Canadian Personal Passenger Car Import Information
Thank you for contacting us for your importing needs. Canadian cars, which were originally sold new in Canada, are relatively easy. Typical issues when importing a vehicle from Canada include: EPA labeling, antitheft markings, speedometer/odometer markings and depending on the year, tire pressure monitor, airbags, child seat anchors. Below are links to resources for some of the rules and regulations.
Does the vehicle have a label in the engine compartment that says that it was built to meet US EPA emission standards? If it does not the vehicle will need to be tested and certified by an Independent Commercial Importer who are licensed by the EPA. Western Cascade is licensed by the NHTSA, not the EPA. We have worked with a company in New York that is EPA licensed. Their EPA fee is approximately $5000.00 plus modifications. The common items that are required are an OBD2 computer system and a catalytic converter.
If the vehicle does not have any Anti-Theft VIN markings, look on a door, you can hire someone to do this work before the car is imported. During the import process, we will declare to the DOT: "The vehicle, as manufactured or as modified prior to importation, complies with those parts marking requirements". Click the antitheft button for a list of all of the parts that need a sticker with the VIN of the car. The sticker will need to be "permanent" adhesive and will be destroyed if someone tries to take it off. These modifications will need to be installed by a dealer or a dealer certified shop. Western Cascade will require a copy of the invoice dated before we begin the import process.
There are several options with the speedometer. You can have this changed over before the vehicle is imported. If we take care of it for you at our shop, it could cost between $500.00 and $800.00 or more for some models. The minimum requirement is that the speedometer also have MPH in lower case on the gauge and that the Odometer is labeled that it is in Kilometers. Western Cascade can label the Odometer for you, however, you will have to replace the speedometer if you ever sell it in the US.
Click the tire pressure monitor button for additional information on these requirements for import.
The import process
- Our base fee is $1000 to certify a vehicle that meets US DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Payment will be accepted by cash, certified check or Visa/MC with a $400 deposit ($200 is nonrefundable) due before the process can be started.
- After the vehicles is cleared through customs, you need to bring your vehicle to our location in Tukwila, Washington. It will take approximately 30 days to get approval from the DOT to release the vehicle.
- We will process DOT paperwork, labeling and pictures at our location. Western Cascade can only use their broker for a cost of approximately $100 plus a Customs Bond of a minimum amount of $50 or $5 per thousand dollars of the current value of the vehicle or what you recently paid for the vehicle in US dollars.
- Duty will be approximately 2.5% of the value of the car if it is not made in the US, Mexico or Canada. We can help with the NAFTA waiver of duty. If there is duty, customs fees typically run about $100 and the estimated duty will have to be paid along with the deposit.
- All imported vehicles will need to be checked for outstanding recalls and repaired before they can be released from our facility. This is required of all registered importers. The dealer you purchase the car from can supply verification that there are no outstanding recalls. You may also want to verify that the manufacturer's warranty is still valid in the US for your car. In addition, we cannot import any Saab models due to their recent bankruptcy filing. A recall warranty policy cannot be obtained for SAAB vehicles which is required by the NHTSA.
- We require your legal name, social security number or Canadian identification, address and phone number of the Canadian & US locations.
- We also require all the vehicle information, the signed off Canadian ICBC registration and its value in US dollars. The Bill of Sale or a printout from an online web site like Kelly Blue Book will be acceptable.
- Press the Get Started button below to begin to assemble the Vehicle Import Qualification Package.
If you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org