September 27, 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Importing a Car from India to Canada: A Case Study with Example Car


Are you dreaming of driving your favorite car from India on the picturesque roads of Canada? Importing a car to Canada can be an exhilarating adventure, but it requires meticulous planning and compliance with import regulations from both countries. In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process of importing a car, using the popular Maruti Suzuki Swift as an example, while highlighting the crucial documentation needed for a seamless and successful importation.

Example Car: Maruti Suzuki Swift

The Maruti Suzuki Swift is a beloved hatchback in India, renowned for its style, efficiency, and exceptional performance. Let’s delve into the steps and essential documentation required to bring this stunning car to Canada.

Step 1: Research and Compliance

Before embarking on the import process, conduct extensive research on the regulations and requirements for importing vehicles into Canada. Verify if the specific model of the Maruti Suzuki Swift meets Canadian safety and emissions standards. Additionally, ensure that you’re aware of any necessary modifications or additional parts needed for compliance with Canadian regulations.

Supporting Documents :

  • Manufacturer specifications and details of the Maruti Suzuki Swift model.
  • Information on any required modifications or additional parts needed for compliance.

Step 2: Import Eligibility and Emissions Standards

To bring the Maruti Suzuki Swift into Canada, you must check its eligibility as per the criteria set by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV). Moreover, the car must comply with Canada’s Environmental Protection Act emissions standards. Reach out to the RIV for clarification on eligibility and any necessary modifications.


  • Confirmation from the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) regarding the Maruti Suzuki Swift’s eligibility status.
  • Emissions compliance certificate issued by the appropriate Indian authorities.

Step 3: Customs Clearance and Duties

Contact the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to determine the applicable customs duties and taxes. Be prepared to provide information about the car, including its make, model, year, and value. Ensure you have the necessary documentation and pay the required customs duties, goods and services tax (GST), and any other applicable taxes.


  • Bill of Sale: A receipt of purchase or invoice from the seller in India.
  • Commercial Invoice: A detailed invoice specifying the car’s value, purchase date, and other relevant information for customs assessment.
  • Proof of Ownership: Original vehicle title or certificate of registration in the owner’s name.
  • Proof of Insurance: An insurance certificate covering the transportation of the vehicle to Canada.
  • Importer’s Identification: Valid identification documents of the individual or business importing the car.
  • Proof of Residency: Documents establishing the importer’s residency in Canada.
  • Receipts of customs duties, GST, and any other applicable taxes paid to CBSA.

Step 4: Vehicle History Report and Inspection

To ensure the Maruti Suzuki Swift has a clean record and hasn’t been involved in any major accidents, obtain a comprehensive vehicle history report. Also, arrange for an inspection to confirm the car’s roadworthiness and compliance with Canadian safety standards.


  • Comprehensive Vehicle History Report: Obtained from a trusted source, detailing the car’s accident history, ownership records, and other relevant information.
  • Inspection Report: An assessment report from a qualified inspection facility, ensuring the vehicle’s roadworthiness and compliance with safety standards.

Step 5: Transport and Shipping

Select a reputable international shipping company to transport the Maruti Suzuki Swift from India to Canada. Choose a shipping method that aligns with your budget and timeline. It’s crucial to ensure proper packaging and insurance coverage during transit to safeguard against potential damages.


  • Shipping Contract: A written agreement with the chosen international shipping company outlining shipping terms, responsibilities, and costs.
  • Bill of Lading: Issued by the shipping company, this document serves as a receipt and proof of shipment.

Step 6: Border Crossing and Customs Declaration

As the Maruti Suzuki Swift arrives in Canada, you’ll need to clear it through customs. Submit the required documentation, including the bill of lading, bill of sale, vehicle history report, and a copy of the manufacturer’s certificate of origin. Comply with any additional customs requirements and pay any remaining duties or taxes.


  • Original Bill of Sale.
  • Bill of Lading.
  • Vehicle History Report.
  • Importer’s Identification and Proof of Residency (mentioned in Step 3).
  • Receipts of customs duties and taxes paid to CBSA (mentioned in Step 3).
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin: Provided by the manufacturer, this document verifies the vehicle’s origin and authenticity.

Step 7: Modifications and Compliance with Canadian Standards

Once the Maruti Suzuki Swift clears customs, arrange for the necessary modifications and inspections to meet Canadian safety and emissions standards. This might involve installing speedometer conversion, daytime running lights, or other required modifications.


  • Receipts and documentation for any modifications made to the vehicle to meet Canadian safety and emissions standards.

Step 8: Registration and Insurance

After successfully meeting all compliance requirements, proceed to register the Maruti Suzuki Swift in your province or territory of residence. Acquire the appropriate insurance coverage to legally operate the vehicle on Canadian roads.


  • Compliance Documents: Issued by the relevant authorities confirming the car’s adherence to Canadian safety and emissions standards.
  • Proof of Residency (mentioned in Step 3).
  • Vehicle Registration Application: Filled out with the relevant provincial or territorial transportation authority.
  • Proof of Insurance: A valid insurance certificate covering the Maruti Suzuki Swift in Canada.


By conducting thorough research, following the step-by-step process, and ensuring you have all the necessary documentation, importing a car from India to Canada can be a rewarding experience. With careful planning and adherence to the regulations, soon you’ll be cruising in your beloved Maruti Suzuki Swift on Canadian roads, savoring every moment of the journey.

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