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863 Main Street
Milton, Ontario L9T 3Z3
905 878 2823 - Telephone
905 878 7545 - Fax

Hours:

8 am - 5 pm Monday - Friday
Saturday by appointment only

Long Distance Moving - From Canada to the U.S.A.

Atlas Van Lines knows North America better than most! long distance moving

Atlas Van Lines can make this claim because it is true! As the continent’s preeminent carrier, we have the experience and the resources needed to make relocations from and to any point in North America as simple and seamless as moving a family down the block.

Whether you are relocating an employee from Houston, Texas to Calgary, Alberta, from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Atlanta, Georgia or to or from any other location in North America... you can always trust Atlas to do it right.

At Atlas, we pride ourselves on being able to offer a high degree of personalized service and meticulous attention to detail on every move regardless of origin or destination. To us, the Canada/USA border is more than a line on a map.  In fact, when it comes to moving family’s cross-border, Atlas has the distinction of being the carrier of choice on more than 40% of all moves that take place both north and southbound between the United States and Canada.

Atlas’ special expertise in the area of customs regulations and documentation completion is of real benefit to our customers. documentationBy taking the time to properly counsel the relocating family and to provide the corporate relocation administrator with advice and suggestions, we can ensure that the move will be less stressful than might otherwise be experienced. We also make sure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date information at our fingertips so that we can help our clients save both time and money.

At Atlas, we fully understand the differences between domestic and cross-border moves. We know that there are complex issues that must be taken into account. To meet this need, we have put specific processes and procedures in place to deal with these intricacies in an efficient and effective manner. Special emphasis is also placed on making sure our van operators are fully familiar with the paperwork they require in order to transport household goods shipments between our two countries.

Nearly 70% of our 135,000 annual moves throughout North America are conducted for companies who are relocating key employees. It is for this reason that Atlas has become known throughout the business world as "The Corporate Mover". With have more than 650 full service moving company agents throughout North America and over 3300 qualified, professional van operators; corporations know we are well positioned to meet all of their unique requirements.

Atlas’ continuing focus on the needs of clients in both countries has earned us a reputation for being the most efficient and knowledgeable carrier in North America. Needless to say, we are very proud of this designation. With Atlas Van Lines…one call does it all…anywhere in North America.

Below you will find information on the paperwork and logistics required for your move from Canada to the U.S.A.

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Free Entry of Household Goods and Personal Effects

Relocating from Canada to the United States is a relatively straightforward process, providing all of the necessary documentation is properly completed. Your personal household goods and personal effects are permitted to enter duty-free providing they have been in your possession and used by you for at least one year. Goods that don’t meet these criteria are subject to assessed duty which ranges from 2% to 25%. These percentages are subject to change, so you should check with the nearest U.S. Customs office to obtain the current rates of duty.

One cautionary note - if you do not declare new items or understate the value of the items, U.S. Customs can confiscate the items. Customs will assess actual duty and assign a monetary penalty. Therefore, if you are considering making purchases of expensive items, prior to your move, you may want to compare the cost to actually making your purchase in the United States.

Antiques must be 100 years or older to be eligible for duty-free entry. Customs will require that you prove this, so be prepared to furnish a receipt or an appraisal.

You will be required to complete the United State’s Treasury Form #3299 (Declaration of Free Entry of Articles Not Accompanying a Resident or Non-Resident)

Household Effects and Tools of Trade or Occupation are defined by the U.S. Government as:

  • all furniture
  • carpets
  • paintings
  • tableware
  • linens
  • and similar household furnishings

While it is not normal practice to charge duty on used personal items, technically, some items such as jewelry, photographic equipment, vehicles, consumable articles etc. may be dutiable. You should check with the nearest U.S. Consulate in your Canadian City for specific information. If you are already in the United States, contact your nearest Customs Office listed in U.S. telephone directories under: U.S. Government Offices, Treasury Department.


What happens when our possessions arrive in the United States?

