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Import a bike into Canada (Export from US)

17040 Views 37 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  bacchus40
I was looking into how to bring a bike from US into Canada. It didn't work out for me at the end, but I want to share the information I gathered. Hopefully this will save someone some time.

It seems to me that exporting a bike out of the US is a bigger PITA than importing into Canada.

You can choose to export (out of US) through the Blaine Truck Crossing, or the Sumas border. The two borders have different documents, so make sure you use the set for the border you plan to use. Their export hours both suck for folks who work 9-to-5 jobs.

Blaine seems more established in their procedures, but takes longer to respond. Sumas seems a little behind in technologies, but at least they answer their phones.

The first attachment is an information packet for the Blaine border. Once your required docs have been sent in, you can use this second attachment to find out where things are at (status of your paperworks). The Blaine export office doesn't pick up their phone (in my experience). Be prepared to leave a message, or you can e-mail them and it takes about 24 hours for them to respond.
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Now, these two attachments are the important ones.

The first one is the one you use for the Blaine border. Read the information package first, then fill out this form, and send in all the other required documents.

The second one is the one for Sumas. Sorry it's upside down (coz they faxed it to me that way).

Again, make sure you use the right forms for the right border.
You can e-mail the Blaine border at: <[email protected]>. Or phone them at 360-332-2632.

The Sumas one doesn't have an e-mail, but you can phone directly. 360-988-2971.

Once the bike is exported, you go to the Canadian border, go pay your GST and the import fee ($200'ish), then get the bike inspected, and pay PST upon registering in BC.

To me, the biggest pain is leaving the bike in the US for 72 hours prior to exportation. That means you have to pay for the bike, store it somewhere for 3 days, then bring it out of the US. That could mean going down there 2x unless you're buying from a dealer/shop that stores it for you.

Anyway, hope that helps.
WHy didn't it work out if you don't mind? It's not as hard as it sounds to import, just follow the rules to the letter, and they are pretty simple and standard.
Excellent information here. I agree that having to wait 72 hours is a hassle but the money you save more than pays for it.
Couple of tips here from the inside:
-Get the title from the person you will be buying the bike off of, you can even just give them the vin 72 hrs in advance and it will only take a quick verifcation and your done with that waiting period.
-I dont suggest phoning and it would be wise to remove that number from here, it is not a public number and is not intended for inquires and the such, there is a 1-800 number for that.
-Sumas has the same "technology" as any other port...
-All there is to exporting a bike is the 72 hr title clearance then the paper work at the border then finally the inspection then registration.
-Lastly, the hours you talk about confuse me? exporting a vehicle can be done 24/7 at the border.

Good tips though, the process is rather simple and you dont even have to pay duties on most bikes.
Holyrain, it didn't work out coz the bike I wanted was in Medford Oregon. The seller didn't want to send me his title papers before I paid in full, and I didn't want to pay in full until I saw the bike. I didn't want to bother going down once to pay for the bike, store it, and go down again to pick up the bike.

Mak, I asked the Sumas vehicle export office about hours I can export, and they said 8 am to 4 pm. I said what if I showed up at 5 pm, they said then they'll make me come back during office hour.
OK...n ow the REAL question is how much approxiametly EXTRA does it cost to import one into canada?(obviously, on top of the regular price of the bike)
Wierd about the hours, guess you just gotta get one of us in a good mood ;)

As for how much extra its going to cost you, I would say to think about %10. Thats once all is said and done, taxes and inspection costs.
This info will come in handy when I finally get a proper job and save up enough to buy my MV Augusta Brutale 910R from the nearest dealership (Oregon)!!
Holyrain, it didn't work out coz the bike I wanted was in Medford Oregon. The seller didn't want to send me his title papers before I paid in full, and I didn't want to pay in full until I saw the bike. I didn't want to bother going down once to pay for the bike, store it, and go down again to pick up the bike.QUOTE]

I see. If you ever want to import a vehicle in the near future, send me a pm. I used to import a few cars every year and there are simple ways around these kinds of issues. Hope you got what you wanted in the end.
The simplest of which is to:

a) use a broker;

b) put out a call to the forum to find someone local who can check the bike out for you. I know a few people in that neck of the woods who could have dropped by.

The Customs guys are funny. If you show up with all the paperwork ready to go and already know the answers to all the questions, usually no hassle. But if you look like you're unsure, or don't have the answers, they're all over you like a fat kid on a smartie, more than likely just to cover their own ass on the paperwork.
To give you an update, I did find another deal in Spokane on a 1999 DR350SE. I went down last weekend to buy it, crammed it in the back of a mini van, and drop it off in a storage yard in Blaine (Pantec, $5/day).

I bought some storage insurance ($30), probably not really needed, but to buy myself a peace of mind. Also bought the binder of insurance ($28) so I can ride the bike home from Blaine.

Came home, faxed all the papers in, e-mailed them on Monday to check the export status, they e-mailed back said I can export on Thurs. Waited 3 long business days, itching to ride the new (to me) bike.

This morning, I went down to Blaine to pick up the bike, went to US Customs, they stamped the title, and I was on my way in 30 seconds. They didn't even come out to check the VIN.

Went over to cross the Canadian border, paid the import fee $206.70, did all the paper works, paid GST, and was out of there in 15 minutes. No one checked the bike.

I rode the bike home, and my face hurt from the shit-eating-grin.

Now I just have to wait for Transport Canada to send me some documents, then I can get the bike inspected and insured.

Storage US$25
Storage ins $30
Binder ins $28
Import fee $206.70
Total: roughly $295 because of importation

I didn't add GST in there, because you pay GST anyway if you buy from a dealership. My GST cost was under $100, so it's not so bad. When I insure the bike, I'll also have to pay PST.

God, I wanna go home and ride that thing!
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Quick question for you, do you need the manufacture recall letter prior to bringing the bike into Canada, or just for the inspection that you need to get done in 45 days?

I think the recall clearance letter is just for when you do the inspection. Both the US customs and Canadian customs guys never asked for it.
Cool bananas! Where did you get the insurance binder from?

where did you get insurance for the bike? I just need the storage, not going to ride it over, but how'd ya do it if the bike isn't registered to you already? And you have to get it inspected to get it registered....no?
I got the insurance from Ida at Westland Insurance (by the food court in Bental 1, next to Carlton Cards or something like that). Call her at 604-682-6115.

You don't need to have title to get the insurance. The binder of insurance allows you to ride the bike home. Lyzic, if you just need storage insurance, it's pretty cheap, depending on the declared value of the bike. The bracket is every $5k. My declared value is under $5k, so it was $30 for 7 days (it's really only $11, but the minimum charge is $30).

They initially told me I can't buy storage insurance b/c the bike is outside of BC. I said that's stupid, why can't I insure my property just because it's outside BC? So she phoned ICBC, and sure enough, ICBC said it's ok.

As for the storage yard, the two I know of are Pantec and Yorkey's. Pantec is $5/day, fenced in and gated, gravel yard, lots of space, but has a 9-6 office hour. Yorkey's is a gas station, $4/day, open 24 hours, but completely open to public, and not as many spots available. I liked Pantec just because it's gated/fenced, and they are nice to deal with too. Yorkey's felt so exposed...like anyone can drive a truck in there and take your bike.

Oh, and Lyzic, you do need the year, model, and VIN of the bike to get the insurance. The seller gave me the VIN prior to me paying him, and he didn't have a problem with it.
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Anybody interested in importing bikes into Canada but want a pro, i have a good friend who is a consultant and takes care of all of the hassles for a fee. PM if you're interested and i'll put you in touch with him.
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