Duty paid on tents bought in the US? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nanaimo, bc, Canada.
Posts: 59
Default Duty paid on tents bought in the US?

I'm tent shopping and i've found some good deals on the mail order places in the US.
If i still lived in the lower mainland i'd just drive down and get one or walk across the boarder. Not as easy, fast or cheap of an option with the ferries.

Is there duty on tents when you mail order them? I find that when i get packages they tend to go over them more carefully as opposed to the boarder.

Anyone have any tales of warning in regards to extra duty fees tacked on to shipped tents.

mrraulduke is offline  
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:07 AM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: vancouver, bc, Canada.
Posts: 1,099

Ship USPS only. UPS always tacks on duties and handling fees (the buggers). My experience from Ontario days is 25% of the time you'll pay the taxes/duties for mailed packages (now living in Vancouver I tend just to head to the border to pick up packages where I have about a 95% rate of duty free crossings).

Officially though, yes you should be charged taxes and duties, but in practice this seems to be fairly loosely applied.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: in the valley, BC, Canada.
Interest: Spending time with my man and family, relaxing with good friends and good food, hiking, paddling,
Posts: 1,570

It depends on where the tent is made. If it is made in the US or Mexico then there is no duty, you only have to pay GST. Otherwise it is subject to duty. We bought a Big Agnes tent, made in Colorado, so no duty. And we got lucky when we came back across the border. The border guard let us through without making us pay GST on it either. Guess he was in a good mood.

You could plan a weekend camping trip to get around it. Head down, buy the tent, use it for a night and then don't declare it. Once used they would have no idea how long you've owned it.

Have fun tent shopping!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nanaimo, bc, Canada.
Posts: 59

I'm looking at a big Agnes tent ... but it says it's made in China, thus the duty question.
100 dollars in savings over the price at MEC is tempting, but i'm not planning a trip to the states any time soon.

mrraulduke is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:38 AM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Whistler, BC, Canada.
Interest: Exploring the Coast Mountains and surrounding ocean waters in all seasons.
Posts: 1,573

Big companies generally source items from many regions now. I believe it must be "made in the USA" or Mexico to be duty free, so the model (hence the manufacturing location) matters.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 04:26 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, diving, snowshoeing, kayaking
Posts: 324

If I recall correctly the duty for Chinese made tents was 17%.[:0] The GST and provincial sales taxes are added after that, hmmm so much for some of the savings[B)].

Be sure of the duties before you order and be careful when using couriers like UPS - you could get a nasty surprise of having customs brokerage fees added on.

I've had good success with the USPC from the US and Her Majesty's postal service when ordering things from the UK.

Unless it has to brand new you can often find some really good deals for clean, very lightly used tents on MEC's on-line gear swap.

If you are in Calgary check out Craig's list, there is a fellow in Okotoks who sells tents. Buys them at close-outs and sells them for a small mark up.

Don't forget your local independent outdoor store though. Perhaps they can order what you are after for a price close to what you are thinking of paying. Worth the price sometimes to support the small retailer. (Speaking of which I was in Courtenay yesterday and Valhalla is gone?)

Happy Trails
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 04:43 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada.
Interest: general mountaineering/ hiking/ backpacking/ skiing/ kayaking
Posts: 1,704

A few good reasons for buying here instead of the US, is you can go in to Valhalla or MEC or where ever and have a close look at the tent you are interested in and if anything goes wrong later, you have a better chance at warrantee. Also it's good to keep the profits closer to home.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:05 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Westminster, BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,375

When I bought my Hilleberg from the US, it was made in Estonia, and there was 17 or 18% duty, plus the taxes on top of that. You can look in the customs tariff to find out the duty rate if you know where it was made, but it can be tricky to find the right category.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 10:34 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 187

This doesn't answer your question, but I'll post it anyways, haha. Have you visited Skyview Outdoors in Surrey? Their pricing on Eureka tents is phenomenal in my opinion. I have a solo and two person tent by Eureka, and I'm quite happy. The service provided by the staff is fantastic too! They're quite knowledgeable about the equipment they sell.

They have a solo free standing tent on sale for $115 right now; it weighs about 3.4 lbs.

Just realized you live in Nanaimo; still check 'em out if you get the chance.
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