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Topic: Buying a truck camper in Canada for use in the US

Posted By: a_flyfisher on 10/09/16 06:42am

Hello all, again -

I contacted a Northern Lite dealer located near the factory in BC to ask what their price would be on a Northern Lite Camper. On the surface of things, the price looked pretty attractive.

Now, I'm wondering what would be required to bring this camper back into the US. Have any of you done this? If so, what are the requirements?

I suppose you would need to make certain the camper is built to meet US EPA, etc. requirements, have an invoice and pay the applicable duties (if any) and sales taxes.

The dealer says that there are no Canadian taxes on this camper, and that I would just have to pay the state sales tax. My situation is a bit more complicated in that regard since I am a legal resident of PA, but the camper would permanently reside in MT, where there are no sales taxes. I have a PA drivers license, and the truck I plan on using with this camper presently has a PA license (I could however license and title it in MT, if that would help in importing the camper from Canada, since the truck would then reside in MT).

On all of my other recreational vehicles that are licensed and titled in MT (a 5th wheel trailer, a boat, a couple trailers, an atv, etc.) they permanently reside in MT year round, so they all have titles in MT, and I never paid sales tax on them since MT doesn't have a sales tax. I couldn't get them titled in PA if I wanted to without physically bringing them back to PA.

Thanks, John


a_flyfisher


Posted By: Tripalot on 10/09/16 08:00am

Are you sure you need to licence the camper?
We live in Ontario and the camper was considered a load on a truck and only the truck needed to be licenced. We had to switch the plate from the truck to the camper when it was on the road as the licence plate would not be visible due to the camper overhang.


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towing a 2016 Jeep Cherokee TrailHawk
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Posted By: a_flyfisher on 10/09/16 09:18am

Tripalot wrote:

Are you sure you need to licence the camper?
We live in Ontario and the camper was considered a load on a truck and only the truck needed to be licenced. We had to switch the plate from the truck to the camper when it was on the road as the licence plate would not be visible due to the camper overhang.


No, the camper doesn't need licensed, and that's not the concern. My question deals more with what, if anything, will I need in terms of declaration documents, saying that I bought the camper in Canada, that it meets the US standards as far as emissions or whatever from an environmental standpoint, and (the biggest question, I believe) is the declaration, if any, as it involves paying any required import duty or sales tax.

If I do not get answers here, which I am hopeful of getting, I'll talk in more depth to the dealership salesperson in BC - but you know how some of those guys are reputed to be as far as telling you anything just to get you out the door. That guy said they sell lots of campers to customers all across the US, so if true, one would hope they know how the import process works.

(I just sold my boat a month ago to a guy who came to MT from Edmonton and all he wanted from me was,the boat title and the bill of sale. I also got him in MT a temporary MT license for the boat trailer. I haven't heard from him after he returned to Canada, so I suppose he didn't have any problems getting the boat back home. (This was a driftboat for fishing and it didn't have a motor, which may have had different requirements.)


Posted By: daily double on 10/09/16 09:23am

If it was me, I would buy the camper, load it up and drive it back to the US of A and keep my mouth shut.


Posted By: sonuvabug on 10/09/16 09:54am

a_flyfisher wrote:

... snipped ... My question deals more with what, if anything, will I need in terms of declaration documents, saying that I bought the camper in Canada, that it meets the US standards as far as emissions or whatever from an environmental standpoint, and (the biggest question, I believe) is the declaration, if any, as it involves paying any required import duty or sales tax.


My TC doesn't emit anything except through the kitchen exhaust fan, furnace vent, fridge vent and occasionally, through the sleeping area windows. So far, the authorities haven't made me do an emissions test on those.

Two things you should do. 1) Go to your Border Services website. There is usually a section dealing with importations.

2) I just googled "importing an RV from Canada into the USA" and got lots of links to read. You can do this too.


