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.
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.
- 1-800-333-0371 (toll-free Canada and United States)
- 1-613-998-8616 (Ottawa region and from other countries)
- Date modified: