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Old 13th October 2009, 10:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Importing into Canada ... Again

I was thinking of building a GT40 for some time, but am still put off with the legality of importing a kit. A real kit, no partial assembly. I have done this before with a Cobra kit. I placed my order in 1993 and started to bring back parts and pieces in 1994. Naturally, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act changed during that time in 1993. As far as I know, I didn't break any laws at that time as I merely imported parts.

I was assured by the private engineering company that certifies homebuilt cars for the maritme province Registry of Motor Vehicles that one can still import a kit as seperate parts, but I'm not so sure.

Since I brought in parts years ago, the law may not not have changed, but Transport Canada's view on it has been "adjusted" that puts a nail in the "parts" loophole coffin, as per these two links:

"Kit Cars" in Canada - Road & Motor Vehicle Safety Publications - Road and Motor Vehicle Safety - Road Transportation - Transport Canada

Frequently asked questions for Kit Cars - Road & Motor Vehicle Safety Publications - Road and Motor Vehicle Safety - Road Transportation - Transport Canada

Although I did research this a bit two years ago, I was unaware of the above two links, and certainly unaware of the Ministry of Transport vs. Macro Auto Leasing on the import of parially assembled Superperformance cars. Here's the link for that:

Federal Court - Macro Auto Leasing Inc. v. Canada (Transport)

Does anyone know if there has been any positive outcome for the kit car hobbiest from that court case?

I heard a rumour of a fistfight in Ontario between a Superperformance rep and a member of Transport Canada (possibly Harry Baergen) whihc cna't have helped much. And apparently the Ontario Kit Car Association/Club (am unsure of their exact name) is still doing battle with TC on this.

Any updates at all?

Reference link to an older thread on this subject:

Canadian kit car laws
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Old 14th October 2009, 01:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Call Transport Canada's kit car sheriff (Harry B) and ask. Email works but don't hold your breath waiting for a timely reply. Don't trust what you've read or heard until you've spoken with TC first.

Sounds like you are up to speed anyway but if you want to read a full discussion see this thread - Canadian kit car laws


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Last edited by ChrisMartino; 14th October 2009 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Editing
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Old 14th October 2009, 03:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Does anybody know what's happened with the superformance case?

Some people I've talked to say it's ongoing, others say they've lost and 0 cars are allowed into canada now, others say they won and cars are coming in at the moment. Very confusing
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Old 14th October 2009, 07:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

PM me, I can put you in touch with someone who is in Canada and VERY familiar with the situation.
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Old 14th October 2009, 08:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

I see that Transport Canada's appeal on the Macro case was dismissed:

Federal Court of Appeal - Canada (Transport) v. Macro Auto Leasing Inc.

On that basis, one should be able to import most any kit. But nothing has changed with TC that I can find.

Seems to me, that TC should be more concerned with having a competent inspector certify a homebuilt car vs trying to keep a pile of car parts from coming into the country. In light of the TC appeal loss, and seeing there subsequent clarifications (top post, first two links) I doubt that will ever happen.

Here's another link regarding the appeal:

http://reports.fja-cmf.gc.ca/eng/200...2007fc521.html

Last edited by Eggbert; 14th October 2009 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 14th October 2009, 03:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggbert View Post
I see that Transport Canada's appeal on the Macro case was dismissed:

Federal Court of Appeal - Canada (Transport) v. Macro Auto Leasing Inc.

On that basis, one should be able to import most any kit. But nothing has changed with TC that I can find.

Seems to me, that TC should be more concerned with having a competent inspector certify a homebuilt car vs trying to keep a pile of car parts from coming into the country. In light of the TC appeal loss, and seeing there subsequent clarifications (top post, first two links) I doubt that will ever happen.

Here's another link regarding the appeal:

Federal Courts Reports
Well, if nothing else then atleast the government is consistent - i.e., doesn't matter if we lose in court, we'll still seize your car and force you to waste your time and money in court. In the meantime, we'll then proceed to seize all the subsequent imports as well, just because
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Old 14th October 2009, 04:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Note that the two SPFs "siezed" by TC "disappeared" from the container while in TC's custody!!!!!


From court ruling:

"Finally, I should note that this application for judicial review of the Seizure is moot because the Container’s Contents were stolen from the Customs’ compound and have not been recovered. However, because the meaning of “vehicle” presents an ongoing issue for the Applicant, I agreed to decide this case as it relates to the term “vehicle” in section 2 of the Act."
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Old 14th October 2009, 04:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark IV View Post
Note that the two SPFs "siezed" by TC "disappeared" from the container while in TC's custody!!!!!


