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6.0 Canada/US

The purpose of this FAQ is to facilitate international transactions in the Broadbandreports.com Buy and Sell forum, between the USA and Canada. Since the forum rules dictate that only computer related equipment is allowed to be posted, this FAQ section is specifically geared towards issues of shipping those items.

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 12:55:35

The Canadian government imposes duties on certain items imported into Canada. This includes items purchased by individuals. Depending on the shipping method used, the amount of fees charged by the shipping company can vary. These extra fees will be charged to the recipient before they can claim their package.

Likewise, Americans also have to pay duty on some imported items, however the rates are typically lower than those paid by Canadians.

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 12:58:09

A brokerage fee is something that a courier charges on ground shipments to cover any duty. The courier acts as a "broker" on your behalf to pay the duty to Canada Customs. The recipient of the package will not see an invoice from Canada Customs. The beef against couriers that use brokerage is that the brokerage fee is much, much more than duty would actually be, so essentially they're overcharging. The recipient must pay these outstanding brokerage fees before they can claim their package.

A sample of brokerage fees from UPS for shipments from USA to Canada


A sample of brokerage fees from UPS for shipments from Canada to the USA


by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-06-30 17:52:24

First and foremost is to be honest. If the item was sold for $20, then declare the value of the item as such. Dont declare the true value of the item if it was actually sold for less. The buyer and seller can keep a record of their transaction communications if disputes with Canada Customs arises. You can get these necessary forms from your courier or post office, depending on what shipping method you are using.

Second is to use a method of shipment that doesnt charge brokerage fees. Priority Mail/Xpresspost or FedEx International Economy are two good choices.

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 13:00:57

NAFTA only covers items that were manufactured within North America. If your component was manufactured in China for example, then duties are applicable. If your item was manufactured in North America, then it is exempt from duties.

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 12:58:35

When sending packages by air, the contents of the package, and their value, is disclosed to the courier on the waybill. Based on this amount, any duty is included in the actual shipping cost.

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 13:00:07

Doing this (or anything else misleading) is illegal. If Canada Customs suspects that you are trying to evade duties, your package may be delayed or confiscated.

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 13:01:19

GST stands for Goods and Services Tax. It is a federal sales tax of 7%.

PST stands for Provincial Sales Tax. It is a provincial (think state) sales tax that varies from province to province. Alberta has no PST, while other province combine the GST and PST into one tax called the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax). The recipient of the package is legally responsible for paying the sales tax on any item imported from outside the country.

The Canadian package recipient is responsible for paying GST and PST on their purchases. In most cases, the PST and GST will be charged by the courier based on the declared value.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • If the goods are to be used outside canada are the taxes refundable.

    2013-06-22 17:17:09



by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 13:02:08

Ripped off by UPS
CanChat Forum Thread on UPS Brokerage Fees

by MacGyver See Profile edited by Axilla See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-31 13:51:02