Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mercedes-Benz Imports Exempt From Letter of Admissibility

RIV List Updated To Show Admissible List of Mercedes-Benz Models

We are pleased to report that as of today importers of Mercedes-Benz vehicles from the US will not require to apply for a Letter of Admissibility. The RIV list has been updated to show which Mercedes-Benz models are admissible to Canada.

Importers may obtain admissibility information from or from Mercedes-Benz Canada at the following web address:

A separate Letter of Admissibility is not required from the manufacturer's head office.

Previously, the requirement for a Letter of Admissibility made it difficult for importers to negotiate on vehicle purchases in the US as they required advance written confirmation from Mercedes-Benz Canada that the vehicle in question would be allowed to enter Canada. In addition, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would request proof of admissibility prior to allowing the vehicle to be imported into Canada.

Waiving this requirement means importers simply have to verify the admissibility list before completing their negotiations and purchase in the US.


Richard said...

I came across the following information concerning new rules for importing a US Mercedes or BMW into Canada;
"As of July 9, 2008 BMW and Mercedes very quietly dropped requirements that made importers pay for and procure admissibility letters from these manufacturers at a cost of $350.00 per letter. Furthermore, the manufacturers have also indicated to the RIV that recall and final compliance letters do not need to come from the Canadian head office of these manufacturers at a cost of $500.00 per letter. It seems that the Canadian government or perhaps some litigators finally forced these manufacturers to drop the requirements and allow for federally regulated compliance inspectors at Canadian Tire to review the cars, as has always been the requirement in the past. This means that we can install km/h speedometers and day time running lights at whatever cost and supplier we so choose"

source of information: Willz Leasing Corporation, Ontario

I have sent an email to RIV & Mercedes to confirm these new rules- Will keep you posted on their answer back!

Since I will be going trough the Vehicle Import exercise myself and after reading your info blogs and an hundreds of other sites blogs concerning this subject; I believe this would be great news for all of us importers.
Is UCanimport aware of these new rules please let me know? Thank you


Richard, thank you for your post.

We were aware that as of July 4, 2008, Mercedes-Benz no longer insisted on the Letter of Admissibility. We also are aware that a Letter of Compliance is not a requirement for RIV to release the Federal Inspection Form (Form 2). However, we look forward to hearing if indeed importers of MB vehicles may choose a supplier for the modifications.

At this time the notes on the RIV website read:

NOTE 1: Please contact the manufacturer for the details regarding the required modifications on U.S. Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Mercedes-Benz Canada informed Transport Canada that ALL modifications MUST be performed (and documented) by an authorized Canadian Mercedes-Benz Retailer. The possible modifications may include: daytime running lights, electronic immobilization system, metric odometer and speedometer labels.

We feel fairly certain that MB will not honour the warranty on their vehicles if the modifications are completed by any facility other than their own, but look forward to hearing your comments.

That would indeed be good news for the MB importer, and likely translate to similar changes for BMW, Jaguar etc.

wheelntree said...

I called RIV this morning and they tell me that modifications still HAVE to be completed my a Mercedes Canada dealer. So my suspicion is that the only thing that was dropped was the fees for the letters. Effectively what this means is that the government of Canada has set Mercedes Canada and BMW Canada with a monopoly, which is a basic violation of fair trade practices. And MB is going to charge between $3500and $6500 for a few hundred dollars worth of parts and an hour's labour.

Government regulations should not dictate where you get the work done; they should only be to ensure that the vehicle complies with Canadian standards (which is what the inspection is for).

What I have done is written a letter to both the office of the Minister of Transport with a CC to my own MP, and I would encourage any Canadian who is concerned about the government overstepping its boundaries to do the same.

Sailor said...

Is the process still painfull dealing with Benz Canada when you want to get a vehicle "blessed" by them? Anything new? Want to bring in an 05 E320 CDI



Thanks for your question Sailor.

For UCanImport clients, we have successfully requested Recall Clearance Letters from MB USA. With these letters (and other importing documents), RIV has been able to release the Federal Inspection Form to our clients.

The clients can then take the MB vehicle to a dealer for MB modifications and then to Canadian Tire for the Federal Inspection.

The reason for the "blessing" ceremony is that MB Canada can issue a recall clearance letter for the car. If you already have the recall letter from MB USA and your Form 2 from RIV, it seems pointless to have to go through this process.

