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I moved from east coast canada to west coast USA and want to ship $4,000 imac, do I have to pay duty?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 29th, 2018 1:30 am
[OP]
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Nov 30, 2009
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I moved from east coast canada to west coast USA and want to ship $4,000 imac, do I have to pay duty?

I'm an iOS software engineer and I'm moving from NS to California on a TN work visa. I have a $4,000 imac that I used in Canada that I want to ship here but I have some concerns. Mostly I'm worried that the US customs will charge me duty on the imac or even try and power it on and extract my data and stuff.

I've researched this and I've seen some people say they haven't had to pay duty, other say they did have to, and then I've just seen some horror stories of the US holding the computer at the border for weeks inspecting all your data on it, asking you for passwords etc.

Does anyone know what I should reasonably expect to happen here, or if there's anything I can do to avoid having to pay duty (I'm not selling it, I'm shipping it to myself after all).

Also I'm going to purchase insurance on the package, but if it arrives broken how do I prove that it was working before I shipped it? I've never shipped anything this expensive so I'm kind of worried about that, or some huge duty tax, or the US customs holding it for weeks on end.

edit: also since I have a TN (temporary work visa) and the imac will be shipped back to Canada later I assume I dont have to pay duty on it since it wont stay in the US, but if I just go to UPS how do I tell them and US customs not to charge me duty due to this?
3 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
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A few things. 1) Just take out the HD and take it with you. Back up to another drive that works just in case. 2) Drive the computer to Maine and ship it from there.

Insurance is based on value hat you declare. I think only physical damage (like the box d the computer being crushed) you'll have to photo it where you ship it) or total loss. If there's no physical damage and it doesn't boot up when you get there, do expect them to try to weasel out of paying you.
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May 10, 2005
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It is your personal possession, like your TV, bed, couch or clothing so no, you will not pay duty. I have been posted to the US before.
Be sure that whatever is on the IMac is backed up and secure and all your possessions are listed and insured for full replacement value.
Life is short......Make sure you spend as much time as possible on the internet arguing with strangers about politics :). Anonymous
[OP]
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Nov 30, 2009
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Jul 9th, 2018 8:06 am
It is your personal possession, like your TV, bed, couch or clothing so no, you will not pay duty. I have been posted to the US before.
Be sure that whatever is on the IMac is backed up and secure and all your possessions are listed and insured for full replacement value.
Thanks, when I ship it though, wont they open it at customs and send me a letter demanding I pay duty? I've ordered items from ebay that went over the border and I've gotten bills for duty, so I wonder if they will think this is a commercial sale or something and try to get me.

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