Cost considerations

Importers should be aware of the costs associated with importing a vehicle from the United States. Please note that the following fees and taxes are the most common costs, and are subject to change.

Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) fees

See RIV Payment & Fees for details.

Duties and taxes

Please refer to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for detailed information on import duties and taxes.

Air conditioning excise tax

An excise tax of $100 is payable for vehicles with air conditioning that are purchased in Canada or imported from the United States. This tax is payable to CBSA at the border when the vehicle is permanently imported into Canada.

Excise tax (Green Levy) on fuel inefficient cars

This tax is applicable to vehicles purchased in Canada or imported from the United States and is applied to a passenger vehicle if it:

  • is a car, SUV or van with a weighted average fuel consumption of 13 litres per 100 km or higher, and
  • was put into service after March 19, 2007.

Vehicles are taxed, based on weighted average fuel consumption, at the following rates:

  • At least 13, but less than 14 litres per 100 km: $1,000
  • At least 14, but less than 15 litres per 100 km: $2,000
  • At least 15, but less than 16 litres per 100 km: $3,000
  • 16 or more litres per 100 km: $4,000


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is collected on all imported vehicles by the CBSA and is based on:

  • the current GST rate (5%), and
  • the U.S. sale price of the vehicle before any trade-ins (converted to CDN$)
  • any state or local sales tax paid (converted to CDN$)
  • any excise taxes or duties assessed by CBSA at the border.

For the most current information about import fees, contact the CBSA at 1-800-461-9999 (in Canada) or 506 636-5064 (outside Canada).Visit the CBSA web site for information about import duties and taxes.

Provincial inspections and licensing

In addition to the requirements under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act, there may be additional provincial requirements to be met with respect to automobile insurance, provincial/territorial sales tax (PST), licensing fees and environmental standards in order to get your vehicle licensed and registered.

These requirements are under the authority of the provinces and territories and they are not a pre-condition for importation. RIV does not administer these programs, nor collect the fees or costs associated with compliance to provincial/territorial requirements.

Emissions Standards and Testing

Some provinces and territories require additional testing for vehicle emissions to ensure they meet air quality standards. Additional information for these important environmental initiatives can be found under the flag of the jurisdiction.

Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is a pre-condition for vehicle registration and licensing in every jurisdiction in Canada. Some provinces and territories are self-insured (public auto insurance) and some rely on the private sector governed by provincial/territorial legislation.

Trip permit

A temporary permit or plate allows a vehicle to be driven into Canada for import, before it has passed a provincial/territorial safety certification program or been licensed permanently.

Please note: Each provincial/territorial licensing body manages its own temporary permit/plate program. Temporary permits or plates may not be available in your jurisdiction.

Please contact your provincial/territorial licensing jurisdiction for information specific to your jurisdiction.

Tire Stewardship Programs

Many of the provinces and territories have environmental programs in place to deal with the safe disposal and recycling of used tires.

Check with the jurisdiction in which you intend to license your vehicle in order to find out more.

Title history searches

RIV recommends that importers conduct a complete title history search on a vehicle before purchase, in order to see all brands assigned to that vehicle by U.S. licensing jurisdictions.

The following companies provide title histories for a fee:



Note: RIV is not responsible for the web site content, services or results provided by companies offering these or similar services.

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