buying a guitar off Craisglist in the US shipped to Canada ?

tuumbaq

Member
Messages
566
Hey guys, Im trying to find out if there's any ways for me to avoid paying TAXES on a used guitar from the US ?

I understand I need to pay a duty fee for processing the guitar across the border but Im not sure why I should also pay a tx on top.

I bought several guitar from the US before and on a few occasion ended up paying duties only and Im wondering why is that.

If I declare no value Im afraid I won't have any insurances if something happens to the guitar while in transit.

Can anyone help?
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
5,698
You have to pay sales tax because it's a good entering the country. No duty if the guitar was made in North America. NAFTA. You only pay BC's sales tax on whatever the declared value is. UPS/FedEx also charge brokerage fees on ground shipments. USPS / Canada Post do not charge brokerage.

You can always have it shipped to an address just south of the border and then go pick it up.
 

tuumbaq

Member
Messages
566
You have to pay sales tax because it's a good entering the country. No duty if the guitar was made in North America. NAFTA. You only pay BC's sales tax on whatever the declared value is. UPS/FedEx also charge brokerage fees on ground shipments. USPS / Canada Post do not charge brokerage.

You can always have it shipped to an address just south of the border and then go pick it up.
The guitar was made in the US, if I do this, I would ONLY pay tx and no duty ?
 

jb4674

Member
Messages
6,766
What kind of guitar is it? Is it that rare of an instrument that you can't find it in Canada?
 

tuumbaq

Member
Messages
566
yeah its kinda of a rare LesPaul. R0 plain top… Cant find anything like it around here, and R8 neck is just too much for me
 

vibrasonic

Member
Messages
1,872
The guitar was made in the US, if I do this, I would ONLY pay tx and no duty ?
That's right, you only pay sales tax. In Ontario its 13%.

If the seller ships fed ex or ups you'll get hit with a hefty brokerage fee.
Tell him to ship USPS.
 

vibrasonic

Member
Messages
1,872
I should mention that the U.S. value will be converted to CDN then the tax on the converted amount.
 

SackvilleDan

Member
Messages
2,026
If you declare no value, it would be difficult to insure it for the replacement value. So if it got damaged you may be SOL on recovering costs... Not sure how close you are to the border but I know of some border crossings that have stores on the US side which will receive and hold packages for a nominal fee. you could potentially drive to one of those stores and pick up your guitar and bring it back across the border yourself. That would save you money on int'l shipping and you would avoid brokerage fees, and then declare whatever value you saw fit for the item when bringing it back across!
 

elvtnedge

Member
Messages
246
In general it's best to just bite the bullet and pay if the guitar is that important to you. If you put down a less value and it gets damaged, they will go by the value on the declaration.

Off topic but along the same principles.... I bought a ring for my wife when we were in Vegas a few years ago. We declared it when we came back we paid the taxes. It needed to be resized and the jeweler we took it too noticed a crack in the gold. I contacted the company and arranged for a new ring to be made to her size and ship the flawed one back. When the replacement ring was shipped, they put down $0 value as it was a warranty replacement. This ring got caught up in customs for well over 8 weeks. I was calling everyday to find out as it was for her birthday and 2 months later she still couldnt wear it. It was held up because how is it possible that a diamond ring had a 0 dollar value. I pleaded and spoke to many supervisors about it. In the end it was released to me.

The point is, had I not paid the duty and smuggled it in I would have been screwed, but to the point of the thread had the ring been lost in transit to me, it had a $0 dollar value and I'd be out of luck on it.
 

BCJek

Member
Messages
903
If you declare no value, it would be difficult to insure it for the replacement value. So if it got damaged you may be SOL on recovering costs... Not sure how close you are to the border but I know of some border crossings that have stores on the US side which will receive and hold packages for a nominal fee. you could potentially drive to one of those stores and pick up your guitar and bring it back across the border yourself. That would save you money on int'l shipping and you would avoid brokerage fees, and then declare whatever value you saw fit for the item when bringing it back across!

I use one of these. $3.00 or so to hold the package. I have never paid duty or taxes on anything I have brought in via the Point Roberts border crossing. The value of the stuff has been under $300 or so.

It is also great for stuff that is shipped free in the US, but would be pricey to ship to Canada. Point Roberts is physically separated from the contiguous USA, but is considered America for shipping purposes.
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,232
I use one of these. $3.00 or so to hold the package. I have never paid duty or taxes on anything I have brought in via the Point Roberts border crossing. The value of the stuff has been under $300 or so.

It is also great for stuff that is shipped free in the US, but would be pricey to ship to Canada. Point Roberts is physically separated from the contiguous USA, but is considered America for shipping purposes.
I have a box in Lynden. It's the same concept. And yes, items under $300 will often be untaxed but in my experience over the last 18 months, a Les Paul will absolutely be taxed.
 

tuumbaq

Member
Messages
566
PS: Where are you in BC?
Vancouver…Ive used PointRobert a bunch of times before but not sure I would trust them for a fancy guitar…AND also the fact that Im away for the holiday so the guitar would likely sit there for a while..
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,232
While the USPS doesn't charge a brokering fee, it also only has two ways to ship a guitar to Canada. Priority Mail International is the least expensive at around $100.00 +- depending on where it's shipping from and going to. That said, the item shipped can only be insured up to $675.00. So for a custom shop guitar, as the seller, I'd be worried about shipping an expensive guitar without adequate insurance. The USPS does have Global Express Guaranteed, and one can get insurance for up to $2499, but it costs more than double the rate of Priority Mail.

At least with Fedex, one can obtain the correct amount of insurance, and get a signature, and pay LESS than USPS Global Express Guaranteed. If I was the seller and shipping a guitar to Canada, I would want to protect myself, have adequate insurance and get a delivery signature.

http://postcalc.usps.com/
 

DCFanatic

Supporting Member
Messages
297
A fellow Canadian,

I wouldn't risk attempting to evade the taxes by not declaring the value.

First you will lose the insurance on the product being shipped. Is saving a few bucks worth the chance the guitar could be snapped in half when you sign for it at the post office with no recourse?

Second if you are caught at the border and you do not truthfully report the value of the item you will be flagged in CBSA's database forever.
 

tuumbaq

Member
Messages
566
SO Im about to pull the trigger and have the guitar shipped to a postal box in the US…Ive had tires and other stuff shipped to one of those before but never a guitar.

Has anyone done this before ? Safe enough ?
 

Jared Purdy

Member
Messages
161
Hey guys, Im trying to find out if there's any ways for me to avoid paying TAXES on a used guitar from the US ?

I understand I need to pay a duty fee for processing the guitar across the border but Im not sure why I should also pay a tx on top.

I bought several guitar from the US before and on a few occasion ended up paying duties only and Im wondering why is that.

If I declare no value Im afraid I won't have any insurances if something happens to the guitar while in transit.

Can anyone help?
There is no duty on goods manufactured in the US. However, there is a brokerage fee that the private company that handles the transfer over the border charges. You also have to pay HST. I have family who live in Niagara Fall, NY so I have stuff shipped there and when they come to visit us they bring it across, or I drive there and pick it up and bring it across myself. One option would be to get an address, a PO box on the US side, unless you know of a business there that would let you ship to, and then drive over and pick it up. But by all means, declare at the border. DO NOT try to avoid paying the HST.
 




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