Shopping Discussion

driving a good across the US border for repair / warranty replacement & duty/HST

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  • Sep 1st, 2021 2:41 pm
[OP]
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Mar 20, 2007
91 posts
55 upvotes

driving a good across the US border for repair / warranty replacement & duty/HST

Hi RFDrs,

Does anyone have an experience with DRIVING, not shipping goods across the border for the reason above? I'm hoping to make it across then restrictions lift, and I have two goods that I think I can get replaced at a Walmart on warranty as they were bought there, 1) a soundbar, 2) a KitchenAid mixer. I've declared both at the border at separate trips, the soundbar I had to pay HST/duty on and have the papers, the mixer I got waved through on.

I hope the return itself is effortless (and will push for credit rather than items, of course), but what's the best procedure on getting this without getting hit on the drive back? Should I declare the items when leaving Canada as repair/warranty and then re-declare it on my way back? Are there forms I need to fill? I can't really count on Walmart here as these weren't typical cross-border purchases.

Would appreciate any help / pointing me to your experience.
13 replies
Deal Addict
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Nov 25, 2004
3749 posts
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London
I FIgure if u are taking there for repair they can't tax u on the item since u aren't buying it new. they could charge u tax i guess on the cost of the repair but if u are getting it repaired or replaced for free under warranty then what can they charge u tax on if u didn't buy nothing or pay nothing for it.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22770 posts
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Eastern Ontario
aaron158 wrote: I FIgure if u are taking there for repair they can't tax u on the item since u aren't buying it new. they could charge u tax i guess on the cost of the repair but if u are getting it repaired or replaced for free under warranty then what can they charge u tax on if u didn't buy nothing or pay nothing for it.
Doesn’t work that way

You can be given an importation tax evaluation based on the Cdn value of the good … even if you got it for FREE

Which is WHY documentation for anything you buy, acquire, or alter in the US is so important

OP … you need to make a Declaration to CBSA BEFORE you depart the country of what you intend to do

Upon return, the goods will be then evaluated based on your receipts & paperwork whether a repair was made, or a replacement issued under warranty

See = https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publication ... 0-eng.html
Last edited by PointsHubby on Aug 24th, 2021 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nov 25, 2004
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London
PointsHubby wrote: Doesn’t work that way

You can be given an importation tax evaluation based on the Cdn value of the good … even if you got it for FREE

Which is WHY documentation for anything you buy, acquire, or alter in the US is so important

OP … you need to make a Declaration to CBSA BEFORE you depart the country of what you intend to do

Upon return, the goods will be then evaluated based on your receipts & paperwork whether a repair was made, or a replacement issued under warranty

See = https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publication ... 0-eng.html
under #3 and 4 it says u only pay tax on the repair work done
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
aaron158 wrote: under #3 and 4 it says u only pay tax on the repair work done
You do … but you still have to prove it happened.

And in some cases … even an item fully replaced under warranty … can still be subject to Taxes & Duty

See REPLACEMENT GOODS
.
.
.

NOTE … I have gone back and edited my prior response so as to highlight which part of your initial reply it referred to so things are clearer
Deal Addict
Jan 22, 2003
4795 posts
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Austin/Markham
When you drive across, stop on the CAnadian side, they'll give you a card and fill in stuff like item model and serial #. On the way back, if you get checked, you can just show the card and it'll be fine. I've registered my cameras, laptops, etc. like this in the past but I've never been checked.
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demandez-lui si elle dormira avec vous pour un LED keychain
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Feb 7, 2017
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webdoctors wrote: When you drive across, stop on the CAnadian side, they'll give you a card and fill in stuff like item model and serial #. On the way back, if you get checked, you can just show the card and it'll be fine. I've registered my cameras, laptops, etc. like this in the past but I've never been checked.
I used to work for Canada Customs

That is NOT the same thing at all

Those are issued to prove that one owned the item before entering the USA

Has nothing to do with Warranty, Repairs, or Replacement
(In the case of Replacement … the Serial Numbers would not line up … and the OP would be charged the full amount for importing a NEW item. Which is EXACTLY what they are trying to avoid by going thru proper procedures )
Deal Addict
Jan 22, 2003
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PointsHubby wrote: I used to work for Canada Customs

