Importing a Piaggio Ape to USA/Canada
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Member
Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 5

Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:02 am quote
Hi, this is my first post here so please excuse me if it's off topic (being about an Ape), but this forum seems very active and I have high hopes of someone being able to help me out here

Anyway, I am in Italy for the rest of July and have started to become very intrigued by all the Apes driving around. I would absolutely love to get one back home. My problem is that I can't find any specifics on this, and I would imagine that the process for importing a Vespa isn't much different.

What I would like to know is:

How much should I be paying for a decent 50cc Ape? Don't care much about the year, just want something that is reasonably priced.

What are the shipping costs?

Duties, taxes, any other fees?

How long does it take?

Can I get one licensed? (I live in Montreal)

I also have plenty of family and friends here, and speak Italian so getting it to a port shouldn't be a problem.

If anyone has imported any other vehicle overseas, I would love to hear about your experience!
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Granturismo 218
Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 5452
Location: South Carolina
Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:37 am quote
Do you want to do it legally, or otherwise? And do you plan on driving it once you get it home? My understanding is that to import one legally into the US and register it to use on the roads would be pretty much impossible. I don't know enough about Canada to comment n their requirements.
Member
Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 5

Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:46 am quote
Motovista wrote:
Do you want to do it legally, or otherwise? And do you plan on driving it once you get it home? My understanding is that to import one legally into the US and register it to use on the roads would be pretty much impossible. I don't know enough about Canada to comment n their requirements.
Preferably legally, although I am open to suggestion haha. And yes, I do plan on driving it.

Transport Canada says that a vehicle must be at least 15 years old to be imported without any problems. Once I get it imported, that's fine and all, but I can't find any information about getting it plated, or even what class vehicle it would be considered in the province of Quebec.
Ossessionato
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 3518
Location: Canada
Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:01 pm quote
At first glance Canada allows you to import any vehicle order than 15 years.

https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-importation-1338.htm

The next hurtle is getting your Ape plated:
https://www.riv.ca/ProvincialLicensing.aspx

That's going to be a crapshoot

http://vcoc.proboards.com/thread/854/got-canada


EDIT:
I think for Quebec you need a 25 year old Ape to register it as a Class 'C' plate

http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/vehicle_registration/categories/restricted_area.php
Quote:
Vehicles registered under a C licence plate are road vehicles “with restricted-area use”, that is, they are not authorized to operate everywhere on the Québec road network.
These vehicles are classified into five categories:

Other vehicles
These vehicles are allowed to operate only in areas where the speed limit does not exceed 70 km/h as long as they do not operate either on a highway or a limited access road*:
Hand-crafted vehicle, other than a motorcycle;
A vehicle, other than a motorcycle, that was manufactured over 25 years ago;
Vehicle with a net weight of 450 kg or less, other than a motorcycle, moped, scooter or tool vehicle;
I think the Ape is 490kg, so it just misses on the net weight clause.

Last edited by Harvey on Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
Ossessionato
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Location: mtl / vt / fla
Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:09 pm quote
I would drop the idea.. leave the ape in Italy. I tried to bring in a Honda scoot made in Mexico that is allowed in the US and it was rejected by transport canada.
Member
Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 5

Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:13 pm quote
Harvey wrote:
At first glance Canada allows you to import any vehicle order than 15 years.

https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-importation-1338.htm

The next hurtle is getting your Ape plated:
https://www.riv.ca/ProvincialLicensing.aspx

That's going to be a crapshoot

http://vcoc.proboards.com/thread/854/got-canada


EDIT:
I think for Quebec you need a 25 year old Ape to register it as a Class 'C' plate

http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/vehicle_registration/categories/restricted_area.php
Quote:
Vehicles registered under a C licence plate are road vehicles “with restricted-area use”, that is, they are not authorized to operate everywhere on the Québec road network.
These vehicles are classified into five categories:

