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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

I'll be picking up a Wee this spring. I'm hoping to be able to buy new in the States. The price difference is just too big to ignore.

Has anyone here had experience with this?

DrNick
 

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Hey Everyone,

I'll be picking up a Wee this spring. I'm hoping to be able to buy new in the States. The price difference is just too big to ignore.

Has anyone here had experience with this?

DrNick
I bought my wee used in Michigan this spring and imported into Canada, saving about $2000. It is a relatively painless procedure once you know the rules.
I got all the information I needed from a sticky on the GTAMotorcycle.com
forum.

http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum/showthread.php?t=1038
 

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Go for it pal.We've been paying too much for everything for too long.The Lemon Aid editor was being critisized in some Can. papers last week for suggesting that Canadians should buy our cars from the US.with the recent dollar value change ,so I would definitely agree the same should apply to bikes and other vehicles.The money you save on the purchase could be applied to the stupid @#%%$^! insurance rates here in the good ole North!!!! By the way, let me know where I can get a better rate.I pay close to a grand per year with a very clean record and a high deduct.Too bad that didn't go down with the dollar.
 

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yeah I have imported bikes from the US. Hell even when our dollar was 40% lower it was still worth it for some bikes. Follow the steps outlined on the gta site, and go to www.riv.ca for more deatil. Just be aware that the office in customs on both sides that you need to talk to only work mon-fri 8-4. if you try come accross on a weekend you will have a long wait until monday morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great! So far so good.

I have some more questions for those that have done it:

1. How much duty did you have to pay?
2. The RIV site says something about presenting the bike and the paperwork to US Customs 72 hours before entering Canada. Does tha mean I have to find a place to store the bike near the US border for three days?
3. How much does the inspection (thoe one done at Canadian Tire) cost?

Thanks!

Nick
 

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Hi Nick

I'm in the final throws of writing a blow by blow description of my importing experience. I figured it would be informative. It was easy and relatively quick. As for duty, this was a sticky point. I had heard from a friend that there was a 6.1% japanese import tax. But another buddy paid nothing.

I called the border and the first agent I spoke with said there was NO DUTY on japanese motorcycles (I took down his badge number (they won't give you their name for security reasons).

I then called a few day later and the officer that answered wasn't positive but thought there was a duty. He went to check the regulations. Sure enough he said it WAS duty free also (I took his badge number :)

When I reached the border with the bike the agent was about to charge me, but before I could produce my badge numbers and argue she changed her mind. She told me the ONLY things from Japan that are duty exempt are bikes. Everything else, ATVs, cars, etc. are charged. So when a customs officers sees the "J" at the start of the VIN their reflex is to think DUTY. So the moral is call the border to confirm no duty and get badge numbers just in case.

As for storing your bike. You don't unless you hit the border and the title didn't get to US customs 72 hours earlier. The title is really the only important document that can screw your importation.

The fee to bring the bike across is $207 and it includes the $25 fee to have it inspected at Canadian Tire.

I should have my write up posted in the next few days.

Bug Killa.
 

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Great! So far so good.

I have some more questions for those that have done it:

1. How much duty did you have to pay?
2. The RIV site says something about presenting the bike and the paperwork to US Customs 72 hours before entering Canada. Does tha mean I have to find a place to store the bike near the US border for three days?
3. How much does the inspection (thoe one done at Canadian Tire) cost?

Thanks!

Nick
1. I paid NO duty for my bike but I can't remember the reason why. (Was it because it was used? Or because although the bike is made in Japan, it is for the American market?) You will however have to pay 6% GST at the Canadian border. You'll pay the provincial tax when you go to have the title put in your name at the Ministry of Transportation.

2. You fax copies of only the paperwork to the US Customs 72 hours ahead of time. You need the Title, Registration and the Bill of Sale. The owner of the bike can give you copies physically or fax them to you.
The bike itself is only presented 72 hours later when you are ready to cross the border.

Then additionally for the Canadian Customs, you will need a Recall Clearance Letter (from Suzuki in California, NOT from a dealer) and the original Manufactureres Statement of Compliance Label must still be on the bike. That's just a sticker that has the US Saftey compliance information on it. Make sure it is there as some owners desticker their bikes never thinking about selling the bike out of the country.

3. The Canadian Tire federal government safety inspection is included in the $200 RIV fee. After you cross successfully with the bike, you have to wait to receive a Form #2 in the mail (took about two weeks), at which time you can make your appointment at CT and present the bike with the form.
My inspection took all of 3 minutes, no exaggeration. It didn't even come off the trailer. They wanted to see the Compliance Label, that the lights came on all the time and that there were kilometers on the speedo. (Of course there were also miles and kilometres were smaller but that was OK.)
You'll receive in the mail, later, a new Canadian sticker that is supposed to be stuck over the American one. It's pretty tacky, ugly and I just saved mine in a fireproof box and didn't stick it on the bike.

Here is the info you need to get a Recall Clearance Letter from Suzuki's Head Office in California.

Fax them copies of the Title (from the previous American owner) and Bill of Sale (to you), ask for a Recall Clearance Letter and provide a Fax # for the Recall Letter to be sent to (much faster that way).

