How to Import a Motorcycle to Canada from USA

canada borderExporting a motorcycle from the United States to Canada is becoming a challenge! You would think that all you need to do is ride north over the 49th parallel. Government bureaucracies on both sides of the border are regulating the exportation and importation of the motorcycles. A pro is needed to guide you through the process, as there is no one web site explaining the rules and setting out the documentation procedures. I would recommend a motorcycle shipping company to assist with the process. As best I can, I will attempt to explain the process and advise the procedure.

US Customs and Border protection (USCBP) is the gate-keeper on the US side of the border ensuring export compliance. USCBP requires submission of the US title a minimum of 72 hours prior to export. This title must be submitted to the appropriate border crossing that you intend exporting through. Different border crossings have different requirements for title submission (i.e. Blaine, WA requires a worksheet along with a copy of the title and bill of sale to be emailed to them whereas Port Huron, MI requires only the VIN number and vehicle description be emailed to them.)

In addition to the title submission requirement, U.S. Census Bureau (Census) published new export reporting requirements under the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) in the Federal Register that become effective April 5, 2014. Specifically, Census is requiring mandatory filing of export information through the Automated Export System (AES). Once filed, a Census ITN number is issued and this number needs to be presented to USCBP at the port of export.

Once USCBP is satisfied that you have complied with the export procedures, they will stamp your title (don’t forget you need to arrive with the original title) and you are on your way to deal with the Canadian bureaucracy.

Transport Canada through the RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) governs the admissibility of vehicles into Canada. They issue an admissibility list, which you should review prior to the importation of your motorcycle into Canada. Motorcycles that are inadmissible will not be allowed into Canada. I recommend you check out RIV’s list here. If the motorcycle is admissible, taxes are payable to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) based on the declared value of your motorcycle. A Form 1 will be issued and a Form 2 needs to be ordered from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles once a fee has been paid. These documents will be needed to register your motorcycle in Canada.

Once you are through the border you are home free to enjoy your new acquisition but I recommend you save yourself the bother next time, hire a motorcycle shipping company to do all the leg work for you. They are the pros and their fees are well worth the dollars spent!

4 thoughts on “How to Import a Motorcycle to Canada from USA”

  1. I just last week paid for a new bike located in Wa state. I was planning to go pick it up in January. I made a similar purchase a few years ago and it went very well so I thought all would be well now also. But now I see the new bike is not permitted by Transport Canada. It’s a brand new, un-ridden motorcycle. What the heck can I do?

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