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International Shipping

How to Avoid US Customs Fees from Canada

Shipping to Canada? Read this blog to learn all the applicable duties and taxes when shipping to Canada - and how you can minimize them.
How to Avoid US Customs Fees from Canada
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

April 22, 2022

Key Points:

  • The GST can be avoided if the item's value is CAN $20 or less or if the item is a gift from friends or family members and the gift value is CAN $60 or less
  • A Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is collected on goods and services in specific Canadian providences
  • While you can't avoid duties and taxes charges altogether, you can avoid paying high brokerage fees by self-clearing your parcels

Whether shipping to the United Kingdom or Canada, paying customs charges and duties and fees is unavoidable. Say you're shipping a parcel of clothes valued at $100; you may be hit with another $50 for customs fees and duties.

While you can't avoid customs charges altogether, you can research how much duties and taxes are charged for certain imported items. This blog post will cover how to minimize the amount of customs charges you'll have to pay and how you can create an optimal shipping experience for shipping to Canada.

Table of Contents

What Are the Different Import Fees for Canada?

Merchants shipping to and from Canada will consider fees like duties and taxes, brokerage fees, and sales tax. While, unfortunately, you can't altogether avoid these fees, the best you can do is understand how each cost works so there are no surprises while shipping.

Taxes

Unfortunately for merchants, taxes are unavoidable charges. Most products entering Canada will be taxed a certain amount.

Canadian custom fees

You may be subject to sales tax to a Goods and Services Tax (GST), depending on the value of the shipped items. Generally speaking, the GST is usually 5% of the product's value. However, the GST can be avoided if the item's value is CAN $20 or less or if the item is a gift from friends or family members and the gift value is CAN $60 or less.

A Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is collected on goods and services in specific Canadian providences. The following provinces apply to the HST fee:

  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • New Brunswick
  • Ontario

Ontario is the only providence that charges 15%, and all other provinces pay only GST taxes.

Duties

Duties fees apply to the type of goods imported into a particular country. Every item has its classification, which can be found using a Canada Tariff Finder.

Here are some of the duty rates for major imports into Canada:

  • Clothing: 16-18%
  • Cookware: 0-8%
  • Computers and related equipment: Duty-free
  • Coffeemakers: 0-8%
  • Furniture: 0-9.5%
  • Textile articles: 16-18%
  • Auto parts: 0-8%

Fortunately, if you're an eCommerce merchant shipping items from the United States, there shouldn't be any duties on your purchase because of the Free Trade Agreement.

Brokerage fees

Brokerage fees cover the cost of the customs clearing process, which includes paperwork, tax, and customs duties. These fees apply to regular ground shipments and cost as much as $100 per shipment. Unfortunately, the customer or recipient has to bear these costs.

Strategies for Avoiding Canadian Custom Fees

The short answer is: You can't. However, you can take steps to reduce the number of custom fees you have to pay.

Self-clear your package

While you can't avoid duties and taxes charges altogether, you can avoid paying high brokerage fees by self-clearing your parcels. You can visit the Canada Border Services Agency and pay any applicable fees.

*To see your CBSA location, check here.

Send your item as a gift

You can avoid GST fees if the item is CAN $20 or less or if the item is a gift and the gift value is CAN $60 or less.

Use a shipping platform for complete duties and taxes visibility

Understanding how much duties and taxes need to be paid on a shipment can sometimes be confusing, so using a shipping platform can help merchants and customers understand all the duties and taxes for international shipments.

US Customs Fees from Canada

Easyship determines all the duties and taxes charges for your international orders. This way, users can minimize hold-ups at customs and unexpected costs while enhancing the overall customer experience.

When creating a shipment, choose the best category that describes your product (i.e., clothing), and Easyship will automatically determine the tax amount.

Related post: What's the Cheapest Way to Ship to the UK?

Shipping from Canada to US Customs Fee 2022 with Easyship

By now, you should better understand the different types of duties and taxes for shipping to Canada. For instance, you may be subject to a GST fee depending on the value of the shipped items.

In some cases, you can avoid this fee if the item is CAN $20 or less or the item is a gift under CAN $60 or less.

eCommerce merchants need to understand and communicate the applicable fees involved for shipping items to their customers so there are no hidden surprises.

Say you're shipping clothing to a customer valued at CAN $75; the intended recipient will have to pay between 16-18% in GST taxes. Or, you can choose to bear these costs as the merchant instead of making your customers spend more money than they already have.

Ultimately, using a shipping platform can provide the complete visibility merchants need to make sure there are no hidden surprises when shipping items to Canada. In addition, with Easyship, you gain instant access to benefits such as the following:

  • Duties & Taxes Visibility: Easyship works out all duties and taxes for your international shipments to handle your international orders with ease. Calculate your duties for overseas shipments here
  • Global Fulfillment: Easyship has warehouse partners on four continents to reach your customers worldwide. Plus, Easyship helps scale up fulfillment capabilities without increasing overhead costs
  • Shipping Policy Generator: Our shipping policy generator helps merchants and crowdfunding campaigns generate their shipping policy by providing tracking and insurance options, plus other vital information for your shipping process

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and learn how Easyship helps users achieve complete duties and taxes visibility

Canadian Custom Fee FAQ

Do I have to pay duty on items shipped to Canada?

Yes, duties vary depending on the item being imported into Canada.

Does USPS charge duties to Canada?

No, USPS doesn't charge any extra fees when shipping to Canada.


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