Importing a bike from the States to Canada

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

  1. Grinder

    Grinder Wrong way 'round

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,909
    Location:
    In DC traffic...
    I went through the same thing when I moved from Canada to DC. KTMs have labels for EPA and fmvss in addition to the Canadian labels for environment Canada and cmvss. The fuckers at KTM were completely unhelpful and never pointed out the bikes had both labels. I just noticed them by happenstance when I was cleaning the bike up before putting it in the moving truck. Since those labels are on it, no need for any letters.

    My BMW GSWC on the other hand is a huge ordeal. BMW Canada and USA were unwilling to give a letter. I was able to temporarily import since I'm here on a temp basis but man, what a bunch of BS. Makes you wonder what would happen if you fired up a word processor and write a letter yourself.
  2. antirich5

    antirich5 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    I think the reason why they don't do letters is legal liability and/or threats to their domestic dealership. Dealers would get pissed if people were crossing the border to get a discount, and the factory was helping them.
  3. bmwnewbie1

    bmwnewbie1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    24
    It has nothing to do with legality, your right it is the pressure BMW North America puts on the US BMW dealers due to the whining of some of the BMW Dealers in the larger markets. They don't want the competition. BMW and Mercedes do this with their cars also. Where AUDI doesn't.

    The local BMW bike dealer will give you a "recall letter" however they will charge you a of $500.00 to $750.00 for the pleasure of dealing with them and they will take their sweet time doing it. And they will tell you have to "Canadaianize" the bike and only they can do it, another crock.

    Again in a previous post I mentioned that if you are buying a used BMW Bike from a private seller, make it a condition that he the seller gets you a "recall letter" from the Service Dept. at his BMW Dealer. Some are reluctant to give him the recall letter with the excuse BMW NA doesn't allow the dealer to provide him the letter/notice. I have advised the owner to tell the dealership that he owns the bike not the dealer and he wants the letter/notice. If they try and tell you they have to get BMW to mail it to them they are full of shit as they can simply "print from the screen"

    The ironic thing is there are dealers on the East Coast and they will provide you whatever paperwork you want or need.

    Also bear in mind the "recall letter" or as it is referred to VEHICLE INQUIRY REPORT has to be on BMW NA stationary.

    bmwnewbie
  4. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,350
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Can someone point me to any discussion of importing a NEW bike?

    I assume if I buy from a state with no sales tax that I can save that tax. Dealer would issue me a new title, I'd have to wait for that. Wouldn't need a license from that state though.

    72 hrs to deliver title & bill of sale to the US side of the border. Recall clearance to add for the Cdn side. Do I need an ITN # for a NEW bike?
  5. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    14,719
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    You won't save the taxes... You'll pay some of the tax at the border and the rest during registering.

  6. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,350
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Oh yeah, I know I'll pay the GST/PST at the border - but hope to avoid the "pay state sales tax and get it refunded later" runaround.
  7. bmwnewbie

    bmwnewbie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Calgary
    There is a few changes to importin vehicles fro US to Canada. You do not fax your documents to the US Border 72 hours prior to your arrival. It has to be scanned and emailed, the process is called AES. This can be done for you by a broker and cost US$50.00. Regarding the ITN, the broker will send you an AES document in the document it asks for an ITN, you simply fill in that line with your passport number. I used A. D. Rutherford, Becky Vagle, 701-825-6290, in Pembina, North Dakota. They have done a few bikes for me.

    bmwnewbie
  8. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,350
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Had a chat with Pembina ND customs (where I would be crossing). They say I DO need the ITN/AES document - the broker will do that.

    Can someone clarify - if we're talking a NEW bike here - do I need to wait for some state to issue a title, or is the dealer documentation (bill of sale etc) sufficient? Some states can take 60 days to issue a title - and I 'm not *registering* in that state.

    This question applies both to the US and Canadian side, since they both want to see an ownership document with my name on it.

    More phone calls Monday.
  9. bmwnewbie

    bmwnewbie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Calgary
    I have never imported a new bike. I can't see the procedure being ant different. Can you import a new bike?

    If your buying a used bike from a dealer you can get a drive away permit which may be good for 30-60 days. If you already have a bike bring that plate, of course you'll have t o get the bike insured by your broker in Canada and drive it home. Don't you have a grace period to title the bike in Ontario, your going to have to go through the RIV inspection by Canadian Tire and then an out province inspection befor you can get your plate and registration.

    bmwnewbie
  10. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,350
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    Found this:

    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/de...2LzEvdGltZS8xNTAzOTM2Mzc1L3NpZC85T091Kmhybg==

    Acceptable proof of ownership when exporting a vehicle without a title
    What documents are considered valid proof of ownership for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) purposes when exporting a vehicle / car from the U.S. which does not have a title?

    If the vehicle or car you intend to export does not have a title, a manufacturer's statement of origin (MSO) is considered valid proof of ownership.

