Paying taxes/duty on used goods purchased in Canada

Please let me know if I will have to pay any additional taxes etc...on a $6000 set of used speakers purchased from a seller in Canada. They will ship UPS.

Thanks for any insight my fellow Agoners.
6017afa4 4738 4a9a bf4c 2da38b5f3955grannyring
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schubert2,666 postsTrue, but if you drive back from Canada customs will sometimes extort you.

That's ridiculous. I've crossed from the US to Canada and back countless times. I've always been treated with the utmost professionalism by agents on both sides of the border.
Had to pay UPS a "brokerage fee" of $45 on a $1750 TT but no duties.  Not sure how they calculated fee.  
Oops...table was a Canada to US deal. 
This is also a Canada to US deal and I am using UPS. What is this brokerage fee! That concerns me. 
Call UPS and ask what their brokerage fee is? They probably have a declared value schedule or else some percentage multiplier. Just a thought. will end up paying a brokerage fee if using UPS or FEDEX from Canada to the US.  The only time(s) I wasn't charged was when it was shipped by mail (Canada Post to USPS).

Not sure how much, but on a $6000 purchase, I would expect a pretty hefty fee.  I'm sure that UPS, if you call them could give you a rough estimate.

That's one of the reasons I quit buying from Canada, (unless the item can be sent by mail and even then, it's way more money than it should be.  Like $15 or more for a frickin' LP!).

(Maybe all this has changed, but AFAIK, it's still valid)

Whoever your courier uses as a broker should be able to confirm the numbers. Contact the broker that way no surprises.   

Grannyring Where are speakers made? This will factor in due to NAFTA.

That’s one of the reasons I quit buying from Canada, (unless the item can be sent by mail and even then, it’s way more money than it should be. Like $15 or more for a frickin’ LP!).


ok maybe LP’s are a bad example, but you guys are getting 30 points minimum on every dollar purchase today. $6000 speakers from the US are costing us in Canada $8300 today.

Speakers were made in England
Tariffs suck. Politicians bluster about punishing foreign countries (like China) by charging tariffs for goods crossing our border that are inexpensive for U.S. consumers to buy. Yes, it reduces the demand for the foreign products in question, but it also screws the American consumer. It hits those on fixed incomes and folks of limited incomes the hardest. 

Also, tariffs take a large tole even on health. Here's an example ... Back in time, the U.S. government, bending to pressure from our sugar beet growers, started charging high tariffs on foreign sugar being imported to the U.S. Anything made with sugar skyrocketed in price overnight. The beet growers loved the new income, and the destruction of their foreign competition, but the food processors had to find a cheaper alternative to sugar. That's when the chemists came up with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). I read recently that HFCS actually increases appetite. At this point, according to another article, the average American consumes an average of 58 gallons of HFCS each year.

Is there a correlation between the American obesity problem that began at about the same time that HFCS was introduced into the American diet??  I believe so. I, for one, read every label on the food I buy. If it contains HFCS, I put it back on the shelf and look for an alternative. 

Start reading the labels folks. You'll be surprised at just how many products you buy contain HFCS. Once your system is cleared of HFCS, it tastes disgusting. Very artificial and it tastes just like a chemical has been added to the food in question ... which of course, it has. . 

Here's a good test: If you like sweet pickle relish ... try a container of Del Monte sweet pickle relish as an option to your regular one that you usually buy. Del Monte is made with sugar and no HFCS is present in the product. Yes, Del Monte is a little more expensive ... but worth it. 

Also, if you're a soda drinker, buy the ones from Mexico. Even Mexican Coca Cola is made with real sugar. Waaaay better.  Now available at Costco, Walmart and any Mexican market.

Sorry if I was out of place posting this on an audio site ... but hey, we need to be informed about this stuff too, right?

Happy listening ... 
"Sorry if I was out of place posting this on an audio site ... but hey, we need to be informed about this stuff too, right?"