Other vehicles
These vehicles are allowed to operate only in areas where the speed limit does not exceed 70 km/h as long as they do not operate either on a highway or a limited access road*:
Hand-crafted vehicle, other than a motorcycle;
A vehicle, other than a motorcycle, that was manufactured over 25 years ago;
Vehicle with a net weight of 450 kg or less, other than a motorcycle, moped, scooter or tool vehicle;
I think the Ape is 490kg, so it just misses on the net weight clause.
Thanks for the links, I came across some of them when I was researching before, but the one about the C class licence cleared things up a bit. I can't seem to find many specifications on the Ape 50, but surely the weight varies by year? Perhaps there is one model under 450 kg? I don't really have a preference over what decade it's from, as long as it's drivable.

Do you think the SAAQ could tell me if I just call them? Or does the vehicle actually need to be in Canada for them to decide?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:37 pm quote
Does it have to be an Ape? I ask as there are many Cushman Trucksters around in the US and Canada. Also a number of 3-wheeled Bajaj utilities. Very much easier to acquire and operate one of those than import an Ape.

Truckster 2.jpg

Hooked
Vespa Dealer
Joined: 22 Dec 2013
Posts: 168
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada
Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:01 pm quote
Ape
Transport Canada states it must be over 15 years old
You also have to go thru CFIA (canada food inspection agency) for cleaning.
Shipping is about $2500 just to get in a container not including transport cost to the dock and when it hits Canada.
Good luck getting insurance!

We have an Ape Classic (422cc diesel) in seafoam green
Ossessionato
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 3518
Location: Canada
Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:03 pm quote
You best talk to the Italian dealers regarding weights

You should try calling the SAAQ, then you can judge how much effort plating it will be, but really, I think it's up to the agent seeing the paperwork to make the final determination.
Ossessionato
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Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:41 pm quote
Since my post was so negative and i told you not to try and bring the ape to Canada i did something for you.

I found you this one right here in Canada .....

and its mint !

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-voiture-collection/ville-de-montreal/1981-piaggio-vespa-ape-trade-for-citroen-ds/1083795943?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
Member
Nothing.... YET
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Posts: 22
Location: Newark, DE
Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:40 pm quote
For what ever reason, Governments think it's a great idea making the importing of any vehicle near impossible. I looked into importing a Holden UTE from Australia and found that I just couldn't. Your best bet would be to import it in parts and assemble it; or, find one for sale in Canada or the US. There was just an ape for sale in Connecticut on Craigslist a few months back.
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
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Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:07 pm quote
There is an Ape in Montreal so it is possible.

Check with Scootart on St-Laurent:

http://www.scootart.com/pages/

If it isn't their's, they might know who owns it.

Or buy the one Kdude found for you.

Welcome to MV from the Great White North!
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS 300 i.e. ABS, 2010 Vespa GTS 300 ie Super & 2003 Honda Shadow VT750 ACE (sold) & 2006 Vespa LX150 (sold)
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Posts: 3028
Location: Toronto (formerly Montreal)
Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:19 pm quote
Found a photo from 2011 on Flickr of an Ape in Montreal.

Check with Desmeules Fiat in Laval. They owned it then. Maybe they still have it.

One way or the other, they might be able to provide some insight.

image.jpg

Member
Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 5

Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:06 am quote
Wow, thanks everyone! This forum been more help than I can possibly imagine. I am having trouble getting internet here so I can't check the thread as often as I like, but I will probably get to contacting Desmeules Fiat soon.

To Dooglas: Yes I do absolutely want it to be an Ape. It isn't so much the 3-wheel gimmick that attracts me but the status of the name and collector's value.

To kdude: That Ape is located in Ontario, so I'll need to find a way to ship it to Montreal, but I won't be back for a while so it might be sold by then. Either way, could you maybe shed some light on registering a vehicle in a different province?

