Back to news... 16 June 2011 Customs For Parcels To Canada
As in all countries, parcels being delivered into Canada attract customs duties at the entry point and these have to be paid before the recipient can take possession of them. The Canadian Border Agency, or CBSA is the organisation responsible for assessing and collecting all duties payable on the goods delivered. Firstly it should be noted that the CBSA calculates all duties based on the value of the goods in Canadian Funds. The duty rates vary according to the type of goods you are importing and the country from which came or were made in. Dependent on the type of goods or their value there may well be other taxes, which are payable as well as customs duties.
Under the North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA) all duties on various goods imported from the USA and Mexico have been removed, that is provided the goods have been made in the USA or Mexico.
No duty is payable on a parcel delivery which contain gifts of value less than $60, and mail that is less than $20.
So what duties are payable:
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) is paid on most goods that are parcelled into Canada. This is to make sure that the imported goods are taxed in the same way that Canadian goods are taxed. The CBSA calculates this tax on the parcels duty paid value.
- Harmonizes Sales Tax (HST) is collected by the CBSA by agreement with certain Provinces at the rate of 13% of the duty paid value. You do not have to pay the provincial 8% on books but have to pay the other 5% if not previously collected by the publisher.
- Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and tobacco tax is collected by the CBSA. It collects PST on behalf of many of the Canadian provinces, in some Provinces the PST is levelled on most goods and in some Provinces it gives relief on certain items such as books, children’s clothing and footwear. To make it more complicated the rates of PST vary from Province to Province.
The CSBA processes the parcel and mail post at various centres around the country and then requests payment. The exporter must supply the complete a written declaration and in attach it to the goods. As Canada is one of 190 countries in the Universal postal Convention this must be on the standard customs declaration form. A good worldwide delivery company can save a lot of heartache.