Canadians: The importing a sub into Canada thread. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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For us Canadians who are on this forum, one of the biggest questions is: how do I get my hands on some of these awesome ID subs that are regularly recommended on this forum?

For great subs, Canadians have a choice of: SVS or Funk Audio (Funkywaves) subs, but there are many others that are awesome but there is no way to get them unless you import them yourselves from the USA

For normal items, when you import things, the general rule is to use USPS and avoid UPS Ground, or go with vendor/method that will include brokerage or customs costs. However, with subs, since they are so heavy, there may not be many options

I would like to consolidate some actual specifics from people that have actually imported a Hsu, Rythmik, Seaton, JTR whatever. It seems this information is spread out all over the place.

So please post what your experience with importing these products.

- What sub did you buy?
- How much was shipping to your city (please state)
- What was the shipping method (UPS, Fedex, DHL, whatever)?
- Please state the total LANDED costs of the sub, breaking down the fees if you know them.
---- What brokerage/handling fees did the shipper charge when you received the sub?
---- What was the assessed duty (note this is different from PST or HST)
- Any other considerations such as delivery times, or customs delays

Also, has anybody had to ship parts back for warranty purposes? Please post how that went.

I hope this thread can be helpful for Canadians trying to decide what sub to buy. The actual total cost can easily sway the value for money equation if the added cost is an extra $500 on top of what USA people are paying.

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post #2 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't actually have any direct experience importing a sub into Canada by shipping, but I have bought a few subs by picking them up myself.

- I ordered the subs from Amazon.com and had it shipped to a UPS Store. Amazon.com lets you specify a US address even though you have a Canadian billing address. I use this trick all the time when I am in the USA, often shipping an item to a hotel where I am staying.
- I drove across the border. The shipping place held them for me for a fee.
- I declared the subs while crossing back.
- The subs were Energy subs, so made in Canada. They charged me the HST on top of the total price (ironic that I was buying a Canadian sub in the US, at a much cheaper price)

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post #3 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 09:07 AM
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What sub did you buy?
ChaseHomeTheater SS-18.T (dual SS-18.1 passive cabinets + a Dayton Audio SA1000 amp).

How much was shipping to your city?
$250 (to Ottawa, ON).

What was the shipping method?
R&L Trucking.

Please state the total LANDED costs of the sub, breaking down the fees if you know them.
SS-18.T: $1,395.00
13% tax: $181.35
Shipping: $250.00
------------------
Total: $1,826.35


What brokerage/handling fees did the shipper charge when you received the sub?
None. While the shipment was at the border, I did get a call from a Windsor (Ontario) brokerage firm telling me that there would be a $50 brokerage fee, but I never got charged one.

What was the assessed duty?
$0.

Any other considerations such as delivery times, or customs delays?
When the shipment arrived in Ottawa, I had to:
- go to the local "Sufferage Warehouse" (SW), where the shipment was being held in bond pending my payment of taxes, and pick up the necessary Customs paperwork;
- take the paperwork to the nearby Customs office and pay the taxes;
- return to the SW to drop off proof of payment; and, finally,
- drive over to the nearby delivery company (Day & Ross) that was handling the local delivery of the subs and schedule a drop-off for the next day.
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post #4 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 09:52 AM
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Thanks, Warpdrive, for starting this thread. Been looking for an ID sub for awhile and have a few bits of information. Will post it when I get home.

I think it's past time to upgrade my equipment and my room.
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post #5 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 09:56 AM
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I know things with HSU have changed over the years. I purchased a VTF3.3 back in 2008 and the quoted price from HSU was the landed cost. Fast forward to 2010, I ordered a VTF-15H and they no longer provide Canadians with landed cost.

VTF-15H (Satin Black)

Shipped to: Edmonton, AB
Sub + shipping + brokerage (FedEx): 1099 USD
Total initial charge: 1156 CAD (exchange rate + 2 or 2.5% charged by Visa for converting USD to CAD)
FedEx invoice received a few months after delivery (duty(6.5%) + GST(5%)): $116

Total to my door: $1272

Absolutely no problems importing either sub with FedEx. No customs hold ups or delays. It only took about a week each time.

