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Jan 19, 2021 - 8:29:32 PM
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RamblinMan

Canada

65 posts since 7/19/2007

I am considering pulling the trigger and purchasing a banjo from one of the US builders. My question is directed to Canadian buyers who have had instruments shipped to Canada from the US.

Primarily, are there any tariffs, taxes or duties involved or other complications associated with importing instruments? I ordered a Saga kit many years ago from the US and my recollection was that the extra fees were pretty exorbitant.

I looked at the Canadian customs website but the information there is pretty well indecipherable.

Jan 19, 2021 - 8:47:11 PM

38 posts since 4/27/2005

Hi There, Here are some things to think about
1. Cost of US currency
2. Shipping and Insurance, I have used UPS
3. HST on the purchase and shipping
4. Brokerage fees

Jan 20, 2021 - 3:06:14 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

13410 posts since 8/30/2006

Only the United States Postal Service USPS has tracking at the border.

The others' claim process is deliberately titled towards their convenience. So UPS would never be my choice again.
Remember if something breaks, you are guilty, not them, that's their attitude.

What is HST? Brokerage fees?

Method of preparation is absolutely essential. Here's a photo of a banjo cocoon , carried by the handle because USPS is the only one to offer special handling ($13.00) where your object of joy goes in a special cart.
Other shippers won't even try to do that.
Take greater precaution, call shipping management and research. It's worth it.


Jan 20, 2021 - 3:38:48 AM
Players Union Member

corcoran

Canada

415 posts since 8/3/2004

You will be assessed sales tax, GST for sure and perhaps Provincial tax as well (or Harmonized Sales Tax, if that applies in your Province). There can also be brokerage fees, as with United Parcel Service. Ask the builder how he/she plans to ship the banjo, and perhaps you can find the cheapest carrier. Steve Huber routinely ships UPS, as I recall, and the brokerage fees are significant, whereas I don’t think there are brokerage fees if it arrives via Canada Post. If I am wrong about that, no doubt someone will correct me.

Jan 20, 2021 - 3:38:57 AM

flailing

Canada

270 posts since 2/4/2011

Garry’s list is correct. First off you have the US to CDN conversion rate for the cost of the banjo, shipping, and insurance. Next, Customs will take the converted CDN price of the banjo and add the 13% HST tax. They also sometimes add a $10 CDN handling charge. One Customs agent also told me they could include charging HST on the shipping and insurance amounts but I have not experienced that yet.
Shipping method costs very. USPS/ Canada Post is usually the cheapest and charges a flat $10 brokerage fee. FedEx offers a Brokerage included fee of $55 (last time I checked) and UPS charges the highest brokerage fee.

Edited by - flailing on 01/20/2021 03:39:36

Jan 20, 2021 - 6:50:24 AM
Players Union Member

Puppy

Canada

31 posts since 2/16/2017

If shipped by USPS it will go through Canada Post. I am assuming you will be having it sent to British Columbia. Based on that, Canada Border Services will assess the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) at a rate of 12% (for BC) using the value of the banjo. The USD value of the banjo will be converted to CAD and then the 12% HST will be calculated. There is no HST on insurance or shipping costs. Ensure the the shipper indicates those costs separately on the invoice. There is also no duty/tariffs on banjos made in the USA and shipped to Canada.

There is a Canada Post app you can download where you can pay the HST online once it has arrived at a Canada Post / Canada Border Service import Centre (there is one in Vancouver, BC) Using tracking number the app will notify you when the HST has been assessed, and then you can pay. After that it will be delivered and you can show prof of payment using the app if requested by delivery person.

I cannot speak to shipping costs or insurance costs through USPS to Canada. The seller could easily get this info for you.

Hope this helps!

