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    Thread: HOW TO Thread - Importing a car from USA

    1. 06-27-2008 11:36 AM #36
      Quote, originally posted by Zuber Speed »
      How long does it take to get a Recall letter?

      What kind of vehicle? Check with RIV, but a print-out from a dealer on dealer letterhead stating "no open recalls" may suffice.


    2. Member Zuber Speed's Avatar
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      06-27-2008 11:52 AM #37
      Quote, originally posted by chuckDD »

      What kind of vehicle? Check with RIV, but a print-out from a dealer on dealer letterhead stating "no open recalls" may suffice.

      VW

      They said, could take up to 7 business days, but doesnt usually take that long

      I need one by next weekend. If i dont have one by wednesday, then I'll call around at dealers.

      The guy already told me there are no open recalls on the car, i dont see what takes so damn long


    3. 06-27-2008 12:45 PM #38
      Quote, originally posted by Zuber Speed »

      VW

      They said, could take up to 7 business days, but doesnt usually take that long

      I need one by next weekend. If i dont have one by wednesday, then I'll call around at dealers.

      The guy already told me there are no open recalls on the car, i dont see what takes so damn long

      Are you buying privately? Ask the seller to stop by a US dealer and ask for the print out. They might charge him $20 or some token amount, but it's quicker than waiting on the letter from VW Canada.

      From http://www.riv.ca/english/html/recall_clearance.html :

      Quote »

      A recall clearance letter is a document issued by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of your vehicle that states whether or not there are any outstanding recalls on your vehicle. If you are not sure of what a recall is, simply put, it is a safety defect on your vehicle as a result of the original manufacturing process. The OEM is responsible for notifying the last known owner, and fixing the problem normally at their expense. It's best to obtain this information before you import the vehicle to avoid any unnecessary delays.

      The letter must come from the OEM's head office and be written on official company letterhead, duly signed with the name and position of the official at the OEM clearly visible. If the manufacturer's logo is not on the letter it will not be accepted.

      In some cases, we will also accept a printout from an authorized American dealer. If you obtain a printout from an American dealer, you must ensure that they are an authorized dealer and not a re-seller. You can confirm this by calling the head office of the manufacturer and providing them with the location of the dealership in question

      If the printout is from an authorized American dealership, the company stamp must be affixed to the printout. In either case, the 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle in question must be included in the letter.

      If your vehicle does not have any outstanding recalls then the letter should say "this vehicle has no outstanding recalls." This letter must be presented to the RIV department prior to your Vehicle Inspection Form being released.


    4. Member Zuber Speed's Avatar
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      06-27-2008 02:49 PM #39
      Quote, originally posted by chuckDD »

      Are you buying privately? Ask the seller to stop by a US dealer and ask for the print out. They might charge him $20 or some token amount, but it's quicker than waiting on the letter from VW Canada.

      From http://www.riv.ca/english/html/recall_clearance.html :

      Awesome!

      My biggest problem is getting the car home on the weekend. Looks im going to have to make the trek from meeting this guy in Buffalo, driving to port-huron, then back home

      so, because queenston is closed on the weekends, what would have been a one hour drive there and then back...is now, one hour there....9 hours back

      any suggestions?


    5. 06-27-2008 03:57 PM #40
      Quote, originally posted by Zuber Speed »

      Awesome!

      My biggest problem is getting the car home on the weekend. Looks im going to have to make the trek from meeting this guy in Buffalo, driving to port-huron, then back home

      so, because queenston is closed on the weekends, what would have been a one hour drive there and then back...is now, one hour there....9 hours back

      any suggestions?

      Get a cheap hotel in Buffalo on Sunday night, cross over back to Canada 1st thing Monday morning?

      I had the same problem when I brought my 330i back from Connecticut. I ended up staying over in Ogdensburg, NY and hitting the customs office when it opened in the morning.



    6. Member Zuber Speed's Avatar
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      06-27-2008 04:20 PM #41
      tossed up that idea

      time off work is the only concern, and a rather big one

      did you buy your bmw new?

      I think for "bill of sale" I'll just type out a letter that is signed by both parties, as long as it includes names, signatures, dates and VIN, thats all that is necessary


    7. 06-28-2008 11:10 AM #42
      Quote, originally posted by Zuber Speed »
      tossed up that idea

      did you buy your bmw new?

