Pre-clearing new vehicles for importing using the case-by-case process

The case-by-case process allows importers who buy new, Canadian-specification vehicles directly from foreign manufacturers to get pre-authorization from Transport Canada. It reduces the risk of having shipments denied at the border for not complying with Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

This process applies to all classes of vehicles regulated under Schedule III of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.

Without pre-authorization, Canada Border Services Agency officers can deny entry to vehicles at the border. This may lead to extra costs and delays for importers. Vehicles that do not comply with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards must be exported or destroyed at the expense of the importer.

Vehicles bought at a dealership are not considered to be vehicles bought directly from a manufacturer.

Who can submit a case-by-case request

Canadian individuals or companies may submit a request. The vehicles for import must be bought directly from a foreign manufacturer that designs and assembles vehicles complying with applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Importers are required to submit information that is specific to vehicles being imported. If a review is successful, we will issue a case-by-case authorization number for the specific vehicle, or vehicles, as listed on the request.

How to submit a case-by-case request

To request a case-by-case application, contact Transport Canada and clearly indicate the vehicle type. Contact Transport Canada:

By telephone:
1-800-333-0371 (toll free) or 613-998-8616 (Ottawa area)
By mail:
Transport Canada
Motor Vehicle Safety Directorate
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

We will provide you with instructions for submitting your case-by-case authorization request. Please carefully review and submit all required information.

We encourage you to submit your request electronically.

This web site is meant as a helpful reference. It has no legal force or effect. To fully understand the law, consult the Motor Vehicle Safety Act S.C. 1993, c.16, and the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.