Changes in trailer importation to Canada

July 5, 2015
Canadian trailer dealers catch a break with importation rule changes

CANADIAN trailer dealers that are importing from the US remain responsible for the trailers, but they no longer have to go through designated importers, said Don Moore, executive director of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association.

“You apply to Transport Canada for preclearance, they put it on Appendix G, and that is two listings for the Canadian Border Services to say, ‘These are vehicles that are compliant and can come into Canada,’ ” Moore said. “The objective is for everybody here to be on that list. If you are, you don’t have to reapply. If you’re on the list, you are preapproved.

“Transport Canada came to realization that the manufacturer is better suited than the importer, the dealer, regarding compliance with Canadian standards. The dealer is not going to have all of the backup documentation on testing. The manufacturers will have that. The dealer still has responsibility in this. By law, he’s responsible for that vehicle when it gets into Canada. If anything went south, he’s the person Transport Canada has the legal authorization to go after. Technically, the dealer will be responsible if something goes wrong with the trailer. But the trailer OEM is going to stand behind them anyway. So it’s kind of a practicality.”

Moore said it’s critical to be on the Canadian Border Services’ preapproved lists, but “there’s no need for you to provide your list of importers anymore, because that was one of the biggest headaches. They had this massive list, and there were a lot that didn’t exist anymore. Nine times out of 10 they had absolutely no idea what compliance with regulations meant. The new system should simplify things. Border services will look to the trailer OEM for information, and less with the importer. They’ll give you a 30-day window.”

He said Appendix G is for manufacturers with fewer than 2500 vehicles a year coming into Canada. Appendix F is for the automotive industry and truck OEMs over 2500.

“In most cases, if you look at the list, it’s really a listing of those companies that have Canadian entities,” he said. 

“There’s a lot of history behind it, a lot of frustration, and a lot of people even now are probably a little heated about it. I think it makes it easier.

Moore said Kim Benjamin is the new director general of motor vehicle safety at Transport Canada and more personnel are coming onboard who will be able to make audits. ♦

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.