Shopping Discussion

Duties for importing into US?

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  • Apr 24th, 2012 2:09 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2005
2670 posts
7 upvotes

Duties for importing into US?

I am selling something to an American but don't want to surprise them with duties that they're not aware of.

Does anyone know the duties involved in an American importing and item from Canada?

Thanks
9 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 22, 2003
4598 posts
180 upvotes
Austin/Markham
jayk wrote: I am selling something to an American but don't want to surprise them with duties that they're not aware of.

Does anyone know the duties involved in an American importing and item from Canada?

Thanks

NAFTA....

none.
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Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2005
1528 posts
182 upvotes
Burnaby
webdoctors wrote: NAFTA....

none.
Uh, wrong.

NAFTA only applies on goods which were manufactured within Canada, the USA, or Mexico . . . which these days means pretty much, um . . . NOTHING.

Also, even when a NAFTA exemption could apply it requires that the shipper include a properly prepared NAFTA Certificate of Origin in order for the US importer to get the exemption. It is not an automatic 'given'. I seriously doubt OP would be in a position to prepare such a document given that this post exists at all.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2005
1528 posts
182 upvotes
Burnaby
jayk wrote: I am selling something to an American but don't want to surprise them with duties that they're not aware of.

Does anyone know the duties involved in an American importing and item from Canada?

Thanks
To give you a meaningful answer I need to know:
1) What are you selling?
2) Where was it manufactured?
3) Is it new or used?
4) How much are you selling it to the Murkin for?
5) How are you going to be shipping it (Canada Post, USPS, etc.)?

Also, are you by chance selling the item via eBay?
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2005
1528 posts
182 upvotes
Burnaby
Jimboski wrote: IIRC they're more lenient with customs/duties when shipping from Canada to the US..

Mainly because when buying from Canada they have already paid the taxes!
Really? Since when do Americans pay taxes on mail-order purchases from Canada?

And the tendency for US authorities to be lenient on imports depends on the value. They might not care about a $300 item, but they defintely will on a $3000 item.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6317 posts
979 upvotes
The US does not have a national tax system like GST and at customs they do not collect state taxes, so therefore taxes are not an issue.

There is a $200 duty exemption for Americans importing goods into the US so for goods under $200 duty would not be an issue. Beyond $200 as has been pointed out there is no duty under NAFTA if the goods were actually made in North America and there are other trade agreements which may reduce or eliminate the duty depending on what the goods are and where they were actually made.
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2008
1554 posts
77 upvotes
Ottawa
You have to be careful....it's the same as it coming the other way...the seller does not have much control. Here's what happened
to me

- daughter in NC busts her digital camera at a Halloween party 2 weeks before a planned big trip to NYC
- I wrap up my wife's 6 year-old 6mp digicam, declare ZERO value/GIFT (not even sure it works) and pay $70 for next day to US
(I did this on purpose see rest of story)
- ONE WEEK later I get a phone call from some FedEx person in Indiannapolis saying I'm missing a declaration (WTF?)
- Download the declaration form and essentially they want an FCC declaration as well as my daughter's SSN
- I told them to pound sand and return it...meanwhile I stuff $400 into an envelope and mail it to my daughter for a new camera
- ONE MORE WEEK passes and I get a door tag from FedEX to come get my package (didn't even attempt delivery)

When I got the box there were the normal stamps everywhere including one that said that my daughter owed FedEX $90 USD
upon receipt

BTW got a credit for the $70 _and_ a written apology from Canada Post apologizing for the lack of service by their subcontractor
(FedEX)
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6317 posts
979 upvotes
As far as I'm concerned declaring anything zero value/gift is always a bad idea for so many reasons. For importing into Canada gift value maxes out at $60. You can't use the gift designation for anything of greater value than that. I don't know what the US rules are on "gift" or if they even have anything, but if you use it you should still show the true value of the item. Declaring something zero value will only succeed in drawing closer scrutiny.
Deal Addict
Jan 22, 2003
4598 posts
180 upvotes
Austin/Markham
OK, duties in general are not usually applied. When I bought stuff in Canada, it was taxes that would normally apply for stuff coming from the US, not duty.

As others have mentioned, there's no national tax in the USA. Additionally, USA has most favored trading status with China, so stuff from China doesn't get hit by duty. Considering NAFTA, and China's status, most stuff doesnt end up getting duty. Especially if its small time (i.e. Ebay stuff and not million dollar merchandise).

In almost 10 years of having stuff delivered to me in the USA, never has duty been an issue, regardless if the package is coming from China, Asia or Canada.

Maybe if its a fancy car from Germany or Italy, but otherwise no....

Also, if you use Canada Post, less likely, as FEDEX and UPS have their own weird shipping labels, which are PITA.
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