      No. It's an '04, bought in Sept '07. The whole story is here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3440316


    8. Member vee_dubb_ya's Avatar
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      08-16-2008 02:36 PM #43
      Personal experience, 2 times:

      1. summer 2007, bringing a 1983 Caddy across the border at Buffalo: the US let us through with no questions and on the Canadian side they questioned our success at that apparent violation of protocol. "We just left because they told us to". The Canadian side couldn't find the paperwork, and we had to come back the following Monday. It seemed pretty disorganized. On the bright side, Caddy>15 years old = no $196 processing fee, it did have A/C which you get to pay the $100 tax on, even if it doesn't work but we also got it in with no...some tax...because it was built in the US (which shocked the Customs agent) and therefore is exempt under NAFTA . 7% GST paid, if I remember correctly, total bill was something like $160ish.

      2. last week (August 2008). I faxed both the US and Canadian Customs offices at Sault Ste. Marie MI and ON Monday morning from Idaho (1980 Caddy was bought in Spokane, WA but everything was closed Sunday night). I figured it would take me at least 3 days to dolly it back to Ontario with my TDI (and I was right). I got to the Soo, MI US side, and they could not find any trace of the paperwork I had faxed them. My fax confirmation SAVED MY BACON. They saw the correct fax number and admitted it was a slipup, and manually entered the truck information in, and let me through. On the Canadian side it was quick...older than 15 years, no A/C, and "oh, by the way, this guy has been in the US longer than 7 days, can we claim the $700 purchase price as his personal exemption?" "Sure, put it in the system as $0.01". NO TAX paid. Oh, and it didn't hurt it was 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon.

      Summary: if you can, try to use the smaller border crossings, not because they're lax, but because if you're easygoing, then it'll be more pleasant for everyone. That's just my 2c

      2002 TDI Rabbit - 80 Caddy - 81 TD Caddy - 83 Caddy - 84 Rabbit - sǝɹɐnbs ǝɥʇ ǝʌɐs - slowpöks
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    9. Member pefer's Avatar
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      10-02-2008 09:13 PM #44
      Quote, originally posted by vee_dubb_ya »
      Personal experience, 2 times:

      Hi Vee_Dubb_ya,
      I am planning the same, with a car that was made in 81, therefore over the 15 year mark, will I need the so called "recall release letter"?

      Can't find info regarding that on the RIV site, maybe I did not read right...

      edit...
      ooops re-red the entire post, page 1, mtlmark answered my question!

      Excellent thread from BUGS and all who contributed, great info.

      Thanks!
      Alex




      Modified by pefer at 8:21 PM 10-2-2008


    10. Member Bugs's Avatar
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      10-21-2008 09:27 PM #45
      Quote, originally posted by pefer »

      Hi Vee_Dubb_ya,
      I am planning the same, with a car that was made in 81, therefore over the 15 year mark, will I need the so called "recall release letter"?

      Can't find info regarding that on the RIV site, maybe I did not read right...

      edit...
      ooops re-red the entire post, page 1, mtlmark answered my question!

      Excellent thread from BUGS and all who contributed, great info.

      Thanks!
      Alex


      Modified by pefer at 8:21 PM 10-2-2008

      good chance I will be re-using my own info again soon.. too bad the canadian dollar isnt as favorable this time

      Glad it's helped!

      (o)\_|_/(o) 1974 Standard Beetle | 2014 Triumph Thruxton | 20006 GMC Sierra RCSB | 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited –OlllllllO-

    11. 02-22-2009 06:05 PM #46
      would it be possible to import a mk6 from europe?

    12. 02-24-2009 11:30 AM #47
      Quote, originally posted by MASSIV GTI »
      would it be possible to import a mk6 from europe?

      Anything is possible if you bribe the right people. But otherwise, no.

      From http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/safevehicles/importation/other-than/index.htm :

      Quote »

      The illegal importation of a motor vehicle into Canada is a criminal offense. Inadmissible vehicles will be denied entry into Canada and will be detained. All storage and disposal fees are the responsibility of the importer.

      Please read the following carefully.

      VEHICLES PURCHASED OUTSIDE CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES

      The Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Regulations require that all vehicles imported into Canada comply, at the time of importation, with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in effect on the date the vehicle was manufactured. Vehicles manufactured for sale in countries other than Canada and the United States do not comply with the requirements of the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act, CANNOT be altered to comply and CANNOT be imported into Canada. The only exceptions to this rule are vehicles fifteen (15) years old or older as determined by the month and year in which the vehicle was manufactured and buses manufactured before January 1, 1971.

