Importing/Exporting parts

Capt. Mike

Mike Robinson Super Member Posted June 19, 2007 08:10 PM

Capt Mike:

I am not sure where this should go on the site so if you could move it accordingly.

I have just had an interesting experience importing into Canada.

It is a very odd process, one that can lead to shipments being held at the border for extended periods of time. Warehousing costs at the border can be huge, so I think anything that may help should be concidered.

Importing as an individual into Canada does not need an Import License. Most shipments go under a blanket number that the shipper uses, however Canada Customs may decide that you need to get one just because. This will delay your shipment 7-10 days.

So to get one just in case - and give this to the shipping people and the customs broker if needed - phone Gov of Canada 800 959 5525 and ask for a personal import license. It takes 2 minutes, is free (requires your SIN number). The number ends in RM0001.

US Postal service seems to be the best people to ship with as they do not charge a brokerage fee. UPS has a standard $40 charge. For larger items that UPS does not handle a custom broker will have to be found to handle your shipment. The shipping company will call you with a recommendation should it be needed. This is a good time to have your import license number!


Most auto parts have a 7% duty on top of GST and PST. It is dependent on country of manufacture and worth checking with your local Rev Canada office. It is also worth checking country of origin of parts before you buy them. If you have to work with a custom broker service they will need documentation of this (get the supplier to put this information on the invoice - you will need to give a custom broker service a copy of this too)

Custom broker service costs $180

If you shipment is delayed at the border and needs to be warehoused it can cost $75 per day!

Hope this helps

'82 Westy diesel

Capt. Mike

Would I be correct in assuming that if you buy from a vendor that handles selling & shipping to Canada, that they would have done the necessary paperwork and selected the appropriate shipper so that the recipient would then only have to pay the import duties?

I know CIP has a Canadian operation branch so their stuff appears to be shipped as Canadian origin, at least according to one member's post. I remember shipping stuff to S. Africa way back when and all I had to do was put the appropriate customs dec on the package at the Post Office and the recipient then only had to pay the duties. No further permits necessary.

My company used DHL for overseas shipments but they were always commercial shipments to themselves. And that was 20 years ago.

Thanks for the post. It might make eBay and Internet "dba's" purchases a crap shoot.

Mike Robinson

New member
Some vendors do all the paperwork and ship with an organization that handles the brokering. The US postal service have a good repulation in this regard as they do not charge a brokering fee(so I have heard) UPS and the other big names (I have heard) charge a flat $40 fee.

The challenge happens when you are shipping a large item like a engine and a different (not a recognized 'big name') shipper is used. What happened to me was at the border the shipping company phoned me and asked which broker I was going to use. It got more complicated from there!

The key to cross border shipping is ask the vendor who they ship with and how often they ship to Canada. I would recommend getting a personal importer license that they can add this detail to the shipping paperwork to make things more likely to go smoothly.