David, your best source of info is the Canadian Government web site RIV.ca
. I can tell you that the first time I imported I got a lot of misinfo from here as well as from our local DVM. Best to call the Canadian Border crossing you will be using should you have any questions about what you really need to do to get the trailer across. But I can tell you from experience that I did do not need to send any paper work ahead or take a none motorized vehicle to the US customs prior to taking my trailer to Canadian customs. I did need to send paper work to US Customs and go there first at time of crossing when I imported a car though.
The RIV.ca site reads on the topic on non motorized vechiles the following:
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) require notification of all self-propelled
vehicles being permanently exported from the United States. You must provide CBP with your vehicle title
and sales receipts."
The US Customs web page addresses
the need to go to them for Motorized vehicles here.
Again if you have any doubts you can always call the US Border patrol where you will be crossing and have them confirm you dont need to take a trailer to them prior to taking it to Canada Customs.
There is a FAQ section as well as Province specific details.
The section regarding whats needed to register/licence an imported vehicle in Quebec is here
. It does say in addition to other documents you need a "Vehicle Import Form" in order to register it. Unfortunately it doesn't say if it needs to be a completed form - ie cleared inspection etc.
under the FAQ secton of RAV.ca it reads in part:
"Is the Vehicle Import Form a valid temporary registration
for the vehicle I have imported?
The provincial/territorial licensing authorities co-operate with CBSA by requiring proof that CBSA formalities have been complied with before issuing licenses for foreign vehicles imported into Canada. Persons required by the provincial /territorial licensing authority to license
their foreign vehicle in Canada must present a properly completed Form 1, to the licensing authority. "
Dont know about Quebec but in BC the trailer had to have completed the RIV required inspection and the import form stamped confirming it been inspected and passed before they would register/licence the trailer. You *may* be able to get a temp licence to take it for its RIV inspection though if you can show its in the process of being imported by showing the RIV forms you obtained/paid for at the border. Again its best that you talk directly with the place you will be going to for the temp licence. But dont be to surprised if the party you talk to doesn't actually seem to know the actual regulations ;-) Best to get it from someplace where they have actually handled an import before.