2007 Adventurer 90fws Truck Camper
2001 FORD F250 SuperCab; 8' box; 4x4, 7.3l diesel, rear Sumo Springs


Posted By: toedtoes on 10/09/16 11:48am

As far as I know, there are no emissions standards on a trailer or truck camper - only vehicles with engines are required to meet US EPA standards for emissions. Any appliance, etc. with emissions would have other requirements at time of manufacture and shouldn't be an issue once they're installed in the camper.

The only requirements you would need to meet is if MT requires you to TITLE your camper - in that case, check with them to see what the requirements are. Trailers are movable and would likely require titling, I suspect a TC won't since it is not a moving object.

If you don't need to title it, then it's just the duty that will be required. It appears that it is about 2.5 percent of the purchase price (looking at the HTS) but better to ask the dealer and be sure. You could do the illegal thing and just load it on and not declare it - but that's your personal ethical decision - I know mine and I would declare it.


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)


Posted By: 54suds on 10/09/16 11:54am

In 2000 I bought a Kodiak fiberglass truck camper from a dealer in Nova Scotia . they set up all the paper work for customs. but I did have to pay a tax that was refunded by the Canadian gov after I supplied mailedback several forms it was easy and no real hassles over the years I ve found most Canadian gov officials (exception being Quebec) to be much more helpful than ours.


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Posted By: toedtoes on 10/09/16 11:57am

54suds wrote:

In 2000 I bought a Kodiak fiberglass truck camper from a dealer in Nova Scotia . they set up all the paper work for customs. but I did have to pay a tax that was refunded by the Canadian gov after I supplied mailedback several forms it was easy and no real hassles


I think that has gone away. As a visitor to Canada, you used to be able to submit all the sales tax expenses during your visit and get so much of it back - last time I went, they didn't offer that program anymore.


Posted By: Bumpyroad on 10/09/16 12:39pm

IIRC when I returned from Canada to the states one question asked by customs was if I had bought anything.
bumpy






Posted By: djg on 10/09/16 01:26pm

I'm canadian and my mother in law is US citizen and a few years ago when you cross at the boarder at the duty free you used to be able to get a refund there for the GST or HST that you paid all you needed was the bills to prove you spent the money in Canada and paid the tax, that was a few years ago though so you would have to check that out now. As for bringing it across without telling them and you get caught they can confiscate the camper and make you pay big time with lots of fines that are expensive.

Dave


2015 Livnlite Camplite TC10
1995 Ford F-350 dually 7.3 Diesel



Posted By: Hodag1 on 10/09/16 02:05pm

You need a bill of sale if they ask you.I contacted customs.


Posted By: a_flyfisher on 10/09/16 02:27pm

I appreciate everybody's replies so far.

According to the dealer, as far as taxes it is exempted in BC as a result of the Free Trade Agreement, and I would just have to pay the state sales tax - which is zero in MT.

I looked up the MT registration requirement for a slide in camper. There is no registration for these campers built after 1991, but it has to be titled in MT. There are minimal costs to do that. Also, in MT, the titling and registration is done in the county courthouse in which we reside - no need to do it through the state DMV. You simply walk in, process a bit of simple paperwork, pay a small fee, and walk out. The whole process normally takes just a couple minutes. Just one of the reasons I like Montana.

I have gone to the Border Services website, and done a google search of importing a truck camper into the US - both of which I did before posting here, and,after going through many pages of regulations, I'll be dogonne if I could find anything of relevance - or anything that I could understand at least!

And lastly, I am not going to try smuggling anything into the US. Some days I might be tempted to leave my wife with the border patrol, but not my new truck camper!


Posted By: ADC0731 on 10/09/16 05:39pm

I did the reverse - bought a camper in the US and brought it back to Canada. As others have noted, it's not technically an RV, it's cargo. I declared it and was able to deduct our personal exemptions and just pay tax on the balance. I suspect it would be the same for you.


