While the United States and Canada maintain a strong trade relationship, shipments between the two countries are considered commercial transactions and are therefore subject to import duties.


This means that if you are importing goods into Canada, you are obligated to pay federal and regional sales taxes on your goods. The Canada customs duty rates are governed by the Canada Customs Act and enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).


Here are a few examples of duty rates for major imports:


  • Clothing: 16-18%
  • Cookware: 0-8%
  • Computers and related equipment: 0% and duty-free
  • Coffeemakers: 0-8%
  • Furniture: 0-9.5%
  • Textile articles (bedding, linen, towels, curtains): 16-18%
  • Auto parts: 0-8%


Determining the correct category and applicable taxes and fees for your goods can be a complex task, so it is advisable to engage an experienced customs broker for guidance. Various regulations may apply depending on the specific circumstances.


If your goods are labeled as “made in the United States,” “Canada,” or “Mexico” and are accompanied by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) certificate, no duty is payable. However, most imported goods are subject to the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST), or in certain provinces and territories, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).


Goods and Services Tax: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an unavoidable tax when importing into Canada. It is a five percent federal tax imposed on almost all goods sold within the country. Some goods and services are exempt from the GST or are “zero-rated,” such as milk, bread, vegetables, prescription drugs, or medical devices like artificial teeth or hearing aids.


Harmonized Tax: While most Canadian provinces have their own taxes, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario “harmonize” their provincial sales tax with the federal GST. The “harmonized tax” combines the five percent federal GST with the applicable provincial tax, which can range from five percent (e.g., Saskatchewan) to 9.975 percent (e.g., Quebec).


Exemptions: When returning to Canada, you may qualify for a personal exemption from Canada customs duty rates. This allows you to bring in goods up to a certain value without paying taxes and duties. The amount of goods you can import without duties depends on the duration of your absence from Canada, as determined by the CBSA. However, certain restrictions and minimum duties may apply to tobacco products.


  • Less than 24 hours: No personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shoppers.
  • 24 hours or more: Up to CAD$200 (except for alcohol and tobacco).
  • 48 hours or more: Up to CAD$800 (may include alcohol and tobacco within prescribed limits set by provincial or territorial authorities).
  • 7 days or more: Up to CAD$800 (may include alcohol and tobacco within prescribed limits set by provincial or territorial authorities).


For further details, refer to the CBSA guide or consult certified Canadian customs brokers.


As evident, there are numerous factors that impact Canada customs duty rates. Considerations include whether the goods are for personal or commercial use, the destination within Canada, and the specific regulations and laws governing the province. When estimating fees and duties for your imported goods, be mindful of hidden costs like exchange rates, document preparation, clearance, and handling fees.


The list of considerations goes on, and without the necessary expertise and insight, your shipping project can quickly become costly. Express Customs Broker has the expertise and customs knowledge to provide the support and guidance you require. Additionally, besides advising on applicable Canada customs duty rates, we prioritize excellent customer service. Ultimately, we exist because of you, and your satisfaction is our goal!