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Will be landing by car/uhaul in May from the US. how do I do this?

moonandtheriver

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Jul 30, 2012
40
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My Canadian husband will be driving down to the US to help me move up to Canada in May when I will also be landing. Our plan is to rent a smallish u-haul trailer, he would drive his truck with the trailer and my things in it and I will be driving my car and bringing my dog.

I've got the Personal Affects Accounting Document printed out. Do I need to have an actual accounting of every single item I am bringing all itemized out or do I categorize things like electronics, kitchen supplies, clothing, decorative home items, furniture, etc. and lump alot of things together?
How do I determine CDN value on a lump group of kitchen supplies as an example? Do I assign that group a value as a used item or as if it was new? Is this a bit of a guessing game when you have a group of items listed together? How are people determining CDN value vs US value?
Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be? LOL

For my dog- As far as I can tell all my dog needs is her rabies certificate just like every other time I've crossed with her.

For my car- I am not sure I want to import it or if its worth importing it, but I don't want to be without a car until we would be able to get one for me in Canada. Can I still bring my car with me, just have it on my list of goods to follow in case I decide I want to import it and yet still drive it up there for awhile? I may end up selling it in the US or giving it to a family member, but not until I have a replacement. Possible?

Jewelry- I have no real jewelry other than the wedding/engagement rings on my fingers. Everything else is stuff I've made or inexpensive stuff. Do I still need photos of the rings I'm going to be wearing?

What do I need to make sure to bring with me at landing other than my paperwork? Do I need extra photos as I have seen some state for the PR card application?

I'm not finding alot of info about people landing by car from the US with all their belongings in tow and would appreciate any help so I don't screw something up in a major way.
 

rhcohen2014

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I've got the Personal Affects Accounting Document printed out. Do I need to have an actual accounting of every single item I am bringing all itemized out or do I categorize things like electronics, kitchen supplies, clothing, decorative home items, furniture, etc. and lump alot of things together?
[font=Verdana[color=red]]if you are packing things together in boxes or bags, you can lump them together and give them values. for example: 1 box of kitchen items. you don't have to itemize every single item you own. you can just list the type of container (box, bag, suitcase) and a general description (clothes, jewlery, shoes, etc). For large items (ie: furniture) you will want either group it as a set, or you can list the items separately[/color][/font]

How do I determine CDN value on a lump group of kitchen supplies as an example? Do I assign that group a value as a used item or as if it was new? \
just pick a value. look at what you are grouping and pick a reasonable number if they are older, or if they are new, what you paid for them.

Is this a bit of a guessing game when you have a group of items listed together?
yes

How are people determining CDN value vs US value?
currency converter or google

Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be? LOL
yes, everyone does

For my dog- As far as I can tell all my dog needs is her rabies certificate just like every other time I've crossed with her.
i'd imagine yes, as well as all medical records.

For my car- I am not sure I want to import it or if its worth importing it, but I don't want to be without a car until we would be able to get one for me in Canada. Can I still bring my car with me, just have it on my list of goods to follow in case I decide I want to import it and yet still drive it up there for awhile? I may end up selling it in the US or giving it to a family member, but not until I have a replacement. Possible?
yes. just be careful about driving it in canada too long without telling your us insurance company. check to see what their policy is about driving it in canada long term. my guess is they won't cover it for too long. also, some provinces may have rules about how long you can drive a car without registering it.

Jewelry- I have no real jewelry other than the wedding/engagement rings on my fingers. Everything else is stuff I've made or inexpensive stuff. Do I still need photos of the rings I'm going to be wearing?
you do not need to declare jewlery you are wearing (wedding rings) on your goods forms. for costume jewlery, assign a value for the lot, and write it on the form. it is not necessary to take pictures.
What do I need to make sure to bring with me at landing other than my paperwork? Do I need extra photos as I have seen some state for the PR card application?
all you need is your passport, the 2 copies of the copr mailed to you, as well as your b4 goods forms. no, you don't need extra photos. the photos you sent with your pr application is what will be used for your first pr card. the border agents will submit your pr card application for you. there is no need to do anything about this.

I'm not finding alot of info about people landing by car from the US with all their belongings in tow and would appreciate any help so I don't screw something up in a major way.

try reading up in the family sponsorship board. there are many us citizens landing as pr there. you will want to scan the first few pages to find a thread relevant to your situation.
 

