Duty question


I am thinking of purchasing a large item in canada (a grill) as the current exchange rate will net a savings of about 700 dollars. Since it’s such a large item, I can’t really hide it on my return journey, which is my usual practice in these situations. I have found some conflicting information online about duty, and was wondering if anyone has first had experience with this. I have to assume whatever the duty is, it won’t eat up much of my savings, right?

Thanks in advance


Looking online you start to get the feeling CBP makes this intentionally vague to discourage people from doing it. About the only thing I can find is less than 48 hour stay = $200 in goods duty free (with special rules for cigs and booze) but nothing about how much you’d pay on the remaining $500 worth.


Exactly. The vendor had indicated the duty won’t be much, and that they have many American customers, but I tend to be too pessimistic to believe them. Was hoping someone could say I bought X and paid Y. The item being purchased is about $4k so I don’t know how they’ll treat it


If it’s for commercial use, you’d pay duty no matter what (although would they know if you didn’t tell them?)

If it’s for private use, the exemption is $200 for an under 48 hours stay or $800 for over 48 hours. There is a $1,600 exemption but I don’t remember if it applies to Canada.

The duty is assessed on the first $1,000 above the exemption.

For instance, if you are returning from countries other than the Caribbean countries or U.S. insular possession you are entitled to an $800 duty-free exemption and the next $1,000 worth of the goods you purchased is subject to a flat rate of 3%. If the value exceeds $1,800, the remaining duty will be determined based on duty rates in the harmonized tariff schedule, which are generally between 0-10% (except for clothing and textiles, which can be much higher, up to 25%).



Honestly I’d just call US Customs and ask.

EDIT: LOL @ “generally between 0 and 10%”. Thanks a lot. Fucking government.


I had called before posting this, and talked to a real bitch who told me to look at the website. I just called again to a different bridge, and talked to a pretty nice dude - this item is exempt under NAFTA because it was made in Canada, so no duty…


Just want to say again… Fucking government. Glad it worked out.


Ive been trying to figure the duty out on a Irish dance dress for my daughter. You wouldnt think it matter much but we’re talking like $1500-3k so it can add up quick.

We’ve talked to CBP people at one of their “Centers of Excellence and Expertise”, brokers etc, and basically no one can tell us exactly. They just keep pointing us back to someone else in a big circle of fuckery. (At least this is what my wife said as I made her call around since I seem to handle everything else)

So I dug into the HTS codes and I think I figured it out at 8.5%.

Its ridiculous the amount of classification types and the uselessness of our gov’t “experts”.



When you have no competition or accountability customer service is never great.


Are you having this dress shipped or picking it up in Canadaland? Because I just came across the border with about $6k worth of crap in the bed of my truck, grill included, and the agent didn’t give one single shit.


In my case it most likely wouldnt be coming from Canada, more likely from the UK. If it was from Canada then its duty free b/c of NAFTA or whatever.

The one that got me started on this whole mess was actually coming from Australia (apparently they couldnt find one on a different planet) but the sizing ended up wrong.




Yea man. If you wana see like $100k of dresses in one building she’ll be dancing in Hamburg tomorrow. Lol


You seem pretty handy why don’t you make one?


My mother in law, who made all three of her girls wedding dresses, keeps offering but they are very specific in construction etc. Hopefully we can find a used one for under 2k else its gona be new for closer to 3k.


Yeesh. Note to self - steer clear of Irish dancing


Hah. Yup it’s not cheap. We spend a lot of time and money travelling all over.


Just dropped $1700 on a used dress from Virginia. WAAAY closer than fn Australia. And no duties to pay!


God damn. Hope ya don’t subscribe to the whole “bride’s parents pay for the wedding” thing when she grows up, lol.


Hah. Right? Luckily I just have one and shes super reasonable, even at 13.

This dress was easy 3k + new. So I’ll be happy we didnt have to pay new price.