My purchase of the Canadian Ape also depends on price. I was hoping to stay around the $3000 range for this whole thing. After all, it is a 50cc machine.
Ossessionato
2016 Honda NC750XD, 2007 GTS (sold),
Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 3518
Location: Canada
Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:29 pm quote
I think there's zero chance of you staying within your budget. Used ones go for over $3,000 to $16,000 Canadian in the UK, then shipping at $2,500......
Member
Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 5

Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:12 am quote
Harvey wrote:
I think there's zero chance of you staying within your budget. Used ones go for over $3,000 to $16,000 Canadian in the UK, then shipping at $2,500......
Thing is, here in Italy, there are plenty of decent running used ones at around €800, which translates to about $1100 CAD. I'd be willing to reconsider my budget a little and I've also heard of people shipping cars to the US for $1500, sometimes less.
Ossessionato
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 3518
Location: Canada
Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:51 am quote
I'd be happy to be proved wrong. Good luck with it & please let us know how it works out!
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:02 am quote
Leave it in Italy
I was just about to say the same thing. Leave it in Italy search Kijiji if in Toronto take it to Lou at Vespa Toronto West for repairs.
https://www.vespatorontowest.com/
Hooked
GTS300ie
Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 384
Location: Seattle
Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:56 am quote
APEites, this appeared on CL today....

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/mcy/5104369033.html
Moderator
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Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:42 pm quote
Do a google search for Canadian Customs brokers and see if you can find one who knows vehicle imports.
Hooked
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Lurker
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Tue May 01, 2018 9:03 pm quote
I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Hooked
2010 Vespa super,2016 vespa 3 00 1979 p200 with sidecar 1958 cu shman eagle with sidecar Inder trai ler 1983 bajaj tuk tuk tristar 2018 royal Enfi
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Wed May 02, 2018 5:04 am quote
You have to search
If you look hard enough here in the us you can find one but you have to strike while the iron is hot as they don't last long after they are offered for sale. Capt Gary

20180427_100156.jpg

Hooked
2005 et4
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Location: oshawa ontario canada
Wed May 02, 2018 6:05 pm quote
They are out there if you keep a constant watch.

A fellow scooter club member managed to grab the deal of a lifetime. A running Ape WITH a custom trailer to haul it on for only $1000 CDN. He was immediately offered 5k for it by another enthusiast looking for an Ape in Canada.

ape.jpg

Lurker
Ape
Joined: 23 Jun 2018
Posts: 1
Location: Italy
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:41 am quote
jchayet wrote:
I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Jon,
Were you able to get the Ape registered in California as a scooter? I’m living in Italy right now and when I move back will be able to bring an Ape with me for free. Only worry I have is being able to register it.

Thanks,
Mike
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:54 pm quote
Toppilot15 wrote:
jchayet wrote:
I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Jon,
Were you able to get the Ape registered in California as a scooter? I’m living in Italy right now and when I move back will be able to bring an Ape with me for free. Only worry I have is being able to register it.

Thanks,
Mike
You bring it back with out every i dotted and T crossed on the paper work it will end up in a scrape pile. Pay a broker, money well spent.
Lurker
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Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:13 pm quote
jchayet wrote:
I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Hi there. I am interested in importing an Ape into the USA and would love any tips you can offer. Thank you so much!
Molto Verboso
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Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:32 pm quote
A clarification ... it is called Ape which is translated from you into "monkey" while in Italian it is "Bee" like "Vespa" like Wasp.
Then ... it is true that the Piaggio Ape is a curious and useful vehicle but does it like it so much?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:23 am quote
Nikkijo-yo wrote:
jchayet wrote:
I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Hi there. I am interested in importing an Ape into the USA and would love any tips you can offer. Thank you so much!
Step ONE!! Contect an importer.
Hooked
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Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:43 am quote
Attila wrote:
A clarification ... it is called Ape which is translated from you into "monkey" while in Italian it is "Bee" like "Vespa" like Wasp.
Then ... it is true that the Piaggio Ape is a curious and useful vehicle but does it like it so much?
Anyone who likes good honey is familiar with the term "apiary".
Molto Verboso
Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956 - Moto Guzzi Airone 250 Sport 1951
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Posts: 1239
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:06 am quote
Big Daddy SnakeOiler wrote:
Attila wrote:
A clarification ... it is called Ape which is translated from you into "monkey" while in Italian it is "Bee" like "Vespa" like Wasp.
Then ... it is true that the Piaggio Ape is a curious and useful vehicle but does it like it so much?
Anyone who likes good honey is familiar with the term "apiary".
Well said.
Hooked
2010 Vespa super,2016 vespa 3 00 1979 p200 with sidecar 1958 cu shman eagle with sidecar Inder trai ler 1983 bajaj tuk tuk tristar 2018 royal Enfi
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Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:07 am quote
1982 bajan tuktuk
I have mine for sale 1982 Alabama title original paint

