While the Unites States and Canada have a cordial trade relationship, shipments between the two countries are still considered to be commercial and have to go through the customs procedures
That means if you are importing goods into Canada, you are required to pay federal and regional sales taxes on your goods. The Canada customs duty rates are regulated by the Canada Customs Act and enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency. (CBSA)
A few duty rates examples for major imports:
- Clothing 16-18%
- Cookware 0-8%
- Computers and related equipment 0% and duty-free
- Coffeemakers 0-8%
- Furniture 0-9.5%
- Textile articles (bedding, linen, towels, curtains) 16-18%
- Auto parts 0-8%
We know that it is tough to figure out the duties and taxes associated with the imported goods so it is always a good idea to seek a professional advice. We are experienced professionals that care for the solutions that we are providing you with.
If your goods are marked as made in the United States, Canada or Mexico, and are accompanied by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) certificate, no duty is payable. Most imported goods however are subject to the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or, in certain provinces and territories, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
GST ( Goods and Services Tax )
GST is an unavoidable tax that is applied. It’s a five percent federal tax that is imposed on practically everything that is sold in Canada. A limited number of these goods and services are exempt from the GST and “zero-rated”, for example milk, bread and vegetables, prescription drugs or medical devices such as artificial teeth or hearing aids.
Harmonized Sales Tax
While most Canadian provinces impose their own taxes, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario “harmonize” their provincial sales tax with Canada’s general sales tax. The “harmonized tax” combines the 5 percent federal GST plus the appropriate provincial tax. Provincial sales taxes are established by the specific province and can range from five percent (for example in Saskatchewan) to 9.975 percent (example Quebec).
When you return to Canada, you may also qualify for a personal exemption from the Canada customs duty rates. This allows you to bring goods of a certain value into the country without paying taxes and duties. Depending on the length of your absence from Canada, CBSA has determined what amount of goods you can import without paying any duties. (A minimum duty may apply to some tobacco products).
- Less than 24hours: There are no personal exemptions for same-day cross border shoppers.
- 24 hours or more: Up to CAD$200 (except alcohol and tobacco)
- 48 hours or more: UP TO CAD$800
(may include alcohol and tobacco products, within the prescribed limits set by provincial or territorial authorities).
- 7 days or more: UP TO CAD$800
(may include alcohol and tobacco products, within the prescribed limits set by provincial or territorial authorities)