‘Shock at the doorstep’: New NAFTA raises duty-free limits for private couriers, but not Canada Post

‘Shock at the doorstep’: New NAFTA raises duty-free limits for private couriers, but not Canada Post

OTTAWA — Canadians who purchase on-line from shops in the US or Mexico will get a little bit of reprieve from taxes and duties subsequent week however provided that their packages are delivered by a non-public courier.

If Canada Put up is the one tapped to drop the bundle within the mailbox or on the doorstep, the previous guidelines will nonetheless apply, leaving a two-tiered tax system for a similar items.

“We’re simply mystified that the federal government can be setting shoppers up for that shock,” mentioned Andrea Stairs, president of eBay Canada and chief advertising officer for eBay North America.

The change is a part of the brand new Canada-U.S.-Mexico Free Commerce Settlement, which comes into impact on Canada Day. Throughout the commerce deal, Canada agreed to raise the very low restrict it had utilized for obligation and tax-free shopper imports, often called the de minimis threshold.

It was once that any items bought and imported by mail or courier can be topic to obligation and GST if the whole worth was something over $20. On July 1, that threshold is rising to $40 earlier than GST will get utilized and $150 earlier than customs duties are added, for all packages delivered by couriers resembling FedEx or UPS.

The modifications don’t embrace Canada Put up, for which all tax and duties will proceed to be utilized after $20. It means if shoppers have a alternative in how their bundle is shipped, they’ll select to keep away from paying the GST by selecting a non-public courier. However shoppers don’t all the time have that alternative, mentioned Stairs.

She additionally mentioned postal charges are normally essentially the most aggressive for shippers, so this modification means the modest break on taxes that buyers may anticipate from the brand new commerce deal may be eradicated, because it prices extra to make use of a non-public courier.

“It’s actually unfair to middle-class Canadians and it’s additionally very unfair to rural Canadians who simply don’t have the choice in some instances of getting courier service to them,” mentioned Stairs.


The modest break on taxes that buyers may anticipate from the brand new commerce deal may be eradicated, because it prices extra to make use of a non-public courier.

Mike Blake/Reuters recordsdata

She estimates about 80 per cent of the packages delivered throughout the border from eBay sellers are shipped by the postal providers.

“I believe shoppers absolutely anticipate that the brand new thresholds that have been negotiated in CUSMA have been going to use to all imports from the U.S. and I believe after they understand that really nearly all of these are excluded from the modest will increase there’s going to be some fairly important shock on the doorstep,” mentioned Stairs.

Graham Robins, the president of A&A Customs Brokers in Surrey, B.C., mentioned the modifications are inflicting confusion and concern for customs brokers who now have extra work to attempt to type out whether or not packages have to undergo customs or not.

Robins additionally mentioned shippers shall be deciding if it’s extra economical to easily keep away from the publish workplace.

A spokesperson for Canada Put up mentioned the Crown company will observe the foundations and pay the charges set out by the federal authorities and had no additional touch upon the modifications.

Stairs mentioned she met early in 2020 with Procurement Minister Anita Anand, who’s chargeable for Canada Put up, and felt Anand understood the difficulty, however that finally the choice was as much as Finance Minister Invoice Morneau. A spokesperson for Morneau had not but responded to questions in regards to the matter by Thursday night.

— With recordsdata from James McCarten in Washington, D.C.

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