Jan 20, 2021 - 6:51:57 AM

Dave Churm

Canada

86 posts since 7/24/2007

Just had UPS deliver me some motorcycle parts worth about $100, tried charging me 26.60 plus $ 6 US for their brokerage fees, After a lot of fighting got it knocked down into CA funds quite a bit.
USPS to Canada post is the cheapest, a little slower, but of all the things I order, no problems. If you can find a TDC travellers declaration certificate, you can look up your duty rates. one of 5 categories. Obviously made in the US a lot better tariiff rate. I will post the categorie later.

Jan 20, 2021 - 6:58:19 AM

Dave Churm

Canada

86 posts since 7/24/2007

In Canada it should fall into the categorie 4 section , of 8% tariff on the Canadian purchase value plus your HST sales tax,

Jan 20, 2021 - 7:06:48 AM
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Players Union Member

Puppy

Canada

31 posts since 2/16/2017

Additional info:

Example:
Banjo - $2000.00 USD
Shipping and Insurance (est) - $200.00 USD
Total paid to seller - $2200.00 USD
Based on today’s exchange rate you would be paying the seller - $2791.00 in CAD(Canadian Funds)

Canada Border Services will convert $2000.00 USD (no shipping/insurance) to $2537.00 CAD and then calculate 12% HST (BC rate) = $304.44 CAD. This is the amount you would pay online using Canada Post App.

Based on this example a $2000.00 USD banjo shipped to Canada from the USA will cost you:
$2791.00 + $304.44 = $3095.44 CAD.

Of course the costs are only an example, however you can use your own numbers and the calculations above to get a fairly accurate cost to base you decisions on.

Hope this is helpful.

Jan 20, 2021 - 7:14:12 AM

671 posts since 9/29/2009

Other than adding up all the extra costs as others have pointed out, consider the huge delays in Int'l shipping these days..

Edited by - Billybiltbanjo on 01/20/2021 07:16:58

Jan 20, 2021 - 7:38:03 AM
Players Union Member

Puppy

Canada

31 posts since 2/16/2017

Here is the correct tariff code for banjos. Ask the seller to use this number on the shipping documentation.


“9202.90.90 30” - Banjos - US Tariff (UST) - free

This shows that there is no duty/tariffs on banjo made in the USA, that are imported into Canada. (This is not applicable for banjos made in Asia, shipped to the USA and then imported into Canada).

Jan 20, 2021 - 7:39:29 AM
Players Union Member

Dlye

Canada

22 posts since 3/5/2018

If USPS ship it there are no fees, No GST, PST, HST or brokerage and it will be delivered by Canada Post.

Jan 20, 2021 - 7:55:06 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

580 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Dlye

If USPS ship it there are no fees, No GST, PST, HST or brokerage and it will be delivered by Canada Post.


No. MAYBE there won't be these fees, if you get lucky. But even with USPS/Can Post there is possibility of HST and minimal brokerage fees.

ALWAYS SHIP USPS TO CANADA.

WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T USE DHL, your customs brokerage + related fees will cost you  almost1K cad on a banjo over 4000usd.

 

To the OP, if your incoming banjo is worth over +/- 3k usd, you will save money by going to pick it up and bring it back in person (by car or plane, the Canadian travel ban to the US is a joke, all borders are wide open and plane tickets are dirt cheap right now).

Or you will get dinged by:

Cad to USD conversion costs

Shipping/insurance cost

HST/GST coming into Canada on FULL VALUE OF YOUR INSTRUMENT

Customs brokerage (minimal with Canada Post)

Just to show how quickly this all adds up, my last banjo I bought was $4350usd via the US. After shipping, CAD conversion, DHL extortion etc, the banjo cost me over $7000CAD.

Jan 20, 2021 - 8:05:18 AM
Players Union Member

Dlye

Canada

22 posts since 3/5/2018

Thanks Antoine, I've been lucky with USPS. My experience was similar to yours, my $1,700 US banjo cost over $2,700 Cdn shipped by UPS. Exchange plus PST plus GST plus brokerage.

Jan 20, 2021 - 9:20:47 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

580 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Only the United States Postal Service USPS has tracking at the border.

