Canada Car Shipping and Import Guide
Customs, Regulations and Documentation For Shipping Your Car to Canada
Get prepared and avoid delays with this comprehensive guide.
We are pleased to provide this guide to help you understand what will be required when you ship your car to Canada and the charges you should expect to pay when your car arrives. While we hope that this covers everything you need please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, need any assistance or would simply like to speak to one of our experienced team about any aspect of shipping your car.
When planning to ship your vehicle to Canada, the first and most important thing you must ascertain is whether your vehicle will be accepted for import into Canada in line with vehicle import regulations. Canada have stringent import requirements in regard to safety standards that must be met when any vehicle is imported into Canada.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) work with Transport Canada to ensure that all vehicles imported into Canada are done so in line with safety standards and applicable import regulations. It is important for you to know that your vehicle will be accepted into Canada before shipment as it is the responsibility of the importer to make sure that their vehicle is admissible for importation. If you ship an inadmissible vehicle to Canada your vehicle will be denied entry and you will be liable for all storage and disposal/re-export costs incurred.
While the CBSA and Transport Canada prohibit the importation of vehicles not manufactured for sale in either Canada or the United States of America, there are circumstances where vehicles manufactured for other foreign markets may be privately imported. Such circumstances include:
- Where the vehicle is in excess of 15 years old.
• If the vehicle is a bus manufactured before January 1st 1971.
• When the vehicle being imported is not of a regulated class (eg. mobile homes designed to be towed or motorcycle side cars)
• Where the vehicle is a returning Canadian compliant vehicle being re-imported back into Canada (evidence will be required)
• If the vehicle is a returning U.S compliant vehicle originally owned in the United States.
There is no provision made in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act to permit vehicles that are sold in a country other than the U.S or Canada to be modified or altered to meet Canadian safety requirements.
Vehicles manufactured for sale in foreign markets that have been modified to meet U.S safety and emission regulations will be classed as ‘Grey Imports’ and are not permitted to be imported into Canada.
Vehicles less than 15 years old
With the exception of vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States, Transport Canada prohibit the importation of all foreign vehicles that are less than 15 years old. While vehicles manufactured for sale in the U.S may be eligible for import into Canada, there are strict regulations governing their importation. Clarification of the admissibility of U.S manufactured vehicles is provided by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV), a body established to administer regulations for the importation of U.S vehicles into Canada.
While U.S manufactured vehicles may be imported into Canada there may be modification work required to bring the vehicle in line with RIV requirements. Modification work if required can be expensive and we strongly suggest that your vehicles eligibility should be investigated prior to your car being shipped to Canada so that you have confirmation of it’s eligibility to be imported and also so that you understand what, if any, modification work may be required.
Vehicles over 15 years old
Vehicles that are over 15 years old qualify for exemption from the RIV program where the importer is able to satisfactorily demonstrate the age of the vehicle, for instance by providing a copy of the vehicles licence document (V5) as evidence of the age of the vehicle. While vehicles over the 15 year threshold may be permitted entry into Canada there are regulations governing registering your vehicle that should be considered. Registration requirements vary from province to province so it is also important that you are aware of specific requirements where you will be registering and using your car.
If you intend to temporarily import your car for your personal use during a period of visitation or temporary residence in Canada, your vehicle is not required to comply with Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.
When shipping a vehicle to Canada temporarily you may be required to arrange shipment under a Carnet de Passage (Carnet) to avoid payments / deposits being made to Canadian customs in regard to import duty and tax when your vehicle is imported for its temporary stay.
Cleaning your car for shipment
In addition to documentary and customs requirements on arrival, you must also make sure that your vehicle is well cleaned prior to shipment from the UK to Canada. On arrival in Canada your vehicle may be subject to customs / quarantine examination and should your vehicle be found to carrying contaminants (such as mud, plant or other organic matter) additional cleaning may be required before your vehicle can be released from customs control. Should customs ordered cleaning be required you will be notified by our agents who will also advise any such cleaning costs when known. When cleaning your car before shipment there are a few areas to which attention should be paid and that are frequently overlooked including;
- Wheels and tyres (including the spare wheel and the spare wheel housing)
• Up under wheel arches and around mud guards
• The corners of the engine bay, radiator and cooling fan checking for insects and plant matter
• Corners of dashboard area and under seats
Documentation we need to ship your car
So that we can arrange shipment of your car there are a few documents that we will require from you in order that we can complete shipping documentation and so that your vehicle can be shipped in accordance with current UK export customs controls. Please note that we do not require any original documentation, we only need copies.
