Import regulations for used and new cars from Japan to Canada

The law for importing left or right hand drive vehicles from countries other than America, allows for any vehicle (excluding buses) older than 15 years to the month, to be imported into Canada.

One exception to the 15 year rule is for “competition vehicles”. Competition Vehicles are designed for use exclusively in closed-course competition. These vehicles are exempt from the RIV program provided they bear an indelible bilingual label affixed by the manufacturer in a conspicuous location (usually on the fuel tank), stating: “This vehicle is a competition vehicle and is for use exclusively in closed-course competition” (“Ceci est /un véhicule de compétition destiné à être utilisé exclusivement dans les courses en circuit fermé”), or is accompanied by a signed declaration clearly indicating that the vehicle is a competition vehicle, and is for use exclusively in closed-course competition. This signed declaration must come from a racing sanctioning body, i.e. FIA, AMA, CART, etc. You also must get pre-shipment approval, by submitting a letter of intent, and pictures of the vehicle to Transport Canada ( If approved, it can be imported strictly for competition purposes.

How much will it all cost?
The approximate Japan side costs in Canadian dollars (depending on the current yen/dollar exchange rate, for example 100yen/$1.00), other than shipping which is calculated in USD$ consist of:

    • Vehicle cost at auction
    • CAD$ 150.00-200.00 Auction house fee
    • CAD$ $60.00-120.00 Transportation to nearest port
    • CAD$ $150.00-200.00 Customs clearance
    • CAD$ $1000.00 Japan Car Direct fee

Sample shipping cost to Vancouver RO/RO depending on the shipping line: USD$ 80.00-90.00 M3, Mini Trucks CAD$884.00/998.00, Sports Coupe (Impreza STi) CAD$ 1000.00-1135.00, Long Wheel Base SUV (Land Cruiser Prado) USD$ 1540.00-1730.00, Van (Delica) USD$1560.00-1755.00

Approximate maximum price C&F Vancouver in $CAN at the exchange rate of $1 = 100yen for the best condition 15 year old vehicle available at auction:

  • Mini Truck $1500.00 at auction = $3,495.00 C&F Vancouver
  • Impreza STi $3000.00 at auction = $5,300.00 C&F Vancouver
  • Land Cruiser Prado $8000.00 at auction = $10,845.00 C&F Vancouver
  • Mitsubishi Delica $2,200.00 at auction = $5070.00 C&F Vancouver

The charges that you can expect to pay Canada side when importing a vehicle are as follows:

  • $200.00-$300.00 Off-loading costs and customs clearance
  • 6.1% Duty
  • $100.00 Excise tax for air conditioning
  • $43.00 CBSA Soil Examination Fee
  • Additional excise taxes for vehicles over 2007kg
  • 5% GST of (Vehicle Cost + Duty + Excise Taxes)
  • PST if applicable in your province (payable at the time of registration)

Cost of Containers
Please inquire with regards to your location, and the number of vehicles you require.

Required Documents for Customs Clearance
After your vehicle is on the boat and heading for Vancouver we will courier you the following documents.

  • Bill of Lading
  • Export Certificate
  • English Translation of Export Certificate
  • Bill of Sale
  • After the vehicle has landed, if you are doing the customs clearance yourself, you also require:
  • Request for Release Approval form
  • Cargo Control Abstract
  • These will be faxed to you from the dock where the ship lands.
  • Transport Canada Vehicle Import Form (Form 1) is available at Canadian Customs.
  • Soil/agricultural inspection release provided by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). For further information call the CBSA 24/7 at: 1-800-461-9999

Your vehicle will be processed by WWL Vehicle Services Canada Ltd., and can be picked up at Unit 100-820 Dock Road, Annacis Island, Delta, BC V3M 6A3W. To have a private used vehicle released from WWL it is the responsibility of the consignee to supply all the required documents including but not limited to:

  • Bill of Lading (surrendered)
  • Soil/agricultural inspection release
  • Transport Canada Vehicle Import Form (Form 1)

First you must call WWL at 604-528-8263 to make a reservation date to pick up your vehicle. You will not be able to pick up the vehicle before that date. No appointment is necessary on the pick up day. The office hours are Mon – Fri, (excluding holidays) 8:00am to 3:30pm. Upon arriving at WWL collect your “pick up” paperwork, in order to gain access to your vehicle. The main gates are closed at 4:30 so you must remove your vehicle from the premises before then.

WWL does not provide any type of vehicle starting services so you are advised to take jumper cables, battery pack, gasoline and any other required fluids etc. If you don’t pick your vehicle up on the reservation day, storage charges accrue starting on the 4th working day at $25/day, and double to $50/day starting on the 6th day. There is no charge for weekends and holidays.

All arrangements for pick up of the vehicle must be made by the consignee. The consignee must also provide the Bill of Lading number and/or the serial number of the vehicle(s), upon pick up. Terminal charges are due and payable prior to the release of the vehicle(s), and can be paid in cash or cheque. Cheques should be made payable to “WWL Vehicle Services Canada Ltd.”

Unless you have experience with import, we recommend using a customs clearance broker to get your vehicle cleared. We have had very good experience with, and recommend

If you want to do the importing yourself we will support you in every way we can.

Provincial Registration
When you have satisfied all the import requirements, the Transport Canada Vehicle Import Form (Form 1) will be given to you by customs, or by your broker. Once you have your completed Transport Canada Vehicle Import Form (Form 1), take the form and your proof of ownership documents into a registry agent in your home province. Based on these documents, they will provide you with the appropriate inspection request form that you need to present to the inspection station. Once you have the completed the inspection form, return to the registry agent with all the above mentioned documentation to have your “out of province” motor vehicle registered. There may be other requirements depending on your specific situation that a registry agent can assist you in determining.

For further information regarding importation and registration, please refer to the following Canadian, and Provincial Government web sites:

British Columbia



Newfoundland Labrador

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

Northwest Territories


Yukon Territory

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