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hitmanx Nov 27, 2005 10:01 PM

For those of you that are of the Canadian persuassion and have ordered products from B&H can you answer me a simple question:

Can I expect to pay many $$$ in duty charges for the products that I order? My bill will most likely be in the $200 - $300 range and I don't want to be stuck with astronomical duty charges... I'm pretty sure that they DON'T use UPS so that is good (lying, cheating, money grubbing bastards)... but Canadia n duty charges may be incurred regardless...

I'll be saving over $100 if order from B&H over Henry's Photo or any other camera shop that I know about... anyone have any suggestions on Canadian retailers that are on par with B&H?

ps - i know that was not a simple question... mine never are...

limeyg Nov 28, 2005 8:07 AM

I am not sure what type of product you are thinking of shipping from the US but you are certainly going to be charged the 15% sales tax plus some brokerage fees.
This is on top of the companies shipping fees.

I only buy from the US. as a last resort.
I have dealt with out of Quebec a number of times, my last camera came from them and found them very good to deal with. Plus if you are in a different province there is no sales tax which has to be a bonus.

hitmanx Nov 28, 2005 8:23 AM

i'm wanting to pick up a UV, linear polarizer, nikon 4t close up lens and a hama lens hood for my new Pana FZ30... so all together i'm looking at about $200-$250 CAD... they quoted like $27 in shipping...

Thanks for the tip, but i'm not sure if they have what i need...


nlp239 Jun 23, 2006 11:54 AM

If it's over C$50 you will definately be paying customs and excise no ifs or buts unless you're a business and can get it back.

If angers me but thems the breaks.

polar905 Jun 25, 2006 10:43 PM

I have found it hit and miss with the duties. For my TCON-17, I paid no duty. For my Bogen 488RC4, I got dinged, but I did choose rush shipping so maybe that is why, they figured I "really" needed it.

pagerboy Jun 25, 2006 11:06 PM

I ordered a tonneau cover from the states and you have to pay duty, gst and brokerage fees(tax from that state also?). It may be cheaper to get it here depending. I had to pay since no one sold my cover here but if the camera parts you need are sold here?

PeterP Jun 26, 2006 9:14 AM

You will get nailed for GST, PST, brokerage and shipping.
On my last big order from the US I had to fork over 700$ cash to the UPS man when my studio lights came in.

BTW I think UPS has about the highest brokerage fee I have ever seen!
Won't be using them again any time soon to cross the border.

JKA Jun 26, 2006 9:17 AM

You will have to pay GST for theitem order plus Canada Custom Service charge (6-7 dollars). It is not much at all.

It is cheaper to order multiple items from B&H. They only charge shipping for the first item and you will be saving on the Canada Custom Service Charge. The srvice charge is per order not by item.

I hope this will help.

Good luck!

jimwho? Jun 26, 2006 12:18 PM

Digital Cameras and Lenses are duty free. Check out this site: it will give you an idea of costs. I just purchased a Nikon D50 from Camereta and it was sent USPS $52 US delivered in 3 days.

Canada Post charged me duty (error) but there is a form on the back where you can apply for a refund.

It is important that the documentation on the package is clear as to contents to determine if dutiable. I confirmed with Customs that I should not have been charged Duty. CP charged me $8 CAD service fee.

Dispoable cameras on the other hand are subject to duty.

I saved $200 CAD after shipping and GST and PST.

jimwho? Jun 26, 2006 12:18 PM

Claim a refund.

nlp239 Jun 27, 2006 8:26 AM

Thanks Jim - for a new-comer you sure made one hech of a contribution.

What procedure did you use for a refund claim?

PeterP Jun 27, 2006 9:49 AM

On camera equipment you should not get nailed for duty, you will get hosed for the pst/gst (or HST) and brokerage.

Here is a link for small business customs info
Not sure where you go if you are a private citizen.

In case you have trouble sleeping.
see section 90-06 starting on page 1531 for Camera equipment duties. Most photographic equipment lists as free, no tarrif or duty.

Mourrri Jun 27, 2006 10:40 AM

Also, check out the FAQ from at

I bought my Pentaxfrom RitzCamera they are a borderfree merchant.

The experience was quite good because you can go throughthe Canadian check out process and getthe finalgaranteed total price (everything included) of your purchase delivered to your door.They promise nosurprise fees when youreceive the item.


jimwho? Jun 27, 2006 11:56 AM

On the package there was a form that listed all of the charges, duty, gst, pst etc. If you remove this document the reverse side of the fronthas the refund request form for when you are erroneously charged duty. Complete it with supporting documentationand send in for a refund. I gather this is a common occurence.

Newbie? Very much so and a huge learning curve with my D50.

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