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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone encountered any issues with having product shipped to Canada from Cafepress or Spreadshirt? Cutoms, duties, taxes, etc?

I understand that orders less than $20, are duty free, but over that customs may choose to charge GST and a handling fee. I have received 2 shipments from Spreadshirt, one valued at $20 and the other over. Neither were charged any duty. My shipment from cafepress was over $20 and was charged GST and a $5 handling fee.

Any other Canadians working with cafepress or spreadshirt dealing with this?
 

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I don't live in Canada, but I ship there quite often. From what I've heard, the Canadian customs can be kinda of finnicky. Sometimes they'll charge a fee, sometimes they won't.
 

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Hi TrueNorthStar,

I live in Canada, but I really don't know what condition they will charge people custom. Like long time ago, I purchased couple Tshirts and poster from zumspeed.com about $70, no custom no tax. Then once I bought a SCSI adaptor (computer parts) for $40, they charged me $50 custom and tax. I believe the difference is how the seller state the nature of the parcel. What I mean is either "merchandise" or "gift". Merchandise type is more likely to be charged for extra.

For canadian SS, do they have a printing facility in Canada? or are they just from US but CDN prices?
 

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I have bought many items from the US into Canada. And usually I pay a handling fee and GST to the shipping company. I have never paid any actual customs or duty and don't think I ever will. THere has been a couple of times where I did not have to pay any handling fee or taxes but I think that was mostly fluke.

Although this is not directly related to Cafepress it will help I think. If items are shipped from UPS in the US, UPS Canada will handle it here. They have been charging me around $50 for handling fee plus any GST owing. That is expensive. If items are shipped via USPS from the US, Canada Post handles it on this end. They have been charging me only $5 for handling fee plus any GST owing. I have ordered from Cafepress and I think they were using USPS so I only got charged $5 from Canada Post.

Overall, I think the best business practises would be always to assume that you will pay a handling fee of some kind and the GST.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The official word from Canada Customs in any goods coming from US to Canada valued at less than $20 US is okay. Over $20 and they may choose to slap a $5 handling fee plus GST owing. I have ordered several items now from spreadshirt, cafepress and other merchandise (ink cartridges) and have been about 50/50 with getting stopped.

Spreadshirt does not produce shirts in Canada but they do have an office in Montreal now so maybe one day. They have recently offered the option of operating under CDN dollars though.

I try to make it clear on my shipping info that the items ship from the US and may be subject to these fees so that customers are not surprised.

Thanks for the replies.
 
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