OhCanadiana

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moonandtheriver said:
My Canadian husband will be driving down to the US to help me move up to Canada in May when I will also be landing. Our plan is to rent a smallish u-haul trailer, he would drive his truck with the trailer and my things in it and I will be driving my car and bringing my dog.
How exciting!

moonandtheriver said:
I've got the Personal Affects Accounting Document printed out. Do I need to have an actual accounting of every single item I am bringing all itemized out or do I categorize things like electronics, kitchen supplies, clothing, decorative home items, furniture, etc. and lump alot of things together?
Categories with goods lumped together are perfectly fine for everything but higher value items. Electronics they ask that you itemize and include the serial number for the goods; jewelry will need photos for any 'real' (ie, not costume) jewelry. Try to do it detailed enough that if they ask you (rarely, but it happens) to show them an item/category you can find it.

moonandtheriver said:
How do I determine CDN value on a lump group of kitchen supplies as an example? Do I assign that group a value as a used item or as if it was new?
Consider the status of the item (e.g., replacement value of a 5 year old computer is no longer 'new' value).

moonandtheriver said:
Is this a bit of a guessing game when you have a group of items listed together?
Yes, do your best educated guess. I find average value * number can help.

moonandtheriver said:
How are people determining CDN value vs US value?
Your husband could help run through the numbers to 'sanity check' them or you could search the web to familiarize yourself with Canadian prices and adjust for the price difference you find. Don't worry about being super precise (easier said than done) since the goods are imported duty free anyway so do your best educated guess.

moonandtheriver said:
Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be? LOL
As we all do!

moonandtheriver said:
For my dog- As far as I can tell all my dog needs is her rabies certificate just like every other time I've crossed with her.
Correct. You could list her on your B4 - don't know whether it's actually necessary but I know people have done it.

moonandtheriver said:
For my car- I am not sure I want to import it or if its worth importing it, but I don't want to be without a car until we would be able to get one for me in Canada. Can I still bring my car with me, just have it on my list of goods to follow in case I decide I want to import it and yet still drive it up there for awhile? I may end up selling it in the US or giving it to a family member, but not until I have a replacement. Possible?
Sorry but not (legally) possible. Once you land and are living in Canada you may no longer legally drive a foreign-plated car. You could consider leaving your car in the US and having it on your list of goods to follow until you decide whether to import it or not. Or you could import it (but then you shouldn't sell it or give it away for a year).

I think that you may be able to temporarily import it for 30 days if you are using it to transport personal goods as long as you drive it directly to the location where you are going to transport your goods to and then drive it directly back out of Canada within 30 days. I don't know of anyone that has done this and if you're going to do this, I would suggest you prepare thoroughly as I can imagine it that importing all your goods and moving everything but the car could raise questions with the border officer regarding whether you really will export the car.

I'm including additional details at the end of the post.

moonandtheriver said:
Jewelry- I have no real jewelry other than the wedding/engagement rings on my fingers. Everything else is stuff I've made or inexpensive stuff. Do I still need photos of the rings I'm going to be wearing?
Yes to photos for rings even if you're wearing them. The B4 forms (your copy and the copy CIC will keep) will be proof you imported them which you could rely on if in future border crossings anyone asks (happens rarely, but happens).

moonandtheriver said:
What do I need to make sure to bring with me at landing other than my paperwork? Do I need extra photos as I have seen some state for the PR card application?
They will appreciate if you take a copy of your B4 (otherwise they'll need to make it), address where you want PR card mailed to (write it on a slip of paper to hand to them to make it easy), and camera so you can record the memory :)

moonandtheriver said:
I'm not finding alot of info about people landing by car from the US with all their belongings in tow and would appreciate any help so I don't screw something up in a major way.
The B4 is the key. If you end up taking your car up, make sure you're familiar with the export and import process and have the necessary documents with you (and depending on where you are exporting the car from the US, that you are familiar with the specifics of that border crossing).



