New rules in affect for U.S. imports


Updated regulations related to the importation of used vehicles into Canada have now taken affect and require all used-cars crossing the border to have electronic export information (EEI) filed digitally regardless of the value or country of destination.

U.S. Customs announced more than a year ago it would institute mandatory filing of electronic export information through the Automated Export System (AES) or AESDirect for all exports of used “self-propelled” vehicles. The new rules went into affect on April 5.

This change to the Foreign Trade Regulations required all used “self-propelled” vehicles to have paperwork filed via AES at least 72 hours prior to export.
Travis Hull, director business services at Livingston International, a customs brokerage, said that the “72-hour rule” has been in effect for years for hard copy paperwork.

He added that the major thing Canadian dealers should be aware of is that the filing must be done electronically now and that previous AES exemptions for goods destined to Canada for used self-propelled vehicles would no longer apply.

“People buying from auctions in the U.S. ought to reach out ahead of time and talk to their sellers to see if they are taking care of this requirement and figure out ahead of time how EEI is going to be accomplished,” he said.

As defined in the U.S. Customs regulations, a self-propelled vehicle includes any automobile, truck, tractor, bus, motorcycle, motor home, self-propelled agricultural machinery, self-propelled construction equipment, self-propelled special use equipment and any other self-propelled vehicle used or designed for running on land but not on rail.

Missing or late electronic export information could lead to vehicles being held at the border and the possible assessment of penalties.

Hull said the old standard usually meant used-vehicles destined for Canada and not for further export would have been except from the AES filing.

And while typically the requirement of filing EEI is placed on the U.S. principal interest – typically a U.S. seller or an agent – he said it would be in the Canadian buyer’s best interest to inquire if the U.S. seller is aware of the new requirements.