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Canada import duty

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Have you ever had to pay duty for apparel goods imported into Canada?

Browsing the Customs Tariff Schedule for textile goods (PDF), it appears that most items (suits, shirts, ties) from the US are duty free. This is noted under the column Applicable Preferential Tariffs as "UST: Free", where UST is defined:

Quote:
For the purposes of the List of Tariff Provisions and the "F'' Staging List, the abbreviations "UST'', "MT'', "MUST'', "CT'', "CRT'', "CIAT'', "GPT'', "LDCT'', "CCCT'', "AUT'' and "NZT'' refer, respectively, to "United States Tariff'', "Mexico Tariff'', "Mexico-United States Tariff'', "Chile Tariff'', "Costa Rica Tariff'', "Canada-Israel Agreement Tariff'', "General Preferential Tariff'', "Least Developed Country Tariff'', "Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff'', "Australia Tariff'' and "New Zealand Tariff''.

At least that's my reading of it. I'd like to know if that has been the case in your experience. I'm also interested in items from other countries.

If you have paid duty, please describe:

Item category (shirt, suit, etc)
Country of origin
Tariff rate paid (%)
post #2 of 41
Most anything made in the US is duty free under the Free Trade Agreement (but you still have to pay the 5% GST). There is typically a flat rate on stuff from other countries I understand the duty on shoes is 18%).
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Are GST and PST usually enforced on international packages? How does that work, do you get a bill from Royal Mail, like with duty?
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertie View Post
Most anything made in the US is duty free under the Free Trade Agreement (but you still have to pay the 5% GST). There is typically a flat rate on stuff from other countries I understand the duty on shoes is 18%).

Textile derivative products are a bit iffy because people dispute the origin of the cloth itself. But you are correct, US made goods are generally duty-free due to NAFTA. However, Canadians pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on most goods imported into Canada. GST is 5%. There is also a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on all goods that are taxable under the province's tax base if you live in BC, Ontario, Manitoba, PEI, Saskatchewan or Quebec. The PST rate varies by Province. You also pay Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) instead of GST if you live in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland or Labrador. HST is 13%. Finally, there is the handling fee from UPS or Canada Post etc...
post #5 of 41
I am fortunate to live in a province with no PST but should have mentioned the PST for the other provinces.

As to how effectively the import duties are enforced - I would say it is mixed. I've bought stuff on ebay from the US that was made in Italy and was not charged anything. Ordering from big US mail order houses like LL Bean or Lands End seems to draw duty (for stuff not made in USA) and always the taxes.
post #6 of 41
Actually the country of shipping origin is sort of irrelevant...it's the country of manufacture that matters. You can buy something made in China from a US store and you have to pay the import duties (if I recall textile products can be up to 30%). To avoid those, the product has to be manufactured in the US or Mexico. I have found that if you buy from an individual like on ebay or BS, it's hit or miss whether customs will charge you. If you buy from an online store, overstock, STP etc you will pay the tariff and usually customs broker fees - interestingly it is still usually cheaper than paying retail in Canada. I don't recall paying PST when I lived in BC, but here in the commie outpost of Ontario I think I usually have to pay. We really get soaked up here...
post #7 of 41
By the book, you should be taxed on the origin of manufacture. Considering NAFTA, GST (5%) and PST (province dependent) are only applied on goods manufactured in North America. Otherwise, you will also be charged duties (13%). Declarations of gifts, I believe, are only valid for items less than $50 and must be truly a gift (i.e. if its something clearly bought with a receipt attached, they will charge it accordingly)

Through experiences and depending on method of shipment, I usually am charged only GST/PST independent of origin of manufacturer (USA, Europe, Asia, etc) if shipped via Canada Post or an equivalent service (USPS, Royal Air Mail, etc). If shipped via a courier such as Fedex, UPS, DHL, I will most likely pay duties, as applicable, and taxes (GST/PST).

Occassionally, I don't get charged anything at all if shipped via Canada Post as they just let it pass through.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bertie View Post
Most anything made in the US is duty free under the Free Trade Agreement (but you still have to pay the 5% GST).

