Importing A Tiny House Trailer Into Canada

Importing A Tiny House Trailer Into Canada

2020 Update!

Delivery now available from our washington and oregon locations to Abbotsford, Canada!

From Washington for 8ft 6in wide trailers to Abbotsford, Canada $457

From Washington for 10ft wide trailers to Abbotsford, Canada $502

From Oregon for 8ft 6in wide trailers to Abbotsford, Canada $622

From Oregon for 10ft wide trailers to Abbotsford, Canada $667


By Dan Howes

WHY DID WE IMPORT A TRAILER FROM USA INTO CANADA?

THERE ARE LOTS OF FABRICATORS HERE..

Why would we want to go through all the hassle of Importing a Tiny House Trailer into Canada when..yes, there are a lot of metal and trailer fabricators on the west coast of Canada. The main problem we ran into is that there was not a lot of reasonably priced fabricators..

I spent about two month calling many BC and Alberta based fabricators to put together a list of quotes with prices ranging from $14,000 – $27,000 for a 28′ tiny house trailer..which I though to be outrageous. I knew from talking to other tiny house builders in the USA that the price of our trailer should be about $10,000 Canadian all said and done. (current price of a 24ft Tiny House Trailer in Canada is $9,995CDN versus a Washington Built Trailer at $7,800 CDN MARCH 2020)

OUR TRAILER FABRICATOR

We ended up finding a trailer manufacturer specifically building tiny home trailers who had a lot of experience importing tiny home trailers into Canada. Joshua with Tiny House Basics is who you’ll want to contact. He walked us through the entire process and aside from getting a beautiful, custom trailer through him, the importing was painless with no issues.

THE PROCESS

So where do you start when importing a tiny home trailer into Canada? For all of you who are worried that you might not make it through the border, don’t worry! As long as your paperwork is in order and you pay the taxes it only takes about 30 minutes to get across the border. But please make sure your trailer follows all the Canadian laws or it may not be allowed into the country. (at Tiny House Basics, We do the paperwork for the trailer for easy entry, it costs $50 Extra)

While traveling on American roads with your trailer you’ll need to stop at any DMV and purchase a permit to allow you to legally be on the road. Even in our case where we were driving all of 500 yards from Blaine WA to the border. The permit only costs about $30.00 USD

Insurance

If you’re coming from British Columbia like us, you know ICBC. Simply purchase the minimal 10 day trailer insurance for about $80.00 before you leave and you’ll be covered across the border and in Canada.

Paperwork you must have: (Note they need to be the originals not copies)

  • Title Papers or Manufactures Origin Letter (for brand new custom trailers)
  • Clearance Recall Letter
  • Original bill of sale
  • Your Passport and Government ID
  • VIN Numbers

Fees, Tax and Duty on Import

When importing a trailer from USA to Canada for PERSONAL use there is no duty or fees, only 5% Tax. You’ll be required to pay 5% of the sales price before leaving the border.

That is all you’ll need to get across the border. Our experience was very painless, the border security were very friendly and very intrigued about what exactly a tiny house was..lol

After Import…RIV Fees and Inspection

Once you have gotten across the border you’ll need to take your Form 1 you received from the border and go to RIV (www.riv.ca) Registrar Of Imported Vehicles. It may take a day for your case to be on file but submit the forms using the information on your Form 1 and then wait another 24 hours to receive your Form 2. Form 2 is what you will use to bring your trailer to Canadian Tire or any inspection facility to have your trailer inspected for Canadian roads.  The cost of the RIV is $310.00 (pay the RIV online and enter your Form 1 number and pay them online first, then within 24hours you get approval)

And that’s it! You can now start building your house on your trailer and have all the correct papers to insure it as a trailer while on the roads in Canada.

TOTAL FEES and TAXES at the boarder.

(To sum up the fees Not including price of trailer as your price might vary and not including our gas or delivery of trailer)

  • ICBC Trailer Insurance 10 Days – $80.00
  • Washington Trailer Permit 3 Days – $30.00 (USD)
  • 5% GST on the trailer (For us it was $500.00)
  • RIV Registrar $310.00
  • Vehicle inspection (Canadian Tire) – $33.00

Hope this helps some of you out! Let us know your experience of importing your trailer in the comments below!

Delivery Estimates to Border in British Columbia (Blaine, Wa) $300

Delivery Estimates to Border in Ontario (Niagara Fall Border) $550

In case your wondering what this finished tiny house looked like, here it is:

www.tinyhousebasics.com

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5 Comments on “Importing A Tiny House Trailer Into Canada”

  1. Hebergement web

    If you are like me, you may have found this page because you are considering importing a trailer into Canada from the US, but aren t sure how complicated the process is. At first glance this may seem like a lot to take in, but don t be daunted it is actually pretty easy. As long as you have your ducks in a row, you will have a smooth importation process.

  2. Jeannette

    What about purchasing one in Canada and bringing it back to the US? Are the fees and taxes similar?

  3. Dan

    The RIV fee has gone up from $195CDN plus tax to $310 plus tax. Canadian Tire told me they charge a $5 levy fee per tire and that’s their only charge.

    RIV says they can expedite if you have all your ducks in a row and possibly process the paperwork so that you could get it inspected same day or next day, otherwise it’s 2-3 business days wait.

    1. Joshua Engberg

      Hello Dan, Thank you for the info. We are set up with the Border and we provide all the correct paperwork for our customers so its a easy process to import our tiny house trailers into canada. We ship trailers weekly.

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