Problems in importing a car

Spring 2012 CSANews Issue 82  |   Posted date : May 05, 2012.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear bird talk,

We live in BC and winter in California. we purchased a used car here in CA and are planning on driving it back to BC this year. We do not want to land it in BC, as we will be driving it back to California in October. we have the title and proof that we paid California sales tax.... wondering if we will have any problems crossing the border.

Garry Evans
South Surrey, BC

Response :
Ed: You will definitely have problems. Canada Customs will assume that you are importing the car, period. Then there will be import fees and the evil HST (or PST and GST) will be applied, as well as duty of, usually, 6% if the car was manufactured outside of the NAFTA zone (Canada, U.S. and Mexico). It is very easy to import a car to Canada, but it does get expensive and you must notify the border at least 72 hours before crossing. You might get a customs officer who is asleep and who does not notice your U.S. plates, but I would not depend on that. It also gets tricky should you get the car in to Canada (by mistake), as provinces have very short time frames that require residents to register any vehicle in the province.

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