Camper Van in Both U.S. and Canada

Fall 2016 CSANews Issue 100  |   Posted date : Sep 28, 2016.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Our Roadtrek 2008 is owned equally by an American citizen and a Canadian citizen. It’s licensed in Arizona and fully insured for both of us and for both countries. My question: do I have to import it into Canada when it spends about six months in each country (as do I). The approx. time intervals in the U.S. – 100 days; four trips to the U.S. over the summer of about five days' duration each, then another 60 days until year end. While in Canada, it is not used on a daily basis, perhaps a few hours a week only.

Thank you for your opinion on this question.

Gabriola, BC

Response :
Ed.: Yes, it would need to be imported into Canada. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) looks at your residency, as opposed to your citizenship. If your permanent residence is in Canada, it would be necessary to import the vehicle into Canada.

According to CBSA, you are only allowed to bring temporarily into Canada a vehicle for the purpose of transporting your household or personal effects into or out of Canada (for up to 30 days). In all other circumstances, if you buy, lease, rent or borrow a vehicle while outside of Canada, Transport Canada and border services legislation does not allow you to bring a vehicle into Canada for your personal use, even temporarily, unless it meets all Transport Canada requirements and you pay the duty and federal taxes that apply.

One other thing of interest is that, if you tried to cross into Canada with a U.S.-registered vehicle, they may not allow you entry and could seize the vehicle. I had a U.S.-registered car, which I personally owned, stalled at the border for two weeks in exactly those circumstances.

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