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Importing Equipment from canada to U.S.

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by crane operator, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Anyone ever import Heavy equipment from canada to the us? I'm looking at a crane that's in Canada, but is a german built Liebherr, and possibly bringing it into the U.S.

    EPA requirements read like a government form, impossible to fill out, but I'm sure there's guys that deal with that all the time. Just wondering if anyone's bought anything from ritchie bros and dealt with customs and importing. I've gotten parts from overseas, just not something with a engine.

    I imagine some of the guys in washington, british columbia area see some equipment going back and forth, or is it just not worth the trouble?

    With the exchange rate the way it is right now, the U.S. dollar makes buying stuff from Canada a little easier.
     
  2. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    If the EPA tag on the engine is missing or illegible, it will not cross the border. Same goes for if the tag doesn't have the details that the government requires. I'd be having whoever has it to get you a pic of the tag, and go from there.
     
  3. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

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    Also german will have a massive tariff. I crossed a bmw and found out hard way 18% lol
     
  4. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    If it's at a Ritchie Bros. auction they may have people there familiar with and/or experienced with taking equipment to the US and what is required.
     
  5. brianbulldozer

    brianbulldozer Well-Known Member

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    You will need a customs broker and they will be able to walk you through the process before you start. A valid US EPA sticker is a must, but old equipment can come over too if built before a certain year ( can’t remember what the cutoff is). US made equipment is supposed to return duty free, but you have to prove that it is 100% original with no modifications or value added while out of the country. Good luck getting letters from the manufacturer or all out of country owners to attest to that fact. The banks will screw you a little from the advertised exchange rate if you have to pay by certified funds or wire transfer (like you do at Ritchie). Not sure about all the provinces, but Alberta and BC will refund GST (if you pay it) with a bill of lading showing the item left the country. If you payed GST in US funds and get a refund from the province it will be for the same number of Canadian dollars, with no exchange rate.

    I generally figure that the cost of importing will pretty well eat up the exchange rate savings. If the item is $10000 Canadian it will probably be $10000 US by the time you are done. Oh, and if you are importing a vehicle subject to FET don’t forget to send that in voluntarily, lest the IRS boogeymen send you a letter years later demanding that money along with interest and penalties.
     
    old-iron-habit and John C. like this.
  6. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. I looked at a crane in ontario a few years ago, and for some reason, I was thinking at that time if it was over 20 years old, it didn't need the epa tag. The regs I was reading last night, it seems now anything after 1972 would have to have the tag. That makes it really hard- how much stuff even 15 years old still has a legible tag?

    The crane I was looking at is not from ritchie bros, but I figured someone may have bought something through them, and had experience with customs and the epa regs.

    I don't think it would be easy, and I would have to save a lot of money to deal with the headaches. I'm looking at All terrain cranes - mid-late 90's versions. They are typically in the $175,000-250,000 range, so the exchange rate differences can really add up on the higher priced equipment.

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  7. Spud_Monkey

    Spud_Monkey Senior Member

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    So let's say you got this special crane in from Canada made in Germany and one day a part breaks, any readily available around here to find or are you going to have to import those too? That's what my first thing to look at. Got a Zetor 9540 tractor and that's fun to get parts for.
     
  8. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    No - the cranes are all imported from germany, to both canada and the us. The canadian thing is just to take advantage of the exchange rate, if I find the crane I want, at the right price. I can buy one here in the states also, but if I can save $50,000, I'm all for that. If its only $10,000 difference, its not worth the trouble.

    Parts aren't at Napa for them, but its no more trouble for one that was originally in canada, vs one in the us. Its just if I can save some $ by getting one from canada.
     
  9. pushbroom

    pushbroom Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes is we get old ugly looking trucks on trade we send them off to the auction as they aren't worth the time to try to spruce up to sell as a certified used. We have found out in the last couple years that auctions close to the border seem to do a little better due to Americans buying them and dragging them across to the USA. No sure what hoops have to be jumped through but alot of people seem to be doing it.
    I ordered an engine for my harley from the states and crossing the border cost me almost 800$ never mind the actual shipping.
     
  10. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    A friend bought an Clark Airborne scraper in Canada. I called a local friend for him whom is a customs agent that reviews and approves import paperwork. He recommended using a custom agent to do the paper work as they are bonded and the agents do not usually scrutinize them much, unlike a individuals attempt to do it right. Bottom line after spending a $115.00 on paperwork, the border agents spent 2 minutes glancing at it, said everything is in order and to have a safe trip. That is not to say a newer machine could have some duty due but a customs agent would know what it was and I believe it would be prepaid.
     
  11. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Customs broker is who I was thinking of at Ritchie Bros. They advertise where the equipment is sold and a lot of it goes to the states. Dealerships apparently make good money on their used cars and trucks by selling them to US buyers. Ritchie Bros. would probably have a lot of information, some might be on their website.
     
  12. brianbulldozer

    brianbulldozer Well-Known Member

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    Check out the exemptions in this form for "Ancient" engines or for engines manufactured before the emission standards started to apply:

    https://www.epa.gov/importing-vehic...21-importation-engines-vehicles-and-equipment

    Looks like anything over 21 years old is exempt with limitations, and emission standards started to apply 1996 through 2000 depending on engine size.
     
  13. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

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    ritchie or iron planet is no help at all on importing from canada (regardless of their websites advertises )been there done that and yes they will get you later for the FET dealing with that rite now and we used a import broker IRS caught it on his end 2 years later. I have bought a couple of pieces from canada ritchie and iron planet also. always used a import broker kinda seems to be a scam honestly it seems to be a lot of paper work and then it just slides across the border.
     
  14. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    You hit the nail on the head without realizing it. After running back and forth across the border pulling a hopper for several winters, one thing I learned was proper paperwork is a must. That's why it seems to slide across the border so easily, the paperwork is in perfect order.

    BTW, nice to see you back around Clint. Been wondering if you were still kicking. :D
     
  15. Metalman 55

    Metalman 55 Senior Member

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    I purchased two dozers Stateside & had them shipped to Canada & on the one, the broker didn't prepare the paperwork properly & it was sent to a holding compound for a day or two while it got sorted out & some extra $$$ for me, the other one went off without a hitch. On the dozers one thing they were fussy about was any soil laying on the undercarriage or the tracks etc.
     
  16. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

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    Shimmy1 yeah still kicking been a ruff year had a primary crusher lock up had to replace and refab it .thenbearings go out on screen ,surprise osha inspection and thats just the simple stuff :)
     
    Shimmy1 likes this.