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Recall Clearance Documentation

by Don and Linda Day
(Alvanley, ON)

Q. I read, with great interest, your advice on importing an RV from the USA. We have an "A" Class diesel pusher right now and are interested in upgrading to a "high end" coach. Given the state of the economy south of the border and the ever increasing value of our CDN dollar, there are several good deals out there.

I have personal experience with the export/import process with a collector car from Texas and a boat from Florida and the procedure is very much the same with the RV.

I checked the RIV site, as you suggest, and they mention a clearance certificate for all manufacture recalls and it certainly makes sense with a car or truck. Especially if you're looking at a Toyota!!! Is this an issue for an A class RV?

This past Feb. we visited Lazydays in Florida and, in talking to a salesperson there, they thought we would have to pay Florida Sales Tax over and above the Canadian Taxes. Do you know if this is correct and does the same apply for all states? If so, can we apply for a refund of these taxes? Thanks in advance for your reply.

Marianne's Reply: Yes, you will need the recall clearance letter from the manufacturer. You will have 45 days after bringing the RV into Canada to supply this letter to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) but it's recommended that you get your recall clearance documents early in the process. Documents remain valid for 30 days prior to import and you can submit your recall information to RIV before you import the vehicle.

Concerning the state sales tax: Yes, you will pay this in some states. Unfortunately for you, Florida is one of them. And I just spoke with someone at Canada Border Services Agency who informed me that there is no provision for getting that refunded.

He also told me that whether you will be charged the sales tax or not varies from one state to another. In some states you may have to pay the sales tax at the dealership, in some, at the Department of Motor Vehicles office(DMV) where you'll get your temporary trip permit so the tax could come into play even when purchasing from a private individual.

To find out if and how much tax will apply, you could call a dealer or DMV office of the state where you'll be making your purchase. Be sure to tell them you are going to export the vehicle since, in some states, there might be an exception made when that is the case.

I don't know which states don't charge the sales tax or might make exceptions but it would be interesting to find out. Perhaps other readers can enlighten us. Meanwhile, thanks for bringing that information to my attention since I hadn't even thought about that aspect and, of course, it will affect how much money you will save.

Comments for Recall Clearance Documentation

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Feb 05, 2019
Recall notice
by: Anonymous

Hi Doug, this post may be much later than your original question - I was told any recalls have to be completed before you can import a vehicle from the US to Canada

Jul 08, 2012
Recall Letter
by: Brad

The Recall letter must state that all recalls have been done (fixed and cleared).

So, what happens in the case of a manufacturer who is out of business? Dunno...

Jul 08, 2012
Sales tax in CA, AZ
by: Brad

In California: you'll pay sales tax unless you have it professionally shipped out of state.
In Arizona: you don't have to pay if exporting.

Aug 28, 2010
Re: Recall Letter
by: Doug Field

I'am not sure if this recall letter means the RV has been fixed acording to the Serial# or does it mean it is just stating any problems that need to be fixed. Anybody know? Thanks Doug.

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