Generally customers are not present at the border when the Atlas van operator arrives with your possessions on board. We are usually able to clear your shipment for delivery to residence at this point, providing all of your documentation is in order. If there is a problem, the shipment will be placed “IN BOND” to the closest customs office to your new home. You will be required by law to personally appear to clear your goods.

To clear your shipment, we require the following documentation:

  • Copy of your proof of citizenship (Birth Certificate or Passport) for each family member  *
  • Copy of adoption records for any adopted children
  • Copy of your Visa (work or study)
  • Copy of Spousal Visa
  • Copy of ‘offer of employment letter’ (salary info can be marked out)
  • Copy of front page from your passport clearly showing your photograph
  • Other photo identification if you do not have a passport (i.e. driver’s license)
  • U.S. Customs Form #3299

You should make a photo-copy of all pages of your passport – not just the photo page – this is a post September 11th request from U.S. Customs. They want to see what other countries you may have traveled to and from in recent years.

If you are including a motor vehicle with your shipment we will also need:

  • Copy of Letter of Compliance from Auto Manufacturer
  • Copy of EPA approval on form #3520
  • Copy of HS-7 form
  • Original or notarized copy of the ownership or title to vehicle or original bill of sale
  • If automobile not owned outright or is leased, copy of a notarized letter from financial institution advising that automobile may be exported.

Instructions for properly completing form #3299 - Declaration of Free Entry

Most items on the Form 3299 are self-explanatory but the following are some key points that may assist you in completing this form properly.

PART I
To Be Completed by Persons Seeking Free Entry of Articles

Item 1
Importer’s Name

Insert the full name of the true importer (owner) of the effects being imported. The U.S. Social Security Number of the importer should also be inserted if one is available, otherwise use your Canadian Social Insurance Number.

Item 2
Importer’s Date of Birth

Insert the birth date for the main importer. It is not necessary to include birth dates of accompanying family members.

Item 3
Importer’s Date of Arrival

Insert the date that the importer (most recently) entered the United States.

Item 4
Importer’s U.S. Address

Insert a permanent address in the United States for the individual named in Item 1. If a true permanent address is not available, utilize a business address, the address of a relative (so indicating) or any address at which you are well known and could be traced at if necessary.

Item 5
Importer’s Port of Arrival

The name of the airport or border point where the importer processed U.S. Customs on the date entered in Item 3.

Item 6
Name of Arriving Vessel/ Carrier and Flight/Train

Insert the name of airline and flight number, name of vessel and voyage number, train name and number or insert “private vehicle” indicating by what means importer entered the United States on the date entered in Item 3.

Item 7
Name(s) of Accompanying Household Members

Insert the full name and relationships of the importer’s immediate family who accompanied the importer by means entered in Item 6.

Item 8
Do not enter any information in this section.

PART II

Item 9

If you are still maintaining a permanent residence outside of the U.S. please check the block marked “is”. If you are entering the United States to take up residence on a permanent basis or for an extended period of time (and thus not considered being in the U.S. for a brief stay), please check the block marked “was”.

Item 9A and 9B

Please enter the NAME OF COUNTRY in which your last residence is or was maintained and the length of time in which you resided in that country.

Item 9C

Please enter the RESIDENCY STATUS at the time of your arrival under Item 3. Please note that the key word is Resident. A Returning Resident can be either a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country - the latter being an individual who has maintained a residence in the United States while living overseas. Comparably, a Non Resident may either be a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country. In the case of the former, such would be a U.S. citizen who has maintained a permanent residence outside of the United States for an extended period of time, who may or may not be returning permanently to the United States. This definition is somewhat vague and to a certain extent, depends on how the individual importer defines him / herself.

Item 10

Mark only those statements that correctly apply to the circumstances for articles being imported. Depending on circumstances, more than one statement may need to be marked.

PART III

To Be Completed by U.S. Personnel and Evacuees Only

This section should only be completed if the individual named in Item 1 above has been residing outside of the United States under official travel orders issued by the Government of the United States. This section may apply to military personnel and their families.

