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How do I pay for taxes and Customs fees?

Some items are subject to duties and/or GST when imported into Canada from the United States. Whether or not duty and tax is applicable is dependant on a variety of factors, including item type, value, and the country where it was manufactured. Sellers have no control over this, and as the rules are quite complex, will most often not be able to tell you whether or not duty will apply to the item they are selling. It is the buyer's responsibility to ensure the item can be legally imported into Canada, and, unless arrangements have been made to the contrary in advance, to pay any taxes and duties that might be assessed at the border.

The manner in which duties and taxes are collected varies:

  • If your item is shipped by mail, you'll need to pay your letter carrier or the post office before your item will be released to you.

  • If your item is shipped by courier, you'll need to pay the courier company directly, or you might be invoiced by a customs broker.

  • If your item is shipped by truck, you will be invoiced by a customs broker, or by the trucking company directly.

  • If your item arrives by courier or truck which has a working relationship with a customs broker, you will typically be invoiced after your item arrives. Otherwise, duties and taxes on your item will be treated as COD by the courier or trucking company.

  • Accepted payment methods will vary.

For more information about importing goods into Canada, visit the Canada Border Services Agency Web site which has extensive sections on importing and exporting.

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