FET on Vehicles and Bodies Imported to the U.S. from Canada

Originally published in the April 2015 edition of Tech Trends (e-newsletter and as an article within NTEA News), this article is also available to you below as an employee of an NTEA member company.

Each month, the Association receives numerous questions on Federal Excise Tax (FET) of trucks and truck bodies imported from Canada to the United States. Many members question if a truck or body is taxable, and if so, who is responsible for paying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Key Requirements

  • Taxable truck bodies and truck chassis imported from Canada are taxable upon their first retail sale or use in the U.S. 
  • Used taxable truck bodies and taxable truck chassis imported from Canada are subject to FET when imported into the U.S. unless the importer has full documentation proving the body or chassis was sold at retail in the U.S. prior to exportation to Canada.
  • The importer is responsible for paying the tax to the IRS. If a U.S. end-user purchases a taxable truck body or taxable truck chassis in Canada and brings it to the U.S., they are considered the importer and are responsible for any paying FET due to the IRS.
  • When purchasing used taxable vehicles or bodies in Canada, assume you will be responsible for the FET due after importing it to the U.S. and plan accordingly.

Each individual FET issue is unique. Please feel free to contact the Technical Services Department to help with your questions.

Additional Resource Available from the NTEA

Are you faced with technical or engineering challenges?
Contact the Technical and Engineering Hotline at (800) 441-6832 for individual attention on varied topics such as Federal Excise Tax, truck certification and labeling, vehicle compliance and truck spec’ing. The Hotline is available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm (EST). Members can contact the Association as frequently as needed.