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  • Importing a race car from the US to Canada

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking for information on importing a race car from the United States. The cars I'm looking at are currently registered in their respective states with titles/ownerships. I've been digging around the weeb and am frankly confused as to what I need to do.

    If someone here has recently gone through this exercise and would be willing to share their experience, that would be a big help. Links to pertinent info are also appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  • #2
    Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

    Hi if the car is registered with a title you are importing a motor vehicle like any other so must follow those rules .Depending on the year there are many different classes.
    In order to import it as a racing vehicle it must not be able to be certified for road use and be a dedicated racing car I.e full tube chassis,or enough chages that it would be imposible to convert back to road use.

    Bryce

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    • #3
      Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

      I brought in an E36 a couple of years ago. It, in theory, could have been a street car again, but I brought it in with the intention of that never happening. In order to avoid the RIV fee, you need to prove it's a race car. If the car has an SCCA log book, that helps. I also got a letter from someone that the vendor knew at the administration level, on letterhead, stating that the car was a racecar, and had emission-control systems removed from the car. That was sufficient to avoid the RIV fee. iirc, that fee is minimal anyway.

      But, the import process was easy-peasy. The ownership has to be at the border crossing 3 business days prior to the car leaving the US. I had the ownership couriered to me, and I brought it there myself. They CAN work with a faxed copy though. They do a search to see if there are any liens on the car. Assuming it's clear, when you get there with the car, they go look to see if the VIN matches and that's it.

      On the Canadian side, since it's a "racecar" there is no RIV fee, and be sure to tell them the A/C has been pulled or you'll have to pay the A/C tax, even if it is "racecar". Pay the tax (full HST) on the amount that's on your receipt, and your printed kijiji ad (or where ever you found it) and it matches the amount of the money transfer that you sent the vendor, and you're done.

      I was expecting something far more complicated. But, it took me about 1/2 hour total, including the US side and the Canadian side. Canadian side didn't even go look at the car.

      PM or email for any other questions and some helpful hints.
      Geoff

      Toll Free: (877) 366-3487

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      • #4
        Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

        We need to know some things first

        Is it a newer car
        Is it a road car or a race car
        Is it manufactured in the states or is it an import from overseas
        What state will it be from
        Is it a car that can't be titled ie a flood victim
        Is it a classic car
        will you be driving it back or having it shipped to the border
        will it be shipped across the border

        there are differences for each one.
        Pat McDermott
        OSCC.

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        • #5
          Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

          I'm looking at a couple of Volvo rally cars:

          http://www.specialstage.com/classifieds/show-ad/?id=850

          http://www.specialstage.com/forums/s...-242-Rally-Car

          Thanks,

          Jeff

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          • #6
            Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

            You need to go through RIV, as the cars are road legal and need to be road legal for rally. Shouldn't really be a problem though. Just stop at Canada customs and fill out the paperwork and pay the taxes.

            Sorry about your Volvo problem, I suffer from the same issues
            Last edited by GordRoss; 11-13-2012, 01:05 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

              When importing any car from the US to Canada there is a significant line in the sand:

              If the car is less than 15 years old (measured at the month of manufacture) then it has to go through the RIV and all of the rules that go with it. The RIV website is very comprehensive with clear checklists of what to do. If the car is less than 15 years old then go there for all of your info.

              If the car is more than 15 years old it DOES NOT go through RIV. It is a straight importation that goes like this:

              1. Surrender copy of original US title to US customs 72 hours before border crossing. Note only Queenston/Lewiston has vehicle importations now.

              2. Take the car to US customs where you will surrender the original title and they will give you some stamped papers. At that time US customs will look the car over to confirm that the VIN matches the paperwork

              3. Go to Canadian customs (100 yards down the road) and show them the US paper. They will have you fill out an importation form and will likely want to see the car. At that time you will have to pay the following
              -HST on the sale price of the car converted to CDN. Have proof of what you paid because customs is really suspicious of underdeclaring and will make your life hard
              - 6.1% import duty if the car is not made in Can,US, or Mexico. I think that there is a 25 year exemption to this where cars older than this do not pay.
              -$100 A/C tax if the car has it

              4. Once this is done you will be given a paper that you take to the MTO to have the car registered. At the MTO regular rules apply and you will need a safety and e-test (if the car is new enough)

              If the car is not to be plated then you can avoid all the steps and just declare the car as for off road use and you will need to pay the taxes and duties as per #3. Note that if the customs agent feels the car can be made a road car again they will make your life HARD. I've seen people have trouble importing formula cars so a converted Volvo may be a challenge.

              With customs it is a new story every day so do your homework and you will be fine. I have imported lots of cars (newer, older, classic, race) and have never had a problem because my papers were in order.