I purchased 3 JTR T12HT-LPs this winter, but I won't go into detail about those. Shipping was a bit of a PITA but I'm told they're normally shipped via FedEx (mine weren't). I suspect JTRs shipped FedEx would be completely worry free. Keep in mind, anything made in North America isn't subject to duty (6.5% on electronics AFAIK).
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post #6 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post

I purchased 3 JTR T12HT-LPs this winter, but I won't go into detail about those. Shipping was a bit of a PITA but I'm told they're normally shipped via FedEx (mine weren't). I suspect JTRs shipped FedEx would be completely worry free. Keep in mind, anything made in North America isn't subject to duty (6.5% on electronics AFAIK).

...thanks.

It would be useful to post your experience there as well....can't have too much information! Especially since JTR caps are one of the most revered subs on the forum.

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post #7 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warpdrive View Post

...thanks.

It would be useful to post your experience there as well....can't have too much information! Especially since JTR caps are one of the most revered subs on the forum.

The shipping quote I received for the three JTRs was for FedEx, but they actually shipped using a different freight carrier. This carrier was not a customs broker, so my shipment sat at the border while I called around to try and setup a broker.

Once that was dealt with and they were released, they were handed off to a Canadian carrier who brought them to Edmonton. That carrier then handed them off to a local carrier in Edmonton who didn't really specialize in residential deliveries. It took several phone calls to actually track down and pick up my speakers at their distribution center.

Jeff @ JTR explained later that he shipped it this way because he hadn't received the proper packaging for the new T12s yet and, as such, were shipped on a pallet. I don't fault him for this at all and, in the end, it all worked out fine.

3 x JTR T12HT-LP

Speakers + shipping: $4,217 USD
After PayPal exchange: $4,389 CAD
Customs (Livingston International): $495
- Brokerage: $180
- One time fee: $74
- ACI fee: $18
- GST (5%): $199
- Credit Card Fee: $24

I do not believe this an accurate representation of a typical transaction with JTR. FedEx is likely more economically friendly and we wouldn't see some of the above fees.

Hope this helps.
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post #8 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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interesting turn of events you went through vexxd. Glad it worked out, even though it was a pita.

The choice of shipper that the vendor uses can make a huge difference to the process of receiving the goods. It helps to deal with a vendor who's used to shipping stuff to Canadians and can relay which exactly which shipper they will be using when you place the order (and don't switch shippers at the last minute)

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post #9 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post



- One time fee: $74

This is the fee that is starting to drive me nuts and that is a forum friendly statement. It is appearing everywhere. It should be labeled, we are taking $74 more dollars for no explainable reason.
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 02:56 PM
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Subscribed. Love the thread already.

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post #11 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 04:54 PM
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Hi,
I ordered two Rythmik F15 subs and got their standard 10% discount for multiple subs. UPS was the shipper via land. They arrived about a week later east of Toronto and I was presented with a bill for the customs, taxes, and duties, the details I have long since forgotten. It was a pretty painless process, which it should be with NAFTA in place.
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post #12 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 05:34 PM
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VTF2-MK4 request for quote:

"The shipping cost for (1) VTF-2 MK4 Satin Black shipped via FedEx
International Economy service is $274.21 USD. This shipping cost includes
shipping , handling and brokerage fees only. We won't be able to determine
the Canadian custom and duties due to rates variation for each province and
are not familiar with additional fees at the border."

