If you’re a former Canadian resident living in the US – or a US resident who may soon move to Canada – you may be wondering if you can buy a motorcycle in the US, and ship it to Canada. What’s involved in the process? Which bikes qualify? How much will it cost? In this guide from A1- Auto Transport, we’ll take a look at all of the details you need to know.
Can I Import A Motorcycle From The US Into Canada?
Yes. It’s entirely possible to import a motorcycle from the United States to Canada, but the process for doing so can be quite complex. You’ll have to fill out forms for customs, and you may be required to pay high fees and import taxes. In addition, some motorcycles will not qualify for import to Canada from the United States.
The first thing you will need to do is click here to see an updated list of the motorcycles that are admissible to Canada. If your motorcycle is not on this list, it cannot be brought into Canada.
In addition, you will need:
- The U.S. motorcycle title, with both your name and the seller/dealer’s name
- A signed Bill of Sale
- The VIN or serial number of your motorcycle
- Recall notices with proof of remedy if there have been any recalls on your bike. All recalls must be fixed before the motorcycle can be imported
Then, you can begin the process of importing your motorcycle to Canada. You will need to work with both US Customs and Border Control (USCBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) during this process.
Do I Have To Pay Taxes & Duties When I Import A Motorcycle From The US To Canada?
Typically, you will have to pay a (Goods and Services Tax) GST of 5% when importing a motorcycle, as well as a PST (Provincial Sales Tax) of up to 8% when registering the vehicle. However, if you are an American moving to Canada, or a Canadian re-establishing residency, you may be able to import your motorcycle for free.
If you are a United States citizen and you are legally immigrating to Canada for at least 1 year, you can bring “personal vehicles” into Canada free of charge, and this includes motorcycles, as long as they have been used by you for at least six months.
The same is true if you’re a former Canadian resident, moving back after a continuous absence of 1 year or more. However, a value limitation of CAN $10,000 applies to former residents. Any single item, including a motorcycle, that is brought back to Canada and exceeds this value may have GST applied to the value that exceeds the $10,000 limitation. This does not apply to new residents.
How Do I Import A Motorcycle From The US To Canada?
You must fill out the appropriate forms to get past US customs, send your motorcycle through a border crossing, then fill out and submit the required forms to the Canadian customs authorities – and pay any applicable charges and taxes. Your bike must also be inspected within 45 days of entry.
First, you’ll need to submit your US title to the border crossing you’ll be exporting through within 72 hours prior to export. Each border crossing has different requirements, such as a copy of the title, bill of sale, and VIN or vehicle description. Once your motorcycle passes through US customs, your title will be stamped, and you’ll be sent to Canadian customs.
Transport Canada, through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV), governs which vehicles can be admitted to Canada. If your motorcycle is admissible, you will have to pay a 5% GST to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) based on the declared value of your motorcycle using Form 1, which can be filled out on-site.
This completes the initial import process, but you’re not done yet. You will need to order a
Then, you will need to order a Vehicle Inspection Form 2 from the CBSA, and you will need to complete a RIV inspection to have this form filled out within 45 days of shipping a vehicle into Canada. It will cost $195 plus GST to get this form.
Once your bike has been imported, you’ll need to arrange for it to be insured, and then register it with the local and provincial authorities. You may need to pay a PST (Provincial Services Tax) of up to 8% when you register your bike.
The process is quite complex, but it can be simplified if you hire an experienced motorcycle shipping company to send your bike to Canada. As your registered agent, the shipping company can handle the entire import process, making things a lot easier for you if you buy a motorcycle in the US and bring it to Canada.
How Should I Prepare My Motorcycle Before I Ship It To Canada?
If you’re having your motorcycle shipped into Canada by a motorcycle shipping company, there are a few different steps you should take to prepare it for transport, such as draining the fuel and disconnecting the battery, checking the bodywork and mechanical components, and taking photos of the bike.
- Drain the fuel – Most companies will require you to drain your tank down to ¼ or ⅛ of a tank. This reduces the weight of your bike
- Disconnect the battery – Disconnecting the battery ensures your bike won’t be dead on arrival, and also prevents any possibility of the bike accidentally turning on during transit. This also disables the alarm system.
- Document the condition of your bike – To be as comprehensive as possible, we recommend taking photos of every part of your bike, as well as a “walkaround” video where you document its overall condition. This will ensure that you can recognize any damage that takes place during transit, and take appropriate action.
- Remove any accessories and extra items – Things like phone holders and GPS mounts should be removed from your bike and secured. In addition, remember to remove any personal items or gear from your bike’s storage compartments, if applicable.
Contact A-1 Auto Transport If You Need To Ship Your Motorcycle From The US To Canada!
Whether you’re a Canadian returning home after living in the US, or you’re a US citizen moving to Canada for the first time, it’s entirely possible to buy a motorcycle in the US and bring it to Canada – and in some cases, you won’t even have to pay duties and taxes to do so. So if you have a motorcycle you’d like to bring with you as you make your move, don’t wait – and don't go it alone.
The best way to move your motorcycle is with an experienced motorcycle shipping company in a shipping container. And at A-1 Auto Transport, we have a network of shipping partners with experience managing the shipment of motorcycles across the US-Canada border. Contact us online or give us a call now to get started.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.