Fax to American Suzuki Motor Corporation
Attention: Christine Burcar
Re:Recall Clearance Letter
Fax # 714-577-9525

This info should be current as I just did this in March 07.

Good Luck!
 

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There's no duty on motorcycles, regardless of point of origin, because there are not any motorcycle manufacturers here in Canada...
 

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There's no duty on motorcycles, regardless of point of origin, because there are not any motorcycle manufacturers here in Canada...
Ahhh yes, I knew there was a reason. I just couldn't remember what it was. Thanks.

I hope Roadane in BC is reading this. Go get that duty back!
 

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One other thing to note is that Suzuki WILL NOT issue a recall clearance letter for a bike that has been listed anywhere as a salvage title. It would be a good idea to call Suzuki US and give them the Vin# before you buy...

On a side note, BMW USA charges $500 for a recall clearance letter. That's hard to fathom for 15 minutes work. I guess they are hust trying to get their customers use to what is to come as a Beemer owner...
 

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I hope Roadane in BC is reading this. Go get that duty back!
Thanks Footloose. That does it. First that Canadian Customs idiot intergates my for an hour. Charges me duty. Charges me PST (provincial sales tax) - they say oops, apply for a refund. Still haven't received my Form 2.

Besides trying to get my money back, I'm going to write a letter to the district manager about my treatment.
 

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Thanks Footloose. That does it. First that Canadian Customs idiot intergates my for an hour. Charges me duty. Charges me PST (provincial sales tax) - they say oops, apply for a refund. Still haven't received my Form 2.

Besides trying to get my money back, I'm going to write a letter to the district manager about my treatment.
How long have you been waiting for your Form 2 Roaddane? They don't tell you this, but it is possible to have your Form 2 (Inspection Form) emailed to you and you can just print it out at home.
That is what they ended up doing for me but I had to ask them to do it. I had a delay in getting my papers because I had to reissue my Recall Letter (my first one came from a dealer instead of Head Office, which they don't allow anymore).
Anyhow, I was running out of time for the 45 day deadline and they emailed it to me when everything was cleared up.
Call the RIV office at : 1-888-848-8240 if you've been waiting more than 2 weeks.
 

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Great info guys, I'm considering buying new from the US next year. Maybe a dumb question but.....what about getting it from purchase point to home? I mean how does it work with registration and insurance? Will our insurance companies accept a faxed NVIS?
Can you register it before all the inspections etc., or do you need some sort of temporary permit?
Thanks for any input
 

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Great info guys, I'm considering buying new from the US next year. Maybe a dumb question but.....what about getting it from purchase point to home? I mean how does it work with registration and insurance? Will our insurance companies accept a faxed NVIS?
Can you register it before all the inspections etc., or do you need some sort of temporary permit?
Thanks for any input
Trailer.

You cannot register the bike in your name in your province until all the customs paperwork and federal and provincial inspections have been satisfied.
I was however able to insure it right away after explaining I was buying the bike in the States and the process of importing it and getting it into my name.
 

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Update on my importing problems:

First my problems with Canada Customs. I guess since the officer didn't like me or the deal I got on my bike he thought it would be his duty to steal from me and charge me duty. He classified my bike as "8703.21.10.00 motorcycle/all terrian vehicle" which carries a 6.1% duty. With some help from friends and fellow Stromers on this site, I was finally able to confirm that there is no duty on registerable motorcycles aka street bikes. The real classification for street bikes is 8711.90.00.00 - free duty.

So I've applied for a refund of the duty charged and the PST charged.

My "form 2" still hadn't arrived after 2 weeks so I called RIV. Well it turns out that now they won't mail out the form 2 until they get a copy of the recall letter. That done, now I wait for the mailman everyday, before I can head to the oh so accomadating Canadian Tire employee to do the mickey mouse inspection.

Althought I've had a few hurdles to jump over, it really is a simple process and encourage other fellow Canadians who've found a great deal south of the border to go for it.
 

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Grasshopper, there is another way ...

If you have a friend in the states, there is a much simpler way.

Your friend will need to put up with occasional pieces of mail to forward to you, but that is really a small hassle.

Buy the bike, and provide the friend's address instead of your own. Arrange insurance for the bike, just as if you were an American living at the friend's address. Nobody is likely to ask your nationality, because it doesn't matter.

You may find that American insurance is a tad cheaper than Canadian insurance. Remember, I am an old fart, and I haven't had a ticket since 1989 or a wreck since 1960, so my insurance rates are as low as they go. I pay US$100.23 to insure a Wee-Strom, a CB750, and a CM250 for a year. As I said, just a tad cheaper.

The only special document you need when you ride into Canada is a form from your insurance company saying that your insurance is valid in Canada. My insurer calls this a Canadian ID Card, and I think it says "Canada Inter-Province Certificate of Insurance" or some such legend at the top.

I cannot predict what hassles your border guards will give you, nor what hassles you will face entering USA, but some of them will fret about your Canadian identity and your American bike. I believe you will get through both ways every time, but there may be delays. When you consider the money you'll save, you may consider these mysteries to be worth the effort.

Let me know if I can help.
Keith
 
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