Posts Tagged ‘canada’
CITES 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
Below is a list of Canada’s major inland Customs offices for the purpose of self-clearing your goods. If you are importing personal effects you will need to present yourself to one of these offices once your shipment arrives in Canada. The list contains only inland ports as we do not recommend self-clearing at the border. If the office you are looking for is not in the table below you can search the CBSA’s online directory: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/do-rb/menu-eng.html
Further information on self-clearing can be obtained by contacting Customs directly: 800-461-9999
Hours: 8-4 pm M-F
65 Canterbury Street
Saint John NB E2L 2C7
Montreal (Highway-Air Imports)
Hours: 7:45-5 pm M-F
2200 Reverchon Avenue
Dorval QC H9P 2S7
Hours: 8:30-4:30 pm M-F
1 Front Street West
C.P. Box 10, Station A,
Toronto ON M5J 2X5
Toronto (Highway-Air Imports)
2720 Britannia Road East,
P.O. Box 40, AMF,
Toronto ON L4W 2P7
Hours: 8-4 pm M-F
1821 Wellington Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3H 0G4
Hours: 8-4 pm M-F
175 Aero Way North East
Calgary AB T2E 6K2
Hours: 8-4 pm M-F
100-1727 35th Avenue East
Edmonton International Airport AB T9E 0V6
Hours: 8 – 4 pm M-F
1611 Main street
Vancouver BC V6A 2W5
Border Bee receives many calls from distressed Canadians looking for an explanation as to why their personal property is being held by Customs. Here are some answers to the most common questions.
Why are my personal effects being held by Customs?
The unfortunate reality is that many people lie to Customs. All too frequently, goods that were purchased are labelled as ‘gifts’ or ‘personal effects’ to avoid duties and taxes. This is a sore point with Customs. The real cost of this dishonesty may not be the government’s lost revenue but the burden placed on honest Canadians who must prove that their property is not subject to tax or restriction. There is also the possibility that within your personal effects are items restricted in Canada that Customs has a responsibility to prevent from entering the country.
Do I have to go to Customs to clear my effects?
Yes. Alternatively, you may provide a relative with ‘written authority’ to represent you to Customs in order to obtain clearance for your articles. This relative will show the authority when they arrive at the Customs office. It may also be wise to provide them with a copy of your passport or driver’s license.*
What qualifies as ‘personal effects’?
Did you buy the goods? Do you have a receipt? If the answer to these questions is ‘no,’ then you are likely importing personal effects. Personal effects require you to self-clear and report directly to the CBSA, where you will complete this form and answer any additional questions Customs might have about what the personal effects contain.
Personal effects typically take the form of:
- items bequeathed by a foreign relative
- personal property used during a period abroad for more than a year
- property imported by settlers or seasonal residents
Do I have to self-clear my gift?
If it is in fact a gift–meaning that you did not purchase the item and no one purchased it for you–then yes, you must self-clear the item and report directly to the CBSA. The reason for this precaution is that many gifts may have been sent by the shipper in return for a consideration that Customs would consider taxable. The threshold for importing gifts tax-free is $60.
For information on how to self-clear your gifts or personal effects, see here. The process for self-clearing personal effects and purchases are the same and require you to report to the Customs office where your goods are being held.
*If you live very far from the Customs office and do not have a relative who can represent you at the port, you can try your luck by calling the CBSA’s BIS line: 800-461-9999 (inside Canada).
Ecommerce, Customs and You provides answers to your questions on importing goods, written by the Border Bee staff.
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