With all due respect, it really doesn’t belong on here.

Yes, it all depends on the shipper. Anything sent USPS should not exact a fee. I've bought three folding knives (on three occasions) from a Canadian site and the postage for each was around $3.00 and I got them within 5 days. No problem, no hassle. 

Something like your speakers can present a problem due to their size. You can't get around that. A few years back I sent an amp back to a Canadian site for a mod and was told to state that it was for repairs and never was assessed a fee of any sort, just the cost of the unit, size and weight. This was through FedEx. It went straight through with no hassles, both ways.

All the best,

Think about it, it being the North American Free Trade Zone.  Nothing free about it.
The question about where the speakers were made is the most important one. If they were made in England you will be paying import duty in addition to any shipping and brokerage fees. If they had been made in Canada there would be no duty because Canada is one of the members of NAFTA.

I bought a pair of Proac speakers, made in England, from a seller in British Columbia and drove them across the border to Seattle. At the U.S. customs office at the border I had to spend an hour waiting for a customs officer to go through thousands of product listings in a book that looked like the Manhattan phone directory. She eventually gave up and asked me what I’d paid for the speakers ($1,400) and she assigned a duty of something like $200, which was totally arbitrary, of course. So, there’s a certain amount of uncertainty in the process.

I'm not sure how you would accomplish it but getting an answer in advance from U.S. customs could avoid an unpleasant surprise.
I bought 2 used pieces of equipment from Canada several years ago, a phono pre-amp and a CD player. In both cases the seller lived near the border and drove the items into the US and shipped them. They said the border guards never checked. Of course that depends on the  check point. One seller said the US site was the nearest FedEx site and people did this all the time, especially for eBay sales. Might be harder with speakers.
How about the actual fee schedule (assumed current):

If it's like importing into Canada, you will have to pay the brokerage plus a disbursement fee and a COD fee.

Duties - I don't know, but would assume at least 6%.  Taxes - depends on were you live.

Just assume the worst, and if the deal still makes sense, go for it.
Riffer makes a good point about preparing for the worst because it is like a roller coaster, once you go over the top, you are no longer in control.  Best case is probably that you pay brokerage only, which I get charged for even small purchases from Partsconnexion, unless they are shipped by postal service. Some years ago, I believe it was around a hundred bucks or so for a SF preamp.  The NAFTA comments are valid but I would add, from experience, they are picky about the documentation being on a specific form and executed by the manufacturer, otherwise it may do you no good that they were manufactured in Canada.  One scenairo I have no experience with is shipping by a commercial carrier (I.e., a trucking company), although I would expect similar issues.
Looks like under $50 based on the link provided by Riffer. No duties, just this brokerage fee it looks like.
The seller/shipper will most likely pay at UPS....? Right?
IME, you will probably get a bill for brokerage about a week or so after delivery,. I have never seen the seller pay for this.
I bought a Rega table, made in England, and the seller shipped to me unknowing of the fee.   When UPS delivered it I owed $45.   Not sure how it was assessed but it seems Fedex and UPS charge the fee.  With the CAD to USD exchange rate good deals are to be had from our northern neighbors.  
My speakers are Harbeth and I think  will get hit with a 4.9% fee! Still, got a pretty good deal and the speakers are near impossible to find used.
Bill how did you make out with the cost of import on these? On a unrelated matter, I'd love to ask y some questions about preamps, the Dude in particular. Could I contact you regarding this please?

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Yes please contact me through Agon. No import fees as it turned out. 
Either you got lucky (which does happen) OR you will receive a bill from UPS in a couple of weeks. Sorry, not trying to rain on your parade but it has happened to me several times.

is is ther another way like a message system? I can seem to ouch my way out of that paper bag. Lol please enlighten.

It has already been 5 months so no bill is coming. Perhaps the seller paid? Don't know, but love the Speakers!
Then I think you got lucky. Congratulations!
Maybe the customs people were having a donut.