* * *

Tourists can temporarily import cars, per D19-12-1
Code:
"RIV Program Exemptions
49. Vehicles are exempt from complying with the CMVSS
at the point of entry into Canada if they are imported under
one of the following conditions:
(a) the vehicles are 15 years old or older, or are buses
manufactured before January 1, 1971; the importer
must be able to demonstrate the age of the vehicle;
(b) the vehicles are entering temporarily with:
(1) visitors, for a period not exceeding 12 months;
temporary residents such as students studying at an
institution of learning, for the duration of their
studies in Canada; or individuals with valid work
permits/authorizations for employment for a period
not exceeding 36 months;"
D2-4-1's covers residents of Canada's use of non-Canadian plated cars:
Code:
"GUIDELINES AND
GENERAL INFORMATION

Residents of Canada
1. Residents of Canada may operate conveyances on
which duties have not been paid in Canada only in
accordance with the terms and conditions of tariff item
No. 9802.00.00 and the regulations made pursuant thereto.
Purpose of Importation
2. Conveyances imported temporarily under these
Regulations are admissible for personal transportation only
from the point of arrival to a specified destination in Canada
and return within 30 days, when the purpose of importation
is to transport personally owned goods into or out of
Canada.
3. Similarly, customs inspectors may permit importation
in instances where a resident is required, due to unforeseen
circumstances or emergency reasons, to utilize a
conveyance on which duties have not been paid for personal
transportation to reach a specified destination in Canada and
return.
4. Under no circumstances are conveyances admissible
under these Regulations for touring purposes or for other
leisure activities in Canada, nor is any local use permitted
(e.g., point to point movement in Canada).
5. Customs inspectors will grant free importation of a
conveyance under these Regulations only when satisfied
that the applicable conditions have been met."
...unless it's a rental and certain conditions are met (so your U-Haul would be covered by this)

"
Code:
Exception — temporary importation

(1.1) Sections 5 and 6 do not apply to a resident of Canada who imports a vehicle that is licensed in the United States if the vehicle is rented in the United States from a vehicle rental business and is being imported into Canada for non-commercial purposes.

Importer to remove vehicle from Canada

(1.2) A resident of Canada who imports a vehicle under subsection (1.1) shall remove the vehicle from Canada within a period of 30 days, or any other prescribed period, beginning on the day on which the vehicle is imported.

Rental business to remove vehicle from Canada

(1.3) If, within the period referred to in subsection (1.2), the resident of Canada delivers the vehicle to a vehicle rental business in Canada with the consent of the business, then the vehicle rental business shall remove the vehicle from Canada before the end of that period."
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/M-10.01/page-3.html
and

Code:
" Canadian residents may, as of June 1, 2012, bring U.S. rental vehicles into Canada for non-commercial use for 30 days or less. This will not affect the safety of Canadian road users, because Canadian and American vehicle standards are similar, and the vehicles will be in Canada for short periods of time.

While these changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) will allow one-way and two way trips, residents of Canada may only deliver a vehicle to a vehicle rental business for a one-way trip, with the consent of the business. 

Visitors to Canada may continue to bring rental vehicles from the United States into Canada. "
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safevehicles-rental-usa-1302.htm
[/quote]
 

moonandtheriver

Full Member
Jul 30, 2012
40
1
Wow, this is all wonderful information! Thank you so much to both of you! This helps ALOT. I wish they sent along a packet of info saying what to do next along with the COPR papers.
I have a few items I've gotten my husband for Xmas/Valentines Day that were not able to be shipped up to him due to size/cost, and we thought he might be able to come down before we move me in may, but now its not likely. I plan on giving him those gifts when he gets here. Since they will be his and new, I assume I don't list them with my things and he can declare them at the border as his, even thought hes going to be driving the uhaul with my things (and those items) in it? We can separate those from my stuff pretty easily and leave them pretty accessible if they need to see them.
I think we have decided to import my car. As much of a pain as it might be and abit of expense- Its still cheaper then buying me another car. It looks like my car is importable so at least I have that going for me. I think I have a handle on the bringing my stuff over and what to do with that (I hope)...now its on to figuring out the car.
 

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moonandtheriver said:
I think we have decided to import my car. As much of a pain as it might be and abit of expense- Its still cheaper then buying me another car. It looks like my car is importable so at least I have that going for me. I think I have a handle on the bringing my stuff over and what to do with that (I hope)...now its on to figuring out the car.
importing the car isn't actually that big of an expense and not that difficult. it's just a lot of steps to coordinate within certain periods of time. between the riv fee/Province inspection fees/daytime running lights installation, i spent about $500-600 on the import, plus of course license, registration and insurance once it was complete. while it's not cheap, it's not out of control. the most difficult part for me was getting affordable insurance because of previous insurance claims in the us. for others, the biggest issue is getting an ITN # and initiating the export in AES Direct, though there seems to be plenty of shipping companies available to do it for a minimum price.
 