      Vehicles acquired in foreign countries other than the U.S. and designed, built, tested and certified to meet either all applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or all applicable United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and bearing a statement of compliance label affixed by the original manufacturer, as required by the Regulations, may be eligible for importation into Canada provided the vehicle has not been altered and the certification from the original manufacturer is maintained, which may be subject to verification at the time of importation. A vehicle imported under these conditions will be subject to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles program which may be accessed at the following web site: http://www.riv.ca.

      Please contact Transport Canada, Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation Directorate, at 1-613-998-8616 for further information.


    13. 03-04-2009 09:58 PM #48
      If anyone has any questions or is getting problems with importing please feel free to email me. We imported numerous Delta Lancias and Golf's Rallye's into Toronto and not to mention yorkdale size parking lot worth of exotics. I will be more then glad to help you.

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      03-18-2009 06:32 PM #49
      A couple months ago I imported my '04 R32 without any problems. I went through Lewiston. I spent maybe 5 minutes on the U.S. side, around 10 minutes in Canada at Customs.
      Why is everyone who drives slower than me an idiot, and everyone who drives faster a maniac?

    15. Member Bugs's Avatar
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      03-18-2009 07:35 PM #50
      any additional steps needed for the R32 since it was it previously wasnt allowed into Canada?


      I hope to import my second US car at the end of next 2010. You sir, beat me to it


      Modified by Bugs at 6:42 PM 3-18-2009

      (o)\_|_/(o) 1974 Standard Beetle | 2014 Triumph Thruxton | 20006 GMC Sierra RCSB | 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited –OlllllllO-

    16. Member r32argent's Avatar
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      03-22-2009 09:41 AM #51
      Quote, originally posted by Bugs »
      any additional steps needed for the R32 since it was it previously wasnt allowed into Canada?


      I hope to import my second US car at the end of next 2010. You sir, beat me to it


      Modified by Bugs at 6:42 PM 3-18-2009


      No extra steps -- I just followed the instructions on the RIV and Customs' websites for any other admissible vehicle (pretty much the same as described in this thread).

      Since I have OEM HIDs, I'd disabled my DRLs. Before I left the U.S. I modded some wiring to have a couple LEDs work as DRLs.

      Anywhoo, if the R's stock you won't have to worry about it.

      Aside: For some reason Canada Customs at Queenston-Lewiston couldn't look up my R's trade-in/resale value on their computers. I wonder how long that will last.


      Modified by r32argent at 8:45 AM 3-22-2009

      Why is everyone who drives slower than me an idiot, and everyone who drives faster a maniac?

    17. Member mushroom_curry's Avatar
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      03-22-2009 04:09 PM #52

      When you're importing a vehicle they open a file that remains valid for X number of days, correct?

      What if you have no intention of registering the car in your name and driving it? (ie: a totaled parts car you trailer home)

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    18. 05-11-2009 01:28 AM #53
      whats the talk about the Electronic Immobilizer System? As i understand, cas manufactured after sept 1, 2007 have these built in.

      Im looking to get a '05 350z, and i guess it wont be equipped with one. Will i need to get this EIS installed to get it imported? or its only required for cars that were manufactured after sept 1, 2007 that did not come with it?

      also whats the duty tax on cars made in japan?


      Modified by val@illicitvw at 1:11 AM 5-11-2009


    19. Member Drehkraft's Avatar
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      05-23-2009 07:15 PM #54
      Quote, originally posted by mushroom_curry »

      When you're importing a vehicle they open a file that remains valid for X number of days, correct?

      What if you have no intention of registering the car in your name and driving it? (ie: a totaled parts car you trailer home)

      You can declare it as a "parts" vehicle. The VIN will be recorded and never able to get it registered later....I did this on a wrecked scirocco.

      Cheap, fast, reliable - Pick your two!

    20. 06-02-2009 01:29 PM #55
      Wow,

      What an awesome thread. I am new to the Vortex and wanted to say thanks for putting this info together. It has saved me a ton of time and guess work!

      I am in the process of importing an '05 A6 that I am buying off ebay.

      So far everything with the car checks out ... the tip on getting an independent 3rd party to take the pics really helped. It took alot of the worry out of buying a car with stone chips, hidden problems etc.

      The ebay Carfax report was pretty impressive for a free report, but I still had the another check done by someone I trust.
      1 owner, regular service, nothing stood out.

      I put down a small deposit and am waiting to drive the car and do a physical inspection at the border before I complete the sale with the dealer.

