Cars get shipped in and out of Canada all the time, however it’s important to know exactly how the process works or things get a little bit complicated.
Although Canada is our neighbor and we do trade with the country constantly, the procedure can get a little confusing so it’s always best to deal with the shipper that has experience and can help you with all the necessary paperwork so you’re not stuck losing time.
Both both countries are pretty similar regarding what they need for a car to gain entry. Here we will give you a crash course on what you need to know to transport your car to or from Canada. We help you take care of every aspect including all the tricky customs paperwork that is necessary to properly import, export, or temporarily import. Once we’ve established a rate for your transport, the rest is easy. We handle just about every part of the process so you don’t have to.
One of the first things you should do before getting started is searching to make sure your car is allowed into the country before arranging transport. You can do this by heading over to Canada is registrar of imported vehicles https://www.riv.ca/importingavehicle.aspx. From there, You will need a valid photo ID and you will have to send a copy of the title at least three days before the vehicle crosses the border in order to clear it. The customs information will be made available to you when you book the transport. You won’t have to worry about that with National Express, as we make the process pretty painless. It’s always best to have our customs agent follow through with everything as there are always little changes that occur in the process of importing a car to Canada. The service for transporting a car to Canada from the U.S. is door to door. Once we establish an order with you, we start by finding a carrier to pick up your vehicle from your location in the U.S. Then depending on what part of Canada will determine which one of the holding facilities the vehicle is processed in for import into Canada. For example, if your vehicle is going to Ontario our closest one will be in Northern Michigan. Once it arrives, the vehicle is processed. All customs paperwork should be complete and approved prior to us sending a carrier to get your vehicle in the U.S.. . Keep in mind that your vehicle may incur certain fees if you are permanently importing. These will vary from vehicle type and to which province in Canada your vehicle is going to call home. These are separate and are not included in the cost of transport. They will be fully calculated and disclosed prior to shipping to assure that you do not encounter any surprises. Although we offer package pricing for all the costs, we can’t calculate customs fees ahead of time. We sincerely wish we could create a package that would encompass those costs, however we cannot even collect those fees for you. It is important to note that North American built vehicles do get a break thanks to the NAFTA trade agreement The way to determine if your vehicle is manufactured in North America is if the VIN number begins between 1-5. This is a general rule and some antiques or custom-made vehicles may not have this starting number and still qualify. After the vehicle has cleared customs, it is ready for transport to your province in Canada. Our carrier will come and pick it up from the holding facility, cross the border, and arrive at your door for delivery.
Shipping a car to the United States from Canada is also provided as door to door shipping/transport. If your car is a model not sold in the U.S., it’s best to make sure it’s approved to enter by the EPA. Once we have provided you your rate and you place your order we can begin the process of bringing your vehicle. With vehicles coming to United States from Canada, all customs paperwork must be completed and approved prior to pick-up. Once the carrier comes to your door to get the vehicle it will cross the border and stop at a holding facility to be inspected by U.S. Customs before being released. So using the same example as before, if your vehicle is coming from Ontario, it will be inspected in Northern Michigan. While it awaits inspection our carrier is already on its way to come get it in Northern Michigan to bring it to your door. We attempt to synchronize this process as well as possible to ensure the quickest delivery times. Keep in mind when bringing in a vehicle to the United States from Canada there may be additional fees or taxes there are associated with importing. These can vary. Since every case is different and we are not able to collect these government fees, we do not provide a package that can include them, although we wish we could to make the process easier for our customers. Just like when crossing the border in the other direction the NAFTA trade agreement will get you a break if your vehicle was manufactured in North America. If the VIN number begins between 1 and 5 , then it is built in North America. This is a general rule as some antiques or custom-made vehicles may not have this starting number and still qualify. After vehicle is released, the carrier will be arriving shortly thereafter to bring it down to you at your location here in the U.S.
The vehicle must be eligible to be imported. Most modern vehicles won’t have problems with this unless they are modified. In most cases you can still import but you will have 45 days after import to correct issues in order to register your vehicle. Use this Registered Importer List to so you can make the vehicle compliant, meeting NHTSA (Canada) or EPA (U.S.) standards. Keep in mind that your vehicle should be empty. For example, if you have any radar detectors or loose speaker boxes, make sure they are secured or they should be removed prior to transport. The car should be clean or at least vacuumed. This assists in the inspection process going smoothly. Check under the seats for items or trash. Tip: Worried about customs? We have access to dedicated customs agents that will contact you once your transport is booked in order to properly determine the necessary paperwork to bring your vehicle to or send it from Canada. Depending on if you will be permanently importing the vehicle or shipping it temporarily determines the type of application and information that needs to be processed.
Although the customs team provides all the necessary paperwork to ship your vehicle, you can still view the following resources as reference should you like to get a head start. Canada’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles Canada Border Services Agency Registrar of Imported Vehicles
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S.) – Outlines rules and regulations regarding the mechanical safety requirements. HS-7 Form – Required when a vehicle does not comply with NHTSA rules and an exemption is possible. 3299 Form – Declaration for free entry of unaccompanied articles. US EPA form 3250-1 – For the importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines subject to federal air pollution regulations.