OhCanadiana

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moonandtheriver said:
Wow, this is all wonderful information! Thank you so much to both of you! This helps ALOT. I wish they sent along a packet of info saying what to do next along with the COPR papers
:)

CBSA's guide is available at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5113-eng.html

moonandtheriver said:
I have a few items I've gotten my husband for Xmas/Valentines Day that were not able to be shipped up to him due to size/cost, and we thought he might be able to come down before we move me in may, but now its not likely. I plan on giving him those gifts when he gets here. Since they will be his and new, I assume I don't list them with my things and he can declare them at the border as his, even thought hes going to be driving the uhaul with my things (and those items) in it? We can separate those from my stuff pretty easily and leave them pretty accessible if they need to see them.
Sounds prudent. You should line up together at the border crossing with him going through first (perhaps even with a copy of your CoPR that he can show the officer). That way he can explain that you are in the car behind him and you are there to land. The officer will likely clear him and then give him a slip to go inside to complete your land formalities.

For the personal goods and household effects you import, note that what matters is that you have owned them and that they have been in your possession and used (albeit briefly; there's an interesting discussion on this as people may import new cars as long as they used them in a public road).

moonandtheriver said:
I think we have decided to import my car. As much of a pain as it might be and abit of expense- Its still cheaper then buying me another car. It looks like my car is importable so at least I have that going for me. I think I have a handle on the bringing my stuff over and what to do with that (I hope)...now its on to figuring out the car.
Some people are concerned when they see it's lots of steps but, frankly, usually relatively easy. You may want to take a look at two of my older posts, which cover the step-by-step process to import your car (see note below though) and Items to consider as you decide when to import your car.

Note, though, that there's an added step since Oct 2014 where you need to register the car on 'AES Direct' (or via an agent) for which instructions are available at http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Exporting%20Vehicles%20To%20Canada%20%28Census%20Bureau%29.pdf.
 

moonandtheriver

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You two continue to be an amazing source of info. Thank you! The car ex/importing looks really intimidating. I've printed out the Steps to Ex/Import a car by OhCanadiana but haven't quite figured out the AES Direct thing yet.
I've stumbled onto an issue with the daytime running lights. Do these need to be separate lights apart from my fog lights and headlights that both, if left on either together or separately in my car, will turn off and on with the car when its started and act as daytime running lights? I've got a KIA that seems to be importable via RIV, but our dealership here says daytime running lights are not made for my car and can't be installed and suggested I "just use my fog lights." Should I bypass KIA and find another place to see if they can be installed or is what I have already considered to be whats needed? Kia consumer affairs had no idea and referred me to the RIV.CA website which says daytime running lights are a modification it looks like all cars need to have. Will I need to have my speedometer changed to metric or will it be fine since metric is also on my speedometer? Will Canadian Tire be able to do any modifications or is it possible they might not be able to do my lights if I can't get it done here?
 

rhcohen2014

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moonandtheriver said:
You two continue to be an amazing source of info. Thank you! The car ex/importing looks really intimidating. I've printed out the Steps to Ex/Import a car by OhCanadiana but haven't quite figured out the AES Direct thing yet.
I've stumbled onto an issue with the daytime running lights. Do these need to be separate lights apart from my fog lights and headlights that both, if left on either together or separately in my car, will turn off and on with the car when its started and act as daytime running lights? I've got a KIA that seems to be importable via RIV, but our dealership here says daytime running lights are not made for my car and can't be installed and suggested I "just use my fog lights." Should I bypass KIA and find another place to see if they can be installed or is what I have already considered to be whats needed? Kia consumer affairs had no idea and referred me to the RIV.CA website which says daytime running lights are a modification it looks like all cars need to have. Will I need to have my speedometer changed to metric or will it be fine since metric is also on my speedometer? Will Canadian Tire be able to do any modifications or is it possible they might not be able to do my lights if I can't get it done here?
yes, daytime running lights are different than fog lights. no us dealer/mechanic is really going to know about it, and a canadian dealer probably won't know much about it either (in my experience). as far as i understand, all cars can get this installed, it is an aftermarket part. you actually don't get it installed before the import. what happens is once you import it and you submit all documents to the RIV, the RIV will release the report for your car, and you'll take it to a DESIGNATED RIV inspection place (in Ottawa, it was only Canadian Tire locations) for inspection. The inspection place will look at your car, confirm what is needed, and do the repairs right then. Part of the paperwork for finalizing the import is a form filled out by the service repair place that installed the modifications. The inspection place will fill everything out and fax it to RIV for you. When I called the dealership next to the canadian tire and asked them about DTL, they actually referred us to canadian tire because they know CT does the RIV inspections. It's not very expensive, it only cost $150 CDN for the installation. Getting the repairs isn't the first step, it's actually one of the last steps. Most of the import is done before the car has the modifications done. If you are in canada, look on the RIV website for who the designated inspection place is for your area, and call them about their pricing.

