Assessment Tool – Exporting Antique Vehicles

When to apply for an export permit under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act for land vehicles that are more than 50 years old

The export permit process under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (Act) helps protect important examples of Canada’s culture and heritage. Not having a permit when one is required contravenes the Act and could result in penalties for the exporter.

Antique automobiles (not including kit cars or replicas), motorcycles, etc. (or their components) require a cultural property export permit to leave Canada if they meet specific criteria under Group VI (Scientific or Technological Objects) of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List (Control List) as a “machine”.


No permit is required for cars and motorcycles being exported:

  • on a temporary basis for personal use; or
  • for a manufacturing, industrial or commercial use, i.e. they are not being acquired for a private or public collection.

The Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) is responsible for administering the export permit process in collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

It is the exporter’s responsibility to determine whether a permit is required based on the following questionnaire. Written confirmation from PCH is not required.

Definition of “relating to the development of technology” for machines made outside of Canada

Only model years that introduced an innovative, ground-breaking technological feature that led to technological developments in Canada, or influenced the automotive industry as a whole are considered to relate to the development of technology. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Henry Ford’s 1932 one-piece V8 engine, which was also the first to be mass-produced;
  • Oldsmobile’s 1940 introduction of the Hydra-Matic transmission;
  • Hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, patented by France’s Paul Magès in 1954;
  • Chevrolet’s industry-first 1955 small block engine;
  • other developments that impacted the automotive industry as a whole

For guidance

If, after reviewing the above information and the questionnaire, you are still not sure whether you must apply for an export permit, you may contact PCH by email at:
To assist with our assessment your request should include all of the following – the vehicle’s:

No photographs or supporting documentation need be included with your request. Please allow five business days to receive a response from PCH.

Points to consider

More detailed information about the permit application process is available in the Guide to Exporting Cultural Property from Canada.

Contact us

Movable Cultural Property (Export and Import)
Heritage Policy and Programs Directorate
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street, 9th Floor (25-9-P)
Gatineau, QC K1A 0M5
Toll Free:
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