From court ruling:

"Finally, I should note that this application for judicial review of the Seizure is moot because the Container’s Contents were stolen from the Customs’ compound and have not been recovered. However, because the meaning of “vehicle” presents an ongoing issue for the Applicant, I agreed to decide this case as it relates to the term “vehicle” in section 2 of the Act."
I thought that odd,, and not "moot" at all. Surely, if the ruling was to favour the importer (which it did), then Revenue Canada (i.e. Customs) would be responsible for those items in their care.

Regardless, I fail to grasp why TC has not backed down on their interpretation of teh "Act" based on the loss of their appeal.

Is Macro still importing these cars?

I just don't want to double the cost of this project by paying a lawyer to attend a court which is only going to repeat this whole business.
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Old 14th October 2009, 04:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggbert View Post
Is Macro still importing these cars?
In a word, no.
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Old 14th October 2009, 05:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

This is what matters, from the Judge-

[38] While I have sympathy for Transport Canada’s position. It is hard to see that safety concerns justify Transport Canada’s view that the Container’s Contents are vehicles when as a hobby, a person can buy a car kit, locate donor parts from wrecking yards and other sources and assemble an operational car without any oversight by Transport Canada. These homemade vehicles which are cobbled together with parts from a variety of sources are legally driven on our roads if they pass provincial safety certification and registration requirements which are designed to ensure that cars are safe before they are driven. These requirements also apply to Superformance cars.


[39] I cannot conclude that safety considerations justify the very broad approach to the word “capable” suggested by Transport Canada. It simply cannot be the case that the Container’s Contents, which lack wheels and an engine, can be said to be readily capable of being driven when their assembly, even in a short time, could reasonably be expected to involve several days work by experts using specialized equipment.


[40] In my view, to be readily capable of being driven, a vehicle, when imported, must have an assembled body/chassis and an installed power train so that with a minimum of activity, including steps such as the addition of fuel and washer fluid, the inflation of tires, affixing mirrors and other minor parts removed or not installed for shipping and adding a battery, the vehicle is immediately capable of being driven. This conclusion means that Transport Canada overreached its authority when it took the position that the Container’s Contents which included two partly assembled chassis/frames with no wheels and no engines were capable of being driven on a road.


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Old 14th October 2009, 09:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

John,

If you've built a Cobra and are prepared to take on a GT40 project please give me a call. Anyone who has built both (I have) can tell you a GT40 is at least three to four times more complex and at least twice as expensive to do a cheap GT40 vs a high end Cobra.

That said, no other replica beats the driving experience of a well setup GT40 IMHO.

It is possible to supply you with ALL the parts required, however no-one or company can import a complete "kit car" to this country. Period.

There are nine CAV GT40s in Canada, we have no problem supplying. Please look at my other postings on the forum you'll see we now make a good percentage of the major componentry in Canada. Our upgrade parts are exported around the world.

Cheers
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Old 15th October 2009, 02:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuk40 View Post
a GT40 is at least three to four times more complex and at least twice as expensive to do a cheap GT40 vs a high end Cobra.
It's $200k to do a "cheap" CAV GT40?
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Old 18th October 2009, 09:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Hi Alex,

How's your project coming along? My point is relative regarding cost and complexity. Since there are virtually no cheap, used, refirbished donor parts in a GT40 replica it's going to cost a heck of a lot more to do than a Cobra.

Not to say you can't have a very fine Cobra, just the vast majority of Cobras are designed around inexpensive donor or common production parts. Plus it's a much simpler car. I'd have a hard time spending 100k on a Cobra replica btw.

Originally we wanted to offer a ready to drive CAV GT40 completely done for under 100k. Didn't happen, as soon as the customer saw the stainless monocoque, full leather interior, great body shape and paint, the idea of a 302 4barrel/Getrag went out the window.

So you can spec out any level of car you want, a pro builder will make it so and charge accordingly. If you're building one in your garage... be prepared. It will be worth it when your done

Cheers
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Old 18th October 2009, 10:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuk40 View Post
I'd have a hard time spending 100k on a Cobra replica btw.
I didn't

So like if you wanted to do a CAV gt-40 with a 600-700hp SBF, supporting transaxle/fuel/suspension/etc..., leather interior, and do all the assembly yourself, except for bodywork and paint, what would you guestimate the rough average net 'higher' end build cost would be? (obviously things vary, but I'm wondering if you'd be closer to, say, 120k than 200k, for example)
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Old 19th October 2009, 10:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Yep, I think we're on the same page now Cheers
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFNFAST View Post
So like if you wanted to do a CAV gt-40 with a 600-700hp SBF, supporting transaxle/fuel/suspension/etc..., leather interior, and do all the assembly yourself, except for bodywork and paint, what would you guestimate the rough average net 'higher' end build cost would be? (obviously things vary, but I'm wondering if you'd be closer to, say, 120k than 200k, for example)
Hi Alex,

As with any project, keep your end-goal in mind. I know there are lots of cars with 700 HP, but I can't see how you could possibly make use of that much power in a GT40. Mine has 410 HP (stroked HiPo 289) and it is crazy fast. If you actually want to track the car, go for balance and lightness (and some really quiet exhausts as I have found out). Ian is a great resource and hugely talented at achieving the above. As for numbers, I could never figure how I could do a decent 40 from scratch for under $110K and settled (for now) for an older GTD (importing was a breeze, btw). The CAV with Ian's improvements is a terrific car.

