Military Vehicles: Importing

Importing a Ferret into Canada

Importing your military vehicle from another country has its own problems, hazards, and pitfalls, including a long series of government requirements and paperwork. Each pair of nations involved in an export-import transaction will have unique characteristics. This page gives one example from the personal experience of Greg Carter importing a Ferret into Canada.

Ferret armored cars of the Nepalese Army, painted white for duty with the United Nations, at a Napalese compound, 29 December 1993.
Ferret armored cars of the Nepalese Army, painted white for duty with the United Nations, at a Napalese compound, 29 December 1993.

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Importing a Ferret into Canada

Here is what Greg Carter writes about his experiences importing a Ferret into Canada and some notes on exporting from the country of origin:

Flag of Canada

Summarized below is what I have found out importing an MV to Canada. At this time, the vehicle has not actually come in so I will update this as things progress.

  • Don't listen to the person you call at Customs Canada who "thinks" you don't need anything special. Believe me once a Customs officer actually sees a Ferret (or any other armoured vehicle) the light bulb will go on and unless you are prepared don't expect the vehicle to leave the dock.

  • If you have ANY concerns that the vehicle may be controlled (i.e. it is armoured, has any kind of weapon demil or otherwise) contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for a decision as to whether or not you need an import permit. You will need to prepare a description of the vehicle, along with your intended use. After it is reviewed you will receive back a decision as to whether or not an import permit is required. This took about five working days for me to get. If you require an import permit don't worry you have already done the hard part. If you are shipping from overseas then you can probably wait until the vehicle is on the boat, then have the customs broker you are using file for the permit on your behalf. The DFAIT will issue your import permit within hours (that's what I am told, haven't gone that far yet) since they already reviewed your request. All military import permits are handled by the same person so you don't have to worry about being lost in the bureaucracy. The appropriate DFAIT number is 613-992-2387, then ask for military imports. The cost of the permit is less than $30 based on vehicle worth.

  • Duty - If the vehicle was made in a country other than the US or Canada you will have to pay 6.1% import duty. Which when importing a 40 year old armoured car seems a bit ridiculous, I guess they want to protect the thriving Canadian armoured car industry. Also if the vehicle weighs over 2000 Kg there maybe an excise tax (By the kg!), however I was told the 4000 kg Ferret would not have any.

  • Tax - You will have to pay GST at another 7%.

  • Transport Canada. If you plan to license the vehicle for use on road you will need to make sure that you get the appropriate forms stamped. The customs broker should be able to handle this for you, however the form is called "Vehicle Import Form #1". Make sure to get it stamped at the bottom by Transport Canada, there is another area where it gets stamped by Customs. You will need this form when you go to the provincial transportation department to register the vehicle.

Notes on Exporting:

  • Exporting from Canada. If you want to play it safe you should also get an export permit when selling an MV to someone out of the country. Same contact.

  • Exporting from country of origin. Don't pay for the vehicle until the seller has obtained an export permit. All countries are different, all I know for sure is that for the UK the seller should contact the Department of Industry and Trade. Plan for this to take months, then you won't be disappointed.

If anyone else has any other thoughts I would love to hear them.

Greg Carter

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