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Posted By: 54suds on 10/09/16 07:48pm

Ive been across many many times with campers , stop and list any high price items you have with the us authorities , unfortunately some of our border people can be ? difficult? I had them try to confiscate expensive gun because I did not list it when I left the USA ( I had documented permission from the Canadian gov to transport ) this doc was proof I did not purchase it in Canada


Posted By: bob_nestor on 10/09/16 07:57pm

daily double wrote:

If it was me, I would buy the camper, load it up and drive it back to the US of A and keep my mouth shut.


A pretty standard question at the border every time I've crossed is "Did you buy anything while you were in Canada?" Wouldn't suggest lying about that.


Posted By: mkirsch on 10/11/16 08:58am

bob_nestor wrote:

daily double wrote:

If it was me, I would buy the camper, load it up and drive it back to the US of A and keep my mouth shut.


A pretty standard question at the border every time I've crossed is "Did you buy anything while you were in Canada?" Wouldn't suggest lying about that.


Nope. Somehow, they seem to know.

The real question is if you have to pay any duty on the camper at the border.

For sure lying about it you'd get in way more trouble and it would cost you way more than if you just paid whatever duty (if any) and did the paperwork.

Have you read this?

http://www.rvt.com/import-rv-to-usa.php

I know it covers motor vehicles and trailers, not "cargo" but it will all depend on who you get at the border. "Buuuuut it's cargooooooo!" will not fly with the customs agent.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.


Posted By: johnnyhiker on 07/07/17 10:18am

I have been trying to find a definition of a trailer or vehicle that applies to a slide in truck camper; I cannot! I also want to buy a Northern Lite in BC to use for my no too far away retirement, but I cannot find a definitive answer on import/tariff requirements. The price difference between the US east coast and BC is too large to ignore, and the trip to BC would be awesome. My state, MA, doesn't require registration for a truck camper, some some of the **** that the WA folks have to deal with goes away for me. Has anyone actually completed this deal?


Posted By: free radical on 07/07/17 08:38pm

mkirsch wrote:

bob_nestor wrote:

daily double wrote:

If it was me, I would buy the camper, load it up and drive it back to the US of A and keep my mouth shut.


A pretty standard question at the border every time I've crossed is "Did you buy anything while you were in Canada?" Wouldn't suggest lying about that.


Nope. Somehow, they seem to know.

The real question is if you have to pay any duty on the camper at the border.

For sure lying about it you'd get in way more trouble and it would cost you way more than if you just paid whatever duty (if any) and did the paperwork.

Have you read this?

http://www.rvt.com/import-rv-to-usa.php

I know it covers motor vehicles and trailers, not "cargo" but it will all depend on who you get at the border.

"Buuuuut it's cargooooooo!" will not fly with the customs agent.

Why not if it is indeed a cargo?
How would border agents know if someone bought it anyway or owned it for long time already?
You could even say its a gift from some rich friend..or you won it in a card game..
[emoticon]


Posted By: bb_94401 on 07/07/17 10:33pm

From the United States International Trade Commission website under the "Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2017) - Revision 1" it shows "Slide-in campers" under Heading/ Subheading 8708.99.8130 of Section XVII Chapter 87 "VEHICLES OTHER THAN RAILWAY OR TRAMWAY ROLLING STOCK, AND PARTS AND ACCESSORIES THEREOF" shown below

[image]

An explanation of rate 1 (General and Specific) and rate 2 can be found in the "General Notes" section. The short answer is Slide-in Campers of Canadian Origin can be imported "Free" of duty and the 2.5% doesn't apply. The "CA" under "Specific" refers to the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement. Ask the dealer for a letter to show:

"... proof of origin to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the form of a Certificate of Origin and/or country of origin marking on the goods. The manufacturer or seller of the goods should be able to provide the importer with a certificate of origin."

Double check with the Dealer about taxes. When I imported my boat from BC and I was taking it out of the province / country, they didn't collect PST or GST. Since Northern Lite has dealerships in some states in the US, you might expect them to collect sales taxes depending on the state you live in, depending on how aggressively the various states try to collect sales tax for out of state purchases. Luckily Montana doesn't have sales tax and only titles TC.

