Shopping Discussion

Canada Customs Gift Allowance

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  • May 5th, 2015 4:05 pm
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[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
21686 posts
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Canada Customs Gift Allowance

So I was reshipping some things from the US to Canada.
I give UPS a call knowing there's going to be brokerage since there's about 30 lines and an overall package value of a couple hundred bucks.
"No sir, there's no brokerage charges"

Wait. what?

Apparently the $60 gift limit is per item not per shipment. $0 in brokerage is due.

BRB buying a lot more things in the US.
Hello our dollar not sucking as much as it did last week.

Also UPS was quite pleasant to deal with. I don't know why everyone hates on them.
They're quickly becoming my favorite carrier.
11 replies
Jr. Member
Jul 17, 2014
143 posts
99 upvotes
death_hawk wrote:
May 4th, 2015 3:36 pm

Apparently the $60 gift limit is per item not per shipment. $0 in brokerage is due.

BRB buying a lot more things in the US.
Hello our dollar not sucking as much as it did last week.
True, it's per item. However a gift is different from a personal purchase. I noticed some stores will mark the description as 'gift'.. but I'm sure Customs will catch on eventually.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Rolli23 wrote:
May 4th, 2015 3:47 pm
True, it's per item. However a gift is different from a personal purchase. I noticed some stores will mark the description as 'gift'.. but I'm sure Customs will catch on eventually.
I always thought it was per shipment.
This is actually a "gift" from myself to myself and not a purchase from a retailer.
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Jan 3, 2014
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death_hawk wrote:
May 4th, 2015 4:19 pm
This is actually a "gift" from myself to myself and not a purchase from a retailer.
You can't give yourself a gift so it most certainly would not qualify.
Proud RFD member since January 31, 2007. Feel free to add 3,034 to my post count.
Sr. Member
Feb 1, 2014
802 posts
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Toronto
death_hawk wrote:
May 4th, 2015 4:19 pm
This is actually a "gift" from myself to myself and not a purchase from a retailer.
Ahhhhhhh so thats the little secret.

I was using the buy it method and toss it in a trash and then reclaim it as found goodies.
[OP]
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Aug 22, 2006
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Technically it wasn't me who sent it so it counts. It was a 2rd party.
I just arranged for the items to be located at that specific spot.

No different than sending it to friends or relatives over the border.
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Jan 3, 2014
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death_hawk wrote:
May 5th, 2015 2:35 am
Technically it wasn't me who sent it so it counts. It was a 2rd party.
I just arranged for the items to be located at that specific spot.

No different than sending it to friends or relatives over the border.
Yeah...you tell yourself that. Kinda like how that crack you're caught with is your friend's, right? "Technically it wasn't you...."

You said it yourself. You arranged it, so therefore it's not a gift. You sent it to yourself (whether or not an intermediary was used is irrelevant), so therefore it's not a gift.
Proud RFD member since January 31, 2007. Feel free to add 3,034 to my post count.
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Feb 26, 2003
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Tahsis
death_hawk wrote:
May 5th, 2015 2:35 am
Technically it wasn't me who sent it so it counts. It was a 2rd party.
I just arranged for the items to be located at that specific spot.

No different than sending it to friends or relatives over the border.
The person is falsely claiming the gift allowance when they reship for you. Tell yourself whatever you want, but you are smuggling.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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death_hawk wrote:
May 4th, 2015 3:36 pm
there's about 30 lines and an overall package value of a couple hundred bucks... Apparently the $60 gift limit is per item not per shipment. $0 in brokerage is due.
Apparently you were a lucky beneficiary of UPS' incompetence. It happens...

From the horse's mouth:
For an item to qualify as a "gift", a friend or relative must send it to you personally and include a card or other notice indicating that it is a gift.

• If you receive an imported gift by mail that is worth CAN$60 or less, you will not have to pay duty or tax on it.

• If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, you will have to pay any applicable duty and taxes on any amount over CAN$60. For example, if a relative sends you a gift worth CAN$200, you must pay any applicable duty, GST or HST and PST on CAN$140.
Now I suppose you could argue that you were sending 30 gifts in one box for distribution to 30 of your family members and friends. But before you do that make sure to "include a card or other notice [for each of those 30 items] indicating that it is a gift." ;)

Added: OK, maybe UPS was right after all. From CASUAL DONATIONS – TARIFF ITEM NO. 9816.00.00
Casual donations sent by persons abroad to friends in Canada, or imported personally by persons who are not residents of Canada as gifts to friends, and not being advertising matter, tobacco or alcoholic beverages, when the value thereof does not exceed sixty dollars in any one case: free ...

4. To be eligible for free importation, no gift can be more than CAN$60, regardless of the number of joint recipients (for example, a wedding gift for a couple). If more than one gift is shipped in a container, each gift valued at not more than $60 can be imported free under tariff item No. 9816.00.00. Each gift in the container has to be clearly identified as one gift. This applies regardless of whether one or more donors or recipients are involved...

6. When a gift is a set, the set is treated as one gift.

7. A person outside Canada may send a gift to a friend in Canada, but allow the commercial establishment from which the gift was bought to ship it. In such a case, the benefits of tariff item No. 9816.00.00 may be allowed if the border services officer is satisfied that the gift was unsolicited and from an individual abroad.
Presumably the "card or other notice" is needed to satisfy 7. And of course, designating something as a gift that isn't a gift constitutes fraud.

Anyway, I learned something new today. Thanks for bringing up the subject.
veni, vidi, Visa
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Apr 24, 2006
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Sidebar - Canada Customs hasn't existed for over 10 years. Just sayin'.
I Declare - The official guide to your Customs exemptions and item restrictions when returning to Canada from abroad.
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Oct 26, 2008
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BC
Am I missing the nuance here?

Because UPS uses its own or contracted brokerage service, they take on the responsibility for determining what is a bona fide gift and choose to not examine it as much as CBSA would?

For reasons of expediency, presumably? Although UPS then misses out on collecting a brokerage fee and other fees usually applied when tax or duty is payable.
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Feb 26, 2003
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Tahsis
macnut wrote:
May 5th, 2015 3:54 pm
Am I missing the nuance here?

Because UPS uses its own or contracted brokerage service, they take on the responsibility for determining what is a bona fide gift and choose to not examine it as much as CBSA would?

For reasons of expediency, presumably? Although UPS then misses out on collecting a brokerage fee and other fees usually applied when tax or duty is payable.
More or less. UPS is somewhat self monitoring. CBSA can still examine courier goods but it's obviously time consuming and can't happen on a widespread basis. UPS also probably doesn't want to annoy their clients so they might be less likely to scrutinise a "gift" exemption.

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