              Good luck with it and in truth it is very simple indeed. No need to do your head in.
              2015 Radical Canada Cup Champion
              2014 GT Challenge ST2 Champion
              2013 CASC Formula Libre Champion

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                I've brought several cars back and honestly the US step is not necessary. They are checking to see if the car is stolen, CARFAX does that.

                Canadian Customs doesn't care about any US paperwork other than the bill of sale and title. I've always had the easiest time crossing at Fort Erie. Canada Customs has always been on top of things there.

                Up to you as to whether you stop in the US or not. It's a bit like speeding, decide how much risk you are comfortable with.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                  Go to the RIV.ca website and they should answer all your questions.

                  FWIW I imported 2 cars a couple years ago and found the best place to cross is Detroit. They accept a copy of the title faxed 72 hours prior to crossing, and if they can't find the fax when you get there they will accept your fax receipt as proof you sent it, obviously with the title in hand at the same time. Most importantly, they are 24/7. So 72 hrs after you send the title copy, you can cross. Some crossings require the original, and most are only open Mon- Fri 9-5. So if you get there Fri at 5:30 pm, your car sits until Monday. If you send the title on a Fri, cant cross until Wed. 72 hrs is THEIR business hours Not a problem in Detroit. I brought a Z06 over at around midnight, no wait, no hassle.

                  I believe the RIV fee is about $225, and you only pay the federal sales tax for cars newer than 15 years when you cross. The Provincial parts comes when/if you register it. The RIV fee also covers the federal inspection if it's required ( Canadian Tire is the only place to get that done iirc).

                  As mentioned before, it's actually quite easy. Google it and you'll get a tonne of info. You can actually call the US Border office and talk to a physical person too, the numbers are on the RIV site.

                  Go for it.
                  If you're short of everything but the enemy, you're in combat.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                    Originally posted by nbs2005 View Post
                    Those are both good cars, and both sellers have a good reputation on TurboBricks.
                    The Man's Prayer:
                    "I'm a man, but I can change ... if I have to ... I guess!"

                    "I'm so old that when I hear the word "Spandex" I think of watch bracelets."


                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                      Originally posted by nbs2005 View Post
                      Jeff. There was a post on TurboBricks that the Targa 245 went to Ontario, So was it you?
                      The Man's Prayer:
                      "I'm a man, but I can change ... if I have to ... I guess!"

                      "I'm so old that when I hear the word "Spandex" I think of watch bracelets."


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                      • #12
                        Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                        Originally posted by John Powell View Post
                        Jeff. There was a post on TurboBricks that the Targa 245 went to Ontario, So was it you?
                        With the current proposed rule change for G5, I am not sure I would pursue a Volvo Turbo.

                        I love them but the new national 2wd class doesn't allow turbo's over 2.0L.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                          I'm not all that up on Rally rules, but Tony's Targa 245 is somewhere in Ontario. I don't know where the other Volvo went.
                          The Man's Prayer:
                          "I'm a man, but I can change ... if I have to ... I guess!"

                          "I'm so old that when I hear the word "Spandex" I think of watch bracelets."


                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                            Originally posted by GordRoss View Post
                            I've brought several cars back and honestly the US step is not necessary. They are checking to see if the car is stolen, CARFAX does that.

                            Canadian Customs doesn't care about any US paperwork other than the bill of sale and title. I've always had the easiest time crossing at Fort Erie. Canada Customs has always been on top of things there.

                            Up to you as to whether you stop in the US or not. It's a bit like speeding, decide how much risk you are comfortable with.
                            I agree.......when you stop at the USA side, it is to simply let them know you are exporting the car from their country. If it will never be a road going car in the USA again, the need to "tell them" is diminished.

                            There are different duties/tariffs on the car when you get to Canada, depending on if it will be driven on a public road, or "off road" on a race track. If it is strickly a race car the tax is 5% (at least when I did it), but they had to come out and look at the car and see that it will never go on a public road. Many of the border guards have no clue what to do and will over charge you, because they are familiar with that process. They don't often deal with race cars. If its a race car, you pay the "off road vehicle" tax and away you go.

                            A race car is simply a piece of property, plain and simple, as long as it doesnt go on the public roadway it can be bought and sold without all the RIV stuff.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Importing a race car from the US to Canada

                              If anyone thinks that there are errors in the tariff treatment of their imports, you can always apply to CBSA for a re-assessment. Here's a link to the info if anyone needs it. http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/recourse-...igine-eng.html
                              Last edited by John Powell; 12-05-2012, 12:00 AM.
                              The Man's Prayer:
                              "I'm a man, but I can change ... if I have to ... I guess!"

                              "I'm so old that when I hear the word "Spandex" I think of watch bracelets."


                              sigpic

                              Comment

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