Moving to Canada from the US? Want to bring your truck to Canada? Since Canada drives on the same side of the road and has very similar safety requirements to the United States, it’s usually possible to ship a vehicle from USA to Canada.
But the process can be a bit confusing if you’ve never shipped a vehicle internationally before. So in this guide from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll provide you with an overview of the basics. Read on to learn what you need to know about bringing a truck into Canada.
What Are The Requirements For Bringing A Truck Into Canada?
To import an American truck into Canada, there are a few different requirements. It must be clear of any recalls, and be on the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) list. Any truck modified from its original state can’t be brought into Canada. Your car must be inspected by the RIV before it can be brought into Canada.
The first step you will want to take is to check the Registrar of Imported Vehicles by clicking here. This list will tell you whether or not your truck can be imported to Canada. If it’s on the list, you can bring it in. If it isn’t, you’re out of luck.
As mentioned, your vehicle must be free of all recalls, and it cannot be modified. It will go through a comprehensive inspection during the process, and you must pay any required duties and additional costs before it can be brought into the country.
For more information about the requirements for bringing a truck or any other vehicle into Canada from the United States, you can visit this page from the Government of Canada, which has a thorough and comprehensive overview of the process.
What Is The Process Of Importing My Truck To Canada?
First, make sure your truck qualifies for import. Then, you will fill out a Vehicle Import Form, which will be submitted to Canadian customs at the border. If everything is filled out correctly, your vehicle will be accepted, and you will have to pay any applicable customs, duties, fees, and other costs.
The first step is to declare your vehicle using a Vehicle Import Form. You can fill this out online, but it must be printed out and handed to the customs office in person. The process may differ slightly depending on whether you’re driving your own vehicle across the border or you’re having it sent by rail, truck, or a container ship.
When you’re crossing the border, you will also need your title, your original bill of sale, and proof of insurance, as well as a recall clearance letter if your truck has had any recalls that were repaired.
Note that after you pay any applicable customs, fees, and charges when importing your truck, you still must have it inspected by the RIV to ensure it can be legally brought into the country. This must be done within 45 days of importing the vehicle into Canada.
How Much Will I Pay At Customs To Import My Truck To Canada?
If you are bringing a truck only for personal use, you may not have to pay duties or taxes, but you will still be required to pay RIV processing fees when importing your car, which are usually around $200 USD but can be higher in some provinces.
To import your household goods and your personal vehicle tax-free, you must have owned, used, and possessed the truck for at least six months before entering Canada as a resident. You must also be intending to maintain residence in Canada for at least one year or more.
If you do not meet these requirements, your truck may not be eligible for duty-free import into Canada. You may have to pay a 5% GST (goods & services tax), a provincial sales tax (PST), and an air conditioning tax. Additional taxes may be due if your truck is not fuel efficient, due to the “Gas Guzzler Tax.” Vehicles weighing more than 2,007kg (4,425 lb) are also subject to additional taxes.
Do I Need To Modify My Truck To Bring It To Canada?
In some cases, you may need to modify your truck to bring it into Canada. This may be required if you have an older vehicle that lacks certain features that are mandatory in Canada, such as an Electronic Immobilization System (EIM), which shuts off the engine if a non-original key is used to start your truck. Some vehicles may need extensive modification.
If your truck can be imported into Canada, but it requires extensive modifications, it may be worth reconsidering the idea entirely. The modifications you’ll have to make will have to meet very strict Canadian standards, and if they are done improperly, the truck may still be denied at the border.
Instead, you may want to think about either storing your vehicle or selling it in the US, and purchasing another truck when you reach Canada. Due to the high costs of modifying your truck, as well as customs fees and other such costs, it may not be worth importing your truck at all.
Is It Worth Importing A Truck To Canada?
This depends on your personal situation. If you plan on living in Canada for the long term, you can bring your truck in tax-free, and you do not need to make extensive modifications to ensure its legality in Canada, it’s definitely worth importing it – especially if it’s expensive.
However, this may not be true if your truck is less valuable, requires extensive modifications to be legally driven in Canada, or does not meet the requirements for duty-free imports. Importing a truck to Canada is expensive if you have to pay duties, and the modifications required may be extremely costly, as well. In addition, you’ll pay a lot of money to ship your car via truck, rail, or ocean freight if you’re not driving it to Canada yourself.
So consider your options carefully. Think about the costs associated with your particular truck. If it makes financial sense, you may want to sell it in America, and use the money to buy a new vehicle in Canada – which would save you thousands in shipping fees as well as taxes and other costs. This also will be your only option if your truck is heavily modified (with a lift, aftermarket lights, and other such modifications) since aftermarket modified vehicles cannot enter Canada.
Need Help Shipping A Truck To Canada? Contact Us Right Away!
At A-1 Auto Transport, we can help you navigate the complexities of shipping your truck to Canada by rail, truck, or even an ocean-going container ship. As experts in vehicle transportation, we can use our network of logistics providers to ensure your truck gets into Canada safely.
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.