Duties You May Pay When you Import A Car to Canada

Duties You May Pay When you Import A Car to Canada

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When you plan to Clearit.ca export your vehicle to Canada, there are a lot of things you have to check if you want this process to go smoothly.  Basically, you need to be aware of the various duties and taxes you may have to pay when you export/import your vehicle.


The import duty is a tax or fee that is only applied to non-NAFTA vehicles. It is calculated at 6.1% the value of your car.  A NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) vehicle, of course, is any vehicle that has been manufactured or assembled within the United States, Mexico, or Canada (hence, North America) with a minimum content of 55 percent. Basically, the car must be made out of at least 55 percent North American components. Such a vehicle, then, is exempt of any tariffs, duties, or other associated taxes when it is sold in one of these three countries.


Any vehicle—regardless of its year—imported to Canada is subject to this tax, which is a flat 5%.  This tax is due to a Canada Customs Agent immediately at the time you bring your car across the border.  This is actually the same tax you pay if you buy a new or used vehicle at a licensed and registered dealer in Canada.


Once you have successfully imported your vehicle to Canada, you may also be subject to a provincial sales tax. This fee is due immediately upon registering your car in Canada.  The total PST is calculated according to the current tax rate for the respective province where you registered; a bit like how some states in America have different sales taxes.  However, this tax should be calculated at the current prevailing exchange rate at the time of registration.  Many provincial insurance agents, though, use the official Canada customs receipt to calculate this.


In Canada, you may also be subject to a few other additional taxes, depending on your vehicle.

  • If your car has air conditioning, for example, you may also be subject to a $100 Air Conditioning tax, due immediately upon crossing the border
  • If your vehicle weighs more than 2,007 kg (or 4,425 lbs) you may also have to pay an excise tax for excessive weight.
  • The Canadian Federal Government introduced a new excise tax on vehicles that are not fuel efficient. You may be subject to the Gas Guzzler tax if your weighted average fuel consumption rating of 13+ litres per 100 km. The fee varies, depending on your rating.