If you are looking to purchase goods from outside of Canada for your own personal use, then this blog should be of assistance to you! Personal imports, also known as casual imports, is when goods are brought into Canada for non business/commercial purposes. There are a few things to consider when importing personal goods into Canada. Lets also take a look at how the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) determines what shipments can be classified as personal imports.
The CBSA refers to personal imports as casual imports. These are goods that a person brings in to generally use outside of a commercial setting. There are a few factors that they will consider when determining if a shipment qualifies as a casual import. The quantity is a big factor. Importing a set of 12 dinner plates seems like a logical casual import. However, bringing in 10 sets of those same dinner plates would be suspicious. The end use is another factor the CBSA looks at. Where will the goods be used? Importing a sofa for your office would be considered a commercial import, even if the sofa is designed to be used in a home setting.
The duty rates applied to imported goods are the same whether imported for personal or commercial use. The tax portion is where the difference is. Imported commercial goods are subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is currently 5%. Businesses also have the ability to claim that portion of the tax back with input tax credits. Importing goods for your personal use will subject your goods to the GST and the provincial tax of your province of residence. In Ontario for example, the goods will be subject to 13% HST. Alberta on the other hand does not currently have a provincial tax, so goods imported into Alberta are subject to just the GST.
Orbit Brokers loves to assist and educate people with their imports into Canada. If you have any questions feel free to Contact Us, or if you would like a free quote on our services, please click here