Bringing a vehicle into the U.S. involves several steps and – most of the time – payment of duties and taxes (much like importing a vehicle into Canada, which was explained in a previous blog).
If the vehicle will stay in the U.S. for more than 365 days, if it’s a permanent move, or if the vehicle is imported for commercial use, the owner must import the vehicle immediately upon entering the U.S.
Exception: Canadians who bring their Canadian-licensed cars into the U.S. for less than a year (e.g. “Snowbirds”) do not need to go through the import process.
Whether you choose to use a customs broker to take care of the formalities or go it alone, you should understand what’s involved when bringing a vehicle into the U.S.
All vehicles imported into the U.S. must be compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Those bringing a vehicle into the U.S. must provide the following completed compliance forms to show they meet these standards:
In addition, a U.S. Customs or Commercial Invoice and a copy of the vehicle registration are also required.
Duty is based on the vehicle price paid or payable and is calculated at 2.5% for passenger vehicles, 25% for trucks and 2.4% for motorcycles with engines larger than 700 cc (those with smaller engines are duty exempt). Most Canadian- and Mexican-made vehicles are duty-free.
We can help!
For individual and commercial importers, Cole International USA provides a full range of services to ensure your vehicle import goes smoothly.
With offices located along the Canada-U.S. border plus National Permit and Remote Location Filing in all commercial ports of entry across the U.S., we can provide you with timely, efficient and cost-effective service.
See Cole International’s Importing Vehicles into the U.S. webpage for further information on our services or...
- U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Importing a vehicle (video)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Importing a Motor Vehicle
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Importing Vehicles into the United States
- U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – Vehicle Importation & Certification Requirement
Information provided by: U.S. Customs Dept. - Cole International