If this section is applicable enter:

  1. The date on which you last departed from the United States. It is recommended that the point of departure and the means of transportation be indicated.
  2. Insert the date on which the Government travel orders were issued. Make certain a copy of the travel orders is attached to the Form 3299.

PART IV

To Be Completed by All Persons Seeking Free Entry of Articles

Please check all statements that apply to the effects being imported under a single Form 3299 importation. More than one statement can, and normally will apply. Any items covered by any of the statements marked must be declared on the reverse side of Form 3299, under Item D.

Please note the following comments relative to the various statements under Part 1V, Items A, B and C:

  1. Articles for the account of other persons: This would also include gifts that you are bringing into the U.S. for other individuals.
  2. Articles for sale or commercial use: If this item is checked, an additional customs entry will be required for those commercial items.
  3. Firearms and/or ammunition: If these articles are included in the shipment, additional U.S. Government, Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco forms must be completed. If the forms which include an import permit are not available at the time the shipment is available for Customs Clearance, additional expenses will be incurred for removal of the firearm from the shipment. The firearm(s) will be retained in Customs custody until the appropriate documentation is in order.
  4. Alcohol articles of all types or tobacco products - Articles of this nature will always be dutiable.  Also, many individual States prohibit their importation. Check with the State office (normally the Alcoholic Beverage Commission or Board) before attempting to import items of this nature. Please note that alcoholic beverages cannot be transported on the moving van with your household possessions.
  5. Fruits, plants, seeds, meats or birds. These items will have to be inspected by U.S. Customs and may result in a delay in clearance and extra cost. Goods may also be subject to inspection by the FDA.
  6. Fish, wildlife, animal products thereof: The same comment applied to (5) will apply in this category. Items may also be subject to several international treaties relating to endangered species.
  7. Foreign household effects acquired abroad and used for less than one year - Articles under this classification are dutiable and must be declared.
  8. Foreign household effects acquired abroad and used more than one year - Articles under this classification are not dutiable.
  9. Personal effects acquired abroad - These items are considered dutiable regardless of how long they have been in your possession. Clothing is considered to be dutiable.
  10. Foreign made articles acquired in the United States and taken abroad on this trip or acquired abroad on another trip that was previously declared to U.S. Customs - Articles under this classification are not dutiable.
  11. Articles taken abroad for which alterations or repairs were performed abroad - Any expenditure declared under this category must be supported by receipts showing when, where and cost of repairs.

PART IV D.
List of Articles

If you are listing any specific items from section 1V a,b,c - the item(s) should be clearly described with a notation of date acquired and value. This information will be used to assess appropriate duty owing.

PART V
Carrier’s Certificate and Release Order
Do not make an entry in this section.

PART VI
Certification to Be Completed by All Persons seeking Free Entry

It is recommended that the Form #3299 is signed and dated by the true owner of the property and that item 1.B - Importer be duly marked. An “Authorized Agent” may also complete and sign the form however this requires specific authorization from the property owner (i.e. power of attorney) for customs purposes.

ENTRY OF DUTIABLE ITEMS:

If dutiable items are contained in your shipment, a licensed Customs Broker will have to be engaged to prepare an Informal Entry (Form 5119-A).

Each dutiable item must be specifically identified with the Harmonized Tariff of the United States.

The broker’s fee for this service is approximately $3.00 per line item, although fees can vary. These charges are collected on a C.O.D. basis at time of delivery to your destination residence, unless such charges are authorized in advance to be billed to a corporate customer.


Importing a Motor Vehicle into the United States

This is the area which seems to cause the most problems when proper steps have not been taken well in advance of your moving date. Your automobile must comply with U.S. Safety and Environmental Protection Standards.

In some instances, a temporary approval can be obtained for a non-performing vehicle, however in those instances; the vehicle must be exported one year after entry with no extensions permitted. Unless you know for certain that you will be in the United States for less than one year, you must take steps to ensure that your car meets the appropriate standards.