* This post was edited 07/07/17 10:52pm by bb_94401 *


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Posted By: maxum1989 on 07/09/17 08:23pm

free radical wrote:

mkirsch wrote:

bob_nestor wrote:

daily double wrote:

If it was me, I would buy the camper, load it up and drive it back to the US of A and keep my mouth shut.


A pretty standard question at the border every time I've crossed is "Did you buy anything while you were in Canada?" Wouldn't suggest lying about that.


Nope. Somehow, they seem to know.

The real question is if you have to pay any duty on the camper at the border.

For sure lying about it you'd get in way more trouble and it would cost you way more than if you just paid whatever duty (if any) and did the paperwork.

Have you read this?

http://www.rvt.com/import-rv-to-usa.php

I know it covers motor vehicles and trailers, not "cargo" but it will all depend on who you get at the border.

"Buuuuut it's cargooooooo!" will not fly with the customs agent.

Why not if it is indeed a cargo?
How would border agents know if someone bought it anyway or owned it for long time already?
You could even say its a gift from some rich friend..or you won it in a card game..
[emoticon]


You must be kidding. I'd like to be there when you use any of those excuses for getting across the border with a purchased anything.
And by the way, yes they know what you crossed with (unless its hidden) going the other way. Photos and records show it on their screen. I cross weekly and have learned to just tell the truth. It is sooooo much easier.


2008 Chevy 2500hd Duramax/Allison
2006 Wildcat 27 bhwb
2009 Lance 830 *Sold*
2011 Northern Lite 8.5 *Sold*


Posted By: mkirsch on 07/10/17 11:12am

Yup, they scan your license plate while you sit in line and when you come up to the booth they already have photos of your vehicle when it entered Canada. Kind of difficult to hide that giant truck camper sitting on the back.


Posted By: SidecarFlip on 07/10/17 11:25am

sonuvabug wrote:

a_flyfisher wrote:

... snipped ... My question deals more with what, if anything, will I need in terms of declaration documents, saying that I bought the camper in Canada, that it meets the US standards as far as emissions or whatever from an environmental standpoint, and (the biggest question, I believe) is the declaration, if any, as it involves paying any required import duty or sales tax.


My TC doesn't emit anything except through the kitchen exhaust fan, furnace vent, fridge vent and occasionally, through the sleeping area windows. So far, the authorities haven't made me do an emissions test on those.

Two things you should do. 1) Go to your Border Services website. There is usually a section dealing with importations.

2) I just googled "importing an RV from Canada into the USA" and got lots of links to read. You can do this too.


Mine does that as well. Don't think that is anything that can be 'regulated' by any governmental entity.[emoticon]


2015 Backpack SS1500
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Posted By: toedtoes on 07/10/17 11:58am

SidecarFlip wrote:

sonuvabug wrote:

a_flyfisher wrote:

... snipped ... My question deals more with what, if anything, will I need in terms of declaration documents, saying that I bought the camper in Canada, that it meets the US standards as far as emissions or whatever from an environmental standpoint, and (the biggest question, I believe) is the declaration, if any, as it involves paying any required import duty or sales tax.


My TC doesn't emit anything except through the kitchen exhaust fan, furnace vent, fridge vent and occasionally, through the sleeping area windows. So far, the authorities haven't made me do an emissions test on those.

Two things you should do. 1) Go to your Border Services website. There is usually a section dealing with importations.

2) I just googled "importing an RV from Canada into the USA" and got lots of links to read. You can do this too.


Mine does that as well. Don't think that is anything that can be 'regulated' by any governmental entity.[emoticon]


I agree. A trailer's manufacture may be subject to government oversight, but the end product should be fine.

I have gone to Canada and bought cotton flannel blankets that do not meet the US Fire Retardant standards. I have never had an issue bringing them into the country. I have purchased them online from Canada and, except for children's nightclothes, there is no restriction on their shipping them to a US address even though they don't meet the US Fire Retardant standards (apparently children's nightclothes are expressly forbidden to be sold or shipped to the US by law - the rest are only forbidden to be SOLD in the US).


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