Canada Customs Charge, 7 Tips to Avoid Customs Charge

7 Tips to Avoid Canada Customs Charge on Online Shopping

If you love online shopping, you might have encountered the unpleasant surprise of paying extra fees for customs clearance when your package arrives in Canada. These fees can be quite high and can ruin your shopping experience. But don’t worry, there are some ways to avoid or reduce the Canada customs charge and save money on your online purchases. Here are seven tips to help you out.

1. Know the duty-free limit.

The duty-free limit is the amount of goods you can bring into Canada without paying any customs duties. It varies depending on how long you have been outside the country and whether you are a resident or a visitor. For example, if you are a Canadian resident returning from a trip of more than 48 hours, you can bring up to $800 CAD worth of goods duty-free. If you are a visitor, you can bring up to $60 CAD worth of goods duty-free. Anything above these limits will be subject to customs duties and taxes.

2. Check the product origin.

Some products are exempt from customs duties if they are made in certain countries that have free trade agreements with Canada, such as the United States, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, and South Korea. You can check the origin of the product on the seller’s website or on the packaging. If the product is marked as “Made in …” or “Product of …” one of these countries, you can avoid paying customs duties on it.

3. Compare different shipping options.

Different shipping companies may charge different fees for customs clearance and brokerage. Some may include these fees in the shipping cost, while others may charge them separately upon delivery. You can compare different shipping options and choose the one that offers the best value for your money. For example, Canada Post usually charges a flat fee of $9.95 CAD for customs clearance, while other couriers may charge a percentage of the value of the goods or a minimum fee of $25 CAD or more.

4. Use a third-party service.

If you are buying from a seller that does not ship to Canada or charges high shipping fees, you can use a third-party service that provides a US address and forwards your package to Canada. These services can help you save money on shipping and customs fees by consolidating your packages, declaring lower values, and choosing the best shipping option for your needs. Some examples of these services are,, and

5. Shop during special events.

Some online retailers may offer free or discounted shipping to Canada during special events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, or Valentine’s Day. You can take advantage of these deals and save money on shipping and customs fees. However, be aware that these events may also cause delays in delivery due to high demand and volume.

6. Ask for a refund or a discount.

If you receive your package and find out that you have been charged more than expected for customs fees, you can try to contact the seller and ask for a refund or a discount. Some sellers may be willing to reimburse you for part or all of the fees if they made a mistake in declaring the value or the origin of the goods. Alternatively, they may offer you a coupon or a credit for your next purchase.

7. Appeal the customs assessment.

If you think that the customs fees are too high or incorrect, you can appeal the customs assessment and request a review of your case. You will need to fill out a form called B2 – Canada Customs – Adjustment Request and provide supporting documents such as receipts, invoices, proof of payment, and proof of origin. You will also need to pay a processing fee of $18 CAD per transaction. You can submit your appeal within 90 days of receiving your package.

By following these tips, you can avoid or reduce the Canada customs charge on your online shopping and enjoy your purchases without any hassle.

Canada Customs Charge: An Overview

Canada customs charge is the amount of money that importers have to pay to the Canadian government for bringing goods into the country. The customs charge depends on the tariff treatment, the value, the origin, and the type of goods. Canada has different tariff arrangements with various countries, as well as preferential tariff treatments for products coming from countries with which Canada has a free trade agreement.

Canada Customs Charge: Trends and Statistics

According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s international trade in goods reached $1.1 trillion in 2022, an increase of 12.3% from 2021. The growth was driven by both exports and imports, which rose by 13.4% and 11.3%, respectively. The main trading partners of Canada were the United States, China, the European Union, Mexico, and Japan. The top commodities traded were motor vehicles and parts, consumer goods, energy products, metal and non-metallic mineral products, and machinery and equipment.

Canada customs charge also increased in 2022, as the government implemented new tariffs on certain products from countries that do not have a free trade agreement with Canada, such as steel, aluminum, and solar panels. The government also imposed retaliatory tariffs on some US products in response to the US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. These measures were intended to protect the domestic industries and workers from unfair trade practices and foreign competition.

Canada Customs Charge: Implications and Recommendations

Canada customs charge has both positive and negative effects on the Canadian economy and society. On one hand, customs charge can generate revenue for the government, support domestic producers, and foster economic diversification. On the other hand, customs charge can increase the cost of imported goods for consumers and businesses, reduce the competitiveness of Canadian exporters, and create trade disputes with other countries.

Therefore, it is important for Canada to balance its interests and obligations when setting its customs charge policy. Canada should continue to pursue free trade agreements with its strategic partners, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA). Canada should also work with its allies to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) and address the global challenges of trade liberalization, such as environmental protection, human rights, and labour standards.


International trade statistics

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