Importing Regulated Engines, Vehicles, Vessels, and Machines into Canada

Importing Regulated Engines, Vehicles, Vessels, and Machines into Canada
Trade Talk Blog • December 20, 2021

ong gone are the days when you could simply order an engine or vehicle from a US manufacturer and rely on your customs broker to fill in the information needed when it arrives at the border. The obligations of an importer have changed, and it is now essential that you have accurate information about the engine or vehicle being brought into Canada.

As an importer, you are now responsible for meeting the import requirements of engines and ensuring compliance with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Your customs broker is still responsible for declaring the basic release information to Canada customs, but compliance information and ECCC import requirements fall directly on your shoulders.

If you are in the business of importing, manufacturing or distributing certain classes of engines, vehicles, vessels, and machines, you are now required to submit import declarations. Read on to learn about the essential compliance and importation declaration requirements of the ECCC.

The Role of CBSA and ECCC

The CBSA supports ECCC in administrating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), which governs the assessment and management of chemical substances. The Act allows the Canadian government to prevent, reduce, or control the impact on the environment and human health caused by:

  • New and existing substances (including products of biotechnology)
  • Marine pollution
  • Emissions from vehicles, engines, and equipment
  • Fuels
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Environmental emergencies (including accidental spills)

Submitting your Integrated Import Declaration (IID)

The Integrated Import Declaration (IID) is a part of CBSA’s Single Window Initiative (SWI). It simplifies reporting and enables CBSA to share import declaration data with Participating Government Agencies (PGAs) such as the ECCC.

To ensure compliance with ECCC regulations, an IID must be submitted when importing regulated engines, vehicles, vessels, and machines. You are required to have all the information needed to complete the IID. You can choose to provide this information through a Transactional Declaration or Bulk Declaration, which we will detail in the next section.

Transactional Declarations VS Bulk Declarations

A Transactional Declaration is the declaration at a transactional level carried out by your customs broker at the time of entry. This is done through an IID link that directly provides your importation and ECCC compliance information to Environment Canada. In this case, you will need to share all the information with your customs broker to enable them to fill and submit the declaration on your behalf.

A Bulk Declaration is carried out by you, the importer, directly to ECCC at a later date. To be entitled to submit your importation information through Bulk Declaration (or Bulk Reporting), you must have an approval letter from ECCC indicating that this type of declaration is appropriate for your company and import in bulk. The letter will also include the frequency at which you can submit your declarations.

There is no standard fillable form for bulk declarations but rather a set of guidelines to follow depending on your imported goods. The form will look like the example below. You can refer to Chapter 10 of the Marine spark-ignition engine regulations technical guidance to view Environment Canada’s exact form requirements.

Example of the Bulk Declaration Form


Types of Regulated Engines, Vehicles, Vessels, and Machines that Require ECCC Compliance

Canadian regulations prohibit importing specific engines, vehicles, vessels, and machines unless they meet specific requirements. Businesses that import regulated products must submit importation declarations to ECCC in addition to information to the CBSA that satisfy importation requirements under the Customs Act at the time of importation.

As stipulated in CBSA’s Memorandum D19-7-4, importation declarations are required when importing the following regulated engines, vehicles, vessels, and machines:

  • Light-duty vehicles
  • Light-duty trucks
  • Medium-duty passenger vehicles
  • Class 2B and class 3 vehicles
  • Heavy-duty vehicles
  • Heavy-duty engines
  • On-road motorcycles
  • Passenger automobiles
  • Light trucks
  • Vocational vehicles
  • Tractors
  • Heavy-duty incomplete vehicles
  • Off-road compression-ignition engines
  • Off-road small spark-ignition engines rated up to 19 kW (25hp)
  • Spark-ignited outboard engines, inboard engines, and personal watercraft engines
  • Snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, and off-road motorcycles
  • A vessel with an installed fuel line or fuel tank
  • Incomplete engines and vehicles

Exceptions to the ECCC Declaration Requirements

According to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA,1999), ECCC declaration requirements do not apply in respect of the importation of any engine, vessel, or machine if:

  • The company or person importing the engine, vehicle, vessel, or machine declares that it will be used in Canada solely for exhibition, demonstration, evaluation, or testing.
  • The engine, vehicle, vessel, or machine is in transit through Canada and is accompanied by written evidence establishing that it will not be sold or used in Canada.
  • The engine, vehicle, vessel, or machine is being imported exclusively for use by a visitor to Canada or by a person passing through Canada to another country.

Additional Information

  • For details about individual requirements of regulated engines, vehicles, vessels, and machines, you can refer to the following emission regulations that both CBSA and ECCC administer:

If you need guidance with import requirements and compliance for your engines or vehicles, you can contact our Global Trade Services (GTS) team. Alternatively, you can email the Regulatory Administration Section, Transportation Division, Environment and Climate Change directly.


Cheryl Bedarf | GHY’s Corporate Trainer

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