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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi.
I'm curious what are importation costs are on the average to purchase a car from the USA over to Canada?
Can I get a Broker to do all the paper work and B.S to bring it across the line for me?
Legally?
Thankyou .
 

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It's a very simple process if you do your homework, cars over 15 years old are straightforward and you pay the same taxes as you would if you bought the car in your province ( for you that's just GST at 5%) plus duty of 6.1% if the car was not manufactured in North America (I.E a lotus) they will also ding you $100 if the car has A/C. A simple provincial safety inspection and you are done. Now if the car is newer than 15 years you will also need to go through the RIV process, which is a recall clearance letter and a federal inspection which is a two minute visual by Canadian tire and is a joke. You must make sure the vehicle is on the admissibility list, which is on the link below as well as the RIV Site. There are about $350 in fees for the process.
Colin
http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/roadsafety/vafus.pdf

Registrar of Imported Vehicles - Vehicle Admissibility
 

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Roberto Giannini
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It's a very simple process if you do your homework, cars over 15 years old are straightforward and you pay the same taxes as you would if you bought the car in your province ( for you that's just GST at 5%) plus duty of 6.1% if the car was not manufactured in North America (I.E a lotus) they will also ding you $100 if the car has A/C. A simple provincial safety inspection and you are done. Now if the car is newer than 15 years you will also need to go through the RIV process, which is a recall clearance letter and a federal inspection which is a two minute visual by Canadian tire and is a joke. You must make sure the vehicle is on the admissibility list, which is on the link below as well as the RIV Site. There are about $350 in fees for the process.
Colin
http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/roadsafety/vafus.pdf

Registrar of Imported Vehicles - Vehicle Admissibility
+1 on above post.

I am on m way this Wed to pick up my Esprit and drive it back, had my Broker handle everything, this makes things waaay smoother at the border.

Good luck
 

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re: Elise and Exige

Exige's are not eligible to be imported into Canada. They are one of the few cars on the not permitted list.

The paperwork is simple, but requires dealing with a few government agencies...

There is no duty any more due to NAFTA. Although, this may only apply to cars manufactured in NA.

The car has to pass Canadian certification i.e. daytime running lights installed and some other small items.

There are lots of US (imported after original sale) cars in Canada.

Anton
 

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What part of Alberta are you from? I'm in Edmonton and have imported a 2003 Esprit with relatively little trouble other than Canada Customs was convinced the car was a kit car.

Keep in mind, any discussions you have with Customs get in writing cause you will need at the border. You cannot bring a 4 cylinder Esprit into Canada, what reason they don't even know. Now this may fall into the 15 year old thing, but get it in writing first, you may regret it at the border otherwise. I was quarantined at the border with the car for 3.5 hours while they tried to figure out what this Esprit was. Have your documentation in order and know your facts talking to the Border Guards, they know nothing about these cars.

Let me know if you need anymore info.
 

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What part of Alberta are you from? I'm in Edmonton and have imported a 2003 Esprit with relatively little trouble other than Canada Customs was convinced the car was a kit car.

Keep in mind, any discussions you have with Customs get in writing cause you will need at the border. You cannot bring a 4 cylinder Esprit into Canada, what reason they don't even know. Now this may fall into the 15 year old thing, but get it in writing first, you may regret it at the border otherwise. I was quarantined at the border with the car for 3.5 hours while they tried to figure out what this Esprit was. Have your documentation in order and know your facts talking to the Border Guards, they know nothing about these cars.

Let me know if you need anymore info.
I'm sorry but that's incorrect, ALL esprits can be imported into Canada, number of cylinders has nothing to do with it (look at the admissibility list) I fully agree with having your documentation in place which includes having the title stamped as 'exported' at the U.S border, but I have imported over a dozen esprits and never had any issues other than the usual ' where was it manufactured? Type of question ( if they don't ask you save 6.1% duty (again this is in the RIV literature) perhaps you meant the Elise? as they cannot be imported until they are fifteen years old. If you are unsure then hire a broker but the process is simple. Also Canada customs do not enforce the admissibility of a vehicle, that's done by the RIV and a form 2 ( required to register newer than 15 years) is only sent to the importer once the vehicle has been confirmed as admissible. What border crossing did you get held up at ? If its one that does not see a lot of imports I can see how they would not be fully conversant with the regulations. In B.C the Blaine crossing sees between 40 to 50 per day and they don't even bother going outside to look at the car, check the VIN, or even see what it is because they only collect the GST and duty, the rest of the process is provincial and the RIV.
 

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Colin, not doubting that all Esprits are/were admissible. That was my understanding as well, and have seen several four cylinders that were sourced from the 'States. Also understand the Elise & Exige have never been importable, and need to wait for the 15 year rule to kick in.

However, when I look under Lotus in the provided links it only seems to list the Esprit V8, and says 'All other Lotus models are inadmissible'. :shrug: Maybe this is the source of confusion?

