Import sidecar rig into canada

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by 81twins, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. 81twins

    81twins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta
    I have posted this in regional forum but thought someone in this forum may have some info. I am familiar with the process of importing a sidecar rig and motorcycle that has been registered in the US into Canada using the RIV process. What I am not familiar with is if someone takes a bike from Canada and has Claude in the east or Jay in the west install a tub... what am I going to run into with canadian customs. Has anyone done one of these types of imports and can they advise what is needed?
    #1
  2. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,435
    Location:
    Same trailer, different park, FL
    Does Canada have different registration/licensing requirements for a sidecar rig?
    If not, how would they know at the border?
    My registration here in FL just shows the bike for what it is. I did add the value of the car to my insurance under accessory coverage.
    #2
  3. 81twins

    81twins Adventurer

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    Dec 21, 2005
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    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta
    There is no special registration for a sidecar rig in Canada. It is registered and licensed as a motorcycle. As far as customs being aware... When we return to Canada.. customs will ask if you have had any repairs or made any additions to your vehicle. I guess a rider could deny any additions such as a sidecar has been added... but then they may risk the loss of the machine or at the very least a substantial fine if the deception came to light. On normal purchases we may pay a 5% goods and service tax on goods produced in the US and so risking a tub or a substantial amount of cash to avoid a 250.00 tax bill seems impractical.
    #3
  4. 81twins

    81twins Adventurer

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    Dec 21, 2005
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    Lethbridge, Alberta
    For general information.... I have received an answer to this question from another source. An individual can take their canadian registered motorcycle to the US and have a sidecar installed. Returning to canada they can pay GST and bring it home. My question was was as a result of finding that modifications to motorcycles may affect ones ability to bring the bike home as it may no longer meet the canadian regs... but an installed sidecar is considered an accessory and as such has no effect on the status of the bike. This info is not in the RIV or the Customs websites and can only be accessed in a manual that is in the customs border stations.
    #4
  5. M37cdn

    M37cdn Adventurer

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    I brought a sidecar back into Canada no problem.... without a VIN # there is no need for RIV... just pay the HST at the border
    #5
  6. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    Sep 26, 2008
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    1,109
    We had a customer who we finished up thier R1200GS rig last week. When they went to take it into Canadian customs they would not allow them to do so as the inspector considered it a modified vehicle. She insisted on speaking with a supervisor as we told her it would not be an issue. The supervisor looked it up in a book as this information is not on line. The book specificly said that sidecars are exempt. For some reason they also wanted our NAFTA registration number which we provided however they should not have needed. They also wanted to see on the paper work made in America, Our paper work said hand crafted in America which they said is not right but they would allow it. Once they had this the sidecar went through Canadian customs no problem with the only thing owed was the GST.
    If the sidecar can not be removed and the bike taken back to stock then you would not be able to import it into Canada.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    #6
  7. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    If it helps, I brought the sidecar rig (that I bought from Jay at DMC) into Canada no problem. I was pretty nervous about it, for the very reasons Jay outlined above. We had a fellow Manitoban get absolutely screwed at the border trying to import a Trike converted in the Minneapolis area. He was forced to demodify the trike (a Goldwing I understand) back to a motorcycle to import it! What helps is if the TOD (registration) identifies the rig as a motorcycle. The TOD I had from Washington State identified the bike as such, and I had seperate bills of sale for the motorcycle and sidecar. I think this made all the difference in the world in my case.

    As an aside (but related), here in Manitoba we have government vehicle insurance (MPI), and we must declare a motorcycle as being modified with sidecar installed, and it is noted on our registration.
    #7
  8. Phurray

    Phurray n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
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    Location:
    East Coast Canada
    My experience was similiar to GreatwhiteNorth and M37Cdn.
    Took the bike to Claude at Freedom Sidecars, left it there and went back to pick it up when sidecar installation was complete.
    Declared value of sidecar on re-entry to Canada and paid the GST. When I got home I paid the provincial sales tax.
    No questions at border other than value.
    Regards,
    Phurray
    #8