    If you do not have the title because your state does not issue titles for your type of vehicle, the state should provide you with documentation supporting that the state has no titling requirements for such vehicles. This holds the state responsible for your inability to present the title to CBP. Present the documentation along with the bill of sale or MSO.
  11. zomby woof

    zomby woof Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    That's encouraging.
    I found a really good deal on an odball MX bike in PA, but all he has is a bill of sale.
    I didn't think there was any way I'd be able to import it.
  12. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    North America
    Join the CMA. Get a letter from them stating that it is a competition only motorcycle (which it probably is) and you might be able to get it across that way. You will never be able to register it as a road bike though. Also, you may need to deal with the 17 digit alpha numeric serial number issue. If it is competition only that rule does not apply. It is either a 17 digit serial number OR Competition only (not AND).
    This is from my own experience about from 8 years ago importing a No Title Trials bike..rules can change but it is worth checking out that route.
  13. David_Moen

    David_Moen Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,594
    Location:
    Salmon Arm, B.C. Canada Eh!
    Dirt bikes are easier that road bikes in my experience. If you can find any info at all that says that they are for closed course use, then they are no harder to import than any other good. I imported a KTM 300XC a while ago, I had a local sign shop make up vinyl stickers that said "For Closed Course Competition Use Only" and stuck one on the frame, but the customs guy didn't even come out of his booth to look at the bike, he could see it in the back of my pick up. He did want to see the ad on the Internet that I bought it off of and made sure that the price I declared the sale at was reasonably close to the listed price though. They want their taxes, and that's about all they are worried about.
    jfman likes this.
  14. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    North America
    Yep...closed course or competition...pretty sure they are the same thing.
  15. zomby woof

    zomby woof Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    Thanks guys, might go the CMA route - was a member up until last year

    It is definitely a competition bike, and no need to plate it.
  16. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,155
    Location:
    Lost somewhere
    The issue I find is why would a US seller go through all that rigamorol about recall letters and having to explain to a US seller about importing etc, when they can sell it to a US buyer without all the hassle. I was looking into buying a BMW from a seller in Michigan and it got complicated trying to explain the process.

    The seller lost patience and trying to explain the recall letter thing became tedious.

    I did buy a bike from the states years ago and the seller was cool ,recall letter was provided without issue but I was buying a Suzuki. I didn’t have to give the whole background story of BMW NA recall letter shenanigans.
  17. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    North America
    You can get a recall letter from any US BMW dealer (or the owner can) The letter usually has a statement on it that it cannot be used for import or export but I know several people who have used these letters with no issues from Canada Customs (nice try BMW).
    Right now you could probably make money taking Canadian bikes to the U.S. and selling them. Many down south are priced the same or higher in USD.
  18. amigoride

    amigoride n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Okanagan Valley
    Is there a current condensed procedure for importing a used motorcycle into Canada? I would be purchsing in Washinton State and bringing back to B.C.
    Thanks
    Brian
  19. Kotbullar

    Kotbullar Sometime, you gotta slow down ....

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Calgary AB
    Brian:
    Keep it simple:
    1) check RIV.ca to see if bike is
    admissible
    2) make sure owner has clear title (no liens) in hand. US customs won't allow export of bike with liens, or unknown status
    3) get recall clearance letter from manufacturer
    4) if 1-3 go smoothly, continue
    5) call US customs where you want to cross border, and see what their preferences are ... same for Canada. Sometimes their schedules affect availability for export/import
    6) go buy the bike
    7) bring to border. Hit US customs for export stamp
    8) Hit Canada customs for GST,PST, VIN fees
    9) take home, get Cdn Tire inspection
    10) send paperwork in for VIN sticker.
    11) wait for sticker, then drive
    glasshousebc likes this.
  20. bmwnewbie1

    bmwnewbie1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    24
    Your good up until
    3) BMW does nit want to give you the recall letter, make a condition of sale that the seller goes to the BMW Service Department at the dealer and demands the recall letter. Some BMW dealers will tell him that BMW does not want the dealers supplying the recall letter. I simply tell the seller it's his bike and he wants to know if there are any recalls against his bike. They can print the report from Screen.

    5) Rules have changed in the last few years, you need to use a Broker to get an ITN usually only $50.00 (I use one in Winnipeg, offices in North Dakota), you provide them with all of the pertinent Info they need, when completed by them will. You the Email (AES Process) not Fax the paperwork to a US Border where you will cross again to be there 72 hours before you show up. Go through US Customs (usually about a ten minute process) then to Canadian Customs. Make sure all of the EPA and DOT Compliance stickers are on the bike or car. or you won't be able to bring across the border.

    If the bike is 15 years or older you do not have to go through the RIV Process.

    9) after Cdn Tire Federal Inspection (make sure the muffler have the factory EPA) stating that they are 80 decibels compliant. Once this is done you will still have to get an Province Inspection which will cost fro $179.00 - $200.00.

    Ir's a litte more of a pain in the ass, however well worth it if you get a good deal, also apply to cars and trucks. considering CDN US Exchange is basically 30%.
    Kotbullar and Steve G. like this.