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Old 14 May 2014
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Importing from US to BC Canada

I am thinking of buying a new 2013 KLR 650 in Vancouver. I need luggage, crash bars, a seat and a few other things which are available in the US from various suppliers. Total will be about CAD2000 in value. I need some help to understand how much tax I will be paying on the value of this gear if I get it sent to my address in Vancouver and also if there is any tax how will it get collected. Thanks in advance
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Old 27 May 2014
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Location: Onalaska, Washington, USA
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If you can drive down and pick it up in Seattle or somewhere north you should be able to drive back with no problems. I buy a lot of stuff from Canada and have it shipped to me with no problems, (Washington) and I think it can go the other way as easy. If I pay tax in BC then I own no tax here but if it come in with out having paid BC tax then I am suppose to send the state some money, got to remember to do that some day. Hope someone from the other side of the border has more clarity on this and can answer you.
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Old 29 May 2014
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Originally Posted by DLyttle View Post
I am thinking of buying a new 2013 KLR 650 in Vancouver. I need luggage, crash bars, a seat and a few other things which are available in the US from various suppliers. Total will be about CAD2000 in value. I need some help to understand how much tax I will be paying on the value of this gear if I get it sent to my address in Vancouver and also if there is any tax how will it get collected. Thanks in advance
If you have the equipment sent to a Canadian address be sure to have it shipped via the US post office and not through UPS courier... Motorcycle parts are duty free to Canada but you will likely get charged the Canadian taxes {5%GST + 7% pst} on such a large purchase, which would amount to about $240 on $2000... Canada post also charges a border fee of something like $8 on top of that.. Small purchases of $100 or less almost always slip through the border with no fees charged ...

If you go through UPS the brokerage charges could amount to several hundred dollars on top of the 12% taxes, so I strongly recommend you avoid vendors that are not willing to ship via the post office...

Burnaby Kawasaki is a good place to look for a new KLR in Vancouver, as they usually have the previous years leftover new models at much reduced prices...
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Old 31 May 2014
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: British Columbia
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Smile Shipping stuff - USA to Canada

I get a lot of Motorcycle parts and gear from US vendors - I prefer to support Canadian companies, but sometimes availability and cost are too much of a factor. When the Canadian $ went to par or above, it was very compelling to purchase from the US.

If you are in Vancouver, the easiest/ cheapest method I have found is to set up an account at a 'post box' service like Mail boxes International, in Blaine. You generally have the choice to pay either a small yearly fee (in exchange for cheaper per item rate) or no fee, but higher per package rates. It is something like $10 for the year, and $2:50-$5 for most packages. They will hold your packages indefinitely, but there will be a small weekly fee past about 2 weeks - all reasonable costs. The main advantage is that many US vendors ship for free, or very cheaply, to US addresses. On something like a helmet, this could easily save you $30 in shipping alone. On small items (like one tee shirt, or a few small tools) you often get nailed on minimum shipping fees.

Going down to pick up is easy, I find I can usually do a run down to Blaine and back in about 1.5 to 2 hours, less if the borders are not busy. I find that most of the time if I'm under $200 they don't bother sending me in to pay the taxes, but it depends on the mood of the border attendant that you get. Print your receipts ahead of time so you have the exact $ value, and expect to pay GST on most items, which you will probably pay if you have them shipped to Vancouver anyway.

Now, I would never suggest doing something underhanded like installing parts on your bike in the parking lot and not declaring them at the boarder, but I know I've seen BC licensed vehicles up on jacks out front of hotels in Bellingham with lots of cardboard boxes strewn around... so it must happen.

I completely agree with the previous post - Don't ship UPS (as opposed to USPS - the post office) to Canada! UPS charges ridiculous brokerage fees. Some places only ship UPS, but usually there is another option.

Good luck with your purchase, and happy Farkling.
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canada, imports, taxes

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