring my beloved Datsun Cherry over to cruise around Toronto in. I wonder if there’s a way …?”
Over to guest writer Jason Mueller, a Canadian expat currently living in Costa Rica and working for A-1 Auto Transport International. As always, this is not an endorsement of the company or services, but just for information purposes. Do your due diligence before entering into any agreements or contracts.
If you plan to relocate to Canada from a foreign country and become an expat you will most likely want to bring all your personal items with you including your personal vehicle. It is wise to do your research before you make the big move as Canada has specific regulations that apply to different types of vehicles when it comes to importing.
If you are looking to import a vehicle specifically from Britain this will be very rare. This is because Canada does not allow vehicles outside of the USA to be imported because they will not meet the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) and you are not allowed to modify the vehicle to meet the Act.
The main reason is due to the fact that the steering wheel is located on the right-hand side of the vehicle. There are some circumstances where you can import a vehicle from another country other than the USA.
– If the vehicle is 15 years old or older according to the date of manufacturing and is a regulated class.
– Buses manufactured before January 1, 1971 are permitted.
– The vehicle was purchased in the USA or Canada and is returning in the same working class and still meets the MVSA ( proof is required).
If you have obtained a temporary residency visa for Canada to work or study then you may be exempt seeing as you are a temporary visitor … but the vehicle will not be permitted to stay permanently. Thus:
– Only you are permitted to use the vehicle.
– If you have any changes to the status of your residency such as getting permanent residency you may be required to export or destroy the vehicle.
– The vehicle will not be able to be sold while in Canada.
– The vehicle cannot remain in Canada longer than the time limits on the student visa, work permit or any other customs authorization.
Most Brits have a deep sentimental value to their cars so the successful Brits will undoubtedly find a way to get their car imported to the country. If you own a private track — or you are only using the car for a production of a television series, for example — you should contact Transport Canada and talk to someone personally.
Documentation Required for Shipping
– Driver’s licence.
– Bill of sale or purchase invoice.
– Vehicle documents such as registration, title, VIN.
– Certificate for pre-shipment inspection.
– Power of attorney (only necessary if there is a destination agent clearing the shipment).
Steps of procedure
– The first step is to do a lot of research and be sure that you are connected with an auto transport company that has a good track record when it comes to shipping vehicles to Canada. Ask your friends and family for a good referral and put a post on Facebook asking your friends to share.
– Look for reviews on Google for the company that you are thinking about booking with; reviews are always the best way to find out if the business is reputable or not.
– Finally, you will need to prepare your vehicle for shipment, make sure to remove all valuables, only have less than a quarter tank of gas remaining, and take off any after-market items or add-ons (such as antennas) that could be damaged during shipment.
Importing a vehicle from the USA
– 5% GST.
– 13% HST in Ontario.
– $195 import fee.
– In order to officially import your vehicle it has to be inspected by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. Upon inspection you will get a certificate if the requirements are met.
– If the vehicle fails the inspection it is not permitted to stay in Canada, even if the duties and taxes have already been paid.
– If a vehicle has been modified from its original state it may not qualify to be imported in to Canada.