And then the Canada Post/UPS/FedEx GST collection scam. 'You owe the government $0.27 in GST, plus our corporate convenience fee of $[5-30] for collecting it.'
post #9 of 41
Based on where it's MADE. Indian made Florsheim Kenmoor shoes sent from USA to Canada 18% 159US became 233CAD after roughly 86 cent conversion and tarrifs.
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
For packages without a customs label, how do they know how much to charge you for GST?
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang View Post
For packages without a customs label, how do they know how much to charge you for GST?

If you're sending a parcel from the US to another country, including Canada, odds are that you'll need to fill out a customs form.

This has been my experience buying tons of shit and having it shipped to Montreal:

-Basic import exemption for an item marked as a gift is $60CAN. If you send me a gift and declare value at $80USD, I might get hit with GST + PST for the difference in amounts.

-UPS/FedEx/Puro etc will rape the receiver with `customs brokerage fees`. Best to use the domestic postal system (USPS, Royal Air Mail, etc).

-Goods made in the USA are (only) duty free thanks to NAFTA, GST and PST may still be charged when applicable.

So to answer your question Kent: if you simply fold a PS and put it in a small enveloppe addressed to me and send it USPS letter mail, you probably won't have to declare anything and I won't get hit with customs brokerage/duties/taxes.
post #12 of 41
So I had to pay a 17.5% duty on AE shoes. What the heck? I checked chapter 64 and everything labeled "UST" seems to be free. I understand that I would have to pay taxes (fine), but a $60 surcharge is ridiculous. AE shoes are made entirely in the US so a tariff shouldn't apply, right? (DHL Courier, live in Canada)
post #13 of 41
Just an FYI for any other Canadians out there. Allen Edmonds shoes ARE exempt from the 17.5% duty b/c they are made in the USA (you still have to pay 5% GST though). I called DHL brokerage, and they say they are going to refund the $60 duty. Nice!
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vihsadas View Post
Just an FYI for any other Canadians out there. Allen Edmonds shoes ARE exempt from the 17.5% duty b/c they are made in the USA (you still have to pay 5% GST though).

I called DHL brokerage, and they say they are going to refund the $60 duty. Nice!


As reported elsewhere, I recently bought a shirt off ebay for $100, made in the USA, and got hit with a close to $50 brokerage fee.

I got hit with a $40 brokerage fee when I ordered my $100 Randolph Engineering shades (made in America) to Canada.

The list goes on and on.

If I could be sure that AE were duty exempt I would have ordered a pair of strands when that sale was going on, but I'm not risking it, and I don't need the hassle of going through the process of refunds.


My philosophy (to all sellers) is this: the world has alot of bad things going on; commiting postal fraud is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Lighten up and just declare the damn thing a gift already.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by somatoform View Post
As reported elsewhere, I recently bought a shirt off ebay for $100, made in the USA, and got hit with a close to $50 brokerage fee. I got hit with a $40 brokerage fee when I ordered my $100 Randolph Engineering shades (made in America) to Canada. The list goes on and on. If I could be sure that AE were duty exempt I would have ordered a pair of strands when that sale was going on, but I'm not risking it, and I don't need the hassle of going through the process of refunds. My philosophy (to all sellers) is this: the world has alot of bad things going on; commiting postal fraud is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Lighten up and just declare the damn thing a gift already.
It sucks that you got charged all those duties...but they were incorrectly charged. You're right in that it is a huge hassle to get a refund, but those items you bought ARE duty free. Someone on either the govt. end or the brokerage shipping company is unfairly charging you. I guess it could be a scam to hope noone raises a fuss. I wouldn't worry about it so much since in the long run, it's still cheaper even with the duty (for AE only I'm talking). DHL seems to be pretty up front about refunding the duty, and, all things considered, if you are interested in either the 5th av or the park av (now at $295) you will actually still save a few bucks WITH the duty if you were to buy them in Canada instead ($425+tax). All said an told I spent about $360CAN for a pair of fith av 1sts. Not bad I'd say... EDIT: DHL has a VERY reasonable "brokerage" fee. It's $7 minimum or 2.5% of the total duties and taxes they had to pay. So I only had to pay $7 brokerage, and then I'll pay %5 tax (about $15) + shipping ($34 from AE). So for DHL: $7 brokerage Duties (if applicable) Tax (Duty + item price is taxed). If you are buying things from the US and the person includes a notice that the items were manufactured in the US, you should be good. Remember, if DHL charges you a duty where they weren't supposed to, it's illegal. They won't risk you complaining.
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