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How to Import and Ship cars from China to Canada

With the rise of China’s manufacturing industry, more and more international consumers are beginning to pay attention to and consider importing cars from China. In 2023, China will become the world’s largest automobile exporter, with exports reaching 5.22 million vehicles. Canadian importers and consumers are also gradually turning their attention to cars made in China, or shipping used cars from China.

However, shipping a car from China to Canada is not an easy task, and requires a series of complex steps and many factors to consider. This guide will explain each link of this process in detail to help you successfully complete the import and shipping of cars from China.

Guide to Importing and Shipping Cars from China to Canada

How to import cars from China to Canada

Understand Canada’s car import regulations: Before planning to import cars from China, be sure to understand Canada’s car import regulations in detail, including vehicle safety, emission standards, import procedures, etc. Canada has strict standards and requirements for imported cars to ensure that all vehicles sold in the Canadian market comply with relevant regulations.

Prepare necessary documents: Before importing a car, you need to prepare a series of necessary documents, such as the vehicle manufacturer’s certification information, certificate of origin, factory inspection report, etc. These documents will be used to apply for an import license and complete customs declaration procedures.

Apply for an import license: According to Canadian automobile import regulations, importers need to apply for an import license from relevant departments. Detailed vehicle information and necessary documents are required during the application process.

Pay tariffs and taxes: After the vehicle arrives in Canada, the importer needs to pay the corresponding tariffs and taxes. The amount of tariffs and taxes depends on the type and value of the vehicle and the relevant policies of Canada.

Complete customs declaration procedures: Importers need to code and declare goods in accordance with the requirements of Canadian customs to ensure that all information is accurate. After completing customs declaration procedures, the vehicle will be allowed to enter the Canadian market.

To learn how to import auto parts from China, click on the link:

How to import cars from China to Canada

Process of importing cars from China to Canada

  1. Find the right supplier
    Find reliable car manufacturers and dealers by attending international auto shows, visiting factories and using online platforms such as Alibaba.
  2. Determine the model and specifications
    Choose the appropriate model and specifications according to market demand, and confirm the detailed parameters and prices with the supplier.
  3. Sign a purchase contract
    Sign a contract with the supplier to specify the vehicle model, quantity, price, delivery time and payment method.
  4. Prepare export documents
    The supplier needs to prepare all necessary export documents, including commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin and quality inspection certificate.

Learn more: Guide To Shipping Trucks And Buses From China

How To Ship A Car From China To Canada

Your first step on how to ship a car from China to Canada is to follow the step-by-step guide to shipping a car from China to Canada and provide your freight forwarder with the year, make, model, and location of your vehicle.

  • Contact a Chinese freight forwarding company that provides shipping services to Canada. Basenton Logistics provides Door to Door Shipping From China to Canada.
  • Check shipping costs from China to Canada.
  • Choose the best shipping method to ship your vehicle from China to Canada. Depending on your needs, you can choose the following transportation methods to Canada: Ro-Ro transportation service, container transportation service, and LCL service to Canada.
  • Provide documentation to the transport company to book delivery of your vehicle from China to Canada.
  • Deliver vehicles to port or export warehouse for export from China to Canada
  • Payment to China Shipping Company
  • Send the release note or bill of lading to your customs clearance agent, customs broker or freight company in Canada.

If you are interested in shipping cars from China to other countries, you can read the following posts:

How To Ship A Car From China To Canada

What are the ways to ship cars from China to Canada?

Roll-on/roll-off
Best for work vehicles as your car will be driven onto the transport ship and transported safely in a huge cargo area similar to a parking lot. The main additional costs are customs clearance and taxes, which makes this our most affordable option.

You might be interested: A Guide To Shipping Cars From China By RoRo Ship

Shared container service
Stack multiple vehicles into a 40-foot container with our industry-leading steel stowage system. Although there will be an additional cost compared to our roll-on/roll-off service, you will share the additional cost of shipping in a securely enclosed container with other vehicle owners. Additional charges include: trailer and unloading fees, terminal handling fees, and customs clearance fees.

Full container load
As with our shared container service, your vehicle will be shipped in a fully enclosed 20-foot container dedicated to your car. You’ll have the benefit of not having to wait for the container to reach capacity before shipping, but not having to share the additional costs of loading and unloading at the terminal with other owners, as well as the additional costs of unloading. The many benefits of container shipping outweigh the added cost, including increased safety and protection from the weather due to fully enclosed and secure containers.

Our shipping professionals will document the condition of your vehicle upon arrival, including loading into the container, with photo documentation that you can view online for your convenience.

Once your car is loaded and secured, the container door will be locked, preventing anyone from accessing its contents until it lands at its final destination. Your vehicle will be secured in a fully enclosed container and you are welcome to pack and transport other items inside the vehicle. Nonetheless, please keep everything safe as we accept no responsibility for any damage or loss of any kind. Once your vehicle reaches its final destination in Canada, the container will be opened by our operators who will document the condition of the vehicle and the unloading process with photos.

