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raw materials duty charges in canada

updated sun 14 mar 04


Janet Moe/Paul Bailey on sat 13 mar 04

Hi Marianne,

Here is my experience:

Last year a friend ordered some Cobalt carbonate and had it shipped via
regular post and paid no duty on it. I believe it was about a pound.

I just ordered some tools from Big Ceramic Store (great service). There
were no duty charges but they shipped via UPS. When the courier arrived
with the package I had to pay GST which was expected but also a $45
brokerage fee. I'm not sure how this cost is calculated but my order was
about $250. U.S.

If you have your materials sent via regular post you will be charged $5
($8 for priority post) processing fee when you pick it up. I have never
been charged duty or brokerage fees this way. They charge GST on just
about anything. I have ordered books through the Potters Shop many times
and never paid more than the $5 fee even for over $200 worth of books.

We have had some items shipped UPS where the shipping cost was way too
high but that included the brokerage fee I believe. My advice is to have
anything shipped via regular post for the lowest cost. Unfortunately I
forgot this advice once again and paid for it. Aaargh. Also some
companies only ship via UPS and will not give you a choice.

Below is info found on

"Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadians
do not have to pay duty on most American and Mexican manufactured items.
But be careful. Just because you buy an item from a U.S. store does not
mean it was made in the United States. It's quite possible it was
imported into the United States first and, if so, you will be charged
duty when it comes into Canada. So check before you buy and if possible
get something in writing from the e-store in case the Canada Customs
people decide to be particular.

Duties on goods vary widely, depending on the product and the country in
which it was manufactured. Other charges and duties may also apply
depending on the item, for example excise duty and excise tax on luxury
items such as jewelry."

You can also go to the Canadian Government website but you need a degree
in gobbledygook to find what info you need.

Another option is to see if your supplier can order these items for you.

Good luck, Janet enjoying her new tools on Denman Island, BC, Canada