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Thread: Shopping/Shipping Across the Canadian Border

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2012-02-09 04:43:48
Shopping/Shipping Across the Canadian Border
Shipping and or Importing goods (specifically car parts for us) into Canada can be tricky and very expensive. You have to deal with brokerage fees, import tax fees and applicable provincial sales taxes. A shipment of a $70.00 part may incur a $30.00 shipping charge for a total of $100.00. However, you may be surprised when the delivery company (Canada Post/FedEx/UPS) wants more money from you upon delivery of said item. They may expect you to pay brokerage fees, import tax and applicable provincial sales tax. That $70.00 item could end up costing you $140.00 when all is said and done. Variables such as distance covered by the delivery company, the weight of the package being delivered and the "declared" value of the package are all factors which determine the final price you will pay! Know the rules and the laws before you decide to import so you don't get caught short-changed!!

I found a few articles which highlight some of the things Canadians should look out for when trying to purchase car parts from the International market, more specifically The U.S.A.

Here is a very good write-up: Shopping and Shipping Across the Canadian Border - Shipping to Canada

Page 1 from the link: (In case the hosting on that site ends)

Are you new to online shopping? If you're on the Canadian side of the border and thinking of shopping on U.S. sites, hidden costs may catch you by surprise. There are things you should check before you give out your credit card number.

First, check that the site offers international shipping or at least shipping to Canada. There is nothing more irritating than going through an e-commerce site, filling your shopping cart and then discovering that the vendor does not ship outside the continental United States.

Shipping Charges to Canada

Good sites will list their shipping policies and procedures up front, usually under the customer service section or the help section. Shipping charges are determined by weight, size, distance, speed and number of items. Be sure to read the details carefully. Don't forget to factor in the exchange rate for the shipping charges as well as for the cost of the merchandise. Your credit card company may also add a charge for currency conversion.

The shipping charges and methods of shipment (usually either mail or courier) aren't the total of the costs you'll have to pay to get that package across the Canadian border though. If goods are coming across the border, you will also have to consider, and be ready to pay, Canada customs duties, taxes and custom brokerage fees.

Canada Customs Duties

Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadians do not have to pay duty on most American and Mexican manufactured items. But be careful. Just because you buy an item from a U.S. store does not mean it was made in the United States. It's quite possible it was imported into the United States first and, if so, you may be charged duty when it comes into Canada. So check before you buy and if possible get something in writing from the e-store in case the Canada Customs people decide to be particular.

Duties on goods vary widely, depending on the product and the country in which it was manufactured. Other charges and duties may also apply depending on the item, for example excise duty and excise tax on luxury items such as jewelry. In general, on goods ordered from a foreign retailer there is no assessment unless Canada Customs can collect at least $1.00 in duties and taxes. If you have specific questions about Canada customs and duties, please contact a Canada Border Services Agency office or the Border Information Service.

Page 2 from the link: (In case the hosting on that site ends) (Shopping and Shipping Across the Canadian Border - Shipping to Canada

(Continued from Page 1)

Canadian Taxes

Just about everything individuals import into Canada is subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of five percent. The GST is calculated after customs duties have been applied.

You will also have to pay the applicable Canadian Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or Quebec Sales Tax (QST). The provincial retail sales tax rates vary from province to province, as do the goods and services to which the tax is applied and the way the tax is applied.

In Canadian provinces with a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and British Columbia), you'll be charged the HST, rather than separate GST and provincial sales tax.

Customs Brokers Fees

Fees for customs brokers services are the charges that can really catch you by surprise. Courier companies and postal services use customs brokers to get packages processed through Canada Customs at the Canadian border. Fees for that service will be passed along to you.

Canada Post automatically applies an $8.50 handling fee for each package to clear Canada Customs.

Customs brokers fees for courier companies vary, but are usually a good deal higher than the Canada Post fee. Some courier companies may absorb the custom brokers fees (including them in the courier service price), depending on the level of courier service you have selected. Others will add the customs brokers fees on top and you will have to pay those before you can get your parcel. If you select a courier service for shipping to Canada, check whether the level of service provided includes customs brokers fees. If it is not mentioned on the shopping site you are using, you can check the service guide on the individual courier company site or call the local number of the courier company to find out their policies.

Also, Here is a good trick to try avoid some serious customs fess/import taxes: Mailing Gifts to Canada

From the link:

Gifts sent to individuals in Canada are exempt from duties and taxes if:

- the item is worth less than $60 CAN (see Bank of Canada exchange rates)

- the item includes a card or notice indicating that it is a gift.

If the gift is worth more than $60 CAN, the recipient will have to pay applicable duties and sales taxes on the value of the gift over $60 CAN.

The $60 gift exemption does not apply to:

- tobacco, alcoholic beverages, or advertising material

- items sent by a business, company, or association

The $60 gift exemption can not be combined with the regular $20 mail exemption available for all items.
Last edited by B15NEOVVL on 2012-02-09 at 05-01-59.
2012-02-09 04:44:28
Reserved for additional info.
Last edited by B15NEOVVL on 2012-09-19 at 04-11-38.
2012-02-09 04:52:08
Reserved for additional info.
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