Hi. I am a fellow Canadian. I had to send my cal audio labs processor to Arizona for repairs. I did not have to pay duty or taxes to get it back. Since the unit was still under warrenty, I paid for shipping there and they paid for shipping back to me. When I sent it I wrote down on the form that it was for repair.
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Oddio I totaly agree regarding your comments about choices.
If I like a certain brand ,I'll buy it whether or not it's made in Canada.USA has 10 to 1 over Canada the number of High-end brands to choose from.Now I live in Toronto,and every time I "import" used or new Audio equipment I (we) have to pay the tax.But it makes sense not to have to pay two times taxes on the same item when it needs to go back for repair. Item 'x' gets imported and taxed upon entering the country ,then if it goes back for repair and then re-enter the country it is looked upon differently.After all it was taxed once. Thats my opinion though.
Soon I will have to service my broken(received that way) Audio Research DAC-3 .I am waiting to hear from FED-EX at the moment.
I will find out what the procedures are!If I am asked to pay tax for a second time I will raise hell,thats for sure.
I ran into this not long ago when I bought an item from the USA and paid taxes on it when it entered Canada. The item was damaged in transit to me and had to be sent for repair in the USA. If you send an out-of-warranty item to the USA from Canada you will pay taxes yet again when it's returned to you. You pay taxes on the "value added" to the unit... i.e. the invoiced amount for the repair. There is no amount of paperwork you can submit that will save you paying the taxes. This is not speculation, I called Canada Customs and they explained it to me.
The only way around paying is to have the manufacturer bill you for repairs but write up the paperwork as a $0 warranty repair. Many manufacturers will do this for you, no skin off their nose. It is ludicrous that the governement feels compelled to tax the same item over and over again. Finally, do not use UPS or Fed EX Ground, the money you save by not shipping by air will be charged to you as brokerage fees (the brokerage fees are gratis when you ship air).
p.s. check out http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/ there's a decent selection of gear and it's already in Canada