I just bought from US, as buyer I paid tax, duty and shipping costs for pre owned unit to arrive in Toronto, seller paid nothing.
The buyer will have to pay. Also, the fees are fairly high. I sold a pair of Reference 3A speakers to a buyer in Canada last summer. We both thought no tariffs because the product was manufactured in Canada. Wrong! He was charged about $150-160 Canadian, on top of shipping charges. UPS didn't bother to tell me when I shipped about the tariffs/taxes. I would speak to the buyer.
I'm certain that if you are shipping from the U.S., you will not be charged for the above. However, your Canadian recipient will be charged substantially.
As I recall, make certain you use UPS ground. FedEx only provides air-shipping to Cananda and so you'd have to pay for 2-day shipping which will probably cost you about $120 FedEx or about $50 UPS. Depending on size and weight of course.
UPS also charges alot to the Canadian buyer. Contact the buyer on this as I believe UPS rips them off.
Don't use UPS. They DO rip us off. I have been charged as much as 50% of the purchase price. Stehno is wrong in that there IS FedEx ground shipping to Canada and it's tracking system is second to none.
All the above is true. However, if the package coming from the US is sent USPS, there are no outrageous brokerage fees such as those charged by UPS or FedEx. My last purchase in Canada from the US was a $45 tube. After UPS arrived, I was out just over another $45. I am still simmering after that one. USPS would have left me with much more is my pocket!
Customs will be charged on goods that are not US origin in most cases about 6.5%, GST of 7% will also be payable and is payable from Canadian business purchases anyways.
Usually the buyer pays, and should be aware of the costs. But it depends on your arrangement.
I have had more reasonable fees from Fedex, and the USPS. for the customs brokerage. But if the item is large $ enough the buyer can clear it herself....
Sending them thru USPS, is cheaper, and the chance of
paying is very slim.This is my experience a month ago.
I have only purchased one piece of audio gear from a Canadian seller, that being a CJ preamp. The seller sent it marked as "gift" and no duties were charged. After reading some of the forums I assume this wasn't legal but also assume that it must happen all of the time. I was sort of miffed when he offhandedly remarked "I hope you don't have to pay any duties on this". I think he damn well should have brought it to my attention before we hashed out the shipping details.
I sold a nice cd player to a gentleman in Canada, back in November, a fellow member here in Audiogon. I used FedEx ground. If the buyer does not pay these fees the shipper is responsible. I just got a bill yesterday, for almost $60.00. I sold at a very reasonable price of $175.00. The unit was in beautiful condition. The buyer wrote commenting on how nice the unit was and thanked me. I wrote the buyer yesterday afternoon. Nothing back yet. He seemed very sincere when conversing thru email during the purchase. I am not going to get upset yet. Hoping this is just a mix-up somewhere, but if not I am going to be pissed. Something will be done at that point.
Actually, I'm a bit of an expert on shipping from the US to Canada having dealt with hundreds of shipments over the years. Some of the posts in this link are accurate, others are patent nonsense.
The short version:
Post Office - slow, hard on packages, poor tracking, cheapest brokerage fees.
FEDEX Express- the best. Fast, reliable, great tracking, no brokerage fees but VERY expensive.
FEDEX Ground - next best. As above but cheaper and slower. Minimal brokerage fees.
UPS- cheap up front. Expensive at the door. Reliable. Good tracking. Ridiculous, bordering on usurious brokerage fees. Class action lawsuit, anyone? Definitely your least cost effective choice.
All carriers charge Federal and Provincial taxes or duties as required. The Post Office is the least efficient tax collector. I have had packages worth $500 US arrive at the door - no charge, due, I suppose, to inefficient data control.
AS for our US friend's assertion that the shipper MUST warn buyers of duties and taxes - this is absurd! It is incumbent on the buyer to know the laws in his home country. A shipper can't be expected to know the regulations in Zimbabwe or Sri Lanka!
I agree with Peebus statements, having had quite a few Canada-US transactions.
People in canada know that they will be charged a brokerage fee, 7% GST, 7% PST, and duties at the border if the product is not canadian made.
why is it that US citizens are not aware of the fees they will be charged, brokerage fees and duties if the product is not made in either canada or the US
My 2 cents
This is the opposite scenario (Candian seller, U.S. buyer), but I recently purchased a piece of equipment from a Canadian seller who shipped the item to me in the U.S. from Canada via UPS. It got held up for about a week in U.S. customs. Although the seller carefully packed the items, U.S. customs no doubt didn't use the same care when when opening, inspecting, and repacking the item. Based on this and my other experience with U.S./Canadian tranactions I'm going to pass on further such opportunities. Politically, I like to think of Canadians as brothers and sisters, but the costs and hassles associated with the practicalities of shipping equipment across the boarder seem to provide more downsides and risks than upsides. If you don't mind delays, extra duty costs, and mediocre handling of your equipment maybe it's worth the effort. To me, it's the issue of non-audio people inspecting and repacking pristine and delicate equipment that was carefully packed that pushes it over the edge. I'm going to avoid it in the future.
