Importing a bike from the States to Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Duster929, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    20,368
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground

    Hope this helps, good luck. My apologies for spelling... a few beers and typing on a tablet.
  2. MCP

    MCP Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Nanaimo, B.C.
    Thanks for the info.

    The key is having the seller leave the plate on the bike until you get it home.

    If that doesn't work, what about just using a BC plate to get it back & hope you don't get stopped? Any other options?


  3. China2wheels

    China2wheels Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Great Leap Backward
    Unfortunately, no.

    I am a Canadian citizen (born & bred), holding a Canadian passport. But I have been living/working outside Canada for 12 years.

    I had heard that Cdns could not drive USA-registered vehicles into Canada. In fact, I think there is a thread somewhere on advrider about a RTW Canadian (non-resident) who wanted to ride from the continental USA to Alaska as part of his 3 year journey. The border people said "sorry, bike can't come in."

    Anyways, I emailed RIV and their response was the same ...

    Under Section 7(1)(b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA), a motor vehicle may be admitted temporarily into Canada without complying with the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations if it is to be used exclusively by a person entering Canada as a visitor or a person passing through Canada to another country.

    "Visitor" means a person who is not a resident or a temporary resident and who enters Canada for a period not exceeding 12 months.

    If a Canadian citizen is bringing in a vehicle from the U.S. into Canada, they would be required to go through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles program, regardless of the length of time the vehicle is staying in Canada.

    A quick call confirmed that a Canadian citizen, including a non-resident Canadian, will not be considered a "visitor" to Canada.

    Oh well.
  4. Bike Nomad

    Bike Nomad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    382
    Location:
    Central Newfoundland, Canada
    ,
    Gee, they must have made a special exception for me then the seven times I've brought my vehicle across the border from the US to Canada. Once for a period of 11.5 months. Unless the legislation has changed since 2007(the last time I entered Canada with a US registered vehicle) what you posted is wrong. I have a friend who is a superintendent of Canada Customs--I'll forward him this and post up in this thread if anything I wrote was wrong/outdated. I attended school very near the border in Canada. I had a classmate who was Canadian but lived with a American boyfriend. for 3 years she drove a vehicle belonging to him with a US plate into to Canada to go to school 5 days a week. No problem--late 90s.

    *I* am a Canadian citizen (born & bred), holding a Canadian passport. But I have been living/working outside Canada for 16 years.

    The part where you say a Canadian, who is the resident of a foreign country, is not considered a visitor to Canada on a temporary trip is BS. Every time I cross the border with the vehicle the Canada Customs officer wants an explanation why someone with a Canadian passport is driving a vehicle with Texas plates. Then when they find out I'm a visiting ex-pat, living and working in Texas they always ask how long I'm staying in Canada. Actually they always ask me when I fly in the purpose of my visit and the duration of my stay as a visitor as well. Once, I got to tell them "to bury my father, a retired Canada Custom officer, who worked for Canada Customs for 43 yrs and 8 months"--they didn't hassle me any further in that one instance. If I wasn't considered a visitor, it would not matter to them how long I was staying in Canada now would it?
  5. China2wheels

    China2wheels Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Great Leap Backward
    I really hope I am 100% wrong, because this "rule" really sucks and, quite frankly, makes zero sense.

    To be a non-resident, I am supposed to sever all ties with Canada, including selling off vehicles, etc. So, if I move to Seattle, for example, the Washington State rules say that I am supposed to register my BC vehicle (if I kept it) in WA State within a specified period of time, get a WA state driving license, etc.

    Now, if I want to go visit friends/family in Vancouver ... I can't drive up to see them? Who thinks up these nonsensical policies?

    I wish I could find the thread. It was a border guard/adv inmate who posted about the rule & situation.

    By the way, the last time I flew into Vancouver, I explained to Customs that I was a non-resident and Customs marked my Declaration Card as a "tourist", explaining to me that this is what I am as long as I retain my non-resident status.
  6. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,659
    Location:
    West is the Best
    It is true with boats. My Dad owned a U.S. registered boat in the San Juan Islands. There are strict laws in this case bringing the boat across even along the International border in the sea out by Saturna Island, west of Victoria. There are Coast Guard vessels watching that area like a hawk.
  7. Bike Nomad

    Bike Nomad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    382
    Location:
    Central Newfoundland, Canada
    I've heard of stories of people rafting down the Rio Grande, that had their raft hang up on rocks and they stepped out for a moment to push the raft off, then shortly there after get busted by the US Border Patrol for illegally re-entering the US--like as in a few more yards down the river.

    On the flip side I had a friend whose parent was an avid sailor, quite a few years back, well before NAFTA, they re-entered Canada at a port and went through the various procedures. When the customs officer asked them If they had anything to declare, they declared some liquor--which then had to be produced for inspection. What they never declared was the 36' blue water sloop they purchased while they were abroad. They had that yacht for years and years, was sold about 10-12 years ago--never got busted for it.

