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Importing stuff from across the border

Importing stuff from across the border

Old Jan 19th 2023, 4:55 pm
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Default Importing stuff from across the border

This is primarily a question for the likes of FL or PMM, but anyone who has knowledge on this your input would be appreciated...

Former Lancastrian

PMM

So since my full time job pays me in USD to a US bank account, and alot of things being available for cheaper across the border, or free shipping vs. astronomical charges to ship to Canada, I have found myself doing alot of online shopping in the US, shipping to a PO box and going across and picking up. Doesn't help that I had a friend living there for a while so i'd drive over to visit him for a night or two and come back with a bunch of shopping lol.

99.9% of the time even though I am way over the exemption (which is $0 for day trips), they just wave me through the border as long as I don't have alc or tobacco in the car. I have NEXUS so usually it is painless.

However last week I went over twice in one week, and on the first time I had about $400 of costco shoping with me, which I was pulled into secondary, they searched my vehicle and charged me $86 in tax and gave me one of those blue casual importer receipts. No problem, the stuff was still cheaper even with HST, and as with a lot of things I had some unique knick knacks that simply aren't available over here.

But this prompted a question for me...is it going to raise some sort of red flag that I am crossing multiple times a month and bringing stuff back? I don't want to be flagged as a commercial importer or anything nefarious like that. Everything I bring back is strictly for personal use. I am always honest with my declarations as well - basically what i'm wondering is if there's anything that can happen to me other then getting pulled to secondary and asked to pay HST once in a while? Is there a limit to how often you can bring stuff back as a "Casual importer", or do they not care as long as it's for personal use and I pay my HST when asked?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

As long at is for personal use then no limit in how often you can bring stuff back across and declare it and pay relevant taxes if required. Now bear in mind if crossing over at the same POE all the time you will eventually come across officers who might recognize you who may or may not wish to examine you more closely due to the frequency in crossings.
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Old Jan 19th 2023, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

We always declare goods, especially as we travel using NEXUS. If I remember rightly, if the trip is under 24 hrs you cannot bring purchases through without declaring them. If I buy anything stateside it is usually food and toiletries. I tell the officer the approx amount and have the receipts in hand. I have always been waved through, purchases probably under $100.
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Old Jan 20th 2023, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

Yeh they are tightening up on collecting duty....you might want to limit your trips to say once a month.
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Old Jan 20th 2023, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
As long at is for personal use then no limit in how often you can bring stuff back across and declare it and pay relevant taxes if required. Now bear in mind if crossing over at the same POE all the time you will eventually come across officers who might recognize you who may or may not wish to examine you more closely due to the frequency in crossings.
Thanks. This was my assumption but wanted to validate.

Re the latter point probably helps to be nice to them which I always am.

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
We always declare goods, especially as we travel using NEXUS. If I remember rightly, if the trip is under 24 hrs you cannot bring purchases through without declaring them. If I buy anything stateside it is usually food and toiletries. I tell the officer the approx amount and have the receipts in hand. I have always been waved through, purchases probably under $100.
Ditto here.
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Old Jan 20th 2023, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

Originally Posted by shelley748 View Post
Yeh they are tightening up on collecting duty....you might want to limit your trips to say once a month.
I'm not worrying about paying the taxes, the discounts I get buying from US retailers still outweigh buying the items here, which i'd have to pay HST if I did that anyways. So if the worst is they charge me HST at the border i'm still saving money.
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Old Jan 21st 2023, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

I've heard of GST and PST, what tax is HST? thanks
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Old Jan 21st 2023, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

Originally Posted by Sunnybrae View Post
I've heard of GST and PST, what tax is HST? thanks
Harmonized Sales Tax

In New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island, the GST has been blended with the provincial sales tax and is called the harmonized sales tax (HST).

15% but Ontario is 13%
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Old Jan 22nd 2023, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Importing stuff from across the border

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Harmonized Sales Tax

In New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island, the GST has been blended with the provincial sales tax and is called the harmonized sales tax (HST).

15% but Ontario is 13%
Ok, thanks for that.
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