Purchase in Canada? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-19-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
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Purchase in Canada?

IF I bought a camper from an individual in Canada, is it a big deal for me to drive back to US and register in state here? What's involved?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Chris,

I am in the midst of this process at the moment. Check with your local DMV office and see what they will require of you. You will most likely need temporary tags to transport the trailer back to the states. Hire a broker to ensure that the trailer can easily cross the border. I'm looking at a cost of $150 for this and that seems fair considering the potential headaches it should help avoid.

If the camper is more than 25 years old, importing seems to be a fairly simple process, but if it is a newer unit, it may be more complicated due to more stringent manufacturing regulations. US and Canadian regulations are not the same and it seems as though this can complicate the process.

Canadian trailers will not have titles, however, there is a Transfer of Ownership Document that you'll need to obtain to register your new camper back in the states. My local DMV also wants the bill of sale to be notarized in Canada.

Perhaps not an exhaustive list of the process, but YMMV depending on your location.

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Old 03-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Hiring a broker? Not sure what this means. This someone you found on Internet or ? Thanks
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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Hiring a broker? Not sure what this means. This someone you found on Internet or ? Thanks
Easily found on the internet. You'll want to look at what city along the border that your trailer will be coming through and search for "customs broker (insert city name here)".

Tell them you need a one time import of a camper. They will take care of the necessary paperwork for you. Cost is around $150 depending on your trailer's declared value.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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Also would there be a large tax to pay just to bring purchased trailer into US? (in addition to state tax)? Assume $20,000 on 5 yr. old trailer.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
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I don't get all the hassle with buying in Canada. None of the other states give you this grief.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:41 AM   #7
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Canadian trailers do have titles.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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A couple of years ago I bought our Bigfoot in Quebec. The previous owner's registration certificate also was the title. He signed it releasing interest. I needed no temporary registration. My tow vehicle insurance automatically covers anything I tow. I used no broker and had no trouble bringing the trailer into the US via New York. The only trouble was getting a US border official to provide an importation document wanted by my home state of California. He said he was too busy dealing with big trucks. He said US Customs didn't care that I was bringing the trailer into the US, but that I might have trouble registering it in my home state. I persisted in my request for the importation document and he yielded. He never even stepped outside to look at the trailer. Since I was not to be in California for some time I had a Maryland safety officer verify the VIN on a California form. I mailed the signed Canadian registration, the importation document, and the VIN certification to California DMV. They mailed me a California title, registration, and license plate.

Your mileage may vary, but I have been told that Canadian brokers will tell you that you need their services when actually you do not. I had that experience in British Columbia when I was considering buying a trailer there. A Canadian broker told me I must use a broker to get a trailer into the US. I called the border crossing at Blaine, Washington to inquire. The officer there told me I needed no broker.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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The only trouble was getting a US border official to provide an importation document wanted by my home state of California. He said he was too busy dealing with big trucks. He said US Customs didn't care that I was bringing the trailer into the US, but that I might have trouble registering it in my home state. I persisted in my request for the importation document and he yielded. He never even stepped outside to look at the trailer. Since I was not to be in California for some time I had a Maryland safety officer verify the VIN on a California form. I mailed the signed Canadian registration, the importation document
I would like to think that this is the part that you don't have to deal with if you have a broker. Otherwise, what's the point?
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
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Perhaps I got away with something. According to Customs and Border Protection website an importer is needed if the trailer does not have a certificate stating that it meets US safety standards. I believe the manufacturer can provide that, if still in business.


https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...1qMkxsbA%3D%3D

Neither CBP nor the State of California asked for such a certificate and I do not have one. The State of California told me it was necessary only for motor vehicles.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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Canadian trailers do have titles.
They're registered, like a motor vehicle, but I don't think that's what is being called a title in the U.S.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:51 PM   #12
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As others have pointed out, less trouble is likely to be encountered at the border than at State licencing offices. Make SURE to check with yours as to exactly what you need before you leave Canada.

There's a detailed discussion of the process of importing a new trailer from Canada at
this link in the (British Columbian )Escape forum.

I don't see why the process/paperwork would differ much for a used trailer except that the previous Canadian owner's registration/Title/whatever subs for the new trailer's certificate of origin discussed in that thread.

Doesn't look like there's any duty/tariff to be paid...

Francesca
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:35 PM   #13
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Just to clarify, the link to the Escape forum above has threads on bringing trailers into the U.S. from Canada, posted by Escape owners. Those threads should help you as to the several documents needed.

Escape Trailer Industries is a separate entity from the forum. They manufacture and sell the Escape trailers in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:52 AM   #14
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Check with the Canadian Provencal rules. Alberta says the license plate belongs to the current owner, not the trailer. When sold, the owner should remove the plate. If you have no transit permit, you'll be towing a trailer with no license plate. The US customs form is a 7501 and it needs to be stamped at the border. This is the form that you state's dept. of transportation needs to see to issue a new title.
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