    I agree many of the regulations make zero sense. I hope to live long enough to see the day when the only formality to cross the US/Canada border is to maybe note the sign post on the side of the highway like it is in the EU's Schengen region.
  8. China2wheels

    China2wheels Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Great Leap Backward
    OK, it looks like the answer depends on which government department you talk to. Surprise, surprise.

    I received a follow-up email from RIV stating that a Canadian citizen must go through the import process, regardless of the citizen's residency status.

    I also emailed Canada Customs, directly, and this was its response:

    Under Canada’s Customs Tariff visitors to Canada, including Canadian non-residents, may temporarily import non-Canadian vehicles into Canada for their personal and leisure use while in Canada for a period not exceeding 12 months. Such vehicles may not be used by Canadian residents for any purpose whatsoever and must be exported from Canada at the end of the visit, as per the exit date declared upon entry into Canada.

    For more information, please consult Memorandum D2-1-1, Temporary Importation of Baggage and Conveyances by Non-Residents, which is available on the Canada Border Services Agency Web site at:


    http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d2/d2-1-1-eng.html

    So, according to CBSA, a non-resident CAN temporarily bring a vehicle in. Hence, that makes sense.

    Obviously, I will not be stopping at the RIV border office when I come into Canada for a visit.
  9. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,018
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Hum most probably not the Coast Guard.:evil
  10. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,732
    Location:
    Lost somewhere
    I read in a different forum that CND Tire no longer just sends a bored youngster out to check the VIN and approve ,send you on your way, all done.

    Apparently, they take pics and so a much more detailed inspection ,cracking down so to speak. Is this across the board at every store or does it vary from location to location?

    When did these new rules come into play?

    Any new news about bringing bmw into canada...re...recall letter? Anybody have a viable work around?
  11. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    20,368
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    The checklist the CT uses is the same, having said that, they take a closer look at the exhaust and headlights, ensuring OEM. And they wrote the exhaust db number on the checklist.
    Can't help with BMW, never owned one.
  12. pne

    pne Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,327
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    does anyone know how the process goes for a competition/closed course bike that will never be registered/insured? Thinking about going down to buy a trials bike and trucking it back, it seems like a huge hassle to cross the border and pay all these fees. To the point where I might just pull the thing apart and mail the frame home in a box, bring the rest of it across in boxes as "parts"
  13. ang

    ang Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I have imported 2 BMW into Canada in the past 4 months. Both times I asked for a print out of the Warranty Vehicle Inquiry letter from a US BMW dealer far enough away from the border that they have never heard of a recall letter before. This Warranty Vehicle Inquiry has a section that lists if there are any "open campaigns" on the vehicle. Two times I asked and two times it was given to me no problem.
    All CT did was check the speedo for km reading. The last time was 3 weeks ago.
  14. David_Moen

    David_Moen Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,795
    Location:
    Salmon Arm, B.C. Canada Eh!
    RIV doesn't give a rats ass about bikes that aren't going to be registered.

    You should have some documentation that says it is for closed course use (racing) only though. The feds just want to make sure you don't try to cheat them on their GST though, so be prepared to show proof of how you purchased the bike.


  15. David_Moen

    David_Moen Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,795
    Location:
    Salmon Arm, B.C. Canada Eh!
    Did you have to worry about transferring warranties on either of the bikes?


  16. ang

    ang Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Both bikes were out if warranty, 07 650 xchallenge and 09 650 xcountry
  17. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    I am looking quite seriously at a couple of used Guzzis and was hoping for some clarification regarding the 'new' RIV/CDN Tire process and regs.

    Specifically, are there issues importing bikes with exclusively MPH on the speedometer/odometer?

    Secondly, are they rejecting all bikes after-market pipes or just those generating higher db levels?

    Thanks!
  18. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    20,368
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    Odometer doesn't matter. speedo needs to be in kms. most bikes have the enlarged digits in miles and the smaller interior ring numbers in kms.

    As for pipes DB level, it depends on the particular agent and the mood he's in. The last guy I had, said he turned folks away for aftermarket exhaust.
    And it's not only DB levels, but emissions as well. How would you prove the aftermarket exhaust for the levels of emissions? I'd hunt down a stock exhaust for the bike you're looking at, just to save yourself some grief.


    Having said that, you have 45 days to make it right, and that 45 days can be extended with a friendly email stating why.
  19. H e a d N o r t h

    H e a d N o r t h (take the high road)

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,031
    Location:
    Coldwater and Toronto
    My experience (2010 import of a 2006 model):
    I was prepared to add some stickers to the dash to show KPH (only MPH shown on that bike), but it never came up.

    .
  20. kristof-lars

    kristof-lars Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    ventron lorraine france
    if i bought a salvaged bike with a wrecked frame and found a frame from the usa do i have to go through these steps too?