• Ship Car to Canada Guide: Understanding the Costs, Fees, and Laws Involved

    To ship a car to another country can be complicated because there are many rules and regulations that need to be followed, not to mention fees and taxes. Many individuals will purchase a car or truck in the US and ship the truck to Canada. In order to ensure a fast and easy shipping experience, it is important to be properly prepared. There will be similar laws to ship a car to the USA from Canada, though US customs will vary from Canadian customs.

    The Vehicle

    Not every vehicle can be imported into Canada. There is a registrar of imported vehicle admissibility list that will detail which makes and models can legally be imported into Canada. Several vehicles may need to have modifications once they are imported in order to pass the inspection requirements. Depending on the vehicle, the modifications may need to be made at the dealer, such as for Mercedes-Benz. Other vehicles can be modified at local repair shops. See about locating a vehicle history report just to ensure that there are no liens on the car, it is not stolen or has been in an accident. It is also necessary to determine if there is a safety recall, as this will pose a problem if the recall is has not been taken care of.

    Necessary Paperwork

    Many times a customs broker will take care of all of the paperwork. This can make the entire process easy. However, it is possible to do this yourself. The following are required:

    • VIN number
    • Insurance papers
    • Registration
    • Title documents
    • Recall clearance letter
    • Statement of compliance label
    • Sales receipts
    • Vehicle import form 1
    • Federal inspection form 2

    The vehicle import form will be given to you at the Canadian border. You can fill it out there or bring it home and fax it in. Once the import form is received, the federal inspection form is sent to you within 10 days. Modifications need to be made and the inspection will need to be completed within 45 days. Before the car arrives it will be necessary to fax a copy of the vehicle title to the border crossing. This will need to be sent 72 hours in advance. Make sure to call before leaving to ensure they have the paperwork.


    There are fees associated with importing a car. Normally $195 and GST is charged. If the vehicle is being imported into Quebec, then an additional QST will be added onto the fee. GST is normally 5% of the value. Other possible fees include the air conditioning excise tax of $100, a high emissions excise tax which depends on the vehicle emissions and a duty if the vehicle was not built in North America. This additional duty is normally 6.1% of the value. Be aware that Canadian customs does not accept cash payments. They only will accept credit cards.

    The Last Steps

    If any modifications need to be made, then this should occur within 45 days after passing through customs. Have the car inspected and send in the federal inspection form. Once this paperwork is filed it is possible to register the vehicle. When registering it, it will be necessary to pay the sales tax on the vehicle.