An import duty, or customs duty, is the tax a government places on goods that are imported into the country. Besides being a revenue stream for the government, import duties can be levied to help protect domestic trade from overseas products. Canada's import duties are incredibly varied, and many of the regulations depend on which goods are being imported, but there are a few broad rules that cover a large portion of Canada's trade.
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North American Free Trade Agreement
According to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada does not levy any import duties on goods that have been purchased for personal use and were made in the United States or Mexico. Products that have no visible indication of where they were produced are also exempt under this act. NAFTA is the world's largest trade block, and seeks to eliminate all trade barriers between the U. S. and it's neighbours.
Goods and Services Tax
Individuals importing goods to Canada are almost always subject to the Canadian Goods and Services Tax, a five per cent tax based on the value of the goods being imported, after the standard duties have been applied. Provincial taxes are also applied, unless the goods are being imported to Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia; or New Brunswick, in which case a flat thirteen per cent will be charged.
Duty Free Allowances and Restrictions
Residents and non-residents alike are allowed to import a small amount of tobacco, liquor and gifts without having to pay import duties. Tobacco imports allowed are 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco. Liquor imports allowed are 1.14L of spirits, 1.5L of wine,or 24 bottles or cans of beer. Gifts valued at below C$60 are also free of import tariffs. Reasonable amounts of perfume, film and agricultural products are allowed as well, with agricultural products needing to adhere to special guidelines concerning agricultural import restrictions. These guidelines can be learnt by contacting the Canadian Border Services Agency.
Additional duties are based on the product's country of origin, what the product is and whether any excise duties need to be applied for items of luxury or high-dollar value. The Canadian Border Services Agency inspects all imports into Canada, and an exporter must prepare a packing list, bill of lading, commercial invoice, Canada Customs Invoice and Certificate of Origin before shipping goods to Canada. A complete list of import tariffs can be found at (cbsa-asfc.gc.ca), as well as detailed information on special products like hazardous materials and agricultural imports.
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