If you are a resident of Canada returning from the U.S. and you intend to have your vehicle returned to Canada for you, you will need to consider a number of things. The following information will describe the process of having your vehicle transported back to Canada by commercial carrier. The CBSA has identified certain considerations and established procedures to help make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
Every year, Pierre and Linda take a trip down to Florida during the winter. They enjoy the scenic drive through the United States to their southern destination, but they prefer to return to Canada by airplane. Therefore, Pierre and Linda arrange to have their vehicle brought back to Canada by a commercial carrier …
Arranging for the transportation of your vehicle back to Canada
If you decide to arrange for the transportation of your vehicle, you will need to locate a carrier company to transport your vehicle into Canada for you. You can find a list of CBSA approved Free and Secure Trade Program carriers on our site or look for carrier companies in the yellow pages of the local telephone book under "Transport Services" or "Shipping."
The carrier who is transporting your vehicle must report all goods on board to the CBSA in writing. This includes reporting specific information about the vehicle being transported and any of your personal goods inside the vehicle.
At the Canadian Border
When your vehicle arrives in Canada you can:
- account for your vehicle/goods yourself; or
- authorize an agent to account for your vehicle/goods; or
- move your goods to an inland sufferance warehouse for clearance.
When the vehicle and any related goods arrive in Canada, you must account for them in writing at the CBSA office where the release of the vehicle/goods will be requested.
A Form B15 or B15-1 Casual Goods Accounting Document will be completed by the CBSA on your behalf at the CBSA office when you clear your vehicle.
Using an agent
Upon arrival, if you choose not to account for your vehicle/goods yourself, you can authorize an agent to do so on your behalf. An agent may be either of the following:
- A person who is licensed to conduct business as a customs broker. There is a charge for these services, or
- A person who conducts business on your behalf on a casual basis and without benefit of any compensation, fee or charge. For example, an agent can be a friend or a relative.
An agent cannot be the transporter of the vehicle because transporters are commercial enterprises.
Authorizing the agent
The CBSA accepts any form of written authority that indicates the agent has been authorized to carry out business on behalf of another person (usually from you or the importer).
Another option: inland sufferance warehouseIf you or your agent choose not to account for the vehicle/goods at the border, you can authorize the carrier to move the goods to an inland sufferance warehouse for clearance. An inland sufferance warehouse is used for the storage of imported goods arriving in Canada. However, the operator of the warehouse will charge you a fee for the service.
- Additional information on sufferance warehouses
- List of CBSA-approved sufferance warehouses by province
Returning Canadian vehicles are exempt from Transport Canada's Registrar of Imported Vehicles documentation requirements (Form 1), when you return to live in Canada and you bring back the same vehicle you exported after working or living abroad. The following conditions apply:
- Your vehicle is certified by the original manufacturer to comply with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS);
- You can substantiate that your vehicle was purchased or registered by you in Canada before your departure; and
- Your vehicle did not undergo substantial modifications or alterations while you were abroad.
Under Canadian legislation, returning goods to Canada after they are taken out of Canada is considered an importation of those goods. This includes Canadian-owned and registered vehicles that are transported to Canada by commercial carrier. Canadian goods returned to Canada are duty and tax free - if they are returned to Canada without having been increased in value or improved in condition.
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