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Thread: jdmvip's updated guide for RO/RO customs clearance & WWL

  1. #1

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    Default jdmvip's updated guide for RO/RO customs clearance & WWL

    I thought I'd summarize the info I found from this old thread when I brought in the Impreza. Other guides and info from different sites are outdated and full of confusing and sometimes incorrect info.

    COVID Update 2020 Alporte reports the following:

    • All vehicles must be picked up by a towing company or car carrier.
    • No pickup(s) by the public will be permitted.

    *Before you can proceed with anything, you need your Exporter to have sent your BOL along with your Export Documents (you technically don't need them for some steps but just to keep things simple, since they come together).

    *Summer 2013 update-there are new clearance procedures before you can pick up your vehicle (outlined in the guide below).
    *2014 the Vancouver CBSA office moved from 333 Dunsmuir to 1611 Main street
    412-4th Floor

    1.) Dealing with WWL

    Before your boat arrives with the car, WWL will call and ask where they should fax the "Inbond/Arrival Notice" which is also known by some as "Advice Notice". Call WWL back ASAP and give them a fax number. Nowadays they usually e-mail the documentation I believe.]

    *Note that e-mails from WWS/WWL come from the domain "" (makes it easier when tracing back to find your documents/notice from them).

    2.) Dealing with Canada Customs (CCRA)

    *Update 2018 Jason and oken report that you don't need to fax or e-mail the Soil Sample. BUT make sure you do fill it out and have customs stamp it otherwise WWL won't release the vehicle.
    Thanks to Jason

    Click here for the "Request for Release Form"

    How To Fill It Out
    "Broker" can be left blank
    "Transaction No." can be left blank
    "Port of Entry" can be blank
    "Delivery address" can be blank
    "Vessel Name" (can be found on your Inbond Cargo Control/Advice Notice and/or your Bill of Lading BOL)
    "Voyage No." - refer to BOL or Notice
    "Port of Discharge" - WWL Annacis Island (or Fraser Wharves you should know which one)
    Bill of Lading No." - check your BOL

    *No need to pay so don't fill out the credit card info (2018 update).
    *No need to fax or e-mail this to CBSA anymore (2018 update).

    *Update 2018 Jason and oken report that you don't need to fax or e-mail the Soil Sample. BUT make sure customs stamps it otherwise WWL won't release the vehicle.
    3.) Dealing with your local shipping agent
    This step can be done as soon as you receive your BOL from your Exporter.

    It is best to have your Exporter surrender the BOL in Japan to the shipping agent (if this is done this step can be avoided). Confirm with your Exporter to avoid any confusion or delays on this.

    You need to get "Steamship Release" and this is done by sending your local agent an original of your BOL (Bill of Lading).

    *Don't believe anyone or anything that claims you don't need this, I've seen it in person that WWL won't release the car without steamship release.

    I only know the case for NYK Line, but even if you ship Nissan Motor Co, you usually have to send an original copy of your BOL to the local agent.

    In the case of NYK Line you can courier/mail your BOL to them or physically drop it off.

    NYK Local Agent = ACGI (Contact Gabriela - 604-891-7448)
    710 - West Hastings St in Vancouver, BC

    *Update 2010-01-15 (thanks to mtnflyer/Don for letting us know)

    Gabriella is now reachable at 604-891-7448 and Greer shipping is now ACGI shipping according to her. same address but suite 710.

    4.) Clear your car from customs

    Once you receive a fax back from Customs that your car has passed the soil inspection, you should take all of your documents, including BOL, Export Document etc.. to CBSA:
    *Note their address has changed from 333 Dunsmuir sometime in early 2014
    1611 Main street
    412-4th Floor
    Vancouver BC V6A 2W5
    Hours: 8AM-4PM
    *Appointments are no longer needed.

    Form 1 can be downloaded and filled out prior to going to customs to save time and hassle. Also do not lose your Form 1 , once processed it is required to register your vehicle (apparently CBSA can pull it from the archives if you do lose it but the process is probably hard)

    Example of pre-filled out form.

    Check List For CBSA/Customs

    1. ORIGINAL Export Certificate (they consider it the same as the title)
    2. 2 Copies of your Inbond Notice from WWL
    3. 4 Copies of Form 1 (if you are using the form I have provided otherwise you can fill it in at the office)
    4. Copy of your BOL (Bill of Lading)
    5. Invoice/Bill of Sale that proves the sale price in Japan (it should be marked or stamped paid).
    6. Your Wallet (eg. Debit, Credit and/or cash)

    Remember you'll have to pay the appropriate taxes when you clear your car. Be extra nice to customs and they'll probably be nice to you as well.

    *After the above what I normally do is the following:

    Go home and scan the following just in case you lose it at least you have some copy!

