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Importing automobiles into Canada from the USA

Expert: Mario Cywinski

Salman asked:

i am working in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I am planning to buy and bring a car from USA to Canada, What taxes do i need to pay for this car?

Who should i contact to know the taxes?

Mario Cywinski answered:

To answer your question we consulted the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and their 'Importing a Car into Canada' manual.

First, you need to find out if your automobile is even allowed to be imported, you can check this by visiting the US Vehicle admissibility page at: In turn, the automobile must pass through customs, which will see if the car is allowed to be in Canada.

Next you must register the car with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program, you can pick up the needed paper work from a CBSA office. The cost of the RIV program is $206.70 in every province apart from Quebec where it is $222.21.

Another thing to consider is that your car may not be made up to Canadian automobile standards, if it does not, you are given 45 days to make it street legal in Canada according to Transport Canada regulations. If you fail to do this in the allotted time, you will not be able to license your automobile.

When it comes to costs, as mentioned you will need to pay the RIV program fee, as well as the GST on your gross purchase amount of the automobile, before any discounts such as trade in value were subtracted. Also if your automobile has A/C you will need to pay a $100 excise tax. Finally, if your automobile was not manufactured in the USA or Mexico it will face duty fees.

Further fees might be assessed by provincial governments as well as licensing offices.

If you require further information, please contact one of the following numbers:

  • Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
    405 The West Mall
    Toronto ON M9C 5K7
    Telephone: 1-888-848-8240, (toll free in Canada and the United States)
    416-626-6812 (all other countries)
    Fax: 1-888-346-8235
    Web site:
  • Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation Directorate, Transport Canada
    Place de Ville, Tower C, 8th floor
    330 Sparks Street, Ottawa ON K1A 0N5
    Telephone: 1-800-333-0371 (toll free in Canada and the United States)
    613-998-8616 (all other countries)
    Fax: 613-998-4831
    Web site:

About the author

Mario Cywinski was the Assistant Editor of and a graduate of Humber College's Journalism Program. Mario is currently the Managing Editor for Canadian Automotive Fleet and Fleet Vans and Trucks magazines, and is a member of AJAC. He has also worked for Trajan Publishing Corporation as a copy editor, and interned at ABC News, OMNI Television and Global TV.

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