7 Simple Steps to Import Your Dream Japanese Car to Canada: Legal Requirements, Payment and Shipping Methods

how to import a car to Canada from Japan

how to import a car to Canada from Japan

Importing a car from Japan to Canada can be a bit overwhelming process, but it’s worth it if you want to have an exotic or unique vehicle. In this article, we will go over the steps you need to take to get yourself a car from Japan to Canada. We will cover everything from legal requirements to payment methods and shipping options. So, let’s dive in.

Legal requirements for importing a car to Canada from Japan

The first thing you need to do before importing a car is to check if it is even legal to import that specific make and model of the vehicle in Canada. There are a few regulations that you must follow when it comes to importing cars into Canada, and so it’s always best to take the time to ensure you have the details right.

One crucial factor is to verify that the vehicle complies with Canadian safety and emissions standards. Canada has strict vehicle emission policies, and your car must pass an inspection to ensure it meets those emission criteria. Additionally, the government has placed more detailed requirements concerning seatbelts, airbags, child restraint systems (CRS), adjustable pedals, and other safety features.

Finding a good exporter in Japan

If you are in Canada, it might be difficult to get a car from Japan. However, you can find a reliable exporter that specializes in exporting Japanese cars to Canada. There are countless reliable auto exporters in Japan, and you should do your research to find a reputable exporter. Use online reviews to find exporters with great reputations and work with them. Ask the exporter to provide you with comprehensive information regarding the car you want to buy.

Payment methods

It is essential to think about how you will pay for your imported car. Payment for a vehicle can be done in many ways, but T/T (Wire Transfer) is the most preferred method for international transactions due to the security it provides. This method is used when a speedy payment is necessary, and it is essential to receive payment in full.

Always be cautious of scammers who will ask for payment through Western Union, MoneyGram, or other unconventional payment methods. Never wire money to any exporter while transacting in the car dealership. Always use trustable payment methods.

Shipping your car to Canada

Once you have purchased your vehicle and completed the legal requirements, it’s time to ship the car to Canada. You can choose to ship the car via air, sea, or land transportation. Sea transportation is the most popular means of shipping a car to Canada since it’s budget-friendly.

Before the shipment, the exporter must arrange and prepare all the necessary paperwork, such as customs documents and a bill of lading for you to present to the Canadian Customs authorities. Always check the regulations, restrictions, and customs procedures to ensure the shipment goes smoothly.

Clearing Canadian Customs

On arrival, your car will be subject to Canadian customs clearance. The vehicle will be inspected by a certified Canadian mechanic to ensure it satisfies the safety and environmental standards as required by Canadian laws.

Confirm that the exporter has prepared all the essential documents and pay the customs fees and duty taxes. You can choose to hire a sales broker or customs agent who knows the requirements or do all the procedures, documentation, and necessary processes yourself.

Registering and insuring your car

After clearing customs, you must have your vehicle insured before driving it in Canada. Since each Canadian province follows different rules, it’s essential to go through the specific regulations where you’ll be driving the car.

The last step is registering your imported vehicle with the applicable provincial transportation authority website. The website will require you to provide the necessary documentation, which can include your Bill of Lading, a declaration of vehicle conforms, and proof of insurance. After completing all these steps, you’re now legally permitted to register and drive your imported vehicle in Canada.


Importing Japanese cars into Canada is not as complicated as you might think. As long as you do your research, follow the legal requirements, and work with reputable exporters and import agents, it can be a very fulfilling experience. The whole process might take some time, but the end result is worthwhile. You can now import your desired Japanese car to Canada with ease.



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