The Age of Your Car Could Affect How Your Import Restrictions

When it comes to importing your car to Canada, you should know that the age of the vehicle could determine any restrictions or guidelines that might apply.  Actually, there are really only two “age groups” that can affect your auto importing process to Canada.

Motor Vehicles not Yet 25 Years Old

Every motor vehicle made in the USA that is less than 25 years old can be imported the United States because they have been built to conform to US Safety and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards.  Now, some vehicles, of course, were not manufactured in North America and, therefore, were not originally manufactured to conform to the applicable US or Canadian standards. If that is the case, it is wise, then, to conduct a thorough customs consulting online search and to check with the appropriate authorities to learn as much as you can about the modifications which might affect the ability to import.  After all, your vehicle may actually require new modifications in order for your vehicle to be brought up to local standards.

To know which direction you need to go, all you need to know is that those vehicles which have been manufactured to comply with applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) will always have a certification label; and this certification label will be permanently attached by the original manufacturer.

Now, in order to import a vehicle that was not manufactured to conform along with the Safety and Emissions standards you have to establish a contract with an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) or a Registered Importer’ who can take on the modifications that might be required in order to bring your vehicle up to code, so to speak.

Motor Vehicles more than 25 years old

If your vehicle is more than 25 years old then you should be able to import it to the United States regardless of whether or not it conforms to the US Safety, Bumper, and Emission regulations because the car’s manufacture date is older than the development of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

You must also now, however, that if the manufacturing date is not identifiable on the label (or other identification), you must then provide documentary evidence instead.  If you want to declare that your vehicle is more than 25 years old, you need also complete the HS-7 form for US customs.