Importing New Canadian Specification Vehicles Into Canada

The Canadian Border Services Agency has issued notice of new procedures for importing new vehicles into Canada.

1. This notice is to clarify the border declaration procedure for new Canadian specification vehicles (Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) compliant) being imported into Canada from foreign countries, including the United States.

2. Please note that NEW Canadian specification vehicles bearing a valid Canadian Statement of Compliance label cannot be entered into the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) Program.

– A vehicle is considered “NEW” when it is purchased directly from a manufacturer. Acquisition documents must clearly indicate a purchase at the manufacturing level. Vehicles purchased at the retail level in the United States are not considered “NEW”.

– A “Canadian specification vehicle” is defined as a vehicle built to Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and bearing a Canadian Statement of Compliance to that effect.

3. When a NEW Canadian specification vehicle is presented, authorization must be confirmed by consulting Appendix F or G of Departmental Memorandum D19-12-1, Importation of Vehicles, to ensure that the importer is listed as an authorized Canadian importer for the vehicle being imported.

4. When the importer is listed in Appendix F, or the importer and manufacturer are listed in Appendix G proceed as usual as outlined in D19-12-1.

5. When the importer is not listed in Appendix F, or the importer and manufacturer are not listed in Appendix G, the entry requires an authorization letter from Transport Canada and can only be released in the presence of such a letter.

6. The entry for new Canadian specification vehicles is documented using Vehicle Import Form – Form 1 and proper care must be taken to identify a commercial importation (imported for resale) by completing section 16-A, or a casual importation (imported for personal/private use) by completing section 16-B. Companies who import for their own use (not for resale) are considered private importers. A sample of the Form 1 can be found in Appendix C of Memorandum D19-12-1.

7. If an importer is not listed on Appendix G, border service officers are asked to add a note besides box 16-A, or box 16-B (depending on the nature of the importation) indicating that a letter of authorization was received from Transport Canada, and include a photocopy of the authorization with the Form 1.

8. It is the importer’s responsibility to obtain authorization from Transport Canada prior to presenting the vehicle for importation at the border. If no acceptable authorization from Transport Canada is provided, the vehicle is to be denied entry.

9. As a reminder, Transport Canada does not regulate vehicles 15 years old or older, or buses manufactured before January 1, 1971. Such entries are documented as exempt from the RIV program and by selecting “Vehicle fifteen years old or older etc …” under Section 16 of the Vehicle Import Form – Form 1 (box 16-C).