As for AES Direct, it's really not suggested to do it yourself. doing it yourself requires you to take a certification quiz about the shipping industry. most people are bypassing this step by finding an exporter/shipper who will initiate the export for a small fee. people say the price can range from $30-60.
 

moonandtheriver

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Jul 30, 2012
40
1
Ok that makes much more sense to me then...will check that off at Canadian Tire when we get to that point...looks like they are at least one place where I can go in my part of Alberta too. KIA was talking to me like I was a crazy person who wanted daytime running lights and there was alot of panic from them about "voiding my warranty" when the car hasn't been under warranty for years. :) I will start looking into not doing AES Direct myself then and finding someone to go through. The cost sounds well worth it. Thanks yet again for saving me!
 

OhCanadiana

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Don't be intimidated! You can do it :)

Canadian Tire is indeed the place that does the inspections.

For DRLs, keep in mind that what you really need are lights that turn on in the front of your car when the car is on so you could use your headlights (yes, they'll get more use so you may need to change them a tad more frequently but they really aren't that expensive, especially compared with actually installing separate DRLs).

You may want to ask the dealership (or call a dealership it Alberta) to ask if there's a way of having your headlights on all the time. Some cars can program the feature so you just would need to switch the default and others just need to switch a relay so the circuit is closed when the car is on (or when the alternator is charging).
 

moonandtheriver

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Jul 30, 2012
40
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I'm still intimidated :(
For the EIN number I'm applying for now under sole proprietor, which reason do I use for applying? There is no exporting a car under reasons. I only have the following choices and none seem to fit.
Started a new business
Select this option if you are beginning a new business.
Hired employee(s)
Select this option if you already have a business and need to hire employees.
Banking purposes
Select this option if the reason for applying for the EIN is strictly to satisfy banking requirements or local law.
Changed type of organization
Select this option if you are changing the type of organization you currently operate, such as changing from a sole proprietor to a partnership, changing from a partnership to a corporation, etc.
Purchased active business
Select this option if you are purchasing a business that is already in operation.


Looks like we are doing the move the first week of May. Hopefully that will give me enough time to get this all taken care of? I know the recall clearance will only be good for 30 days so I don't want to start too early or too late either. Timing seems to be rather important.
My cars headlights will come on and stay on when the car starts as long as I leave it in that mode. So it sounds like this may be good enough? If not I guess Canadian Tire will let me know when I get there.
Should I pick a freight forwarder from one in my general area, or can it be anywhere in the country? If the latter is the case...any recommendations?
I have no idea how people would do this all without help from this board and the awesome people who take the time to answer questions. I'd be utterly lost. Thank you both yet AGAIN!!
 

OhCanadiana

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moonandtheriver said:
I'm still intimidated :(
For the EIN number I'm applying for now under sole proprietor, which reason do I use for applying? There is no exporting a car under reasons. I only have the following choices and none seem to fit.
Started a new business
Select this option if you are beginning a new business.
Hired employee(s)
Select this option if you already have a business and need to hire employees.
Banking purposes
Select this option if the reason for applying for the EIN is strictly to satisfy banking requirements or local law.
Changed type of organization
Select this option if you are changing the type of organization you currently operate, such as changing from a sole proprietor to a partnership, changing from a partnership to a corporation, etc.
Purchased active business
Select this option if you are purchasing a business that is already in operation.


