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Canada Customs Duty + Tax/Shipping FeesCanada Customs Duty + Tax/Shipping FeesAsk MFC

kondokaedekondokaedeIl y a 3 ans
Please note all prices/fees mentioned in this article/inquiry are in CAD

I have ordered numerous boxes of figures valued from $100ish to well over $1000 in the past few years. I have never gotten any duty+tax until recently, precisely a week ago (August 20, 2016).

As you may know, those duty+taxes are often very expensive. In my case, it is some % of the goods value + shipping fees (it seems like it varies), and then on top of that, there is a handling fee by Canada Post, which is often $10. So since then, I have been trying to figure out a way to ship items to minimize/avoid those outrageous charges.

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Here are some (not all) of my orders (all numbers are rounded):

2 1/8 figures from TOM Japan, EMS, $260 (value+shipping), no duty+tax
1 1/7 figure from TOM Japan, EMS, $185, no duty+tax
1 1/7 figure from TOM Japan, EMS, $125, no duty+tax
4 1/8 figures from Amiami Japan, EMS, $600, no duty+tax
6 1/8 figures from Plamoya Japan, EMS, $1700, no duty+tax (weird?)
1 1/8 figure from HobbyLink Japan, EMS, $140, $16 duty+tax
1 1/8 figure from Kotobukiya US, FedEx, $160, $16 duty+tax
28 mini 2 inch figures from MFC seller, USPS priority, $880, $50 duty+tax

1 artbook+1 mousepad from OtakuRepublic Japan, EMS, $125, no duty+tax

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So right now, I am trying my Amiami orders with SAL registered packets. I am wondering the following:
-What shipping method do you use?
-How many figures do you usually ship together?
-What is the total recommended total value+shipping on each shipment?
-What is the exact % do they charge for duty+tax?


Thank you so much for reading this article/inquiry. I appreciate any insights on this matter!

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So far, here is the summary of some helpful tips by everyone:
-Use SAL registered or unregistered
-Value around $100-150 seems good
-# of items around 1-2
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Commentaires28

GodlikeSaschaIl y a 3 ans#14763573They do, but I get charged even when it's marked as toys. The stores I order from sadly refuse to mark anything as gifts. :/ The thing is, the Japan Post custom documents usually only say "collectible figure" now, and since customs doesn't check the contents, they're free to interpret it as whatever they want it to be (hence why my packages often get tagged as "ceramic figurines" now). The documents used to say "plastic figurine" or something similar, which left things much less open-ended.
I live in southern New Brunswick, and I've had a lot more customs issues here than when I lived in the north of the province. :/

Hmm I wonder what it will be like for me when my item arrives in NS? I guess I see when I place my first order later this year.
Il y a 3 ans
kondokaedeIl y a 3 ans#14537756Don't your sellers declare what is in the package? From my knowledge, customs can't just tax you randomly (you can appeal in this case). My sellers always declare figures to be toys or gifts. Also, I find it to be the exact opposite, most things from Japan aren't taxed for me, but things from the states are often taxed. I live in Alberta.

They do, but I get charged even when it's marked as toys. The stores I order from sadly refuse to mark anything as gifts. :/ The thing is, the Japan Post custom documents usually only say "collectible figure" now, and since customs doesn't check the contents, they're free to interpret it as whatever they want it to be (hence why my packages often get tagged as "ceramic figurines" now). The documents used to say "plastic figurine" or something similar, which left things much less open-ended.

I live in southern New Brunswick, and I've had a lot more customs issues here than when I lived in the north of the province. :/
Il y a 3 ans
GodlikeSaschaIl y a 3 ans#14537607Only 50$ fees on a 880$ package? You got really lucky there. That's how much I get charged for 200$ packages... I've been really unlucky since I moved, anything I order that's bigger than a Figma gets hit by customs almost automatically, and a lot of times my packages get tagged as "ceramic figurines" by some dumbass who can't read the customs declaration from Japan Post, which means even more fees. (The weirdest I've seen so far was a box with two Nendoroids being tagged as "zoological specimens for collection" or something like that.) Usually the customs fee is at least the amount I paid for shipping, but often more.
The only times I can avoid customs is if my packages are really small (as I said, Figma-sized seems to be the limit), under 150$ or so value, and not shipped EMS, but it can vary sometimes. That, combined with the JPY to CAD value being all weird lately, makes me want to start buying from the US instead... Shipping would be a bit more expensive but I've never had to pay customs on anything coming from the US (or coming from anywhere other than Japan, really).


