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Old 12-09-2005, 05:01 PM   #1
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canada customs policy on buying airstream in states

I have been finding it difficult to find used airstreams in vancouver where i live. There aren't many around and only one dealer in BC that sells them, and according to the sales man they are lucky if they sell a couple a year. They are quite expensive and used ones rarely come up for sale. There in one 28 foot international ccd 2004 for sale, but it is larger than i would like. I''m leaning towards a 19 or 22. 25 foot at the largest. Any information about buying a trailer in the states and bringing it across the border into bc would be greatly appreciated. My spouse thinks it is too much hassle and will cost just as much in the end as to buy one locally. He may be right, but the type of trailers i'm looking for seem to be more prevelent in the states. thanks again for any help on this topic.
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Old 12-09-2005, 05:28 PM   #2
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Not sure if we're talking new or pre-owned. A new coach will need to be made to Canadian specs...there is an additional line charge on the order forms. I forget what the difference is, but do recall that Airstream builds them slightly different in a few areas due to Canadian rules and regs.

Now pre-owned, I suppose if you bought one in Canada that was sold new in Canada, it would have whatever is needed. If it was sold in the US or abroad and came to Canada, not sure it would have the required stuff, and not sure it would need it if it were pre-owned.

As for customs, when I sell anything on eBay that goes to Canada, there is a fee that is charged to the Canadian resident based on the value of the item. It seems like some sort of tax. I would guess that any item bought outside of Canada may also require that same tax be paid....best bet would be to contact your local provincial government office and see what they say about pre-owned and maybe even new.
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Old 12-09-2005, 08:40 PM   #3
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I don't think I know anything more than Twink. I seem to recall there are different codes for electrical systems on trailers to be licensed in Canada. It wouldn't take much to contact a dealer and find out.
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Old 12-09-2005, 09:34 PM   #4
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Ann:

Go to the Transport Canada website. You will find there a bulky document that describes the process and lists ALL vehicles (and trailers and motorhomes too) that are ADMISSABLE for entry into Canada.

AIRSTREAMS, all models, are ADMISSABLE.

(They mean this. If you attempt to import something that's not on the list it will be SEIZED).

If you are buying a new one (you're not), then it has to be certified for Canada. Airstream charges around $500 for this I think. It is mostly a matter of some very minor differences in electrical codes.

I don't think USED is subject to this rule. I know Canadians who have bought used Airstreams in the USA. No problems. No duties but you pay GST and Provincial taxes the same as you would if you bought a trailer in Canada.

It's like buying a book from Amazon.Com (not Amazon.ca), only bigger. (And you might have to go to pick it up; it won't come FedEx)

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Old 12-10-2005, 11:09 AM   #5
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I have friends who have brought cars across with minimal issue. You also need to check with US customs. They need to confirm that you have bought the trailer legitimately etc. You can also get the detail from them off their website, or stop in at the truck crossing (easier than the Peace Arch) during the work week, work hours only, and get the detail from the US folks, then stroll over to the Canadian folks and get their info).

Have you checked the Buy and Sell, not just locally but for Calgary/Edmt etc? There are frequently Airstreams of all sizes for sale - and it seems that Novak RV in Calgary often has some as well. I found mine in Surry after looking at a LOT of units over the prior years. I wanted vintage and was only finding newer (70's to 90's) ones for sale. Also, check out the local WBCCI website. They have trailers for sale listed there. You can also post a note there that you are looking.

Just a quick search (using the advanced feature on Buy and Sell) brought up:

1977 AIRSTREAM ARGOSY, ,24 ft,full ,hot water,flush toliet,,rv bed with bunks. up dates must see. rear bathroom new awing. parked on lake lot.Sleeps two.4000 gvwr.easy tow.off sale. $8900.

Tel: 403‑301‑4935


2004 AIRSTREAM INTERNATIONAL 25', fantastic fan, roof air, awning, cd player. $56500.

Sunnyhill R.V. Centre

Tel: 604‑472‑1219


80 Airstream, 24 ft, exc cond, $11,900

Tel: 403‑289‑7178

So, units in Canada are out there,

Good luck with your search.
Barry
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:27 PM   #6
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Importing a Trailer

We bought our 1964 Overlander in Ohio and brought it across the border to our home in Ontario with no problems at all. You have to pay the sales tax, just as you would if you bought a used trailer in Canada. There was no question of whether it met Canadian standards. No inspection was necessary.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annw
I have been finding it difficult to find used airstreams in vancouver where i live. There aren't many around and only one dealer in BC that sells them, and according to the sales man they are lucky if they sell a couple a year. They are quite expensive and used ones rarely come up for sale. There in one 28 foot international ccd 2004 for sale, but it is larger than i would like. I''m leaning towards a 19 or 22. 25 foot at the largest. Any information about buying a trailer in the states and bringing it across the border into bc would be greatly appreciated. My spouse thinks it is too much hassle and will cost just as much in the end as to buy one locally. He may be right, but the type of trailers i'm looking for seem to be more prevelent in the states. thanks again for any help on this topic.
My cousin moved to Canada during the Vietnam war and is in the banking business. He says he moves stuff back and forth across the border all the time and might be able to help you.
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #8
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Tin Hut:

Last I heard, your cousin got tired of waiting for looser gun control laws up here and moved back to Kentucky, or maybe someplace else in Appalachia.


