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Feds make it easier to import USA vehicles

The Government of Canada has amended the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to make it easier for Canadians to import vehicles from the USA that are equipped with or can be fitted with an electronic immobilization system. As of September 1, 2007, the regulations require that every new car, van, light truck or SUV built on or after that date, and sold in or imported into Canada, must be equipped with electronic anti-theft immobilizers meeting a defined Canadian standard.

“Our government remains committed to ensuring the safety of Canadians on our roads and highways,” said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “This amendment clarifies the process for importing vehicles from the US with respect to electronic anti-theft immobilization systems.”

The amendment will also allow Transport Canada to immediately begin clearing a backlog of cases involving Canadians who recently purchased certain new US vehicles. These vehicles could not be imported because they were not certified by the manufacturers to meet the Canadian standard for the immobilizers.

US and Canadian Border
At the Canada/USA border between New Brunswick and Maine

Vehicle importation requires important steps be taken. Importing a vehicle from the US to Canada is not as simple as buying a car, driving it to the border and paying some duty, warns Transport Canada. The agency says that there are a number of steps that must be taken and questions that must be answered first.

  • Do you know what makes and models of vehicles can be imported into Canada?
  • Are any modifications required?
  • Is there a recall on that particular vehicle?
  • Does your province have requirements that must be met?
  • What documentation do you need?
  • What duty and taxes must be paid?

Links to information on importation and a list of vehicles that may be imported can be found at Transport Canada’s website safety/importation.

These and other questions need to be dealt with before you bring the car home. So, before you set out, consult the following two contact sites to learn about the steps you must take:

Contact Information

Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
405 The West Mall, Suite 400, Toronto ON  M9C 5K7.
Within North America:  1-888-848-8240 (English and French)
Outside North America: 1-416-626-1803, Online:, E-mail:
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Within Canada: 1-800-461-9999
Outside Canada: 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064, Online:

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