Industry Information

Importing Canadian Vehicles into the United States

Registered Importers

A registered importer is a company licensed by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration to certify that Canadian vehicles meet United States safety standards. When vehicles (less than 25 years old) are imported into the United States from other countries, including Canada, the vehicles must be certified as meeting American safety standards.

This certification can be provided by the manufacturer (as long as the vehicle is imported for personal use and not for resale). If the manufacturer refuses to provide the certification (or if the importation is for resale), the certification must be provided by a registered importer.

Process for importing

To import a passenger car, motorcycle, multipurpose vehicle or light truck less than 25 years old from Canada, an importer needs to get a certification that the vehicle meets U.S. safety and emissions standards. This certification can be provided by the manufacturer (only for vehicles imported for personal use and not for resale) or by a Registered Importer.

Many manufacturers will not provide the certification because they want to stop the flow of cross-border vehicles into the United States to prevent people from taking advantage of price savings associated with cross-border vehicles. In any event, importers, dealers and consumers may want to work with a Registered Importer so that all importing issues are handled by an expert.

Exporting American & Canadian Vehicles to Overseas Destinations

The Market

There is a strong market for the sale of American and Canadian vehicles to overseas buyers. This market is driven by product availability and supply and demand imbalances in various international markets.

In Europe, there is a small but strong market niche for the sale of American and Canadian SUVs and pick-up trucks. These vehicles are sold by European retail dealers that specialize in this unique market niche. These retailers typically supply vehicles from American and Canadian dealers and wholesalers.

Choosing North American Suppliers

European, Asian, Middle East and South American dealers that want references to reputable dealers and wholesalers in the United States and Canada are invited to contact NAATA for references: tel: 1-212-549-0150 or email:

We will put you in touch with dealers who are competent and capable of providing you with a reliable supply.

Selling to Overseas Dealers

North American dealers that supply overseas dealers with American and Canadian vehicles are invited to join NAATA. We will provide you with contact information of dealers that may buy from you and will pass referrals your way. North American dealers that are considering entering this market are also invited to join NAATA and we will help you overcome the obstacles to entering the market.