Get informed here. Stay informed with our Newsletter.

Importing Japanese Used Cars Into Canada


Currently, the laws concerning importing vehicles from countries other than the United States requires the car (excludes buses) must be at least 15 years. You determine the age of a vehicle by the month and year it was manufactured. Do not use the model year. Buses must be built before 1971.

Cars that are less than 15 years old and are not from the USA or Canada can not be imported. Cars that have been produced for either US or Canadian markets and are being imported from other countries can be imported through the 'Registar of Imported Vehicles' program.

One exception is if your vehicle is a "competition vehicle". To be defined that, you must have a letter from the manufacturer saying the vehicle is exclusively for competition use, it is not for normal use, and type(s) of competition(s) it's listed for. You must get pre-shipment approval, giving proof by the Letter and pictures of the vehicle. If approved, it can be imported strictly for competition purposes.

Go To Top


  • Off-loading costs = about 400CAN$
  • Customs Duty = CIF x 6.1%
  • Excise Tax for Cars with Air Conditioning = CAN$100
  • Additional excise taxes for cars over 2,007 kg or 4,425 lbs.
  • GST = (CIF + Duty + Excise Taxes) x 6% 5%

Canadian Customs does random inspections of containers.

Go To Top


The importing process take about 2 months from purchase to complete. It take about 1 month to get on a ship to Vancouver. Once on the ship, it takes 11 days. Time can vary to get through Customs, but shouldn't take more than a week.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires that you clean any sand, soil, earth and plant residue from your passenger and recreational vehicles, including the undercarriage, before you import them.

When the car arrives at the port, you will need to clear it. Customs officials will give you a 'Vehicle Import Form' to fill out. Bring all documents related to the vehicle with you along with ability to pay taxes and duty. You may find it easier to hire a Customs Clearance Agent. These are commerical agents, not Government workers.

Getting the vehicle released from Customs will take a few days as they process paperwork and perform inspections. Once cleared, you will be given necessary paperwork to register the car. There may be additional requirements for your individual providence.

Go To Top



Car Importing to Canada
Customs' Importing Guide

Go To Top
Return to North America