The first steps are to contact (by letter or fax), the manufacturer of your automobile and request a “Letter of Compliance” to safety and emissions’ standards. You will be required to provide the Vehicle Identification Number, Make, Model and Year as well as the name of the registered owner. They will arrange to forward a letter advising if your automobile qualifies and what if any upgrades must be done to bring the vehicle to standards.

You will also be required to complete a HS-7 form which can be downloaded from: www.nhtsa.gov (from the vehicle regulations section).

You will also require EPA approval. Contact them at (202) 260-2090 or use their automated fax service at (202) 564-9660 to obtain a form #3520. Attach a copy of your EPA approval to your form HS-7.

You can locate the contact information for the various automobile manufacturers on the internet at the National Traffic Safety Association web site at: *www.nhtsa.dot.gov. If you do not have access to the web, then ask your Atlas representative for assistance.

This site also provides a listing of Registered Importers who are able to bring your vehicle up to standard. There is also a listing by year, make and model of non conforming vehicles which have been granted special exemption status and will be eligible for importation even though they do not meet standards.
If your vehicle does not meet emission control standards, it will not be eligible for importation. Individual state emission requirements may differ from those of the federal government. Registration and state licensing is dependent upon satisfaction of that State’s requirement, so you should contact the appropriate State’s authority prior to importation.

Three useful brochures:

  • Know Before You Go - Customs Hints for Returning U.S. Resident
  • Customs Hints for Visitors and Non Residents
  • Importing or Exporting a Car

Can be obtained from a local U.S. Customs office or by writing to their office in Washington:

U.S. Customs
P.O. Box 7407
Washington, D.C. 20044

Useful numbers and addresses:

You may also contact the NHTSA at:
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Director of the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance
(NEF-32)
400 -7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC, 20590
(202) 366-4000 - Phone

For general EPA information contact:

U.S. EPA Manufacturers Operations
Division 6405-J
Investigations / Imports Section
401 M Street S.W.
Washington, DC, 20460
(202) 564-9660*

*NOTE: This is an automated fax service with information on auto importation

INTERNET SITE:
The following is a non-government site with useful information related to importing a vehicle:
http://www.autonet.ca/usedcars/howtoimportausedcar.cfm


Importing Firearms

There are a number of restrictions relating to the importation of firearms. You must contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to obtain an import permit, some antique firearms are exempt from this requirement but you should speak to the ATF for full information. Request Form #OMB No. 1512-0017.  You can contact them at:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Washington, DC, 20226
Attention: Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch
(202) 927-7777


Importing Household Plants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently placed restrictions on the importation of household plants and bare-rooted outdoor plants. Check with U.S. Customs for more information


Importing Alcohol and Tobacco

You are permitted to take the following quantities of these items into the U.S. for your personal use:

  • 40 Ounces per family member over 18 years of age
  • 200 Cigarettes
  • 50 Cigars
  • 2 kg. (4.4 lbs) of smoking tobacco

Please note that moving companies cannot take alcoholic beverages on the moving van with your furniture. If you have a wine collection or the contents of a bar, you will be required to obtain an import permit. Regulations vary by State. Check with U.S. Customs for more specific information. There are third party companies who specialize in this area. Ask your Atlas representative for more information.


Importing Pets into the United States

You may take domestic dogs and cats into the United States providing you have proof of a rabies vaccination and a certificate signed by a veterinarian stating that animal is in good health. Birds require a minimum of a 30 day period of quarantine at the owner’s expense. Endangered species and other wildlife are prohibited from entry. Check with U.S. customs for full details.


Useful Contacts

Customs inquiries can be directed to your closest U.S. Customs office or you can contact:

United States Customs Service
P.O. Box 7407
Washington, D.C. 20044
U.S.A.
(202) 354-1000
Customs Web-Site: www.customs.gov

Immigration inquiries including checking into the status of your visa application can be directed to:

Immigration and Naturalization Service
4420 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
(202) 514-2000
Immigration Web-site: www.ins.usdoj.gov

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