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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I would like to send two new/unworn watches to my brother-in-law and his partner. I live in the US and they live in Canada. The watches are gifts. I purchased them from an AD (incl. local taxes) in the US 12 months ago (we were hoping to give the watches to them in person but life took a different turn for us all).

The various import duty calculators online all assume a Canadian importer is purchasing the items. They calculate duties accordingly.

Question: Does a Canadian resident have to pay import duties on watches that are received as gifts? (that is to say, that they did not purchase). Or are import duties required for ALL watch imports, regardless of intent?

I would be grateful for advice from WUS members who have first hand experience of this scenario, if possible.

Many thanks in advance for your insights.
 

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We pay sales tax on the declared value of goods entering the country. Each province is different it's 13% where I am in Ontario. I guess it's technically tax evasion but you can get around it by listing them with very low values or no value and put something like sample or demo on the form. The risk is you can't file a claim if it's lost in transit or only file for the value you marked on the form. I'm not saying it's right but everyone does it even cross border shopping before covid hit. Spend 1k on stuff and hand the border guard a $16 receipt for groceries. :LOL:

And your in law might have to pay an added brokerage fee depending on which carrier you use. Private companies charge a certain brokerage fee for ground shipments (ground shipments only) over values of I think $20. You can sometimes self clear it yourself but I've found that Fedex doesn't give you the choice and just sends you a bill in the mail afterwards. USPS to Canada Post doesn't charge brokerage on anything and in my experience you're less likely to pay sales tax too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We pay sales tax on the declared value of goods entering the country. Each province is different it's 13% where I am in Ontario. I guess it's technically tax evasion but you can get around it by listing them with very low values or no value and put something like sample or demo on the form. The risk is you can't file a claim if it's lost in transit or only file for the value you marked on the form. I'm not saying it's right but everyone does it even cross border shopping before covid hit. Spend 1k on stuff and hand the border guard a $16 receipt for groceries. :LOL:

And your in law might have to pay an added brokerage fee depending on which carrier you use. Private companies charge a certain brokerage fee for ground shipments (ground shipments only) over values of I think $20. You can sometimes self clear it yourself but I've found that Fedex doesn't give you the choice and just sends you a bill in the mail afterwards. USPS to Canada Post doesn't charge brokerage on anything and in my experience you're less likely to pay sales tax too.
Thanks for taking the time to share this. I’ll be doing things above board, so if the cost becomes prohibitive we might just wait until face-to-face is feasible again.


Sent from East of the Equator
 

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Don’t use FedEx or UPS. USPS will go on declared value. The others will open and make up their own value


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I wanted to gift a brother in australia with a watch and he told me not to do it as he will be assessed duties and taxes and he might also be asked about source of funds.
 

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Subscribing, as I have been considering sending one to a friend in Montreal. Looking forward to the results of this one.
 

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I live in BC, Canada. I've had horrible experience with FedEx. UPS is a little better. In general, i've yet to bring in one watch into the country without getting dinged on duties, fees, etc.

I think the only reprieve from paying duties when importing is if you had to send something outside of the country for warranty repair and then it's being sent back to you. I have never personally done it before.

Maybe after the authorities get some reasonable control over COVID in Canada and make some progress as the US is, maybe the border will reopen again and you can see them in person. 🤷‍♂️
 
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I have shipped many watches to Canada via USPS Registered Airmail. I have a way that I deal with this issue, but maybe I should PM you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I live in BC, Canada. I've had horrible experience with FedEx. UPS is a little better. In general, i've yet to bring in one watch into the country without getting dinged on duties, fees, etc.

I think the only reprieve from paying duties when importing is if you had to send something outside of the country for warranty repair and then it's being sent back to you. I have never personally done it before.
Thank you. My experience with IMPORTING is so inconsistent it's hard to draw general conclusions. What I'm left with is the sense of disjointed and repetitive interaction; and sometimes quite stressful delivery with packages designated for signature left unattended in the open. I've had one brand new watch that I sent back to the maker for repair, and yet was obliged to pay customs and duties a second time when it came back, even though it was a no-cost transaction for work done under warrantee. Abysmal.

As far as EXPORTING watches to Canada is concerned, I'm still hoping to obtain some first-hand experience of how gifts can be sent without prohibitive charges on the receiving end. I note that it's possible to do so for gifts with a value under CAD60. This is fine but not quite what I'm looking for. If in the end it's no-can-do, I'll bequeath the watches to my brother-in-law in my will...
 
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