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torontoim

Importing an exported US car from Canada back into the US

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Good afternoon everybody,

 

I wanted to ask about an usual situation. I bought my car from the United States while I was a student in 2009. I imported it into Canada after completing my studies in 2014.

 

I recently got my spousal green card, got a job in the United States and I plan to import the car back into the US when I travel in a couple of weeks.

 

Seeing as this car was manufactured in the US and I am reimporting it back (I have the bill of sale from the American dealership, it has the EPA compliant label under the hood,  and I have the label from the Canadian RIV- Registrar of Imported Vehicles) , would I need any other special paperwork or the compliance letter from the manufacturer? I know the CBP website has the DOT and EPA forms but would this vehicle be exempt since it’s American?

 

I know I should wait to cancel my Canadian auto insurance until after I’ve gotten my DMV registration and US auto insurance, but is there anything else I need to do in Canada to notify the Ministry of Transportation that I’m importing this car to the US?

 

I just want to make sure I’m prepared and don’t get surprised at the border or afterwards if I didn’t tie up loose ends in Ontario. Thanks!

Edited by torontoim

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@torontoim, CBP has a page concerning bringing back a car that originated in the U.S.; https://www.cbp.gov/travel/clearing-cbp/automobiles:

Quote

U.S. Residents Importing and Exporting Vehicles

 

A vehicle transported/driven from the United States for non-commercial or private use outside the country may return duty free to the United States, if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is provided specific proof of U.S. origination. This proof may be a State issued vehicle registration card or a CBP certificate of registration (CBP 4455) completed and verified by a CBP officer before departure from the United States.

 

Know that any repairs or accessories acquired abroad for your vehicle must be declared on your return and may be subject to duty.

 

Warning: Catalytic-equipped vehicles (1976 or later model years) driven outside the United States, Canada, or Mexico will not, in many cases, meet EPA standards when brought back to the United States. As unleaded fuel generally is not available in other countries, the catalytic converter will become inoperative and must be replaced. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. 20460, for details and exceptions.

 

When planning to purchase a vehicle outside the United States and then import the vehicle into the United States, it would be advisable to review our publication "Importing or Exporting a Car" on the related links section of this site for general guidance. If planning to permanently export a vehicle be aware that there are several regulations that must be met prior to lawful exportation.

 

For additional questions, contact your local CBP Port office.

Edited by TM92

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We did this a few years ago and followed the same procedure as for bringing a car purchased in Canada into the US. So we did get a compliance letter from the manufacturer  - Toyota. At POE the officer was in where the car was manufactured and not that it had previously been purchased and imported from the US.


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Just now, gad33 said:

We did this a few years ago and followed the same procedure as for bringing a car purchased in Canada into the US. So we did get a compliance letter from the manufacturer  - Toyota. At POE the officer was in where the car was manufactured and not that it had previously been purchased and imported from the US.

So my car is manufactured in the US which I believe you can infer from the VIN number. It also has the FMVSS and EPA-compliant labels in the door and under the hood respectively. Not anticipating we should have any issues now.

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Just following up on this for the benefit of anyone else going through this process who may search the topic later. 

 

I was able to successfully import my vehicle with just the EPA and DOT forms and pictures of my FMVSS and EPA-compliance stickers from my vehicle. 

 

US CBP didn’t require a letter of compliance from my vehicle’s manufacturer. If your vehicle’s VIN starts with a ‘1’ they rarely will reject the import request per the CBP officer I dealt with.

 

All in all, much less painful than I was expecting.

Edited by torontoim

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1 minute ago, torontoim said:

All in all, much less painful than I was expecting.

Thanks for the follow-up. How about any repairs done in Canada?

Quote

Know that any repairs or accessories acquired abroad for your vehicle must be declared on your return and may be subject to duty.

Or they didn't care?


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1 minute ago, TM92 said:

Thanks for the follow-up. How about any repairs done in Canada?

Or they didn't care?

No they didn’t even ask about that. I know it says that on the website, so maybe it depends on the CBP officer you deal with.

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