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Importing vehicles purchased in countries OTHER than the United States

Please read the following carefully – Last revised Jan.1, 2013
- Subject to revision without notice -

Did you know that most vehicles offered for sale in foreign countries other than the United States cannot be imported into Canada?

This means that if you are considering importing a vehicle you bought in a country other than the United States, you need to inform yourself. Importing a vehicle into Canada that does not meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) is a criminal offense. Inadmissible vehicles are denied entry into Canada and detained. All storage and disposal fees become the responsibility of the importer.

Special circumstances:

When Canada Border Services Agency requirements are met, the following circumstances allow people to import vehicles purchased in a country other than the United States:

  • the vehicle is a regulated class of vehicle fifteen (15) years old or older as determined by the month and year the vehicle was manufactured.
  • the vehicle is a bus manufactured before January 1, 1971.
  • the vehicle does not belong to a regulated class of vehicle under the MVSA.
  • the vehicle meets all MVSA requirements, and was acquired NEW abroad via a manufacturer’s foreign buyer program for Canadians abroad (proof of compliance is required).
  • the vehicle meets all United States requirements and acquired NEW abroad via a manufacturer’s foreign buyer program for North-American buyers abroad (additional restrictions apply).
  • the vehicle is a returning Canadian compliant vehicle originally owned in Canada (proof of compliance is required).
  • the vehicle is a returning United States compliant vehicle originally owned in the U.S. (additional restrictions apply).

Note:  You cannot import a vehicle manufactured in North America that was certified for export to a foreign market because it fails to comply with the MVSA which requires a vehicle to comply with all applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards at the time of main assembly.

Furthermore, there are no provisions in the MVSA that allow you to modify a vehicle sold in a country other than the United States to meet Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Contact

  • 1-800-333-0371 (toll-free Canada and United States)
  • 1-613-998-8616 (Ottawa region and from other countries)
  • Email