Good luck with your project!

Mark
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Old 21st October 2009, 11:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Cool Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

Hear hear. If you want a mature, thoughtful, engineered and generally well-thought out, practical solution to a GT40 problem, call Ian, above.
I bought a CAV -GTD built in late 2001-2002 through New York importers, ultimately out of Michigan. Ian found several areas needing, ahem, repair/upgrade/ safety needs, and while I was happy with the car from the outset, I am now ecstatic with the car. Be forewarned, with suspension upgrades and the like, you can be buried even in a CAV-GTD, for getting on close to $100K. But you've got a reliable car.... took mine around a few "gentelman's laps" of Road America back in August on the Sunday, with Brian Redman and others, and doing 105mph uphill on the straight in fourth was like melting butter on hot toast... no fuss, no strain.
I must admit to great admiration for the monococque chassis, but there's only so much dough to go around. I have my Mona Lisa copy, she smiles right, just like an original. Currently photo shoot is on display at
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All the best to one and all on this thread.
Simon / London/ ON
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Old 22nd October 2009, 12:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

There you go....you think you've got all the rules and regulations figured out for import into Canada, then discover some anomaly that throws all that you thought you knew into question.

So Simon how did you get a prebuilt 2001-2002 CAV into Canada? I understood that it has to be either a box of parts from different sources or at least 15 yrs old to qualify.

I went the latter route and found a KVA built in '93 that will now quaify the day I have to move back to Canada. But if I thought for one minute I could get an SPF GTR40 in then I'd be seriously looking at placing an order.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 01:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

There's one HUGE bit of info missing from my original post, and it's Customs Tariff descriptions. Whatever is imported, it must be matched up to a Tariff code/number and must meet the description of that Tariff to the satisfaction of Customs Officials.

Unfortunately, I cannot find Tarrif Descriptions over the internet, although I can find Tariff Codes (numbers). A customs broker needs to be approached on this. So much for Freedom of Information,...hmmm...maybe to be more fair "ease of obtaining information".

Many years ago, I did get copies of Tariff descriptions and a "kit car" was defined as a body and frame "together" and was clearly stated that entry of such into Canada was prohibited. However individual Tariffs were available for bodies, frames, etc.

The above paragraph goes against the Transport Canada bulletin on "Starter Kits" (defines starter kits able to include a body and frame) as it states they are acceptable provding TC agrees they are a "starting kit."

The bulletins clearly show TCs view on "kit cars" but does include a disclaimer saying they are not legally binding documents.

I'd say the next step in ensuring the death of kit car "kits" importation is finalized, is to locate and peruse the appropriate Tarrif Code descriptions.

There remains two issues:

1/ With regard to GT40s, I have no knowledge of any kits that meet TCs defination of a "starter kit", and in fact many kit manufactureers will not sell an "abbreviated" version of their kit that might meet the TC definition of a starter kit.

Note: Ian's CAVs are an exception, however it isn't exactly applicable to this discussion, as I'm speaking about an individual doing the importation, not a "dealer" who can work with the OEM to establish a starter kit, and subsequently add Canadian made parts. Other exceptions are the Fiero Re-body types, etc. and those ..well.....those "arn't for me".

2/ Even armed with appropriate Tariff codes and full knowledge of the law, I for one, am not prepared to go through the courts defending myself. Total cost of the whole project could double, plus there's a strong chance of losing.

At this point, CAV Canada appears to be a strong viable alternative to importing a car, perhaps the only one. So all is not lost. But it is a darned shame as I feel very strongly that TC, although well-meaning, is totally misguided with their approach to keeping safe vehicles on the road. They need to forget about what a person can and cannot import and instead, put in place quantitative requirements for Single Vehicle Certification and be prepared to certify engineers who would surely become available for performing such inspections.

EDIT: I found this:

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicati...-14-45-eng.pdf

Last edited by Eggbert; 22nd October 2009 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 02:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Importing into Canada ... Again

[QUOTE=Joules5;277410 But if I thought for one minute I could get an SPF GTR40 in then I'd be seriously looking at placing an order.[/QUOTE]


Send you deposit today, the GT40 "R" is no problem to enter Canada as it is a "Race or Display" vehicle that is not for use on public roads. The "R" order form includes a disclaimer and buyers agreement that he car is not intended for street use. We can supply a GT40 "R" for Canada.

Now if you manage to get it on the street, that is between you and your karma! Seriously, we have some buyers in Canada looking at the "R".
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