      Right now I am waiting for the Recall letter and working on getting confirmation that the border (Detroit) has received the Title Docs.

      I am hoping to bring the car over the border this Sat... I will keep everyone updated if I run into an hitches anyone should know about.


      Modified by cwjstone at 11:45 AM 6-2-2009


      Modified by cwjstone at 12:11 PM 6-2-2009


    21. 06-10-2009 12:03 AM #56
      Just a couple of updates. Port Huron is closed from noon friday to Monday at 8am.
      The 72 hours does not include saturday or Sunday.
      You must have the original title and any original letters of lein release for US and Canada Customs. It is a good idea to print the Fax transmittal roll and have it with you.
      The Recall letter is required by RIV not Customs.
      NAFTA cars are exempt of duty- anything made outside is subject to duty. A "W" GTI(german manuf.) is 6%. Plus $100 air tax plus GST on the total of these and RST at the DLO Total of 19%!!!!
      You must have a bill of sale for Canada customs or declared a high price else you will have a difficult time with the customs inspectors confirming the purchase price including contacting the seller.
      Not all CTC are authorized to do the federal inspection. Ask!
      It is good to make a recall letter part of your original deal so if the car is subject to a campaign it can be booked into the dealer while you are waiting for the 72 hours. Not al Cdn divisiions will do the recalls on a US car.
      VW warrants up to 08 without any question. They will not warrant US 09s. The exception seems to be with exteneded warranty.
      DON"T USE CHEAPOAIR!!! Book direct with an airline . Its usually cheaperand always less stressful.

    22. 07-21-2009 10:41 AM #57
      I bought my '05 R6 last year in Boston. Had an excellent ride back, other then a sore ass.
      The US customs were great, no problems at all, but the Canadian side gave me huge problems when they couldn't believe the price I paid for it. Even with the bill of sale, they wanted to contact the owner and speak to him dirrectly just to double check on the price.

      They held me for about 30min.

      I tried my best to help them understand how I found this bike and why the person sold it to me at that price (rich, didn't care about the price, took the cash i offered).
      They couldn't get in touch with the seller, but they noticed I was very respectful and explained everything in detail. At the end they began to be very friendly and cool about everything.

      Overall I had a smooth transaction,

      But I never received the letter from Yamaha US untill I was in Canada with the bike, no one asked for it at the border. It did take 4 weeks though!!


    23. 07-22-2009 04:10 PM #58
      yeah the canadian side sure does ask a lot of questions...like where i found the car...and the specific web page...how and when i contacted the seller...im thinking they are flipping the information to marketeers or finding out ways to make more money themselves on the import business.


      Modified by ST33LR4T at 3:12 PM 7-22-2009

    24. 08-27-2009 08:51 AM #59
      its the gov't - they are always trying to find ways to make money of us

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      10-13-2009 03:20 PM #60
      Quote, originally posted by Bugs »
      Before

      - Get dealership to fax title (both sides) to you, so that you can fax it to the U.S. border crossing at least 72h in advance of coming back.

      I'm wondering - are you saying that you can do this before the sale? I've heard that some border crossings will only accept original documents (no faxes), let alone a faxed title that presumably doesn't have your name on it yet as the owner.

      The riv.ca website says that "You will need to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with your vehicle title documents, registration and sales receipts at least 72 hours prior to export." I dont' see how this can be done before the sale.

      Anyways, I might be doing this soon, so I was hoping you could clarify your comments - other than that, your checklist has been a huge help


    26. Member Bugs's Avatar
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      10-13-2009 10:20 PM #61
      Quote, originally posted by myothercarsaseaking »

      I'm wondering - are you saying that you can do this before the sale? I've heard that some border crossings will only accept original documents (no faxes), let alone a faxed title that presumably doesn't have your name on it yet as the owner.

      The riv.ca website says that "You will need to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with your vehicle title documents, registration and sales receipts at least 72 hours prior to export." I dont' see how this can be done before the sale.

      Anyways, I might be doing this soon, so I was hoping you could clarify your comments - other than that, your checklist has been a huge help


      They require a fax copy 72 hours prior to crossing so they can start paper work. You will require the original paper when you actually cross the border.

      And yes, you will need to have the car signed over to you before you cross.

      I had the deal finished, money wired to the dealer and title put into my name and a copy faxed to the border 72 hours in advance. When i crossed, I gave them the original and all is well

      its a bit of a juggle. You either have to go down and do the deal in person, and go back down later to get the vehicle, OR buy it site unseen

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      10-14-2009 08:53 AM #62
      Thanks a lot for the quick reply. I just called up a border crossing and got more or less the same response.

