Your Complete Guide to Importing Japanese Used Cars to Canada


Importing a Japanese used car into Canada offers incredible value and a diverse selection of high-quality vehicles. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the process, regulations, and financial considerations for Canadian buyers.

Eligibility and Regulations

Vehicle Age Restrictions

  • Canada allows the importation of used vehicles that are 15 years or older from the date of manufacture.
  • In Quebec, right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles that are 25 years old or older are exempt from certain restrictions, making them fully legal for use.

Shipping Options

  • Vehicles can be shipped via Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) services to ports in Vancouver and New Westminster.
  • Container shipping is available to Halifax, accommodating buyers across Canada.

Costs on the Canadian Side

Import-Related Fees

  • Customs clearance/brokerage: Starts at $300.00+GST. Additional vehicles on the same Bill of Lading (BL) cost $50.00 each.
  • Dock charges/unloading fees: Approximately $225, with potential increases for larger vehicles like SUVs or trucks.
  • Tow fee from bonded port yard: Around $100. Importers must arrange transportation with a preferred provider.
  • Excise tax for air-conditioned vehicles: $100.
  • CFIA soil examination (if required): $43 plus GST.

Duty and Taxes

  • Duty rates vary: 0-2.5% for Japanese makes, 2.7%-3.3% for trucks, and 6.1% for non-Japanese makes.
  • Utilize the Japan free trade agreement form to potentially reduce duty rates on Japanese vehicles.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 5% on the total import value.
  • Disbursement fee of 3.0% applies if payment is made via credit card (direct bank deposits are recommended to avoid this fee).

Essential Documentation for Customs Clearance

  • Bill of Lading
  • Export Certificate and its English translation
  • Bill of Sale / Commercial Invoice
  • Marine Insurance
  • It’s advisable to employ a customs clearance broker to facilitate the process, ensuring smooth entry and compliance with Canadian laws.

Recommended Japanese Used Car Exporters For reliable sourcing and purchasing, consider the following Japanese exporters:

  • SBT Co. Ltd.
  • Be Forward
  • EVERY Co., Ltd.
  • Qualitex Trading
  • Autorec Enterprise Ltd.

These companies are known for their extensive inventories, robust inspection processes, and excellent customer support, making them top choices for importing to Canada.

Top Recommended Japanese Used Car Export Companies for International Customers


Whether you’re a car enthusiast seeking a unique Japanese classic or simply looking for a cost-effective vehicle option, importing a used car from Japan to Canada is an excellent choice. By understanding the regulatory landscape, preparing the necessary documents, and working with reputable exporters, you can enjoy a straightforward and successful import process.

If you want to know more details about Japanese used vehicle exporting, please refer to Wikipedia.