What are fees would you have to pay?

there is also the following fees you will have to pay at the import level:

  1. Excise Emissions Tax if applicable – See previous post
  2. Duty if the vehicle is a personal importation and was not manufactured in a NAFTA country (USA, Mexico and Canada)
  3. 5% GST (regardless of commercial or personal)
  4. Registrar of imported vehicles program fee if applicable
  5. Air condition Excise Tax of $100 if your vehicle has A/C

Well we covered the Excise Emissions Tax or Green Levy on gas guzzling vehicles in a previous post.

The Customs Duty on most non NAFTA foreign vehicles is 6.1% of the value. The value is determined by the bill of sale or the Retail Canadian Red Book value if Customs finds your declared value to be unreasonable. Oh and by the way…Motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles are duty free.

The 5% GST is calculated by adding the value of the vehicle plus and applicable duty. i.e. Lets say a Honda Accord is made in Japan is valued at $10,000. So duty would be $610 and GST would be %5 of $10,610 which is $530.50.

RIV fee – If you are required to enter the RIV program, you will have to pay the RIV fee which is $195 plus GST/HST or GST and QST if you cross the border into Quebec.

The RIV fee can be paid right away at Customs or afterwards online by using a credit card or interact directly at the RIV website. You can also mail in your payment (cheque or money order) or pay in person at one of two RIV offices.


Registrar of Imported Vehicles 
405 The West Mall, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M9C 5K7

In Person:

RIV Toronto Office
405 The West Mall, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M9C 5K7

Hours of service:
Mon. to Fri.: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST)


RIV Pacific Highway Office
17735 1st Avenue
1st Floor
Surrey, BC

Hours of service:
Mon. to Fri.: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PT)

Other possible fees

Recall letter fee – some dealers or manufacturers will charge a fee for issuing this letter.

Modification to Canadian Safety Standards – this will vary from car to car depending on what modifications are necessary. Sometimes its just day time running lights and switching from miles to kilometres and other times it’s a lot more. Also some manufacturers charge a lot more than other for relatively basic modifications. It is recommended that you research what kind of modifications are necessary before you purchase a vehicle to import to Canada and how much this will cost.

Shipping or transportation fee

If you decide not to drive the vehicle back yourself there are many moving companies or shipping companies that will assist in bringing your vehicle up to Canada for you. It is also recommended you research these companies as well. There are many horror stories of people having their vehicles held hostage and being charged exorbitant fees that were never agreed to at the start.

Storage and brokerage fee

If you do decide to have the car shipped up to Canada, keep in mind that the vehicle will have to be customs cleared at the border or travel in bond to a location inland and will most likely be stored in a bonded sufferance warehouse. You will then have to come to an inland customs office to do the clearance or hire a customs broker. Storage fees may be incurred in a bonded sufferance warehouse while awaiting customs clearance and if you use a customs broker their services are obviously not be free. Shop around and ask for quotes and make sure to ask what services are included.

There are many companies out there that will handle the transportation and customs clearance for you and deliver the vehicle, providing what is almost a door to door service. Again, check them out and make sure there are no hidden fees.

* Keep in mind then when calculation the final cost of importing a vehicle you should include provincial sales tax which varies by province and would be payable at the time of registration at your province’s ministry of transportation.