We did some research and found little information on the subject, until we found this blog post. L-Dawg and Roar give a great step-by-step of the process of purchasing and importing a trailer.
We also found this youtube episode that has some valuable information about the costs and fees that come with importing a trailer.
To make things simple I will provide a list of the fees with a total of what we spent on the importation:
1. Trailer deposit (Paid upon ordering): $482.34
2.Trailer Balance (Paid upon pick up): $4254.04
3. GST on the trailer (Paid at the border): $228.11
4. In-Transit Permit (Paid upon trailer pick-up): $24.45
5. RIV import fee (Paid online prior to inspection at Canadian Tire): $204.75
6. Tire Tax (Paid at Canadian Tire once we were back in Calgary): $28.35
7. Registration (Paid at the Alberta Registry): $109.45
Total: $5331.49 (not including gas)
We decided to drive to Kelowna first and spend the night with some lovely friends there, to Vancouver the next day (just in time for another friend's birthday party), then off to Olympia Washington the next morning to get the trailer. We made it to Olympia and back to Vancouver by the end of the day. The day was long but it was more smooth than we had anticipated.
Chris at Kipert's (where we picked the trailer up) was very helpful and made the process as smooth as possible. Thank you Chris!
1.) Use the case number from the RIV form1 (given to you at the border) to pay the RIV import fee (on the Registrar of Imported Vehicles website).
2.) Make an appointment at Canadian Tire for an inspection. You will need to bring the RIV form1 and the title to the trailer. Here you will pay the Tire Tax. (This is not a promotional endorsement of Canadian Tire, they just seem to have a closed market on inspecting out of country vehicles).
3.) Take the title and newly stamped form1 to the registry to register the trailer and get your plates issued.
While the road trip was long and a lot of driving we did score some great materials for our house on the way! Some of our generous friends in East Van sent us home with some beautiful reclaimed douglas fir flooring and we even came across the perfect bathtub for a tiny house in the Kipperts parking lot (they have a feed store attached). We thought it was too soon to buy a bathtub and we weren't sure of the measurements so we opted not to get it. We thought we would easily find one in Alberta... we were wrong, but more on that later.
When we finally got home we were exhausted but excited to have the trailer, our first real step to having a tiny house!