Whether for professional reasons or personal reasons, many people are thinking about relocating to Canada. For people in the United States, this would not be too far-fetched an idea. After all, both countries follow similar laws and speak the same language (for the most part). And the climates are quite similar, so the adjustment would not be too extreme.
But while the two countries are similar in many ways, they are still two different countries and that means moving from one to the other is going to involve lots of Clearit international policies, particularly regarding the transport of your more valuable personal goods; like your car.
Essentially, when you move from the United States to Canada, the transport of your car is treating like importation and that means you have to go through customs to ensure things are done properly. This process works in three stages.
STAGE 1: Pre-Import
Before your import day, you need to make sure that your vehicle is listed in the Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles. If your vehicle does not appear on the list, it might not even be allowed in Canada. The good news, though, is that the vast majority of cars you can buy in the United States will be listed in the CRIV, and thus will pass the necessary certification for import into Canada.
Even if you did buy your car in the US and are most certain it will be listed in the CRIV, you should still check because the CRIV will inform you of the documents you need for import. This includes:
Also, it is important to get familiar with US Customs Export requirements as well as the requirements for entry as described by the Canada Border Service Agency.
STAGE 2: The Day of Import
Since you have been proactive about documentation, you should already have most or all of the required paperwork filled out on the day of your import. However, you want to make sure that give the US Customs Export Agency 72 hours notice of your intention to bring a “self-propelled” vehicle across the border, into Canada. It is a good idea to also inform the Canada Border Services Agency as well, since they will have to assess your duties and taxes.
STAGE 3: Post-Import
After you cross the border, all you have to do is pay your fees. In some cases you may need to fulfill modification requirements before you can legally operate your vehicle in Canada.
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