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Importing a KLR650 From Canada

'95 KLR650 in Baja California Sur

Subject: Importing a KLR650 From Canada

I imported a new '03 KLR650 from Canada.

My purchase price was $3,975 US$; ($6000 Ca$) December 2002.

No "set-up" or "freight" charges. $3,975 plus 7% GST (Goods and Services Tax).

No provincial sales tax to nonresidents. Although the GST is refunded by the Canadian government, the dealer must collect it at time of sale.

No US import duty on street bikes under 701cc.


HOW TO IMPORT THE BIKE: You will need five documents to import the bike into the US.

1. Purchase Order

2. Vehicle Title/Birth Certificate-called "New Vehicle Information Statement" in British Columbia.

3. Invoice for a US spec (MPH) speedometer/odometer.

4. "Letter of Conformity"-certifies that the bike meets US DoT and EPA requirements (except for the speedometer--that is why the dealer will supply you with a invoice showing that you have a US spec speedo on order).

5. "Entry & Manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty"

Documents 1, 2, and 3, are obviously supplied by the dealer.

The "Letter of Conformity" is obtained by writing to:

Spencer Hosokawa
Government Relations Product Specialist
Kawasaki Motors USA
PO Box 25252
Santa Ana CA 92799-5252.

He faxed the "Letter of Conformity" to my dealer in Canada immediately, and I received the original by mail within 2 days of my request. You MUST have this letter to import the bike.

The "Entry & Manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty" form will be supplied by US Customs when you import the bike.

After you have obtained documents 1-4 above, and have picked up the bike, stop at a duty free store on the Canadian side of the border. A employee will certify that you are exporting the bike from Canada by marking the purchase order to that effect, and give you the forms for a refund of the GST. Without the certification, you may not receive your GST refund.

US Customs will review documents 1-4, and give you the "Entry & Manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty" document. This document, along with the purchase order and the New Vehicle Information Statement are required by the state in order to register the bike and obtain the license plate.

Here in Washington State, I picked up the KLR at noon in BC, and had it WA registered and licensed by mid-afternoon. The GST cannot be credited against the state sales tax.

The GST refund took an even 6 weeks.

The Canadian $ has risen considerably since last December, so the savings will be less than a year ago. I would expect the savings would still amount to about $500, though.

UPDATE - 2008 rise of the Canadian $$ (or fall of the US $$, depending on how you look at it), means that there is no longer any advantage to purchasing KLRs in Canada and importing them back to the ‘states. Happy Trails....

Article written by hookster. Contact the Author of this article

This page last updated 15 September 2008.

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