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importing car from Canada into the States--anyone done it before?

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Does anyone understand what the process of importing a car from Canada into the U.S. entails? I'm currently doing some research about the feasibility of such a transaction. I read over the section in the FAQ, and from what I gather there seems to be a lot of red tape involved (even though the NSX is in compliance with most if not all of the regulations).

The process is just a big question mark to me right now. Some quick questions that come to mind are where do I pay the taxes, and import/custom fees, where do I do the gauge conversion (in US or in Canada), etc.

Thanks everyone in advance...
 

Huy

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Oops, I misread your question. I have it the other way around and though you wanted to know how to import a car from the US to Canada. My bad...
 
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>>seems to be a lot of red tape involved

Not in my experience. I simply drove across the border! Once you get to the USA you will have to register it and pay taxes - yes, you will need to pay taxes in BOTH countries. And the gauge conversion you talk about is unecessary - the gauges are marked in metric and English units.
 
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Hey Soichiro,

Thanks for the info. So...if I bought the car from a private owner in Canada, when would I pay the Canadian taxes? I know when I register the car in TX I will have to pay taxes then, correct?

Also, have you been driving in the US with the kph speedometer and the km odometer? I guess the conversion isn't necessary, just some extra "work" for me when I suppose. I found out that if I did do the conversion, the car would be tagged as a TMU (True Mileage Unknown), cutting the value in half.

Thanks for your help...
 
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You are correct that you have to pay both taxes. Regarding the speedometer, the MPH markings exist on Canadian speedos. They are printed in gray inside the KPH markings.
 
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Hey rcarlos,

Are you serious or are you kidding?
smile.gif


I'm sitll confused as to WHEN I pay the Canadian taxes if I buy from a private owner. If I never even register the car in Canada, then there would be no "opportunity" to pay the Canadian tax right? Or do they get me at the border when I'm coming back into the States?
smile.gif


[This message has been edited by ajchang (edited 22 April 2002).]
 
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GLE is your friend:


All passenger cars, motorcycles, multipurpose vehicles - MPV, or light trucks less than 25 years old imported for personal use (not resale) into the U.S. on a permanent basis from Canada should follow this procedure. This process may also be followed if a vehicle was originally imported from Canada on a temporary basis or if prior DOT or U.S. Customs clearance was not obtained.

1. Contact the manufacturer of the vehicle, and ask if the vehicle complies with all applicable U.S. Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). The letter from the manufacturer must identify your vehicle by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). READ THE LETTER CAREFULLY.

2. If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle complies with U.S. FMVSS, except for minor labeling requirements, you have an acceptable letter. This letter along with your vehicle registration should be presented to U.S. Customs at the border. U.S. Customs will review the manufacturer letter to assure that the vehicle complies. (DOT approval of the manufacturer letter was discontinued as of April 8, 1997.)

3. If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle meets all U.S. FMVSS, except for the speedometer, or headlights, you may have these components replaced at a dealer authorized by the factory to repair your vehicle. In addition to the documents cited in item 2, above, you must present the invoice for the speedometer or headlight replacement to obtain U.S. Customs approval.

4. If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle meets all U.S. FMVSS except for FMVSS No. 208 (automatic or passive restraint requirements) you WILL NOT be able to bring your vehicle into the U.S. on a permanent basis unless it is modified by an RI. If an RI is willing to modify the vehicle, it may be expensive and may change your desire to import the vehicle.

5. If the manufacturer will not issue a letter for your vehicle, the only method to import your vehicle on a permanent basis is to contract with an RI.

6. EPA approval is also required. You may call the EPA information line at: (202) 564-9660.

CANADIAN CONTACT PHONE LIST
Acura Division-American Honda
1919 Torrance Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90501-2746
Richard Downing Consumer Affairs USA: (310) 783-3260
CANADA: (310) 783-3260

Source: NHTSA Vehicle Importation Guidelines
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/Can0202.html

You might also want to look at the guidelines on the US Customs site at: http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/imp-exp2/informal/car.htm

------------------
Andrew Henderson
The NSX Model List Page

"We have long acknowledged that enthusiasm for things automotive is a sure
sign of emotional instability if not outright dementia"
- Brock Yates



[This message has been edited by lemansnsx (edited 22 April 2002).]
 
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RCARLOS posted:
>>We're so nice we would probably give you your tax money back if you ask for it.

The Canadian government used to have a program to refund the GST on purchases like this that are immediately exported from Canada. And many provinces including Ontario (I bought my NSX in Toronto), had programs to refund the sales tax. I took advantage of both of these in 1991, saving approximately $15,000 CDN. Unfortunately for you, both have been cancelled.
 
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When I said:
>>saving approximately $15,000 CDN

I meant to say:
>>saving approximately $9,000 CDN

Math was never my strongest point! Sorry for the mix up.
 
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Originally posted by Soichiro:
RCARLOS posted:
>>We're so nice we would probably give you your tax money back if you ask for it.

The Canadian government used to have a program to refund the GST on purchases like this that are immediately exported from Canada. And many provinces including Ontario (I bought my NSX in Toronto), had programs to refund the sales tax. I took advantage of both of these in 1991, saving approximately $15,000 CDN. Unfortunately for you, both have been cancelled.

I did not know the GST refund program had been cancelled. It seems to me that you shouldn't have to pay so much tax for so little benefit.
When you buy a car from a dealer you pay GST and when you buy privately the GST is already in the price you pay, there is no GST. Make sure you don't pay any provincial taxes as they are not payable. Other taxes like tire tax are minor and unavoidable except through a private party.
I would check the CDN and US Government sites for more info.

Edit. The right info on the net is not easy to find.
I bought a car in BC and did not pay any provincial tax because I was shipping the car out of province. I payed the tax in my province.

[This message has been edited by rcarlos (edited 23 April 2002).]
 
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You must pay the GST at the dealers and then apply for a refund. The program has not been cancelled. The NSX must be shipped out of Canada and the papers must be shown to Customs Canada.
I would expect the same treatment if I bought an NSX in the United States.
Don't forget about the US taxes you have to pay, I think your duty is 1.5 percent. Ours is 6.5 percent.

Edit. http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc4031eq/README.html

[This message has been edited by rcarlos (edited 23 April 2002).]
 
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Originally posted by Soichiro:
>>seems to be a lot of red tape involved

Not in my experience. I simply drove across the border! Once you get to the USA you will have to register it and pay taxes - yes, you will need to pay taxes in BOTH countries. And the gauge conversion you talk about is unecessary - the gauges are marked in metric and English units.

I thought only an import broker could import
cars from outside the USA.
How did you register the car for the drive home?
 
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Goodness...so many different factors.

The deal is that I am working out a potential NSX buy from a private owner in Vancouver, Canada. (I am currently working out the consequences of the odometer change--it seems by doing so the car will be tagged as a "TMU" (True Mileage Unknown). Anyone know anything about this?...

Anyway, from what you guys have said, the amount I pay to the private owner will include the Canadian taxes? And then when I pass through Customs I can apply for reimbursement for these taxes?

Also, I will have to pay duty fees when I pass thorough Customs AND also pay taxes when I register the car in Texas? Geez...any other fees that I need to dish out? (Not even to mention the shipping cost of getting the car from Seattle to Houston.)

Sigh...thanks again everyone for all of your help and insight.
 
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No. I mentioned that in any private sale there is no GST to pay so you will not get a GST refund.

[This message has been edited by rcarlos (edited 23 April 2002).]
 
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