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Help - Canadian Citizen Driving Gear From US to Cdn.
Old 7th July 2005
  #1
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Help - Canadian Citizen Driving Gear From US to Cdn.

Canadian Citizen Driving Gear Cross US.

Hi guys. I'm Canadian, gonna be driving back some project studio gear
back from US into Canada.

I don't make any money from this hobby. Some of the pieces are keyboards, some are pricey outboard. I think musical instruments have some sort of exemption?

Also, I just found out that Canadian Law prohibits a Canadian citizen from driving a US owned car (like a rental) from the US into Canada...

Anyone have helpful advice/experience/tidbits/funfacts they can share?
Any warnings about tariffs or customs?
Would you pack everything back in original boxes to be safer?
etc.

I know there are a few Torontonians lurking here on gearslutz. Thanks!
Old 8th July 2005
  #2
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adzski's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cl516
Anyone have helpful advice/experience/tidbits/funfacts they can share?
Any warnings about tariffs or customs?
Would you pack everything back in original boxes to be safer?
etc.

I know there are a few Torontonians lurking here on gearslutz. Thanks!
Well, ive done that trip a few times - everytime with a Penske van full of band gear. All i can say is getting into Canada with equipment is a lot harder than getting out of Cananda with equipment!! One time the US customs official had no idea what a carnet was or where to stamp it and just ushered me through - quite worrying really. In the current political climate id be as up front about it as you can - you may well have to pay some import duty unless you can prove you bought the gear in Canada.
Old 8th July 2005
  #3
Gear Nut
 
jkshort's Avatar
 

Tarrif's and such can be tricky.

If it's US bought equipment you'll be responsible for gst/pst(if applicable)

Most US Manufactured goods are duty free. Computer hardware/software is also duty free. Anything specific to a RECORDING STUDIO (mics/outboard etc) is also duty free (regardless of country of origin).

In general customs will leave you alone if you are mostly honest. They are looking to get some money off you as you come over the border. If you voluntarily fill out your forms so you pay a resonable amount of tax and duty they are usually happy.

where ever possible include reciepts for any goods you have. Make a list of what you are bringing over the border with country of origins so you aren't fumbling around and scratching your head at the border.

If you can make yourself look as presentable as possible going over the border it helps.

hope that helps some.

Jeff
Old 8th July 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 

thanks adzski and jeff.

i think most of the 'noticeable' piece are indeed US manufactured (Chandler, Manley, Avalon, etc.)

I can definitely create an inventory - but I'm not sure I have receipts for everything.

What happens if some of the gear was bought in Canada and brought over to US, and now I'm just bring old stuff back?

Jeff - you mentioned both GST AND stuff being 'duty-free'. Then technically all my gear would be part of my hobby project studio (which doesn't make any money.)
Would I still need to pay GST (on new pieces ) then?
Or are they completely exempt?

Thanks for the help, or maybe you have some links to show me.
Old 8th July 2005
  #5
Gear Nut
 
jkshort's Avatar
 

you're liable for gst and pst on top of any duties. Whether you make any money or not is irrelavlent. Its the same as if you did a cross border shopping trip while a resident of canada. You will have a non-taxable limit you can bring in based on how long you were in the US. I can't for the life of me remember how much it is but I'm sure one high end pre would put you over the limit. If you check canada customs website I'm sure it'll list ho much you can get in tax free.

duty is a seperate issue...if you have anything that is dutiable most musical instruments and related gear gets dutied at about 6%.

You can get around some of your tax problems by shipping some gear cross border
as 'gifts'. Include a birthday card with it and make sure the receiver is 'in' on it.
Freight on a preamp will be way less than GST/PST. Make sure you do this with goods that you have original packaging so it looks better....and you wont be able to make a shipping claim easily if you didn't ship in original packaging.

You might find it easier to claim that any vintage 'obviously beat up' instruments were ones you pruchased in canada and ay tax on new looking ones even if the 'truth' is the other way around.

Also...crossing at a border point that sees alot of regular commuter traffic (like detroit/windsor) can be easier than one with lots of tourist traffic (peace bridge). If you cross windsor/detroit or over at say sarnia leading up to rush hour it gets very busy and alot of people commute across the border so they tend to be on the lookout for those working illegally and not those dodging tax.

Jeff
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