SUPPLEMENT: Our experience on importing a vehicle into CanadaI’ve been asked many questions about our experience on importing our Motorhome so I thought I would give a run-down of our experience:
It was NOT our intention to buy but we did. We traded our fifth-wheel and F350 truck for a Beaver Monterey at McMahon RV Centre in Desert Palm, California. Would we deal with these guys again...NO! Once they had our money, we became a pain to them and had to bug them all the time to complete minor repairs and even then, they didn’t complete them all and our salesman....he disappeared once the sale was complete!
BEFORE doing anything, contact R.I.V. (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) and ensure that the motorhome or vehicle can be imported; don’t assume that any vehicle can be because it is NOT true! Just GOOGLE “R.I.V.”! Also check out the USA Border Service. They have an excellent website and both are easy to follow and understand.
Import into USAThe first thing we had to do is go to Palm Spring airport and IMPORT our truck and trailer and had to phone for an appointment. Both had to be USA Compliant. The trailer was but our truck was not even though it said “Made in USA”, it had the Canadian Import sign. So... I had to contact Ford in Kentucky who referred me to Ford Canada who told me I had to contact a Ford dealership in our home town for a “Letter of Compliance”. We contacted Ford in Kamloops and they told me it would take 10 to 14 days to get the letter...Not acceptable so we contacted a dealer in Salmon arm and got our letter within 72 hours at a cost of $120.( A rip-off we thought)
Once we had that, we went back to the Custom office and imported the truck. Cost $15.
The rest of the paperwork was completed by McMahon. Once all legal, we signed the papers and turned over our money for the Beaver.
Out of State possessionMcMahon made arrangements to have the motorhome driven to the Arizona State line, at their cost, where we met a Notary and signed a notarized “Statement of Delivery outside California” stating that the vehicle was out of California and possession was done in Arizona (no cost to us). The motorhome was finally ours, sort of. We drove to the truck scale down the road on I-10 where we purchased a permit allowing us to drive to Canada, cost: $15. Oh yeah, we also had called our insurance agent in Sorrento and paid for 30 days insurance for the motorhome.
Export from USA and Importing to CanadaNow, at the US border and, BEFORE WE EVEN GOT THERE, we had to fax the “Original Certificate of Title”, the bill of sale and assignment of “Title by Registered owner”, at least 48 hrs before crossing. McMahon looked after all that and we didn’t have to do any of it except to wait for the paperwork to catch up to us as we required the originals; it took 5 working days in total.
Once at the Border, we stopped at the US side and signed more papers but having all the paperwork before hand allowed us a quick exit. Canada, except for the lengthy wait, was also easy. We filled out an “Importation form” and had to pay over $3000 in GST plus $100 in EXCISE TAX. When importing, GST is charged on the WHOLE amount and not the difference.
IN CANADAOnce home, we contacted BEAVER INC. and had a letter of “no recall pending”. We got that within 24 hrs, and e-mailed it to RIV. We were then allowed to download the “Vehicle Inspection Form” from the RIV website. We took the form to Canadian Tire in Salmon Arm. A half hour later and $100 poorer ( we were also charged $9 per tire as an eco tax), we drove to our Insurance agent and after presenting the RIV Inspection and Title of Ownership and Sale contract, we had licenses and insurance but NOT before paying over $5000 in PST. Again, the PST was charged on the full sale price and NOT the difference.
Hope all this help! The whole process was much easier that I thought and I would not hesitate doing it again.