Don't your sellers declare what is in the package? From my knowledge, customs can't just tax you randomly (you can appeal in this case). My sellers always declare figures to be toys or gifts. Also, I find it to be the exact opposite, most things from Japan aren't taxed for me, but things from the states are often taxed. I live in Alberta.
Il y a 3 ans
Only 50$ fees on a 880$ package? You got really lucky there. That's how much I get charged for 200$ packages... I've been really unlucky since I moved, anything I order that's bigger than a Figma gets hit by customs almost automatically, and a lot of times my packages get tagged as "ceramic figurines" by some dumbass who can't read the customs declaration from Japan Post, which means even more fees. (The weirdest I've seen so far was a box with two Nendoroids being tagged as "zoological specimens for collection" or something like that.) Usually the customs fee is at least the amount I paid for shipping, but often more.

The only times I can avoid customs is if my packages are really small (as I said, Figma-sized seems to be the limit), under 150$ or so value, and not shipped EMS, but it can vary sometimes. That, combined with the JPY to CAD value being all weird lately, makes me want to start buying from the US instead... Shipping would be a bit more expensive but I've never had to pay customs on anything coming from the US (or coming from anywhere other than Japan, really).
Il y a 3 ans
amy616Il y a 3 ans#14448005tanzaniteIl y a 3 ans#14432133
Oh yeah I should add on the last comment, my parcels haven't been getting updated either, for 2 of them one was shipped mid-July other was mid-Aug. Received both without a warning.
And also, Canada post has been working pretty early (like 8am) which was never the case over my 2-3 year experience. I think there might be a relation with the whole Strike/Lockout that happened, maybe they had workers who decide to work longer, and thus have more parcels taxed?? Just a random thought that just occurred to me, after hearing that people got taxed more often in the last few months and it just matched how Canada post delivery started to operate on earlier hours.


I just got 2 more packages after my 3 consecutive tax'ed packages, and neither of them got taxed. Both of them were EMS, valued about 100.
Il y a 3 ans
amy616 Let's DANCE
tanzaniteIl y a 3 ans#14432133
Oh yeah I should add on the last comment, my parcels haven't been getting updated either, for 2 of them one was shipped mid-July other was mid-Aug. Received both without a warning.
And also, Canada post has been working pretty early (like 8am) which was never the case over my 2-3 year experience. I think there might be a relation with the whole Strike/Lockout that happened, maybe they had workers who decide to work longer, and thus have more parcels taxed?? Just a random thought that just occurred to me, after hearing that people got taxed more often in the last few months and it just matched how Canada post delivery started to operate on earlier hours.
Il y a 3 ans
For all of my packages from Japan since I've started collecting, I have not once been charged customs. However, the one time I won something off of tumblr - I got charged a hefty fee for customs because it was sent from the US via DHL.

I typically use REG SAL - even for my more expensive merch. To be honest, most of my items are all small items like straps, keychains, small figures. If it's a whole box of straps I've ordered I ship it separately from my other "loose" items. I also try to keep it under $100 worth of merch.

Be warned though! Lately REG SAL has been kind of unreliable as CP has not been scanning my packages. The last update I have for my recently received packages are that they've left Japan. (This is probably due to the whole Canada Post pseudo-strike stuff but thankfully that's been tentatively resolved for now)
Il y a 3 ans
RieszIl y a 3 ans#14411867You can call them and dispute the bill to get their BS Fedex fees removed and only pay HST. I've done it a couple times but since then I stopped using Fedex because it's awful.

Hmm I may have to try that, thanks! We don't even have HST in Alberta so I guess it would just be the 5% GST
Il y a 3 ans
applepi5 @yorozuyawinchan
tbh the only time i ever get hit with custom is whenever i use dhl~ but you got lucked out for running away from custom for over $500 order tho.

usually with amiami, i use sal parcel since most of the time i have huge monthly order also i can track that on CP site or airmail if its smaller package just because they arrived within few days after what ems usually take. for figure wise, i just started buying from them so i normally bought 3-5 (nendoroid or preowned prize) but this month i think i ordered 8 lol but i buy straps set like a lot so normally would spend $200-400 per order on them but ya so far no custom.

i think you got custom fees because 1. you use fedex 2. usps but ya use sal as much as possible to run away from custom haha
Il y a 3 ans
drowrangerIl y a 3 ans#14420711For me at least, I seem to get caught on fees when it's a package coming in from the US (especially if it's over $100) but not always. I was recently charged $107 and $78 in fees on two recent packages in the last couple weeks (both expensive dolls) so that wasn't fun. Canada customs are really rather random. I've had really expensive packages get through just fine while cheaper ones get fees. But again it's usually the more expensive ones that get caught.
Generally I try and stick to SAL but for me at least, it's made no difference really. Both EMS and SAL packages can get fees.
I have also given up combining orders from amiami, unless it's a very cheap item like a keychain or something. The more expensive a package is the more expensive the fees will be if there are fees charged on it.
So basically, I think it's mostly about luck.... but it does help if the package value is lower.


I got hit 3 times so far, and as you can see 2 of them are from the states. It does seem that items from the states do get hit quite a lot (66%, but 3 tries is definitely not enough for stats). I live in Alberta, and I have only used EMS before August 20th, and only one of of them got hit.
Il y a 3 ans
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