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Old 03-17-2019, 08:24 AM
maclaveau's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hubbards, NS
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Importing a car from the US


I am looking at a mid-70's MB in the US and was wondering if anyone has any recent experience importing a car into Canada? I would like to drive the car cross country and handle the border crossing myself rather than use an importer (not sure if this is even possible).


W115 1975 300D "Geraldine"
W115 1976 300D parts/tutorial car
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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Car is more than 15 years old so not usually not a problem. You of course go directly to the American customs office before going to Canada customs. At Canada customs you will be charged the air conditioning fee of 100.00. Working or not if it has it. Car was made in Germany so probably still six percent duty on what you paid. They will charge the federal portion of the gst.

The provincial portion when you register it in Canada. The paperwork for the car has to be at the American border crossing point. Either 24 or 48 hours before you arrive. It has been quite awhile since I imported one but things probably have not changed much. Except American customs want more copies of the paperwork since then.

I can think of nothing to caution you about. American customs in my cases just wanted to verify that the vin number was the same. Plus they had enough time with the paperwork to do a quick check on the status of the title. The one time I did not have the paperwork at American customs in time. Do make certain the vin number matches the paperwork needless to say.

I just drove to Canada customs. Paid the fees and drove home. Then drove the car back down to American customs a few days later after dropping off the paperwork. There are Canada customs hot lines to verify that nothing has changed. Yet a check for any recient changes is always advisable. for example it is not far past the start of the year when changes are usually enacted..

The hundred dollar air conditioning surcharge does apply or did in my case based on if the car had air conditioning when new.Plus working or not. So I believe even if the compressor was not present you are likely to get stuck for that.

Do not try to take a licence plate with you. Make sure the state you are buying from does issue temporary permits. Some like Maryland they have to be issued by a car dealer. It is very difficult in my experience. I know this is not typical though.

Make sure you have some type of insurance certificate for the vehicle before you leave. Perhaps easier than trying to get something faxed to you from the cars location. I cautioned on the plate because they do not like or have similar laws like we do in that you can put a plate of yours on a car for up to seven days or whatever. It usually went very smooth in the cases of mine.

I was stopped by the police in New Bruinswick. In New Jersey the location of the temporary permit does not comply with where New Brunswick wanted it. Was not a big issue or fine.

I was always fortunate in the drives home to have no trouble. Except with the car from New Jersey where it was a week before Christmas and I ran into pretty bad weather. I thought initially I could outrun it but it turned out otherwise.

Car actually did well with no snow tires until a certain point was reached. Too much ice on the top of hills for anyone to continue driving. Could not reach a motel so car idled all night for very little fuel. Even at a constant low idle lots of heat was present. I was not sure the car would do that. Middle of nowhere stuck with a lot of other cars and trucks using a big vacant lot.

You are farther into Nova scotia than I am. If there is anything you need going through my area do not hesitate to call. We are perhaps at best five miles off the trans Canada highway. In the Amherst area. I will PM my phone numbers.

Sounds like a nice potential adventure. We have a grandson in Oregon. I have always thought a trip out there to get a car might be interesting.

No need that comes to mind to need imporation help like a broker. To me it was very straightforward.

Last edited by barry12345; 03-17-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mississauga, Canada
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importing car fm USA to Canada

A couple of years ago another hurdle was added. A new information-filing requirement called Automated Export System (AES) was introduced.
Have an article from the Toronto Star about this.
Barry, if you send me your email address I will send you a copy.

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