- The vehicles registration certificate (V5 / log book)
• A Copy of the photo page of your Passport
• A copy of your MOT certificate will only be required if you require us to arrange collection of your vehicle and delivery to the port using our chauffer driver service. If your vehicle does not currently have an MOT or if you would simply prefer we also provide collection using a car transporter or fully enclosed collection vehicle.
Arrival in Canada
When your vehicle has shipped from the UK we will provide you with copy shipping documentation, the bill of lading, covering shipment of your vehicle. The bill of lading is not raised until the vessel carrying your car has sailed from the UK as in addition to detailing shipping details it also comprises evidence of your vehicle being exported from the UK. In addition shipping to your documentation, we will also re-confirm the details of the vessels including anticipated arrival date in Canada and provide contact details for our receiving agents at destination. Our agents will contact you when your car arrives to make arrangements with you for completing customs import formalities.
Port and shipping line charges
On arrival at the port there will be charges to pay to the shipping line and receiving agents for services in regard to unloading your car from the ship, handling it at the port and completing customs clearance. Please see the below table for an indication of standard destination charges you should expect to pay in Canada when your vehicle arrives.
|Transport to warehouse and container unloading||CA$475||n/a||X|
Benefits of Roll on Roll off (Ro Ro) Shipping.
When shipping a car by Ro Ro, destination port charges are lower than for container shipping as there are no charges in association with the use of port crane facilities to unload the container from the ship and there is no requirement for transport and container unloading services. Your car is quite simply driven off of the ship and moved to a secure area ready to be customs cleared on the quayside. If you ship your vehicle on a Roll on Roll off service you will not be permitted to load any personal items into the vehicle for shipment.
Benefits of Container Shipping
Shipping your car in a container to Canada will result in destination charges being slightly higher than for Ro Ro services however, you do have the flexibility of being able to load personal or household items into the container for shipment. These items can be placed onto a pallet and loaded separately into the container. If you would like a tailored quotation to ship your vehicle and personal belongings together please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a quotation to suit your requirements.
40′ Container Shipping. Additional Benefits
When shipping two cars in a 40ft container or allowing us to ship your vehicle with another vehicle in a shared 40′ container you will see a saving at destination. While charges for port handling, transport / warehouse unloading does cost more at around CA$1100 for the container, it works out cheaper as you have 2 cars so you will only pay the equivalent of CA$550 per car.
Duty and Tax
When vehicles are imported into Canada there will be customs duty and tax to pay to Canadian customs. Both import duty and tax are calculated as a percentage based on the declared value of your vehicle. As part of the documentary process of importing your car in Canada you will be required to complete CBSA Form B4E on which you provide details of your vehicle including the declared value in Canadian dollars. The value of your vehicle will be based on the purchase price of the car in instances where the original invoice or bill of sale for the vehicle is available, in the absence of which the value will be derived from the Canadian Black book, equivalent to the Glass guide or Parkers guide here in the UK. You can check the book value of your vehicle on the Canadian Black Book website here.
While there are duty free exemptions available when importing Canadian and U.S manufactured vehicles and Mexican made vehicles over 10 years old, eligible vehicles imported into Canada from all other foreign countries will be subject to both import duty and Canadian goods and service tax (GST). Customs duty is calculated at the below rate based on the declared value of the vehicle while GST is calculated at the below rate based on the declared vehicle value plus the duty amount.
|Import Duty||6.1 %|
|Goods and Service Tax (GST)||5 %|
Further information on duty and tax, additional details relating to exemptions available for Canadian, U.S and Mexican vehicles and contact details can be found on the CBSA website here.
When your vehicle has been cleared through Canadian customs and all applicable import duties and taxes have been paid, you will need to register your vehicle for permanent use on Canadian roads. Regulations, vehicle registration fees and procedures vary in Canada dependent on the province or territory when you will be registering and using the vehicle. Please see the below links to provincial government websites for further information on their specific requirements when registering your vehicle. We strongly advise that you contact the appropriate provincial vehicle registration office before shipping your vehicle as while regulatory requirements to import your vehicle into Canada may be satisfied at the port, there may be additional documentary requirements or certification required in the province you intend to register your vehicle that you should be aware of in advance.
|Manitoba||Prince Edward Island|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Saskatchewan|