I live in Canada and have purchased stuff from US Audiogon members. I always ask for UPS shipping. Yes they charge a lot for brokerage fees, but as the buyer I am the payer and their handling is great - none of the packages I have received have even been opened for inspection and everything has arrived in good condition. The key is to honestly declare what is inside and what it is worth. A large and heavy package declared as a gift is a red flag for customs. My experience has been that the biggest chance of damage comes from customs handling, and not shippers. I always ask the shipper to send via UPS and I pay the usurious fees brokerage fees. These are fees that they charge to steer the thing through customs. Basically UPS does a pre-screening and if it looks legit, they will bulk the stuff through. As others have pointed out, there is always a 15% Canadian government goudge (8% provincial/7% federal) at the border, which the buyer also always pays. The way I look at it, I am saving enough by using audiogon to make the additional costs justifiable. The provincial goudge varies by province. Ontario is 8%, Alberta has no sales tax and charges nothing. If I am buying from a fellow Canadian, the tax goudge will probably be worked into the price somehow since they had to pay it when buying new. Bottom line is be honest, and things will work out better.
Baddabob is right about the taxes (applies to new and used goods). In addition, depending upon the country of origin of the audio equipment there may be duty that is applicable. For example, gear produced in N America is duty free, but subject to the taxes above. Yet, speakers say from Netherlands (Kharma) get dinged with an additional 6.5% duty, beyond the taxes.
I just imported stuff into Canada via Bax, and the great thing is I that I had to clear the customs stuff myself by going to the customs office. I paid the applicable tax and duty (they will take Visa), but then there were absolutely no brokerage fees. On the other hand, as noted above UPS can charge rather hefty brokerage fees. USPS and FedEx sit somewhere in between. I think in the future I would rather do my own Customs and avoid an additional brokerage "tax" from the shipping company.
Good plan Thom_y. Do you actually have to go to the border to do this or can you have it delivered to a customs office in your city - for example Toronto or Vancouver? I too would like to save the UPS brokerage goudge.
Baddabob. There should be a customs office in every city. But shippers like DHL, Fedex, and UPS have their own brokerage agents, which I don't think you can bypass. Industrial shippers (not sure if this is the right distinction) like BAX Global do not include their own brokerage agents and so you have to go to customs yourself (BAX can only be used if you have a business account while Fedex and UPS have size limits as well as getting too expensive for large/heavy items, so the choice is often made for you). Keep in mind that you have to run around (from shipping company to get the required forms, to the customs office to clear the shipment, then back to the shipping company to arrange for pickup/delivery) and will most likely have to wait in line at the customs office, which may not be worthwhile for small ticket items. I recently had to go through this process to pick up my amp. It was worth it for me as it was a big ticket item. But since it was my first time, all that running around as well as waiting in line was a big hassle and a big waste of time (It was too heavy for me to pick the item up myself anyways, so my 1-2h time was spent clearing customs).
As to the original question. There should actually be a place on the form to mark whether the shipper or receiver is responsible for taxes and customs.
Well, it wasn't that much of a hassle for me on the east coast. BAX faxed me the paperwork to my office. I walked into the Customs office downtown. Virtually no line up. They asked a few questions about the goods, checked the exchange rate on the day of shipping and figured out the duty and taxes. You could pay with Visa, Interac, bank draft etc. Took less than 10 minutes. Then, I faxed back the papers to BAX and then they shipped the goods to my house. THe only hassle, I needed to find two strong guys help unload and uncrate the 200 lb speakers, to meet the Bax driver. I am not sure how much FedEx or UPS would have charged for doing that. Besides, in the past I have had camera gear sit days until the brokerage firm processed it.
Tax and duties are charged by Canadian Gov to Canadains. US seller has nothing to do with it. Canadian buyer like me should always take care the tax and duty if it occur, but I don't know why sometimes US sellers are hesitate to sell stuff to Canadian.
Canada Post charge $5 for brokerage and I never lost my stuff. Fedex and USPS charge you based on the value of the goods. Fedex just charged me $15 for a $50 s-video cable. USPS is worse. 2 years ago I sent a $800 cd player to US for warranty repair. Without telling me when I shipped the item UPS charged me $50 each way for brokerage fee, then they told me they lost my cd player. I also went to their depot in Canada. The working environment is bad. I saw the workers taking 15 min break outside and everybody is tired, quite and no expression on their face. They all looks like illegal immigrant in the labour camp.
I agreed with other people on ebay and audiogon. Always use USPS when ship cross the border. Fedex is your 2nd choice and never use UPS.
There is no duty and tax if the value of the item is less than $20 when you ship with Canada Post. I never got charged when I buy CD or DVD from US.
Note: Canada Post brokerage fee has been raised to $8.00 from $5.00. Still a good deal compared to the robbers at UPS.
I was still charged $5.80 brokerage fee from Postal Canada this week.