LOTUS

Has perhaps the documentation changed? It shows as the Oct 9 2013 on-line version. Is there perhaps a different / better source of info confirming admissibility of 4 cylinder Esprits? Assume it would be great for Mike to have a hard copy either at the border or the registry showing the Esprit as admissible to avoid any issues?

For 88LotusEsprit, the OP (Mike) is located in Edmonton as well. Take him for a ride in your car to keep his spirits up. :) Maybe we can organize a Banff Jasper Esprit run next spring?

Cheers!

Stu
Just interested in the process :popcorn:
 

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Colin, not doubting that all Esprits are/were admissible. That was my understanding as well, and have seen several four cylinders that were sourced from the 'States. Also understand the Elise & Exige have never been importable, and need to wait for the 15 year rule to kick in.

However, when I look under Lotus in the provided links it only seems to list the Esprit V8, and says 'All other Lotus models are inadmissible'. :shrug: Maybe this is the source of confusion?

LOTUS

Has perhaps the documentation changed? It shows as the Oct 9 2013 on-line version. Is there perhaps a different / better source of info confirming admissibility of 4 cylinder Esprits? Assume it would be great for Mike to have a hard copy either at the border or the registry showing the Esprit as admissible to avoid any issues?

For 88LotusEsprit, the OP (Mike) is located in Edmonton as well. Take him for a ride in your car to keep his spirits up. :) Maybe we can organize a Banff Jasper Esprit run next spring?

Cheers!

Stu
Just interested in the process :popcorn:
HI Stu,
I think its a case of not reading the information properly and going straight to the Lotus category. See here, section 2, first line: http://tinyurl.com/opxhx5t ALLvehicles fifteen years or older are admissible, that's why they state 1998 to 2006 in the Lotus category, any car/Esprit built before 1998 is over fifteen years old and is automatically admissible into Canada. I have been importing Lotus cars for 12 years and its a lot easier than it used to be, previously the bumper regulations were different and Esprits had to have the Canadian market foam installed behind the bumper before it was admissible, which was why I bought the last ones available from Lotus U.K. Now, there was nothing stopping a person from installing then removing at a later date, or producing the receipt to CDN tire and showing you bought the foam (after all they are not going to remove the front bumper to check) They changed the regulations a couple of years ago standardizing the bumper regs, which is why I have three sets of bumper foam in the garage :facepalm. Bottom line again, ANY car fifteen years or older can be imported into Canada, ALL Esprits can be imported into Canada, the 1998-2006 Esprits have to go through an additional process (RIV-registrar of imported vehicles) I am more than happy to assist anyone who wants to import a Lotus, Its like anything else when dealing with a bureaucracy, do your homework. Love the idea of a Banff/Jasper run, imagine the photo ops blasting through the mountains :shift:
Colin
 

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Wingless Wonder
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They changed the regulations a couple of years ago standardizing the bumper regs, which is why I have three sets of bumper foam in the garage :facepalm. Colin
What is different about the Canadian bumper foam? I remember it allowed the cars to pass a 5 MPH inpact VS the USA regulation of 2.5 MPH. Is it a different density, and how could an inspector tell?

Just curious...



Perhaps it is the regular foam, soaked in Molsons? :D
 

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What is different about the Canadian bumper foam? I remember it allowed the cars to pass a 5 MPH inpact VS the USA regulation of 2.5 MPH. Is it a different density, and how could an inspector tell?

Just curious...



Perhaps it is the regular foam, soaked in Molsons? :D
Atwell,
According to an email I received from Dwayne ( Lotus Atlanta) and Ken Evans (Executive Legislation Engineer, Type Approval Department, Lotus Engineering) way back in 1999 the foam was indeed different to comply with CMVSS- 215 (which is here: ARCHIVED — Canada Gazette – Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Bumpers) ) for the higher impact speed requirements of Canada. I also had this confirmed by Dave Bean back in the day. The part numbers for the foam are different and the foam itself was one piece for the CDN market as opposed to a two piece for the U.S market. The Canadian numbers for the ‘Impact foam’ are A082-B4990K for the front and the rear is A082B4991K (the K is key) Likely a slightly more dense composition and at the time a total pain in the ass. Later the numbers changed to AO82B5171K and AO82B5172K but it’s a moot point as they have been unavailable since 1999 when I bought the last ones. Now if you want a set let me know:rolleyes:, I also have the front impact foam from Larry’s mistress (don’t ask !:crazyeyes)
Colin
 

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I'm not from Canada, nor own an Esprit, but had a question for you guys. So above it states that there is a car age where the process changes. Does this mean that when the Exige turns 15, it may be admissible?
 

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I'm not from Canada, nor own an Esprit, but had a question for you guys. So above it states that there is a car age where the process changes. Does this mean that when the Exige turns 15, it may be admissible?
I'm not from Canada, but having dealt with US laws, I'll take a swag at it.

The URL above that says 'All other Lotus models are inadmissible' appears to mean "All other 96-04 Lotus MODELS are inadmissible" - essentially no Elise/Exige UNTIL the 15 year old rule pops up.

