Archive for September, 2015

Getting a duty refund for online imports

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Buying goods online poses a few problems–most related to the fact that you cannot see what you are buying. Many dresses show up that do not fit, and many engines that do not work. These items are usually simple enough to return to the vendor for a refund–however, what happens to the taxes and duties paid on the items if they were imported? Despite a fairly simple refund process offered by the CBSA, thousands of dollars in potential refunds go unclaimed. This article will guide you through the simple process of obtaining the refund (or how to hire us to file the claim for you).
The process is fairly simple: as long as you have proof that the seller refunded you for the item and proof that the item was returned to the sender, all you need to do is complete one form and mail it off to your local Casual Refund Center.

Your import receipt should resemble this

Sample import receipt

Filing your claim
You will need:
1. The import receipt or invoice
2. Proof of refund:
-credit note or e-mail receipt from the seller refunding your purchase
3. Proof of return:
-a waybill
-receipt for shipping
-any document from a transport company that describes the goods and provides a date of export

Don’t have any of these documents? 
Don’t despair–we recommend contacting the site that sold you the goods as they often have these records on hand. They should be able to forward this to you by e-mail. If you paid the taxes at the door but did not get an import receipt– you can still call the courier and have them send you a copy. Here are the most popular carriers:
UPS: 800-742-5877
FedEx: 800-GO-FEDEX
DHL: 855-345-7447

Wishing you had known this before returning those winter tires six months ago? Its not too late! Refund claims will still be accepted one year following the date of the original importation.
If you have the documents you need, you can follow this link to fill out CBSA Form B2G. Sign it, stamp it and send it off. If approved, you should receive a cheque in a couple of weeks.


CITES Permits for Antiques

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European CITESCITES is an international organization that exists to control the trade and exchange of endangered species. What this means is that if you are trying to import any endangered fauna or flora (or more commonly, antiques made from endangered fauna or flora) you will likely have to apply for a CITES permit before arranging the shipping of the goods.


Please discuss with your seller or freight forwarder if the country where you have obtained the goods requires a CITES permit before it can be exported. If so, please enlist their help in obtaining one. The process can take several weeks so be patient. Once approved, you will need a hard copy original of the original to clear customs in Canada so you will need to have the shipper mail this to you.


We recommend contacting Environment Canada’s CITES department in Gatineau at this number (855-869-8670) to first establish whether your antique will be permitted importation into Canada. If yes, you can continue to their website to find the correct application forms to complete. The permit application required will vary depending on whether you are importing: a live animal, hunting trophy or an article made from a CITES protected species. Complete the application and submit to the e-mail address specified on the permit application. Please allow several weeks for the CITES to be approved. Once approved, Environment Canada will mail you the permit with further instructions. Do not lose this! You will need it to clear your item through customs on arrival.

What requires CITES?

The list is quite long but luckily Environment Canada provides a search tool on their website to assist. If you remain uncertain, please contact a CITES administrator at Environment Canada.

Must I file for the application myself?

No, Border Bee can also assist with your permit application as well as the customs clearance of your goods for a modest fee.

More questions? Please contact us


Ecommerce, Customs and You provides answers to your questions on importing goods, written by the Border Bee staff.

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