Buying speaker and amps from Canada to the US.Tax?

Hi, folks,

If anyone have any experience buying speakers/amps new/used from Canada to the US? Does the US custom charge tax? It seems that under NAFTA, if the speaker/amp is made in north america, it will be tax free, is this right? How about speakers made in England like B&W?

Anyone has any experience like to share?

Thanks a lot in advance...

There should be no duty/tax when purchasing Canadian made gear going into the US. Thats not to say that a freight service like UPS wouldn't charge brokerage fees. But buying European products via Canada might incur somem duty - at least thats the case when buying Euro gear via the US - 6% if memory serves me right.
I believe Rgd is correct on duty, but duty is different from Tax. Nafta does not protect us against the taxes. Fortunately, tax going from Canada to the US is not the problem--it's going from US to Canada where Canada charges the VAT which is pretty hefty (don't know the figure right now, but perhaps someone else does).
I know that anything being shipped from Canada into the US via UPS will end up getting you some type of customs brokerage fee tacked onto it. I do not know if this is directly related to declared value or not. All i know is that it raised the price of an amp that i bought a month after it arrived. UPS sends a bill to the recipient after the fact, so it was pretty much a complete shock to me to have to come up with this "extra" money. As such, it made me change the way that i think about doing transactions across the border. I do not know if one would encounter the same thing going into or coming back from Mexico or not.

Having said that, i have used the Postal Service to have low weight items ( DAC, preamp, etc... ) shipped to me from Canada. There was no extra charge that was passed onto me that i was ever aware of. As such, i would try to use that method if possible. Shipping speakers and hefty amps through the Postal Service might be a bit much to ask though... Sean
Ups is the Issue not Canada or US Law. UPS money grab. They charge you a brokerage fee. Rip off fee is what it should be caled. If its under 70 Pounds Use the Postal service cross border. I bought a DVD player last week took 7 days to arrive. I paid the 15% Tax that was due and a 5.00 processing fee. Thats how easy it is. If UPS had handled it. They would have added about 40.00 to the transaction.
I have had a few items shipped to me from Canada. If you use UPS, your asking to be charged. If its a light item use Canada Post as Sean mentioned. If its heavy, use Fed Ex economy international air, its quite reasonable. From what I can tell, the trick is to ensure that the person shipping the item to you fills out the duty papers properly. I was told to use terms such as "For personal use Only". The stereo shop also taped to the box a page of the brochure of the speakers that showed the speakers and also said they were make in Canada. Even then, one of the speaker boxes was opened and inspected, but no duty/other charged.

I bought some expensive interconnects from Canada more than a year ago, and then about 6 mos. after that I got a bill for $80 from UPS! I ignored it and never heard anything again. PLEASE don't forward my post and email address to UPS!
I have both sent items from Canada to the USA, and received items from USA. I have been charged UPS brokerage fees even on items that were produced in Canada. I know that some items have had brokerage fees added on after I have sent them to people in the US. I think UPS is a bit of a rip-off. I have enquired about their brokerage charges, and they say if you use an expedited service such as "2-day", the brokerage charges are included. I have never had any brokerage charges with Canada Post or the US Postal Service.
Duties should only be charged on items originating in non-NAFTA countries.
Thanks a lot everyone... Now I should think if it is really worthwhile to buy gears in Canada... The gears I am interested are heavy ~150lbs (PASS amp and B&W N802) and may require freight service...
I am going through the same consideration. I would get good discount across the border in Canada but I am not sure what to expect on the hassle of duty and paperwork. The speakers are british-made and the components are china-made. Based on my research (checking the tariff schedule downloaded from the US Custom website, chapter 85), I should expect a 4.9% duty of the merchandise. To avoid the shipping cost and the risk of shipping damage, I will probably plan a short vacation there and transport the items back in my van on my return.

Would anyone please share their actual experiences about the duty and the paperworks and the practicality of transporting the merchandise across the border themselve?

Thanks all in advance.
AS with Sc53, I ignored the bill UPS sent me when I bought a used amp and speakers from Canada. Never heard from them again.
Update on my earlier response about ignoring a customs brokerage bill from UPS: Though I have never heard again from UPS, and it's been 18 mos at least, I am currently being dunned by FedEx for an $80 customs brokerage fee on a speaker shipment that FedEx damaged and thus I returned to them for inspection. In other words, I did not keep the speakers. I was going to, but instead of returning them to me, after their inspection, FedEx GROUND returned them to the shipper in Canada! In their broken down abused boxes! Needless to say, they arrived in even worse shape after their second cross-country trip. Now he too has received a bill from the FedEx Customs Brokerage agency for the "service" they delivered in processing the speakers back into Canada to him. Neither he nor I want to pay these bills, but FedEx Ground will not cover customs brokerage fees as part of a claims settlement for damaged goods, and the brokerage company insists they did provide a service when they processed the speakers across the border twice. I tried my old tactic of just ignoring the bill, but this brokerage company is adamant and sends collection notices every month, so I guess I'll have to pay it. The brokerage company did tell me that the fee would not have been charged had my shipper applied for a "NAFTA license," which involved some filling out of forms. So in the future, if you deal with a Canadian seller, ask him up front about the NAFTA license and whether he has it or will apply for it, because if he does the customs fees are waived.