I think it's past time to upgrade my equipment and my room.
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post #13 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0gus View Post

VTF2-MK4 request for quote:

"The shipping cost for (1) VTF-2 MK4 Satin Black shipped via FedEx
International Economy service is $274.21 USD. This shipping cost includes
shipping , handling and brokerage fees only. We won't be able to determine
the Canadian custom and duties due to rates variation for each province and
are not familiar with additional fees at the border."

thanks.

that's always the part that scares me, but I'm guessing that it will be the standard 6.5% for a Made In China sub for duties. For Fedex I remember being charge a $10 ROD fee even though there was no brokerage fee. Hopefully somebody who has ordered a Hsu can chime in.

edit: I forgot about vexxd's post while reading this on my phone. Yes, 6.5% duty fee + tax applies, but it doesn't seem like there was any additional fees. Fedex seems like a safe choice for ordering Hsus without any real surprises in extra costs (other than the pretty hefty shipping fee)

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post #14 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 06:34 PM
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I thought electronics were duty free, regardless of origin, and that all you pay is hst/gst. Im in vancouver and order tons of stuff to pt roberts which is about 30 mins away. Have never had to pay duty/tax even on close to a thousand bucks in stuff at a time. Nexus makes it a breeze.
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post #15 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 06:40 PM
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I didn't pay duty on the subs, and I also didn't pay duty (just taxes) on my Emotiva UPA-5, which I picked up at a depot near Niagara Falls, NY.
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post #16 of 36 Old 05-17-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobu604 View Post

I thought electronics were duty free, regardless of origin, and that all you pay is hst/gst. Im in vancouver and order tons of stuff to pt roberts which is about 30 mins away. Have never had to pay duty/tax even on close to a thousand bucks in stuff at a time. Nexus makes it a breeze.

i've been across the border to pickup my online purchases dozens of times and have NEVER been charged duty. i even asked a border guard about it once and they said that it is generally only charged to people they catch falsely declaring the value of their goods as a penalty.
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post #17 of 36 Old 05-18-2012, 04:18 AM
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Good thread, could save ppl lots of hassle. Thanks to a couple of posters on this thread, I stayed withing Canada when I upgraded my subs and am very happy with my decision.

I didn't order my previous subs from in ID company but from a company in Vegas (Premier Acoustic PA-120). I'm not going to mention how much I paid for the subs but here's a breakdown of the other charges to deliver in Moncton,NB by UPS.

(per sub, so x2)
delivery: $128.68
duty: $6.59
GST: $14.03
broker fee: $39.10
broker GST: $5.08

both delivered within 6 business days.
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post #18 of 36 Old 05-18-2012, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brendelac View Post

i've been across the border to pickup my online purchases dozens of times and have NEVER been charged duty. i even asked a border guard about it once and they said that it is generally only charged to people they catch falsely declaring the value of their goods as a penalty.

With the border I cross often, they are very picky. They ask specifically where something was made. On a brand new unopened TV they wanted to see the TV itself even though it was marked Made in Mexico on the box. For tires they definitely ask everybody and tires are some of the most popular items that are imported.

I found this guide, but it is probably very outdated. Most electronics, cameras, and computers are duty free. But overseas made TVs and speakers are not. So it would seem that subs SHOULD be charged duty unless you buy a ID brand that assembles in North America. I think most of the time border crossings will just charge the flat rate HST/PST because they are lazy.

http://www.aacb.com/tools/tariffguide.htm

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post #19 of 36 Old 05-18-2012, 10:21 AM
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Got as pair of CHT VSs and Dayton amp. Got everything shipped to the USAdresses and went to pick up. Paid 13% taxes on top of an amazing price from Craig and came home. No brokage, no duties. All in all I dont remember exactly but I think it was around $1800 for all.

NEVER get things shipped across border via FedEx or UPS. Get it shipped to one of the many many various package holding places just across the border and go get it.
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post #20 of 36 Old 05-18-2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post

Got as pair of CHT VSs and Dayton amp. Got everything shipped to the USAdresses and went to pick up. Paid 13% taxes on top of an amazing price from Craig and came home. No brokage, no duties. All in all I dont remember exactly but I think it was around $1800 for all.

I don't understand why you have to pay taxes. I mean most online purchases are tax free if not in your state and allot of stuff is free shipping. I don't understand why it would be any different out of the country, especially Cananda.

I had to pay taxes on a pool cleaner last summer I ordered online, I think the first time ever. Figures, it was the one I needed and the thing just so happen to be built and sold in Joisy
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post #21 of 36 Old 05-18-2012, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

I don't understand why you have to pay taxes. I mean most online purchases are tax free if not in your state and allot of stuff is free shipping. I don't understand why it would be any different out of the country, especially Cananda.