Learn more: DDP Shipping from China to Canada

Shipping from China to Canada

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car From China To Canada

The cost of shipping a car from China to Canada may vary depending on the shipping method and size of the car. On average, shipping a car from China to Canada costs around $2,000 to $3,500.

The average price to ship a car from Shanghai to Canada ranges from $2200 to $2800, the cost of shipping a car from Shanghai to Canada may vary depending on the shipping method and car size.
The average price to ship a car from Tianjin to Canada is $2200-$3000. The cost of shipping a car from Tianjin to Canada may vary depending on the shipping method and the size of the car.
The average price to ship a car from Qingdao to Canada ranges from $2500 to $3000, the cost of shipping a car from Qingdao to Canada may vary depending on the shipping method and car size.
The average price to ship a car from Guangzhou to Canada ranges from $2,800 to $3,500, the cost of shipping a car from Guangzhou to Canada may vary depending on the shipping method and car size.

For more information on shipping prices from China to Canada, read:

20FT and 40FT Container Shipping Cost from China to Canada

How Much does Shipping Cost from China to Canada

How long does it take to ship a car from China to Canada?

The average shipping time to ship a car from China to Canada is 25 to 50 days.

Average shipping time and sailing schedule for shipping your car to Canada from major Chinese ports including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

Origin port in ChinaPort of destinationTransit time (days)
Port of ShanghaiPort of Halifax30
Port of ShenzhenPort of Montreal36
Port of Ningbo-ZhoushanPort of Toronto38
Port of Hong KongPort of Vancouver42
Port of GuangzhouPort of Halifax40
Port of QingdaoPort of Montreal45
Port of TianjinPort of Toronto42
Port of YingkouPort of Vancouver36
Port of XiamenPort of Halifax37
Port of DalianPort of Montreal35

For more information on shipping time from China to Canada, read: How Long Does It Take Shipping From China To Canada

How to ship an electric car from China to Canada?

To ship an electric or hybrid car from China to Canada, a series of requirements must be met, such as if they are new or used vehicles, and if they have the battery system in good condition.

List of steps to follow to send an electric or hybrid car to Canada:

  1. Inform the forwarder agent or the auto transport company if the car is new or used before sending it to from China to Canada.
  2. Check with the car shipping companies that the vehicle has never suffered any damage/blow to the battery system, and that there is no leakage from the vehicle or loss for shipment.
  3. The electric car must be labeled on the front windshield with the vehicle’s VIN clearly indicating the type of propulsion the vehicle has (fully electric/hybrid/plug-in hybrid/CNG/LNG, etc.)
  4. Check with the shipping company that the vehicle has never suffered any damage/blow to the battery system, and that there is no leakage from the vehicle or loss for shipment.
  5. You have to make a booking with the shipping company as IMO to send the vehicle.
  6. The shipper or exporter of the vehicle has to provide the MSDS of the car battery to validate the hazmat parameters.
  7. Finally, the consignee or importer has to inform the car transporter in China and Customs in Canada that you are going to import an electric vehicle.

If all these requirements are met, the unit can be loaded on the ship bound from China to Canada, but keep in mind that some shipping companies and forwarders do not accept boarding electric or hybrid vehicles for security reasons in international transport of cars.

Tax and Duty Relief for Shipping a Car to Canada

If you are planning on shipping a car to Canada, there are a few things you need to know to ensure you qualify for tax and duty relief.

To qualify, the car must have been owned and used for more than six months. Additionally, for returning citizens, the first $10,000 of the car’s value is exempt from taxes. Any amount over $10,000 is subject to the relevant duties.

Those holding a work permit or student visa are exempt from customs duties and VAT for the duration of the permit. During the work permit or student visa, the car is temporarily imported; it must be exported again before leaving Canada.

Keep these things in mind when shipping your car to Canada overseas so you can be sure to avoid any unexpected costs.

Top 10 Countries For China’s Auto Exports In 2023

  1. Russia 909,000 vehicles
  2. Mexico 415,100 vehicles
  3. Belgium 217,400 vehicles
  4. Australia 214,600 vehicles
  5. UK 213,800 vehicles
  6. Saudi Arabia 213,600 vehicles
  7. Philippines 172,500 vehicles
  8. Thailand 170,600 vehicles
  9. UAE 160,000 vehicles
  10. Spain 138,700 vehicles

Importing and shipping cars from China to Canada is a complex but feasible process. By choosing reliable suppliers and freight forwarders and properly arranging transportation and customs clearance, you can ensure that the vehicles arrive in Canada safely and efficiently. Whether by sea or air, each method has its advantages and limitations. Choosing the most appropriate option according to specific needs can help importers achieve maximum benefits and efficiency.

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