    1. Scan Stamped Form 1
    2. Scan Stamped Advice Notice
    3. Scan customs receipt

    5.) WWL/CBSA Special Clearance Procedure
    (new as of 2013)
    • As soon as the paperwork clears customs, you need to e-mail Karen from WWL (include a copy of your stamped Advice Notice from customs) the names and addresses of all the people who will be going down to pick up the car.
    • Karen then sends out the request to CBSA, which she says is usually granted within 24 hours.
    • Only after receiving the authorization and upon receiving the e-mail from Karen, those on the list will be allowed through the gate at the port (WWL).

    *Thanks ma-bo, Step #5 is virtually a copy and paste from him.

    6.) You're ready to pickup your car from WWL

    Find out when your car is available for pickup, usually it takes a number of days after the ship has landed before you can pickup your car.

    When you go there, remember that you only get a certain amount of free days storage, be prepared to pay them cash for storage if you've left the car sitting too long.
    *WWL now has a Solar Powered Battery Booster you can use for free (note that it may not work for some cars, hunter says it didn't work once for him).
    If the booster has a "charge" feature then leaving it hooked up for 20-30 minutes may do the trick too.

    *Make sure you pay them the $125 terminal fee (they've raised around April 2011 to $95 and sometime after that point to $125).
    *Remember they only take cash for this fee and NO DEBIT/NO CREDIT (or a local BC cheque with ID).
    *Storage charges accrue starting on the (11th) working day after the unit(s) has arrived, at $50.00 per unit per day. Storage charges do not accrue on weekends or holidays.


    1.) When can I clear my car from customs?
    Your car must be in-bond which means you need your "Advice Notice" from WWL. You can proceed to customs at that point.
    2.) How many days storage do I get?
    Once the car was available for pickup you get 10 business days / 2 weeks and after that you start accruing storage fees ($50 per day).
    3.) How do I know when my car will actually be available for pickup at WWL?
    Call WWL's automated line at 604-528-8263 (this is now handled directly by Karen - this is her direct line and there is no more automated info system).
    Basically once you get your releases done then you can do it (so Steamship, Soil Sample and then Customs Release, AND approval/authorization that you have to request from WWL).
    Once you have cleared customs you can normally pickup within 24-48 hours (remember you must get authorization from WWL first by contacting them)
    4.) How many days does it take once the boat lands to get the In-Bond notice?
    It is usually a few days before or after the boat arrives (Karen says this depends on the boat/shipping line as sometimes they receive the documents well in advance or just before the boat arrives).

    Incoming car thread (post your car here!):

    Related Links/Comments/Concerns about WWL:
    Importing Experience from A to B example from Jeremy_s13
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    Last edited by jdmvip; 10-26-2020 at 01:50 PM. Reason: updated storage info thanks ma-bo/type4

  2. #2

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    This was done pretty quickly, but this is what I remember when I did my car. It was kind of overwhelming to figure this all out, and it wasn't easy to find all of this information put plainly or simply, so I hope this helps someone.

    If I've missed or forgotten something, or there's something wrong then please let me know so I can correct it.

  3. #3

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    FYI about the Steamship release..

    the Reason i didnt know about it before was that my other Exporter Surrendered the Original Bill of Lading to the Shipper in Japan..

    I suggest you ask your Exporter to do this for you..

    Save the extra work on this side..

  4. #4

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    No problem hunter, I just wanted an up to date guide around, because I remember when I did the Impreza it wasn't clear at what stage certain steps could be done.

    I just hope this guide helps others and saves time and frustration.

  5. #5

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    ya i rember.. i was in Africa.. and i was like WTH is going on..


    It was hard to keep up with my 1400Bps MOdem i was using ..

  6. #6

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    Yeah I remember that lol. 1400bps must be fast for that part of the world

  7. #7

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    Hi - Does anyone know if, when getting a Customs appointment, could you get one on Vancouver Island. I live on Vancouver Island and it seems to go over to Vancouver for a Custom's appointment and then back to wait for the car pickup would be inconvenient. Would a customs office in Nanaimo or victoria do, or do you have to go to Vancouver customs???

  8. #8

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    I am not sure about getting an appointment somewhere else. You could always try calling Vancouver and asking if that's an option, but as far as I know it is done in Vancouver only, but it can't hurt to ask.

    Let us know what you find.

  9. #9

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    Its the Vancouver office only..

    as they are incharge of all the main Container cargo..

  10. #10

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    Quick update to all Importers..

    If you bringing in a car, and your not using a broker this will help you..

    the Soil inspection form (Request for Release Approval) has changed..

    The only change is the Phone Numbers (and they added the word Vancouver)

    You can still use the Form that i have posted here..

    however you will want to
    Fax it to ( 604-713-9844) the information line is now (604-713-9800)

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