How to Import RVs into Canada 2024

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We’ve all heard about people who import RVs into Canada for their personal use. They say it’s not difficult and can be done.  Rather than take their word for it I’ve chosen to do more in-depth research and see how easy it actually is. 

Importing RVs into Canada for personal use involves several steps and a few things to consider. It’s not impossible – just follow the necessary steps and you will be on your way! 

TIP:  Some buyers work with a dealer in the U.S. or Canada who take care of all the details, making it somewhat easier. 

Table of Contents

Why do You Want to Import an RV into Canada?

Canadians purchase RVs in the US for many reasons and it may include finding an RV at a cheaper price than here in Canada. Or they may not find exactly what they’re looking for in Canada so they move their search further into the U.SA. or even Mexico.

#Import RVs into Canada

Check Canadian Regulations to Import RVs into Canada

Before importing an RV, make sure it complies with Canadian regulations, including safety and environmental standards. You can check with Transport Canada or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for specific requirements. I’ve broken down some of the steps below with the goal of making it easier for you. Registrar of Imported Vehicles or RIV 

Verify Your Eligibility

Ensure that you’re eligible to import the RV into Canada for your own personal use. Generally, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or individuals with a work or study permit are eligible. Temporary residents may also be allowed to import vehicles for temporary use. That’s pretty straight forward to me. 

List of Eligible Vehicles

Transport Canada has a list of vehicles eligible to be brought into Canada. Here’s their list so you can check it out for yourself. 

  • The list includes most vehicle types but if the RV you’re interested in isn’t on the list contact the manufacturer. They’ll provide you with all the specs on the vehicle but also let you know if there’s any recall notices regarding defects, etc that had been done or should be done.
  • Has the vehicle been modified from its original state?  The reason this is important is because the original manufactures’ certification would not be valid because of the changes. Everything must be done to Canadian standards to be eligible.
  • Recall clearance letter – you’ll need this documentation. It’s for your protection and safety knowing whether all of the defects have been corrected.
  • Branding history. Has the vehicle been declared a write-off or was it a flood vehicle?  If this is the case it may not be possible to licence it in Canada because its record is never wiped clean. It’s important to do a proper VIN search prior to buying the vehicle or attempting to bring it into Canada.
      • Exemptions:  There are exemptions from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) which may include its age, whether it’s in Canada temporarily or if here for a special use.

Not sure what type of RV you want? Check out this post on different types of RVs you might be interested in.

Documentation

Gather all necessary documentation, including proof of ownership (such as a title or bill of sale), vehicle registration, and any applicable permits or certificates.

Research Taxes and Duties

Understand the taxes and duties you’ll need to pay when importing the RV. This includes Goods and Services Tax (GST), Provincial Sales Tax (PST), and potentially excise taxes or duties depending on the vehicle’s origin.

Vehicle Inspection

Some vehicles may require an inspection to ensure they meet Canadian safety standards. Contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) to determine if an inspection is necessary for your RV.

Complete Import Forms

Fill out the required import forms, including Form 1 – Vehicle Import Form, which is required by the CBSA, and any additional forms specified by the RIV or other authorities.

Pay Import Fees

Of course there will be fees to be paid – nothing is free anymore. So, be prepared to pay any applicable fees, including RIV fees, customs processing fees, and any taxes or duties owed.

Crossing the Border

When crossing the border into Canada, declare the RV to the CBSA and present all required documentation. Be honest and transparent about the vehicle’s value and purpose.

Complete RIV Process

If your vehicle requires inspection, undergo the inspection process with the RIV. Once the inspection is complete, you’ll receive a Vehicle Import Form 2.

Register Your Vehicle

Register the imported RV with the appropriate provincial or territorial authorities. You’ll need to provide proof of ownership, inspection documents, and any other required paperwork.

Insurance

Obtain insurance coverage for your RV to legally operate it in Canada and your province’s requirements.

Conclusion: How to Import RVs into Canada

Keep in mind that regulations and procedures may vary depending on the type of RV, its origin, and your personal circumstances. It’s advisable to consult official sources such as Transport Canada, the CBSA, and the RIV for the most accurate and up-to-date information specific to your situation.

Now that you’ve got all that out of the way and your RV is legal in Canada, registered and licensed in your name, it’s time to get out and enjoy it.  

Doing your homework first before you purchase the RV will make the while import plan go much smoother.  

Congratulations on your new RV!

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