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What taxes will I face when buying from outside Canada?

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  • What taxes will I face when buying from outside Canada?


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Answer #1 | 20/12 2013 08:17
Standard duties on goods brought across the border are the GST+PST or HST of the province you are importing them into. These would range from 5% (Alberta) to 15% (Nova Scotia) with most being around 12%. Items originally produced in Canada and moved to the US or Mexico are duty exempt under NAFTA. Certain items, such as alcohol or tobacco has additional duties on them. These aren't "huge". They are the same taxes you would be paying if you bought the item in Canada -- whether online or from a retail store. Canadians buy online for a lot of reasons. The items are still less expensive (even after duties and shipping), the items aren't sold in Canada, it is more convenient to order online, they are only available in distant stores, online items cost less because they don't have the overhead of a store (rent, sales staff, lights, heating, property taxes, etc.), etc. You can certainly look at Amazon.ca vs. Amazon.com and see that most items are 20%+ less expensive in the United States. You would pay the same taxes ordering from Amazon.ca. International shipping might be $5-$10 more depending upon the package.
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