Importing Cars from the US to Canada: Everything You Must Know

Importing Cars from the US to Canada: Everything You Must Know

Many people in Canada love US-manufactured cars. The question of whether or not you should import a car from the US depends upon your taste in cars, affordability, and the type and model of the car. 

You must know about all the basic things involved in importing cars to the US. Here are some of the most important things you must know. 

  • The Current Canadian Exchange Rate

Since the exchange rate keeps changing, you must be aware of it. Keep looking for an opportune moment when the exchange rate is in your favor. 

  • Import Duties and Taxes On the Vehicle

Import duties and taxes may vary depending on the type of car you are importing and its model. 

  • Safety Standards 

Canada’s much stricter safety standards are very strict. Make sure that the car you are importing follows Canada’s safety and other standards. 

The vehicle that’s being imported must satisfy all government border agencies, such as Transport Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada Border Service Agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

  • Admissibility

You can only import cars that are admissible in Canada. If you want to know what cars you can and can’t import you can take a look at the official list of Transport Canada. Admissibility depends on many factors such as the car’s age, model, electronic immobilization systems, etc. 

  • Documentation

Whenever you are importing a car from the US to Canada, whether temporarily or permanently, make sure that all documentation is complete and accurate. All information, such as title, recall clearance letters, export certificates, and compliance statements must be there. 

  • The Year of the Car Being Imported

Strict federal inspection is required on certain cars, for instance, ones that are under 15 years old. This is to make sure that the cars meet Canada’s legal and safety standards.

  • Importing a Vehicle Temporarily

Yes, you can temporarily import a car from the United States to Canada if you need to. Canada and the US offer this service to visitors and tourists. If a vehicle doesn’t satisfy Canada’s safety measures it can still be temporarily imported with the help of a special import declaration. 

Such vehicles are also exempt from RIV registration. However, these vehicles can only be used by diplomats, US or Canadian armed forces, and temporary residents.

  • ITN/AES Number

Every time you import a car from the US to Canada you must have a Canada ITN number. The AES, which stands for Automated Export System, applies to all exports over $2,500.00. 

Export information for vehicles must be filed prior to export. The ITN/AES number, along with other required documents must reach the crossing 72 hours prior. 


Importing cars from the US can and cannot be a good idea, depending on what vehicle you are importing. Canada has a specified list of vehicles that you cannot import. 

You must be aware of all the legal import requirements before you proceed, for instance, the safety standards of the car. 

It is better to seek help from a professional customs brokerage service when importing cars because otherwise, it is a very complicated process. 

Johnny Graver

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