Although the U.S. and Canada are among the world’s largest trading partners, parcel shipping and clearance are subject to a unique set of rules and Canadian customs mandates. The new NAFTA (USMCA/ CUSMA) makes shipping orders to Canada easier than ever.
Canadians and Americans are the world’s largest trading partners. American companies are searching for Canadian Logistics Support.
In this post, we review the following things to know when shipping to Canada:
- Free Trade, USMCA/ CUSMA and duty free import to Canada
- Common Import Fees for ecommerce and parcel imports to Canada
- Common carrier options for shipping Canada from the USA
- CBSA assessment and revenue project (CARM)
- Reverse logistics and leading Canadian domestic carriers
- Additional resources for shipping to Canada and shipping from Canada
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for general information only and is not intended to, constitute legal and/or tax advice. Producers, shippers, exporters, importers should confirm their processes with their customs brokers, carriers and regulating authorities. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this site are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided “as is”; no representations are made that the content is error-free.
Shipping orders US to Canada Duty Free
As part of the USMCA (the "new NAFTA), Canada has raised their low value duty threshold ( de minimis threshold) to $150 CAD (around $110 USD). Local sales taxes will still apply (but often times, businesses can claim this charge back). This higher duty free threshold helps businesses and e-commerce merchants in the United States ship to Canadian customers.
Shipping between USA and Canada via Jet Worldwide
- Jet Worldwide is a trusted brand that has been providing international shipping solutions for over 35 years.
- Jet Worldwide provides options for shipping between Canada and USA for parcels, pallets and online orders.
- Jet Worldwide offers transparency and world class logistics support. We are not shy about recommending alternative solutions as necessary (including those mentioned in this blog)
Carrier Options for Shipping USA to Canada
Sending parcels to Canada via the US postal Service / USPS
Canada is the largest international destination for the USPS. The USPS offers the lowest cost for small parcels sent to Canada.
The USPS offers the lowest cost for small parcels to Canada but can be expensive for larger parcels.
Shipping to Canada via FedEx and UPS
FedEx and UPS are North America's largest carriers and offer reliable transport from the USA to Canada. Their ground services are especially popular (but are subject to expensive clearance fees - see below). Get a comparison quote for shipping Canada from US.
Shipping to Canada from the USA via Purolator International
Purolator's USA offices provide delivery to Canada for large bulk shippers. They can develop unique low cost services for US companies who have large regular "north bound volume."
Customs clearance information for parcels imported to Canada from the USA
Parcel shipments shipped from the United States to Canada must comply with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canada Revenue (CRA).
Parcels shipped from the USA that are valued over $40 CAD, are subject to Canadian duty and taxes.
For parcels from the USA cleared using USMCA duty free status must be accompanied by a certification of origin. (See note above on New NAFTA / USMCA)
- Goods and Services Tax: Most goods entering Canada are subject GST (Good and Services Tax) of 5%.
- Shipments to Canada from the USA valued under $40 CAD can be cleared duty free and tax free
- Shipments from the US to Canada under $150 CAD can be cleared duty free (but still subjected to federal and provincial sales tax).
- Shipments sent to the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario from the USA are subject to a “harmonizes” provincial sales tax (HST). For parcels to these provinces, the GST is combined with the provincial tax rate to form the HST. See chart below for applicable rates. HST is administered by the CRA and Canadian businesses that collect GST/ HST must be registered.
- Provincial Sales Taxes / PST: Most of the "non HST provinces" process and impose their own taxes and not via the Canada Revenue Agency/ CRA.
Tax rates per province and territory:
- Alberta: PST 5%
- British Columbia: GST 5% + PST 7%
- Manitoba: GST 5% + PST 7%
- New Brunswick: HST 13%
- Newfoundland & Labador: HST 13%
- Northwest Territories: GST 5%
- Nova Scotia: HST 15%
- Nunavet: GST 5%
- Ontario: HST 13%
- Prince Edward Island: HST 14%
- Quebec: GST 5% + PST (QST) 9.975%
- Saskatchewan: GST 5% + PST 5%
- Yukon: GST 5%
Duty rates to Canada for goods shipped from the USA
Although parcels containing goods made in the USA (US origin) may qualify for preferential duty free entry, most ecommerce goods shipped to Canada are made elsewhere (usually Asia) and thus not eligible for duty free entry under CUSMA. Furthermore, shipments sent via ground to Canada are subject to customs entry preparation fee (see below).
Parcels imported from the USA to Canada are subject to classification via the international Harmonized System(HS) code. For imports to Canada, the six-digit harmonized system code is supplemented by a four-digit code unique to Canada.
USMCA / CUSMA allows for duty free import to Canada for goods valued under $150 CAD. But higher value ecommerce orders are subject to duty.
Common Canadian Import Fees for Shipments from the US
Common import fees for consignments shipped via air to Canada can include duty, taxes and carrier fees.
The Canadian Customs online portal which is designed to streamline processes and a useful too for Canadian importers. Read more about CBSA Assessment and Revenu Management (CARM)
Shipping your parcel to Canada from the USA:
There are many Canadian business and consumer communities in the USA including in Florida, Texas and California. If you wish to send parcels from South Florida (including Fort Lauderdale and Miami), Texas (parcel shipping from Houston to Calgary is common), California and Arizona.... contact our team today!
Shipping your parcel ground to Canada from the USA:
Ground shipping to Canada is often the most cost effective method for shipping to Canada. The advantages of ground can be mitigated, however, by entry preparation fees (that may otherwise be included for express) and longer transit times. Contact Jet for a quote on economy express.
Reverse Logistics from Canada: Returns from Canada to the US
A challenge for many US companies is handling Canada returns. Jet Worldwide has enterprise sized solutions as well as low volume return solutions. For many, they just need a Canada address for returns and a standard operating procedure for managing the returned goods.
Ecommerce sellers to Canada often inquire as to alternative shipping options within Canada. We have created this post to assist with these inquiries we get on this subject.
Canadian Carriers to Consider For Domestic Shipping
- Canada Post: Most well know and leader for Canadian ecommerce deliveries.
- Dicom: A division of Royal Mail/ General Logistics Systems (GLS) attempting to capture a greater share of business to consumer market.
- Purolator: A division of Canada Post and leading Canadian carrier. Purolator offers access to Canada for large US shippers to Canada via their Purolator International subsidiary.
- Nationex: A privately held firm specializing in business to business ground shipping in eastern Canada.
- TFI Carriers: A financial holding company of the wealthy Saputo family, TFI parcel carriers (representing around 15% of total revenue) include Canpar, ICS and , Loomis.
- Intelcom: Primarily serving major ecommerce sellers with independent "gig economy" drivers offering low cost parcel delivery.
- FedEx and UPS: Well known carriers offering ground and express across Canada
For a quote for shipping online orders, provide details including shipping volume, item(s) being shipped, average value and weight of each parcel. The more details the better :).
Reminder: The information in Jet Worldwide online content, including this post, is for general information only and provided “as is”; no representations are made that the content is error-free.