Border Brokers

Importing Vehicles into Canada

What is AES?

If you’re importing a vehicle into Canada, the U.S. export requirements can feel very confusing! Here’s a few of our most commonly asked questions.

1. What is AES?

AES stands for Automated Export System. Goods being exported from the U.S. are required to be reported to U.S. census.

2. What requires AES to Canada?

Any used self-propelled vehicle needs to be reported when being exported from the U.S. This requires all land vehicles, including your highway trucks, your tractors and agricultural equipment that is self-propelled, and even forklifts and riding lawnmowers. This does not include anything on water such as boats, rails such as trains, or not self-propelled, such as trailers.

3. What does “used” mean?

While a vehicle may be new to you, this doesn’t mean that it is new in customs’ eyes. Unless you’re buying a vehicle directly from the manufacturer, it’s considered a used vehicle.

4. What is an ITN?

ITN stands for Internal Transaction Number. This is the number you get back once your AES filing has been accepted!

5. How do I file my 72 hours?

Once you receive your ITN, it’s important to file your 72 hours with customs. (That is, the 72 hour “warning” that you will be bringing your vehicle across the border.) Every port is different, so to be sure, it’s best to contact customs directly and find out how they would like you to start your 72 hours. Alternatively, we at Border Brokers are happy to file your 72 hours on your behalf!

6. What do I need when I cross?

When it’s time to cross your vehicle into Canada, you must first park your vehicle on the U.S. side and physically walk into the customs export office. There you will present your AES transmission record, which we will provide for you if you file with us, your original Vehicle Title, and Bill of Sale.

7. What if my vehicle is a gift?

While you may not have paid any money for this vehicle, customs still requires a value. We recommend getting a Letter of Gift, where you declare a fair market value of that vehicle.

8. What if my vehicle is already in Canada?

When you have a vehicle in Canada that hasn’t been fully exported, it must first return to the U.S. for AES Filing, and to fulfill the 72 hour requirement. At that point, it can be exported and return to Canada.

9. What is an EIN?

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. Census requires this number to find the seller and the transaction. If your seller does not have an EIN, they can apply for one at

10. When can I use a Passport Number instead of an EIN?

If you are a Canadian citizen who has physically gone into the U.S. to purchase the vehicle, we can use your Passport Number instead of an EIN.

11. Will my vehicle be admissible into Canada?

Not all vehicles are admissible into Canada. We recommend going to to check your vehicle’s admissibility and the different requirements that Canada has.

12. How do I import into Canada?

Fulfilling the Canada customs requirements can be confusing. We’re able to help with that and provide the entry ahead of time so that when you get to customs, you’re just presenting a bar code, they’re scanning it, and you’re on your way!

Looking for more information? Visit our page on AES Filing or call us at 1-204-633-7207 and ask for the Vehicles team, or send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!