20180427_100156.jpg

Molto Verboso
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Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 1239
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:46 am quote
... but the tuk tuk are made in India ... or am i wrong?

It is possible that Piaggio dealers in U.S.A. can't they import an Ape on request?

http://www.piaggiocommercialvehicles.com/commercial-vehicles/it/it.countries

http://piaggiocommercialuk.com/range/piaggio-ape-range/
Sponsor
Joined: 16 May 2011
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Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:03 am quote
Attila wrote:
... but the tuk tuk are made in India ... or am i wrong?

It is possible that Piaggio dealers in U.S.A. can't they import an Ape on request?

http://www.piaggiocommercialvehicles.com/commercial-vehicles/it/it.countries

http://piaggiocommercialuk.com/range/piaggio-ape-range/
no, US dealers cannot import the new ones. Vespa USA can only import the DOT/EPA certified units.

You can easily import one that is 25 years old or older. 100% legal. Newer than that, and no real way to get it imported into the US.
Molto Verboso
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Posts: 1239
Location: Latina (Italy)
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:22 am quote
AF1 Racing wrote:
Attila wrote:
... but the tuk tuk are made in India ... or am i wrong?

It is possible that Piaggio dealers in U.S.A. can't they import an Ape on request?

http://www.piaggiocommercialvehicles.com/commercial-vehicles/it/it.countries

http://piaggiocommercialuk.com/range/piaggio-ape-range/
no, US dealers cannot import the new ones. Vespa USA can only import the DOT/EPA certified units.

You can easily import one that is 25 years old or older. 100% legal. Newer than that, and no real way to get it imported into the US.
Yes ... sorry but here (in Italy) we have a wrong view of what can be done with vehicles in U.S.A.
Mainly for those TV programs where cars and motorcycles are "apparently" transformed very freely and without testing ...
I thought you could import almost anything as long as you had the wheels; again i apologize for my ignorance on the subject.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350
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Posts: 7225
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:35 am quote
AF1 Racing wrote:
Attila wrote:
... but the tuk tuk are made in India ... or am i wrong?

It is possible that Piaggio dealers in U.S.A. can't they import an Ape on request?

http://www.piaggiocommercialvehicles.com/commercial-vehicles/it/it.countries

http://piaggiocommercialuk.com/range/piaggio-ape-range/
no, US dealers cannot import the new ones. Vespa USA can only import the DOT/EPA certified units.

You can easily import one that is 25 years old or older. 100% legal. Newer than that, and no real way to get it imported into the US.
Well one way, is no motor. but unless you are using as a Vendor Cart that defeats the purpose.
Lurker
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Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:03 pm quote
Please Help
Jon,

I’m looking to import a Piaggio Ape 50 Van into the US. Sounds like you have some experience. Can you help?

Marc
Glendale, AZ
602.692.7155


I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7225
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:57 am quote
Re: Please Help
az4son wrote:
Jon,

I’m looking to import a Piaggio Ape 50 Van into the US. Sounds like you have some experience. Can you help?

Marc
Glendale, AZ
602.692.7155


I Imported an Ape into California from italy in 2015. it was pretty tough.
i just bought 3 more this past weekend in an auction.

let me know if you want some advice on importing. i spent a year doing it.

thanks
jon
Only person that can help you is an importer. If the paperwork is filled out wrong they go to the scrap yard. Pay someone to make sure it is done right.
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