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Old 26 Jul 2016
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Shipping Motorcycle from Europe back to Canada

After 4 months of touring around Europe I will be flying my motorcycle back to Canada.

I had the bike shipped over to Dublin from Montreal and will now be flying it back home with Air Canada from Frankfurt to Montreal.

I have already arranged the cargo shipment and DG documents for the bike so the particulars for the shipping side of things have been completed.

My question is, what is the process with dealing with Canada Customs and Argriculture Canada on my return.

Once I step off the plane and clear immigration, who am I suppose to contact
first? Any paper work I need to complete before shipping the bike?

Do I deal with Canada customs personel at the airport or do they have another office in building around the Montreal airport.

How strict is Argriculture Canada on the cleanliness of the bike? Does it have to be immaculately cleaned before shipping it over?

Any input from someone who has recently gone through this process would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by Ride4Adventure; 26 Jul 2016 at 18:33.
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Old 27 Jul 2016
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Hi Brian:

I've gone through the process of shipping my Canadian moto (purchased in Canada, plated in Ontario) back to Canada by air from Europe a few times.

It is "problematic" at Customs, only because the Canada Customs employees are just not used to having Canadian vehicles return to Canada by air from another continent. Hence they are kind of put on their back foot by the whole thing, and start thinking about rules that they have learned about dealing with foreign vehicles being imported to Canada. Obviously, these rules don't apply to Canadian vehicles returning.

See post #2 in this discussion. It is a reply I made to a similar question about 3 years ago - everything I wrote there is still valid today.

Just a few reminders for your 'checklist':

1) Is your provincial licence plate still valid (current validity sticker)?

2) Is your Canadian insurance valid? Be sure it is, the penalty for driving without valid insurance is now really severe (around a $10,000 fine - that's ten thousand, no typo there)

3) Make sure the moto is immaculately clean - not a single bug or speck of dirt anywhere. You can usually get it adequately clean by going to a power-wash place (coin op car wash, wand wash) near the airport in Europe, cleaning it there, then wiping it clean with a towel once you drop it off at the freight shed).

4) Don't delay in getting it out of customs and out of the freight shed - daily storage costs for the moto can be very high (around $100 a day) because of its large size.

5) Anticipate difficulties getting it from the floor of the freight warehouse onto the parking lot of the freight warehouse. Typically there are no ramps, only loading docks. You might have to ask a truck driver who has a liftgate on his truck to help you transfer it from the warehouse floor to the parking lot (4 feet lower than the warehouse floor). Have some money ready to make it worth the driver's while to help you.

6) ***most important of all*** Have your ownership and insurance documents with you when you go to the customs office to clear the bike out of the warehouse. DO NOT LEAVE THESE DOCUMENTS IN THE BIKE!!! You will not be allowed access to the motorcycle until after Customs has released it. If you happen to have a copy of the original bill of sale for the motorcycle, showing that you bought it in Canada, that is helpful but not essential.

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Old 28 Jul 2016
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thanks for you comments.

Hopefully Canada customs will not give me a hard time clearing the bike through customs.

Will be happy to be back in Canada once again

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Old 3 Jul 2017
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Don't ship on a weekend or holiday!!

Another snag I just ran into, the CBSA air commercial office is only open Mon-Fri til 4:00 pm. I now have to wait until after the holiday Monday to process my bike. In all my trip planning this didn't hit the radar. I could have spent two more days relaxing and touring around Heidelberg rather than in a Calgary airport hotel!
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Old 5 Jul 2017
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Just a precision regarding cleanliness of the bike.

The bike needs to be clean, but more importantly free of any soil.

The reason the CFIA (the Agriculture department) is interested in your bike is to make sure that you don't carry diseases for agriculture and animals that can be present in foreign soil. So just make sure that you don't have any soil anywhere on the bike, your boots, your whatever and you'll be all right.

Don't trust the washing company, clean it yourself or make your own inspection after the wash, every space where there could be soil.
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