      The tricky bit is that apparently different crossings will have different requirements. Stupid but true. Some require original documents to be couriered, some will allow copies to be couriered, and some will also accept faxed copies (all 72 hrs before bringing the vehicle across, mind you).

      Oh, and to complicate things even more, the US Customs website specifically says that only the Vehicle Title needs to be sent 72 hrs in advance ... but the border crossing I called says they require the Title and Bill of Sale.

      Anyways, for anybody who's reading this and confused as hell, the moral of the story is:
      1) US Customs agents apparently make their own rules,
      2) There's nothing you can do about it,
      3) You better call ahead to the border crossing you're planning on using and find out what they want and when they want it (you can find the numbers on riv.ca).

      ===============================================

      There's a site that's full of useful information on this subject, but unfortunately its servers seem to be down more often than not. Luckily google has a cached version:
      http://74.125.95.132/search?q=...gl=ca

      ===============================================

      Oh, and for anyone crossing at Houlton/Woodstock in the near future, here's what I found out:
      - They require the Title and Bill of Sale 72 hrs prior to bringing the car across.
      - They "usually only" accept couriered originals (his exact words).


    28. 11-03-2009 12:48 PM #63
      I have owned my car for a year already and I'm wondering if you have to pay the GST if you have owned the car for a length of time and are not importing a brand 'new to you' car. I can't seem to find any information on this. Or do every car have to pay the GST on the invoice price regardless.

      Great thread BTW


    29. Member BennyB's Avatar
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      11-19-2009 10:26 PM #64
      Does anyone have experience bringing a car in for parts? I'd be bringing in an obviouly wrecked car, and will even cut the roof off if necessary. I don't plan on rebuilding the car, I just want the drivetrain.
      I'm pretty sure you still have to export the car on the US side, but what is required on the Canadian side?

    30. Member Crazy Hungarian's Avatar
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      12-15-2009 01:55 PM #65
      Quote, originally posted by BennyB »
      Does anyone have experience bringing a car in for parts? I'd be bringing in an obviouly wrecked car, and will even cut the roof off if necessary. I don't plan on rebuilding the car, I just want the drivetrain.
      I'm pretty sure you still have to export the car on the US side, but what is required on the Canadian side?

      The US side is the same proceedure...fax title in advance blah blah, they stamp the title you're good to go

      The Canadian side its merely a different form to fill out, you pay the same taxes and duty...and if the car has AC you'll still pay the pollution tax for that.
      But then you have none of the follow up, no trip to the MTO to register, no inspection at CTC.
      Pretty easy.
      So yeah, if you've imported, say, a caddy for personal use before, then as far as the border is concerned its same office, different form.


    31. 12-16-2009 12:49 PM #66
      Could someone tell me if you have had your vehicle in the US and had it for some time do you still have to pay taxes on the car if you are moving back to canada and taking the car with you. Is there a time limit you must own your car and not have to pay Canadian taxes on it?

      I ask because I might be buying a new car and moving back to Canada in 6 month so I'm wondering if I would have to pay both US and Canadian taxes. Anyone?


    32. Member ALLROAD VR's Avatar
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      02-17-2010 12:36 PM #67
      What's the closest border crossing in Detroit, Michigan?
      Haters gonna hate.

    33. 02-18-2010 09:53 AM #68
      My guess would be Windsor or Winsor...not sure of spelling

    34. 03-24-2010 05:43 PM #69
      Not sure if anyone still comes here, but if so it would be great.

      I currently live in Canada, however I USED to live in the states. I bought my car while living in the US, and I registered/insured it. Car is a 2003 Audi a4 Avant. It is lowered on coilovers, but mechanically has no add ons done. Just curious if I still need stuff like a bill of sale, or if they need to know prices, etc. Also wanted to know if my suspension modifications will be a problem. Thanks for any/all help!


    35. 03-24-2010 06:01 PM #70
      Not sure about the bill of sale. I would assume they would want the paperwork/receipts when you first bought the car in order to get the proper plates from whatever province you're currently in. From my own experience, they will need to know how much you bought the car for as the price will affect how much tax you pay when crossing the border. The suspension shouldn't be an issue. I brought a lowered dub into Ontario last year and it wasn't a problem.


      Modified by Drake_Orion at 2:18 PM 3-24-2010

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