That is NOT the same thing at all

Those are issued to prove that one owned the item before entering the USA

Has nothing to do with Warranty, Repairs, or Replacement
(In the case of Replacement … the Serial Numbers would not line up … and the OP would be charged the full amount for importing a NEW item. Which is EXACTLY what they are trying to avoid by going thru proper procedures )
Sorry that's an excellent point. I misread and thought they were repairing rather than replacing, where the S/N would change.
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demandez-lui si elle dormira avec vous pour un LED keychain
Sr. Member
Sep 26, 2013
538 posts
1046 upvotes
I've done this once. Not by will though. I drive down there and my car break down. I end up did some repair and bought a new car battery. Didn't really mention this to custom since I was down there for other business. Didn't get checked neither.
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Dec 22, 2007
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Mississauga
quasilife wrote: Hi RFDrs,

Does anyone have an experience with DRIVING, not shipping goods across the border for the reason above? I'm hoping to make it across then restrictions lift, and I have two goods that I think I can get replaced at a Walmart on warranty as they were bought there, 1) a soundbar, 2) a KitchenAid mixer. I've declared both at the border at separate trips, the soundbar I had to pay HST/duty on and have the papers, the mixer I got waved through on.

I hope the return itself is effortless (and will push for credit rather than items, of course), but what's the best procedure on getting this without getting hit on the drive back? Should I declare the items when leaving Canada as repair/warranty and then re-declare it on my way back? Are there forms I need to fill? I can't really count on Walmart here as these weren't typical cross-border purchases.

Would appreciate any help / pointing me to your experience.
you will get a new receipt from Walmart with the return and sale and a net amount. think that is what will be used at the border. stop by and get the CBSA to give you a return form. yes you may have a stickler to the rules but you can also find someone who thinks and will see you exchanged goods and be fine with that.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6838 posts
2613 upvotes
BC
On your way down, U.S. Border Patrol will more than likely ask the reason for your travel (pandemic or not).

They may also ask if you will be leaving anything in the United States.

Be upfront as to what you have in the vehicle before they decide to check things out themselves.
They could be suspicious of a box with a soundbar label on it. Mixer should look innocent enough.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
macnut wrote: On your way down, U.S. Border Patrol will more than likely ask the reason for your travel (pandemic or not).

They may also ask if you will be leaving anything in the United States.

Be upfront as to what you have in the vehicle before they decide to check things out themselves.
They could be suspicious of a box with a soundbar label on it. Mixer should look innocent enough.
This WILL HAPPEN

But it won’t resolve your issues with CBSA upon your return … with goods you got serviced in America

Hence why you need to touch base with CBSA … BEFORE you ever leave Canada

Without the proper paperwork to present to US Customs for entry, and then again to CBSA for your return to Canada … you run the risk of having whatever you are taking into the USA being subject to their Taxes & Duties … and then upon return to Canada having it evaluated as a NEW Importation … which leaves you subject to Cdn Taxes & Duty too

Which is why it pays to
Do the right thing … get your ducks in a row before you go
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Oct 26, 2003
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PointsHubby wrote: Doesn’t work that way

You can be given an importation tax evaluation based on the Cdn value of the good … even if you got it for FREE

Which is WHY documentation for anything you buy, acquire, or alter in the US is so important

OP … you need to make a Declaration to CBSA BEFORE you depart the country of what you intend to do

Upon return, the goods will be then evaluated based on your receipts & paperwork whether a repair was made, or a replacement issued under warranty

See = https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publication ... 0-eng.html
is it really that complicated? I shipped a gpu to the states before declared as RMA and they shipped me back a new one, no tax. Doesn't this count as repair/replacement?
WTB amazon gc @90%
[OP]
Newbie
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Mar 20, 2007
91 posts
55 upvotes
Thanks everyone, I went a bit MIA hence the delay in replying but all of these are excellent points.

@PointsHubby - the law you quoted suggests that repair work might be OK if I jump through the correct declaration but it seems like a replacement is treated the same as a purchase and duties+tax are owed. That doesn't make sense to me as a layman since I'd then be paying taxes twice on the same item. But generally that's not the way it should work so am I not reading it right?

@divx - yes, for online stuff, I've also returned stuff easily because then the merchant takes care of all the documentation (export, re-import defective item, re-export fixed/replacement). Here the challenge is doing the work yourself since you're the one crossing the border.

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