But wait! The Canada law also talks about different bumper standards. I don't have the URL handy, but Lotus got an exemption on the Elise/Exige bumper standards. So Canada may 'allow' a 15 year old car, but don't assume a 15 year old Elise/Exige is automatically qualified - the bumper standards appear to be a requirement as well.

And in keeping with the Esprit topic - another URL (unverified) I read mentioned one of the reasons the Esprit was discontinued in 2004 was it had some safety exemptions that were running out. Not sure which ones, given it had ABS, air bags, 5 MPH bumpers, but that's what I read.

I say bring on the new Esprit and I'll start saving my nickels all over again :UK:
 

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Wingless Wonder
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And in keeping with the Esprit topic - another URL (unverified) I read mentioned one of the reasons the Esprit was discontinued in 2004 was it had some safety exemptions that were running out.
I read that as well.

Some of the safety standards exempted were side impact protection (backbone chassis doesn't offer much) and distance of the windshield header to the occupants heads. Might be a rollover clause in there, too.



I STILL think that soaking the bumper foam in Molsons would help make it denser. It would be easy to smell, too. :D rotfl
 

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I'm not from Canada, nor own an Esprit, but had a question for you guys. So above it states that there is a car age where the process changes. Does this mean that when the Exige turns 15, it may be admissible?
Correct, any vehicle, once it reaches its 15 year anniversary is admissible. This has been the source of debate for quite some time as a vehicle that is not deemed 'safe' at 14 years, 11 months and 30 days suddenly becomes acceptably safe a day later. The RIV has sweeping powers to force you to export a vehicle that is inadmissible and many have learnt the hard way (yup, I have!) There are a lot of tricks to getting an inadmissible vehicle in to Canada though, and there are also some huge money saving loopholes when importing higher end BMW, Mercedes and Audi's. I was once called at 5:30 on a Sunday morning by the RIV telling me that the Suburban I had just imported was inadmissible and had to be exported out of Canada within 30 days. WTF was my first reaction, second was to find out why, turns out I had purchased what's known as an 'incomplete vehicle', very common in the U.S in particular travel vans, cab and chassis etc. The Suburban was customized by a third party contractor and turns out that the rear captains chairs had not been crash tested to Canadian standards. After some negotiations I was allowed to remove the captains chairs and have them destroyed (yup, cut up into little pieces) along with photographic evidence this appeased the RIV gods, the Suburban was then admissible. Once I had my paperwork in order I installed another set of captains chairs rotfl

Colin
 

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Thanks Colin. That clears it up. For some reason I was not doing math correctly and realizing 1998 is, in fact, 15 years ago! :facepalm

I'll let Colin clear up the details, but my reading is that after fifteen years old we are good to go. Keep in mind Colin mentioned he has been bringing the Esprits in for 12 years; my guess is the Esprits were not 15 years old yet at the time of importation when he had to do the bumpers, etc. Do I have it vaguely right Colin?

For right now the Elise can't be brought in, as generally the US ones are not 15 years old yet. Again, not sure of details, but understand for under 15 year old stuff this has a lot to do with the manufacturer certifying the car meets standards in both countries.

Some manufacturers will certify some models; Toyota & Nissan come to mind. Heck, I was looking at a US-sourced Nissan SUV on the Nissan dealer's used lot.

Some won't certify; eg Lotus now with the Elise.

Some will make it certification difficult; Mercedes & BMW come to mind. I considered a mildly used Mercedes R350 or GL (both of which are assembled in the US) from the 'States, but gave up and bought a new R350 from a Canadian dealer (for like $15K more dough) after hearing what was needed to get a compliance letter, turn on daytime running lights, loose the remaining warranty coverage, not be offered lattes at the dealer, etc. It just wasn't worth the effort, and we don't even have rigorous air care inspections in Alberta.

When our $ came out of the tank a few years ago it became popular to go through the import process on a used ride, but some manufacturers made it more difficult, presumably to protect their dealers a bit.
 

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Not meaning to stray to far off topic,,,,but can anyone recommend a reputable broker in Ontario that would be able to import an Esprit close to the Toronto/Durham region? I am interested in pursuing this option.
 

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I'll let Colin clear up the details, but my reading is that after fifteen years old we are good to go. Keep in mind Colin mentioned he has been bringing the Esprits in for 12 years; my guess is the Esprits were not 15 years old yet at the time of importation when he had to do the bumpers, etc. Do I have it vaguely right Colin?
Well yes...and no :confused: When I first began to import esprits they were not 15 years old so needed the bumper modifications. In approx. 2007/8 they introduced legislation harmonizing the bumper impact regulations, making the bumper mods redundant. This is for all imports as the Audi's cost a fortune to have the bumpers modified before they changed the law. They also required a child safety restraint for the esprit :panic: but as long as you had one in the glove box that was 'acceptable' (hey its the government, nobody said it had to make sense :facepalm)
 

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Thanks Colin. More than I ever knew about the process. I guess if it weren't complicated there would be no money in it. :)

Stu
 
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