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Old 01-08-2006, 02:17 AM   #9
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Several years ago I bought a VW Bug in Canada and brought it to the US. I had to buy a trip permit for Canada because the owner takes the plates off. No problem at the US border because the car came with US emissions. So a trailer should be easy. Just have the bill of sale and the title and buy a trip permit from Canada DMV.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:31 PM   #10
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It is really easy to import Airstream Trailers from the states.

We have bought two a 69 and a 61. The only issue is the "Title" to the trailer - if there is not one then you may run into a problem. (just as you would run into a problem in certain states selling to each other.)

A Title is the same as a vehicle "Registration/Ownership" in Canada - without one your process is more complicated but not impossible.

All vehicles crossing the border from the States to Canada must go through the Vehicel Import Program. (as mentioned above the VIP website provides a list of all vehicles that are eligible -if in doubt a phone call helps.

The program registration fee is $180.00, you then have to pay an Aircondtion Tax (this is sometimes mistaken at the border) Should only apply to vehicles with a motor - not applicable to trailers -but not all custom officers interprate the rules conistently.

You will pay the GST at the border based on the amount on your Bill of Sale. As well as your $180.00 VIP fee - this gets you a 45 day pass to trailer or drive your vehicle non-plated during which time you must have the vehicle inspected and passed before it can be plated.


Note if you are buying a trailer over 15 years old - then it is exempt from the VIP. However, YOU MUST still request a vehicle import program "Form One" at the border and ensure that it is stamped as coming into Canada then stamped AGAIN in the exempt box.

Vintage trailers you have to make sure there is a manufacturers date of manufacture plate affixed to the trailer and that the serial number is in fact a valid number. They can check! if they are suspicious. Note Airstream does not have on record serial numbers prior to 1963. Thus if there is not a tag on it - you would be wise to have a letter of Manufacturers Authentification prepared for you. Airstream inc is very cooperative and have certain steps for you to follow.

Without the yellow form one stamped exempt you could have some real problems at the MTO trying to register your trailer. If you don't have it apparently you then have either go back through the border process or they can insist that you go through the VIP program and request the $180 and have 45 days ETC.... This is where it can be quite costly to bring systems up to "code"on older trailers in order to register and plate your trailer. I would suspect this is where the "rumours" are started about being difficult to import vehicles.

Good luck - you have a wealth of vintage trailers your end of the Country - just south of the border - a little pricy compared to the eastern seaboard but a lot more to choose from.

Don't let the border scare you!!!! - just follow the rules in place and you will be fine.


Feel free to PM me if you need more information.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #11
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Forgot the last point....When you go to register the trailer at the MTO to plate it - that is when you pay the PST.

Note if you have used any exemptions to reduce your purchases - this will be applied to the Import amount. It is this amount that will be charged the PST. and not the full amount of the bill of sale - so watch your MTO. I had to walk the MTO throught the process both times so that I was not charged more than I should.

Also another note...you can KEEP the original title provided to you by the owner. This comes in handy if you wanted to re-sell back in the States. Just makes their process a lot cleaner and easier. I forget what the policy item number is - but as long as they have seen the original they can photocopy the original and submit it as an official document - signed by a second MTO employee.


..... think that is all.
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:07 PM   #12
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I bought a motorhome up from the states and it wasn't a big deal. As previous people have said, find out what the border guys want and make sure you get it. It's very do-able just a little time consuming. Good hunting and BTW I'm pretty sure I saved money!
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
All vehicles crossing the border from the States to Canada must go through the Vehicel Import Program. (as mentioned above the VIP website provides a list of all vehicles that are eligible -if in doubt a phone call helps.
The program registration fee is $180.00,
We didn't have to do this in 1998 when we brought our Overlander across the border. We just showed up at the border and payed the GST. We had purchased a temporary permit in Ohio. Maybe the VIP is something that's been brought in since '98.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:35 PM   #14
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Hey alot happens in 7 years.

Check out the web site for all the detailed info.
http://www.riv.ca/english/html/how_to_import.html

Oh by the way - see even things change in 2 years - now the fees are up to 209 from 180 for Ontario.......
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