FAQs

What can we import into Canada?

With the exception of certain types of products that are prohibited under various legislation or other trade rules, virtually any kind of product can be imported into Canada. We would be pleased to provide you with any regulations that may apply to the products you wish to import.

When do customs penalties apply?

Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPS) places the responsibility for compliance and accuracy on all importers, exporters, and companies that facilitate the transactions. There are four main compliance areas for importers: origin, classification, valuation, and when the quantities of imported goods do not match the invoice, underages and overages must be reported.

Could you explain how the Harmonized System works?

The Harmonized System (HS) is an international 10-digit commodity classification for imports that serves as the basis for Customs tariffs and international trade statistics. Under HS, goods are classified specifically by what they are at the time of import – not according to their stage of fabrication, intended use, whether the particular item is made in Canada or not, or by any other criteria.

When importing a vehicle into Canada, what do I need to do?

First of all, you should contact the Registrar of Motor Vehicles website: www.rmv.ca so that you can determine whether Transport Canada will allow you to import the type of vehicle you would like to import. Many vehicles from the US are allowed into Canada, but vehicles from other countries are not typically allowed. Once you have discovered whether your vehicle is admissible, US Customs must be advised of the vehicle’s export no less than 72 hours before exporting. For all arrangements for the vehicle’s import into Canada, payment of applicable duties, taxes, and the filing of pertinent RIV forms can be handled by Capital on your behalf. We’ll also need the bill of sale and the vehicle’s registration documents along with the time and the port of entry for your vehicle. If you are not driving the car into Canada, but instead using the services of a commercial carrier, you must advise us of the carrier so that we may coordinate the shipment.

What is NAFTA?

It’s the acronym for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico that allows for reduced or duty-free rates on goods that are imported from these countries.

On the goods that I’m ordering from the US, how can I determine if they’ll qualify for NAFTA?

The only people who can make that determination is the supplier or the manufacturer of the goods.

We discovered that goods that we had recently imported from one of our US suppliers qualified for NAFTA. How can we now recover the duty we have paid?

Customs Act regulations allow you to file for a refund within one year of importing the goods. When submitting your claim you must provide a copy of the NAFTA certificate along with the original documentation.

We recently imported some goods from a supplier who gave us a NAFTA certificate, but we discovered that the goods do not qualify under NAFTA. What should we do?

Obtain a letter from your supplier that explains the incorrect use of NAFTA, and then file an amendment to the customs entry.

I am expecting a shipment from the US. Can I prepare the NAFTA certificate for these goods myself?

Because the supplier or the manufacturer are the only people authorized to determine whether certain goods qualify for NAFTA, they are the ones that must complete the NAFTA certificate.

What is GST?

The GST acronym stands for Canada’s Goods and Services Tax.

How is GST calculated on imported goods?

GST is 5% of the duty paid value of the goods imported.

What is “Duty Paid Value”?

It is the value of the goods imported in Canadian funds combined with the duty that is payable for the goods.

When it comes to receiving a gift from the US, will duties and taxes be due?

Canada has a gift allowance that allows $60 per person. If the gift you receive exceeds this figure, duties and taxes will apply specifically to the amount over $60 Canadian.

The paperwork involved in the customs clearance of one of our shipments from the US was incorrect. The value of the goods we imported was lower than the value indicated. Since we have already paid higher duties and GST, what should we do?

Should there be a verification audit at any time, despite the fact that you have overpaid, you should still have the customs entry amended to its proper figure so that your records reflect the value of the goods you actually received.

I placed an order with a US supplier. Who is responsible for completing the related paperwork?

The supplier you placed the order with should complete the customs paperwork, but it is acceptable for you to complete the Canada Customs invoice from the information from the commercial invoice of your supplier.

How can we reduce or eliminate the high rates of duty on the goods that we import from China?

The General Preferential Tariff (GPT) rate is applicable to goods that are shipped directly to Canada from China on a through Bill of Lading. GPT does allow for lower rates of duties on specific commodities only. To make a GPT claim you need to obtain the original Form A certificate or an Exporter’s Statement of Origin.

What is the value that Capital Customs Brokers brings to the table in the world of customs import services?

Essentially, Capital serves as the link between the customer, the people who transport the goods, and Canada Customs. We use our customs import expertise to identify any missing or incorrect information on the customs documentation that could have been missed or incorrectly applied. We’re also able to ensure that the imported goods have the proper classification according to the Harmonized System (HS) and can identify ways to minimize applicable duties and other related costs. In addition, we liaise with the transportation carrier to pave the way for the timely release of your goods from customs, solve any problems that may be associated with the clearance of your goods, and ensure delivery.

What are the criteria for the fees Capital charges for importing goods?

Fees are charged based on a series of factors depending on the kind of shipment. Fees can be charged based on the goods’ value, the number of items on the invoice, and any applicable disbursements associated with the importing of your goods.

Does Capital have offices in various border locations across Canada?

As we are electronically connected with the Canada Border Service Agency, Capital can customs-clear your shipments regardless of border location.