Originally Posted by David Tighe
Thank you for all those replies. @Briantb: The Quebec tax people say that no inspection necessary if under 900kg but I have to leave it at the border and go and get plates at the nearest tax office.
David I have imported twice so I am a little concerned that whoever told you that there is "no inspection necessary if under 900kgs" has not given you accurate information regarding the actual import process. They may not require an inspection on a trailer under 900kgs in order to get it licenced but all imported cars and trailers must be inspected unless it is more than 15 years old.
All the accurate information you will need to import at trailer can be found at "Registrar of Imported Vehicles" also know as RIV.ca
Regarding putting Canadian plates on a trailer that has not completed the full import process be warned thats a real no no. They can go a little silly on you at the border if you where to put Canadian plates on a trailer that has not yet completed the import process. You can and should obtain temporary permits to move it through the states you travel through (most trailer & car dealers/manufactures will obtain one for you on purchase or if buying used you can obtain them yourself).
Once at the border you will pay the necessary GST and provincial taxes (although in some cases this has not actually been charged until the you go to get to the actual registration). At the border you will also pay to have the trailer entered into the RIV program - currently $195 plus taxes in Quebec the total RIV fee is currently $224.20. They will fill out the paper work for this at the border for you. All vehicles (except buses) that are 15 years old or more from the date of manufacture, are exempt from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program. If the trailer is less than 15 years old it must go through the RIV program and you will also need an official U.S. SOC label on the trailer or a letter from the manufacture containing the information normally found on the label such as VIN
, make model, date of manufacture, gross vehicle weight
ratings and axle weight
ratings. If you buy a Scamp
or a Casita
both companies are well aware of this requirement for importing to Canada and will provide you with a letter for this that you need. Scamp was able to provide one for me using the VIN
number of the used trailer I purchased even though I did not purchase it directly from them.
Note that when importing a car the documents must go to the border at least 72 hours prior to taking the car to the US side of the border - that rule does not apply to trailers - just drive up to the border with the trailer and necessary documents. With a car you pick up the stamped documents from the US side of the border and then take it and the car to the Canadian side to clear it the same as a trailer.
After you go through the border you will need to take the trailer some place and park it as it can not be registered or plated until you receive (normally in about 2 weeks) a letter confirming it has been entered into the RIV program which you need to take the trailer to be inspected. You will if you can get it in Quebec a temp permits to take it to inspection (this can be a problem in some provinces). Once the trailer goes through the RIV inspection (can be done at most Canadian Tires
for a fee) where they look to see that you have all the necessary lights
in the right position and that the lens comply with the DOT requirements & that you have a compliance letter from the manufacturer. In the case of Scamp and Casita
they do use the same lens & put them in the right location etc so there should be no issues with passing the inspection. You can then take the forms you were sent and what the inspection facility gives you and the Bill of Sale in to get the trailer registered and insured in Canada and get plates for it. Until you get the forms showing its been inspected you can not register or plate the trailer in Canada. You will also eventually be sent a label showing its been legally imported that needs to go on the trailer.
Hope the above helps.