The others' claim process is deliberately titled towards their convenience. So UPS would never be my choice again.
Remember if something breaks, you are guilty, not them, that's their attitude.

What is HST? Brokerage fees?

Method of preparation is absolutely essential. Here's a photo of a banjo cocoon , carried by the handle because USPS is the only one to offer special handling ($13.00) where your object of joy goes in a special cart.
Other shippers won't even try to do that.
Take greater precaution, call shipping management and research. It's worth it.


why even bother answering lol 

Jan 20, 2021 - 9:31:56 AM

Tailgate

Canada

10 posts since 8/7/2020

I've had a couple instruments shipped to me from the US over the past few years (both from private sellers and online stores), and we used USPS / Canada post without issue. In both cases I was dealing with US made instruments, so duties were not applicable.

My experience is the same as most of the above:
- GST paid on the Canadian value (I paid when the items arrived)
- Shipping was reasonable (about $100 CAD).
- $10 Canada Post fee

Using a courier company (UPS, Fedex, DHL) can will add brokerage fees (seem to be all over the place and generally quite high), which is why I never use them unless the seller is willing to absorb or at least split those costs.  As an example, I recently purchased some instructional material and the UPS fees were more than the material by almost double. I refused the package as i stated clearly to the seller that i preferred USPS and was not going to pay any brokerage fees to a courier company.

I have had small and large items shipped via UPS and Fedex within Canada without issue.

Edited by - Tailgate on 01/20/2021 09:36:11

Jan 20, 2021 - 10:47:54 AM

RamblinMan

Canada

65 posts since 7/19/2007

Thanks for all the great info and advice, very helpful. Just wondering if the shipping cost includes insurance (for damage, lost etc) or if that is a separate and optional additional cost.

Jan 20, 2021 - 11:19:23 AM

671 posts since 9/29/2009

Thanks for all the great info and advice, very helpful. Just wondering if the shipping cost includes insurance (for damage, lost etc) or if that is a separate and optional additional cost.

You should likely ask the seller what he/she is going to charge you for shipping and whether or not they are including insurance. You could also go to the online rate calculator for the shipping company they are using and calculate the shipping cost with insurance.. You could estimate the size and weight for the calculator.. Or you could check out all the great banjo builders in Canada, some of which are in your province and get more bang for your buck :)

Jan 20, 2021 - 11:30:12 AM
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Banjo Lefty

Canada

2110 posts since 6/19/2014

I have bought two banjos from makers in the US. The first was my Hatfield. I solved the shipping problem by going to pick it up in person. Coming back to Canada, I left it on the back seat of the car, where it could be seen easily by the customs official. I got waved through without a comment.

The second banjo was from Doc Huff. This one I had shipped to a parcel service just inside the US border, and I picked it up on the way back from a long weekend in Minneapolis where we took in some Twins baseball. Once again, I had it in plain sight on the back seat, and once again, I got waved through with no question.

Jan 21, 2021 - 8:09:11 AM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

4849 posts since 1/5/2005
Online Now

Brokerage fees are charged only by courier companies (UPS, Fedex, DHL etc.) because they are not customs bonded shippers. Therefore they are required by law to have their packages cleared by brokers and that costs money. How much varies from one company to another.

The post office (both U.S. & Canada Post) is a customs bonded broker that's why those fees don't come into the picture. The $10 mentioned is a Canadian Customs handling fee, not a tax, to inspect a package. Not all packages are inspected so the fee sometimes is, sometimes isn't charged. One packages less than $50 it's pretty rare to get dinged the 10 bucks.

By all means do exactly as PUPPY suggested: have the shipper clearly mark the tariff number on the parcel - this is basically all that a broker would do anyways. This way, if the parcel was shipped via a courier, you can argue with them that it was pre-customs-cleared.

I don't know about USPS, but Canada Post has a $1,000 insurance limit per package so if the banjo is worth more than that...

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