i informed the border 48 hours in advance that i was bringin a car to them and gave them vin...i then bought the car, they put a 30 day plate on it, and i drove it to the border...i then paid 183 brokerage fees, plus gst or pst, cant remember...from there did the special safety which only canadian tire can do (****) which included day time running lights..
Carburner.com will outline the above-mentioned procedure in detail. One thing to note though is that as of November 2007, you must first purchase from BMW a "letter of admissability" for $350 + GST BEFORE you import the car to Canada. In this letter, it will state that the car DOES NOT meet current Canadian vehicle safety standards, as it does not have DRLs installed, and that DRLs must be installed by a BMW dealer. Only after a BMW dealer has done the work, will they then issue the recall clearance letter ($500 + GST) which is necessary to complete the process. BMW NA has forbidden all US dealers from issuing Recall Clearance Letters under the threat of heavy penalties. Canadian BMW dealers have to 'order' the letter from BMW Canada.
Is spite of all of this, it's still a better bet to get a rust-free unmolested car from the Southern US- unless you can find a Canadian car that hasn't ever been winter driven, and is accident free. They're out there, but they're rare, and therefore expensive. Good luck!