Importing to Canada


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BlueRavenShoe
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:35 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1993 Honda GL 1500 SE

Importing to Canada

Postby BlueRavenShoe » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:24 am



I've recently bought a 20 yr old 1500 in Arizona and will be riding it north in a couple months to Canada--probably crossing at Climax, Saskatchewan (honest, that's its real name). I know I'll have to pay GST and PST when I get to the border. Anything else I need to worry about? (The bike is an absolute gem in mint condition.) I'd appreciate any comments and/or heads-up. Thanks, BlueRavenShoe



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SteveB123
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:29 am
Location: Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 1100I, 60A Poorboy, MSD coil

Re: Importing to Canada

Postby SteveB123 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:03 pm

Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

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cbx4evr
Posts: 1397
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:35 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE
2004 Kawasaki KLR 650
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1980 Honda CBX - sold :-(
1981 Honda CBX - sold :-(
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Re: Importing to Canada

Postby cbx4evr » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:42 pm

You need to have your paperwork in order and to the border before you cross. Also make sure that it's on the "approved" list for import.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

Gstevenson
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:26 pm
Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800

Re: Importing to Canada

Postby Gstevenson » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:37 pm

The procedure is described on the RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) website.

A couple of things that stand out:

1) You need to export the bike from the US (US Customs at the border) before importing it on the Canadian side of the border. The US dipoles require you to send them a copy of the paperwork at least 72 hours before your arrival. If less, even if they have it and are ready, you can just wait over there in the corner with the rest of the skeletons until 72 hours has passed from when they received it.

2) The process calls for an inspection at a Canadian Tire location on behalf of the Canadian government. Many bikes do not pass because they have been modified. A common example is third party pipes that don't have the right stamp on them. So check any modifications. Having said that, the rules relax if the vehicle is over 15 years old so that may work in your favour in this case. There is also an out of province check required by many provinces...and to pass that the bike will need to be mechanically sound.

Check the full process at RIV's website.

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rottiman
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:09 am
Location: Pembroke,Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 1988 Goldwing GL1500

Re: Importing to Canada

Postby rottiman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:09 am

Good luck. The deal needs to exceptional as the hassle is enormous. When you get done, you'll definitely have the feeling that the Canadian goverment really dosen't like you doing this, and they will use THEIR rule book to prove it to you. Get ready for a real comedy ordeal when you have to have Canadian Tire do the inspection. They have a hard enough time changing the tires on a car. You'll have a 99.9% chance that the "Technician" assigned to do your inspection wouldn't have a clue as the the difference between a motorcycle or a unicycle. Hope it works out for you. Good luck. :roll: :oops: :shock:

Gstevenson
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:26 pm
Location: Calgary Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800

Re: Importing to Canada

Postby Gstevenson » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:41 am

rottiman wrote:Good luck. The deal needs to exceptional as the hassle is enormous. When you get done, you'll definitely have the feeling that the Canadian goverment really dosen't like you doing this, and they will use THEIR rule book to prove it to you. Get ready for a real comedy ordeal when you have to have Canadian Tire do the inspection. They have a hard enough time changing the tires on a car. You'll have a 99.9% chance that the "Technician" assigned to do your inspection wouldn't have a clue as the the difference between a motorcycle or a unicycle. Hope it works out for you. Good luck. :roll: :oops: :shock:


While I have heard a few horror stories, I have imported 4 motorcycles without significant incident. I agree that the process is more bureaucratic than it needs to be but it is doable, and often the cost savings are well worth it. Eg. $7 or $8k on a Goldwing, although with a falling dollar that would be less now.

The horror stories that I have heard all involve motorcycles that have been modified and therefore no longer pass the inspections. Sometimes the modification that causes the problem seems like it should pass but it is still the cause.

Example: A friend bought a new Goldwing and had it converted to a trike before importing it. Not allowed. He could bring in the trike kit and have it installed in Canada, but could not import it in the modified state. He had to get the trike conversion removed, then import it, then get the conversion reinstalled. You can't make this stuff up!

Example: Motorcycles that have had aftermarket exhaust pipes installed. They can be too loud (legitimate failure in my opinion), or they can be reasonable but still lack the required stamp on the indicating they live within the required noise limits (silly in my opinion but nobody is asking for an opinion).

Another requirement that is a pain in the you know what is obtaining a Recall Clearance Letter. That is a certification by the manufacturer that all recalls have been implemented. Most manufacturers will work with you on that...but if there is an outstanding recall, getting it completed can be problematic if you have already brought the bike into Canada. Local dealers sometimes can't or won't do the recall or can't or won't properly register that it has been done. Expect a hassle if you don't get the work done on the US side of the border.

I have only heard of cars failing for other reasons, although it am sure there are motorcycle examples out there too. For cars a common one is non "daytime running" headlights.

Bottom line is to follow the RIV process including checking the DoT allowed vehicle list...and be very wary of modified vehicles.

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SteveB123
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:29 am
Location: Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 1100I, 60A Poorboy, MSD coil

Re: Importing to Canada

Postby SteveB123 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:29 am

Gstevenson wrote:Example: A friend bought a new Goldwing and had it converted to a trike before importing it. Not allowed. He could bring in the trike kit and have it installed in Canada, but could not import it in the modified state. He had to get the trike conversion removed, then import it, then get the conversion reinstalled. You can't make this stuff up!


Well, that's about as modified as you can get, and you can't exactly call it a Honda anymore.
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

BlueRavenShoe
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:35 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1993 Honda GL 1500 SE

Re: Importing to Canada

Postby BlueRavenShoe » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:19 am

Thanks for your input folks. Border officials are border officials and are very interested in paper work. But what I'm really looking forward to the Canadian Tire inspection; they know about as much about bikes as I know about Sherman tanks. But you never know; maybe I'll get lucky. BRS




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