Looks like we are doing the move the first week of May. Hopefully that will give me enough time to get this all taken care of? I know the recall clearance will only be good for 30 days so I don't want to start too early or too late either. Timing seems to be rather important.
My cars headlights will come on and stay on when the car starts as long as I leave it in that mode. So it sounds like this may be good enough? If not I guess Canadian Tire will let me know when I get there.
Should I pick a freight forwarder from one in my general area, or can it be anywhere in the country? If the latter is the case...any recommendations?
I have no idea how people would do this all without help from this board and the awesome people who take the time to answer questions. I'd be utterly lost. Thank you both yet AGAIN!!
1. I'd try to select banking purposes since "or local law" part applies. You're trying to meet the requirements of customs/census regulations to export the car. If that doesn't work, IIRC, some have reported using starting a business successfully.
2. May is more than enough time. I'd start looking into insurance coverage in Canada (talk with your husband's insurer, arrange to get experience letters) and figure out how to get the recall letter for your make. Some you can just go online and hit print (e.g., Toyota), others you either need to convince the dealer or go through a lengthy process with the manufacturer.
3. Once you know the date, make an appointment the next morning with Canadian Tire so you minimize the amount of time your car will be out of commission (you'll be a Canadian Resident by then so you can only drive the car directly from the border to the house and then for import purposes).
4. Freight forwarder to register the car, actually move the car or for all your goods? I'd post this question over in the US outland applicant's thread with your location to get specific suggestions (http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/us-outland-applicants-thread-t106068.2535.html)
 

moonandtheriver

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Jul 30, 2012
40
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The freight forwarder is just being used to file the export info for my car on my behalf and obtain an ITN... I plan to drive it up myself, not ship it. The needing an EIN is confusing to me, as one place it states step one is to get an EIN number. And step two is select and authorize a US Agent /freight forwarder. Then the link it takes you to for more info says:

"To file export information via the AES, an EIN must be submitted (15 CFR §30.6(a) (iii)). If the USPPI or the U.S. authorized agent residing in or having an office in the United States does not have an EIN, the USPPI or authorized agent must obtain an EIN from IRS. In addition, U.S. exporting companies must use an EIN to complete its profile, however, may also use its Dun and Bradstreet number to complete future submissions."

So it sounds to me like I only need an EIN if the freight forwarder/agent doesn't have one??
So confusing!
 

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moonandtheriver said:
The freight forwarder is just being used to file the export info for my car on my behalf and obtain an ITN... I plan to drive it up myself, not ship it. The needing an EIN is confusing to me, as one place it states step one is to get an EIN number. And step two is select and authorize a US Agent /freight forwarder. Then the link it takes you to for more info says:

"To file export information via the AES, an EIN must be submitted (15 CFR §30.6(a) (iii)). If the USPPI or the U.S. authorized agent residing in or having an office in the United States does not have an EIN, the USPPI or authorized agent must obtain an EIN from IRS. In addition, U.S. exporting companies must use an EIN to complete its profile, however, may also use its Dun and Bradstreet number to complete future submissions."

So it sounds to me like I only need an EIN if the freight forwarder/agent doesn't have one??
So confusing!
there may be freight forwarders that require you to get an EIN yourself, even if they have one available. i'd imagine the freight forwarder will let you know whether they require one when you call them.

you can always try calling the IRS to get the EIN over the phone if the online application is too confusing. it's very simple to do and takes about 15 min.
 

OhCanadiana

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moonandtheriver said:
The freight forwarder is just being used to file the export info for my car on my behalf and obtain an ITN... I plan to drive it up myself, not ship it. The needing an EIN is confusing to me, as one place it states step one is to get an EIN number. And step two is select and authorize a US Agent /freight forwarder. Then the link it takes you to for more info says:

"To file export information via the AES, an EIN must be submitted (15 CFR §30.6(a) (iii)). If the USPPI or the U.S. authorized agent residing in or having an office in the United States does not have an EIN, the USPPI or authorized agent must obtain an EIN from IRS. In addition, U.S. exporting companies must use an EIN to complete its profile, however, may also use its Dun and Bradstreet number to complete future submissions."

So it sounds to me like I only need an EIN if the freight forwarder/agent doesn't have one??
So confusing!
Per http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/export-docs/motor-vehicle it looks like you need one either way. While you're there, take a look into AES Direct (option 1 at the top left of the page) too as it would save you the need for a freight forwarder. You can see info on AES Direct at http://aesdirect.census.gov/ too.