Canadian residents will be able to bring a rental vehicle into Canada from the United States, according to a joint announcement on May 17 from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
A revision to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) will allow Canadian residents to temporarily import a U.S.-based rental vehicle for non-commercial purposes for a period up to 30 days, the announcement stated. As well, to facilitate access to Canadian tourism destinations and provide more flexibility for travelers, Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 will eliminate taxes on these vehicles for Canadians who have been outside of Canada for at least 48 hours, and is effective June 1, 2012.
"Our government is making cross-border travel easier for Canadians," said Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. "For example, a Canadian taking a cruise from San Francisco to Seattle can now rent a car in Seattle and drive it across the border to visit Vancouver; or, when a Canadian is visiting the U.S. and their car breaks down or they experience a last-minute flight cancellation, they now can rent a U.S. vehicle and return home safely."
The Government of Yukon Territory has been particularly concerned about this issue, noting that this prohibition has been an impediment to tourism. For example, when Canadians take Alaskan cruises, they are unable to enter Canada from Alaska in U.S. rental vehicles. Transport Canada has received many requests for this change from Canadians, and the new amendment addresses this concern in an effective way, according to the official announcement.
The announcement is example of the Government of Canada's commitment to build partnerships and strengthen Canada's tourism sector as outlined in the Federal Tourism Strategy (FTS). For more information on the FTS, visit www.tourism.gc.ca.
The hearing, part of the process to reauthorize the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, was held by the Highways and Transit Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.