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04-19-2016, 05:58 AM   #1
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U.S. resident has questions re buying used lens from a Canadian

If you have relatively recent Customs experience with this, I would appreciate information.

The used Pentax lens in Canada in which I am interested as a possible buyer is valued at more than U.S. $200.

I am a U.S. resident. I do not want to be surprised by hangups involving required paperwork and/or high fees.

I have tried wading through official information online but do not see clear details on requirements and duty applicable to such a small purchase of a used lens for personal use.

I do not live near a metropolitan area with a U.S. Customs facility.

Also, I have read that use of Canada Post and U.S. Postal Service is advisble, rather than one or more of the shipping companies.

Thanks for any information, and best wishes.

04-19-2016, 06:06 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by smf Quote
If you have relatively recent Customs experience with this, I would appreciate information.

The used Pentax lens in Canada in which I am interested as a possible buyer is valued at more than U.S. $200.

I am a U.S. resident. I do not want to be surprised by hangups involving required paperwork and/or high fees.

I have tried wading through official information online but do not see clear details on requirements and duty applicable to such a small purchase of a used lens for personal use.

I do not live near a metropolitan area with a U.S. Customs facility.

Also, I have read that use of Canada Post and U.S. Postal Service is advisble, rather than one or more of the shipping companies.

Thanks for any informion, and best wishes.
I have purchased (through e-bay) several lenses from Canada, highest value about $400 U.S. Dollars. I have never had a problem, a hold-up, or a hitch...it was, in fact, no different from any U.S. E-bay purchase, excepting the listing in Canadian currency. I live in rural CA. I would feel no qualms in any order from Canada.
04-19-2016, 06:08 AM   #3
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Every purchase I have made has been fine. Most recent purchase was a used tripod and head at about $220. I live in North Carolina and it was shipped from Canada.
04-19-2016, 06:19 AM - 1 Like   #4
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The difficulty is in sending goods the other direction.

04-19-2016, 06:21 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I've purchased from Japan, Great Britain, many other countries, and most, recently, Canada... beware of the beaver pelts and maple syrup they will try to smuggle out of the country...


beyond that - no issues, ever, with shipping packages, no matter the contents...
04-19-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by smf Quote
If you have relatively recent Customs experience with this, I would appreciate information.

The used Pentax lens in Canada in which I am interested as a possible buyer is valued at more than U.S. $200.

I am a U.S. resident. I do not want to be surprised by hangups involving required paperwork and/or high fees.

I have tried wading through official information online but do not see clear details on requirements and duty applicable to such a small purchase of a used lens for personal use.

I do not live near a metropolitan area with a U.S. Customs facility.

Also, I have read that use of Canada Post and U.S. Postal Service is advisble, rather than one or more of the shipping companies.

Thanks for any information, and best wishes.
Photographic equipment is not subject to tariffs (North American Free Trade Agreement). However, upon entering the U.S., the shipping company may have to calculate, collect, and remit applicable sales taxes, if any. The courier companies charge a much larger "brokerage fee" to do this than the US Postal Service does. I'm not sure if the US has a federal sales tax. Your state may have a sales tax, but I don't know if that is chargeable to the buyer.
04-19-2016, 07:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
The difficulty is in sending goods the other direction.
I'm in Canada. Customs have hit me with something for foreign lenses EVERY TIME (doubtless NL sales tax). It takes the shine off buying from ebay in the US. Buying new, the Canadian prices are so crazy for some things that B&H has a slight edge.
04-19-2016, 07:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quartermaster James Quote
The difficulty is in sending goods the other direction.
Too true.

04-19-2016, 07:18 AM   #9
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Customs allowance is $200. You'd only pay duty on values over that.

I maybe wrong but NAFTA should only apply to good produced in North America.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/126/kw/mail%20duty

You can use Pitney-Bowes duty calculator the check:

http://www.dutycalculator.com/

Last edited by Not a Number; 04-19-2016 at 07:26 AM.
04-19-2016, 07:37 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Ebay sent me this notice on March 11, 2016.

"Selling to US buyers just got easier.

As of yesterday, the United States has increased their de minimis threshold from US$200 to US$800. In practice, this means that goods shipped by Canadians to US buyers will only be assessed for duties if their value exceeds US$800.

This change should make Canadian exporters on eBay even more competitive: Canadian inventory does well in the US and now a key barrier for US buyers has been lifted. Canadian sellers who have previously shied away from listing high-value items should re-consider these decisions in light of this de minimis increase.

The threshold change is due to the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law in late February. eBay actively supported this legislation and we’re pleased to see it finally come into effect – it will be a huge benefit for international sellers who ship to the US. (Learn more.)

Sincerely,

eBay Canada"
04-19-2016, 07:45 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
beware of the beaver pelts and maple syrup they will try to smuggle out of the country...
Our biggest success to date has been dumping "Justin Bieber" on you guys!

Enjoy,

Phil.
04-19-2016, 08:37 AM   #12
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Original Poster
Thanks to all for the very helpful and speedy responses!

Best wishes,
Stu
04-19-2016, 08:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
s of yesterday, the United States has increased their de minimis threshold from US$200 to US$800. In practice, this means that goods shipped by Canadians to US buyers will only be assessed for duties if their value exceeds US$800.

This change should make Canadian exporters on eBay even more competitive:
What does it do for US sellers? It's export, not import, that strengthens an economy.
04-19-2016, 08:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
our biggest success to date has been dumping "justin bieber" on you guys!

enjoy,

phil.


ouch!
04-19-2016, 10:35 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I'm in Canada. Customs have hit me with something for foreign lenses EVERY TIME
Is it customs? or is it CRA assessing GST/PST?

As to the original poster, you are good provided you arrange post office shipping. Courier companies charge a bogus 'brokerage fee' which is a huge rip-off. So, only buy from sellers who ship Canada Post.
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