Things work a bit differently in Canada

We pay provincial and national sales taxes on everything we import from out of country. It's a "sales tax" so that means if it costs you money to buy, you pay sales tax on its value. There is no loophole like what you have in the USA. We don't have states, we have provinces, and even if an item is shipped from a different provice, they still have to charge us the sales tax. It's a bit more complicated than that because some provinces have two separates taxes, some have one big sales "harmonized" sales tax, and one only has national sales tax.

I guess this has the side effect of making it fair to everybody, local vendors are not at a disadvantage. As I understand it, some consumers in the US have to pay state taxes even if they are being shipped from out of state...(not sure about the details). I can see that eventually this will be more widespread.

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post #22 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post

NEVER get things shipped across border via FedEx or UPS. Get it shipped to one of the many many various package holding places just across the border and go get it.

I'd love details on this. I see people mentioning it from time to time, but I've never really been able to figure out which places will hold shipments where I could pick them up (Montana). How do you find places willing to hold shipments? I'd be a bit worried about having problems picking things up.

It'd be great to take advantage of free US shipping...even if I have to drive 8 hour to pick whatever up.
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post #23 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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Montanna looks kind of sparse for border towns.

I've had many items shipped to a border town shipping store, then picked it up myself. I live in Abbotsford B.C. and had a HSU VTF-15H shipped to Sumas WA, 10 minutes away for me(if no border line ups).

Costs: 879 for sub, 120-something for shipping and 12% taxes at the border. Painless.
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post #24 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VEXXD View Post

... I've never really been able to figure out which places will hold shipments where I could pick them up (Montana).

Check out:
- this location in Babb; or
- this one in Sweetgrass.
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post #25 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

I don't understand why you have to pay taxes. I mean most online purchases are tax free if not in your state and allot of stuff is free shipping. I don't understand why it would be any different out of the country, especially Cananda.

I had to pay taxes on a pool cleaner last summer I ordered online, I think the first time ever. Figures, it was the one I needed and the thing just so happen to be built and sold in Joisy

Well to be honest, in most states the law is you are suppose to declare the purchases you have made (via a website that did not charge you sales tax) and the state still wants you to pay the tax via a form you are suppose to turn in. But we all do not follow the law regarding web purchases and it is a paperwork nightmare for the state govs to go after ppl who do not pay the sales taxes. This luxury we have now will eventually go away once the legistrators get their way and force places like Amazon to start charging sales taxes depending on which state you live in.

BTW great idea for a thread WarpDrive

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post #26 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 03:47 PM
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post #27 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 04:47 PM
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post #28 of 36 Old 05-19-2012, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

Check out:
- this location in Babb; or
- this one in Sweetgrass.

That's awesome. Thanks a bunch. May have to try one of these out.
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post #29 of 36 Old 05-20-2012, 11:38 AM
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I have shipped an amp from emotiva direct to my door in winnipeg. I also took delivery of a 5.1 swan package direct. I have picked up pieces from elemental designs at a border town in ND. I paid duty on the speaker package. Other than that i have never paid duty. Freight will vary depending on the size and weight. I have 4 sub cabinets and a 5 speaker package coming soon from ED that will again be shipped to the border town (pembina, ND). When i pick them up i will update my post. The value will be around 3500 so we'll see what the idiots at the border have to say regarding possible duty charges. I will, of course, have to pay 5% gst and 7% pst on the value of the goods. Hopefully, everything will fit into a cargo van.
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post #30 of 36 Old 05-20-2012, 02:11 PM
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Roughly-

4 Avalanche 18 drivers
$275 each ($1100)
$40 shipping each
~$50 GST+PST+$5 "prep fee" by USPS each

~$1500

I sold my 2 SVS passive cylinders at the time, which almost paid for the new drivers. Went from ~105db@20hz ~10% distortion at the seats to something like 120db@20hz <5% distortion at the seats
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