However, we advise you to use your best judgment in this situation to keep your newly acquired MB vehicle safe on the road.

Randy said...

Is the lawsuite against BMW/Mercedes/etc. still active? I have heard nothing about it for a long time...


Thank you Randy.

We have been working hard on moving the lawsuit forward and expect that we will be able to provide information to all interested parties by the end of next week.

We will send a notice to our subscribers indicating where the latest information has been posted.

For anyone wanting more information, please e-mail and asked to be placed on the Lawsuit E-mail List.

Thank you for all the support.

MPS said...

It is morally and legaly wrong what Merceds Benz is doing with our imports to us Canadians with our goverments support. Like most people, I made sure I knew what I was getting into by calling RIV and the border. Wrong, I was misinformed. Unknownally I spent 45 dollars and a hour with my son to make my daytime running lights work. Wrong again, Mercedes needs their experts to do it for $4000.00 dollars even though my lights work with my $45.00 modification. To add insult to this, they also want me to pay another $500.00 so they can inform their dealer that this work has to be done. I can assure Mercedes Benz of Canada that I am more qualified to work on the electrical component of my SL500 then any of their local reps. I even asked them if they would look at what I did, they refuse. They are ruthless, and morrally wrong and and have been given a licence from are goverment to steal are money. Michael


Thanks for your post, and obvious frustration with your MB importation:

At this time all modifications to MB vehicles must be made at a MB dealership in Canada, as described in your post.

Unfortunately, the costs of modifications - set purposefully high to curtail importations from the US - run between $1,500 and $8,000 depending on the model. A further, $500 is then paid for the MB Canada to issue a letter of compliance for the vehicle.

Note, that the letter of compliance is an MB requirement ONLY. It is NOT required by Transport Canada or RIV to successfully complete your importation and register your vehicle in Canada.

If you have paid fees for modifications and compliance to an MB dealership in Canada, you should check out the lawsuit blog at and participate in the suit.

Note also that any MB dealership in the US is capable of activating the DRLs on your vehicle, but in many cases are instructed not to do so. If a dealership does activate the DRLs for you, you can go right to the federal inspection stage in Canada.

From our understanding, if the modifications are not performed and recorded by a Canadian MB dealership then you may not have warranty coverage on the vehicle. In that case you may choose to purchase a third-party warranty for your vehicle.

So, to summarize:

1. Ask a US dealer to activate the DRLS;
2. Obtain Recall Clearance Letter from MB USA by using the steps shown in this blog;
3. Import vehicle according the UCanImport guide;
4. Receive Form 2 from RIV and complete Federal Inspection;
5. Waive the letter of compliance fee by purchasing third-party warranty coverage.

Know that MB Canada or US does not endorse any of these statements and believes the above to be in violation of their requirements for importing a vehicle from the US.

If you have already forked over your hard-earned dollars to an MB dealership in Canada, please tell us your story on the lawsuit blog.

G said...

This link has been very helpful but can someone explain to me (urgent) how MB can force you to get the work done at their shop. I no longer need a letter of Admissibility. I have a clearance letter from MB USA. Canadian Tire is authorized to inspect MB's. Canadian Tire will not check who did the work (as long as it works). I therefore get all my paper work.

The only leverage I see is MB could withold warranty work. Well, my intended CLS 2006 is out of warranty anyways.

How can MB force me to go to their shop under these circumstances?


G, no one can force you to get the work done at an MB dealership if you have recall information that is sufficient for RIV, and if no Transport Canada-required modifications are outstanding.

You do not have to set foot in an MB dealership if you follow all the tips from the post from April 27, 2009.

Best of luck to you.

M said...

I spoke to MB USA at 1-800-367-6372 requesting a Recall letter for importing an E350 and was asked to pay US $350.
Was this recall letter free previously and now is being charged for?
Does anyone know how to get it free?
Pls email me at

art said...

I just finished bringing a Mercedes Benz into Canada from Florida.I had the dealer in Pompano beach activate the daytime running lights, and he also printed up a copy of the recall list. ( There is a privacy thing they say they can show it to you but not print it because it has the owners name on it. ( the title in my hand also had the owners name on it)
The dealer printed it for me but blacked out the owners name and address with a felt pen. RIV accepted this as proof of recalls being up to date. 1/2 hour at the border, 1 hour at Canadian tire and I was home-free with new plates and insurance.