Moving to the USA

Organizing your move to the USA

Your household goods and personal effects are permitted to enter the US duty-free providing they have been in your possession and used by you for at least one year.

Antiques must be 100 years or older to be eligible for duty-free entry. Customs will require copies of the receipt or an appraisal as proof of antiquity. While it is not customary to charge duty on used personal goods, some goods such as vehicles may be dutiable. Check with the nearest U.S. Customs office/consulate in your area for specific information.

Pets

For dogs and cats over 3 months old, you will need to produce proof of rabies vaccinations and a certificate from a veterinarian stating that the animal(s) are in good health. Birds and other species of animals may require a period of quarantine.

Alcohol

Moving companies cannot transport alcohol on the van with your household goods. We can, however, make arrangements to have your collection shipped by air or by other third party methods. Wine and spirits collections are subject to state taxes and rates vary state by state. Contact your state liquor control authority for complete details.

Motorized Vehicles, Including Motorcycles

Any motor vehicle (less than 25 years in age) must meet US safety and environmental standards to be imported into the US. A compliance letter must be obtained from the manufacturer (not dealership) stating the vehicle does meet all US EPA & DOT standards. The compliance letter is not required if it is a return of a US registered vehicle. A list of automobile manufacturers can be found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

You should be aware that some manufacturers are refusing to issue the compliance letters (i.e. Honda, Chrysler,Toyota). Furthermore, not all motorcycles are permitted import into the US, in particular, those that were manufactured overseas or are considered to be “gray market” bikes. If you cannot obtain a compliance letter, then you must use the services of a “Registered Importer” to determine if your car or motorcycle meets or can be modified to meet US safety and emission standards. A list of registered importers is also located on the NHTSA website

An EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) form must be completed for each vehicle being imported into the USand is required in addition to the compliance letter. The EPA form is not required if it is a returning US registered vehicle.

An HS7 document is required on all motor vehicles, including a returning US registered vehicle.

If you will be in the United States for one (1) year or less, you can import a non-conforming vehicle, however the vehicle must be exported back to Canada within one year – no extensions will be permitted. It may be necessary to post a bond/deposit for this type of import.

Returning US citizens/residents who have purchased a vehicle while living in Canada should be aware that duty will be charged on any automobile that was manufactured outside of the NAFTA zone. Duty is currently charged at the rate of 2.5% (this rate is subject to change without notice).

Required Documentation—Household Goods

To clear your household goods shipment through US Customs, the mover will require copies of the following documentation:

For Returning US Residents:

For Non-Residents:

  • Completed US Customs form 3299 form
  • Valid Passport
  • Work or Study Visa
  • Employment letter (if applicable)
  • Copy of I94, which is inserted in your passport upon entry

For Part-time Residents:

  • Completed US Customs form 3299 form
  • Proof of Property Ownership or Lease in US
  • Valid Passport
  • Proof of Canadian residence: property deed, property tax records, utility bills, etc.

It’s not required for customers to be present at the border when the van operator crosses with your shipment on board. We are usually able to clear the goods at the border on your behalf, providing all the required documentation is in order. If there is a problem, the shipment will be placed ‘IN BOND’ to the closest customs office to your new destination. You will then be required to present yourself in person to clear your goods with US Customs.

Unless you are a returning US resident, you need to enter the United States before your shipment arrives at the border. It is important for people entering on a work/study visa to have completed the immigration process so that your status is properly established. When you personally enter the US and your work visa is determined to be in order, US customs will put an I94 document in your passport. You must provide your moving company with a copy of this document to prove that you have been granted entry into the United States.

US Customs will verify this information when your moving truck arrives at the border. If there is any problem with your immigration status, US Customs reserves the right to reject entry of your shipment. As a result, you may incur additional charges for border delays, the cost of returning your shipment to origin and storage until the matter is sorted out. For this reason, we take every measure to ensure you have all the required documentation before heading to the border with your shipment.

Useful Contacts

Customs Contact Information
U.S. Customs Office
Washington, DC
(203) 325-8000
Website: www.cbp.gov

Immigration and Visa Information
US Citizenship and Immigration Service
Arlington, VA
1-800-375-5283 (within USA)
785-330-1048
Website: www.uscis.gov

If you have any questions that we may help you with, please feel free to contact us at

King’s Transfer Van Lines
514-932-2957 / 1-800-267-2957
info@kingstransfer.com