Touring - Starting a tour in Vancouver ... Import duty on bike?
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I'm thinking about flying from the U.S. to Vancouver to start a 2 week tour heading south along the Pacific coast. Do I need to be concerned about paying import duty bringing my bike into Canada? Does it matter whether I bring it with me on the plane or whether I ship it ahead to a bike shop? Is there a good bike shop you could recommend I use if I ship my bike ahead? I'm guessing I won't have any problem crossing the border into the U.S. if I have a receipt showing it was originally purchased in the U.S. If anyone has had any experience with this, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!
If it is a US product by some definition then under the free trade agreement it is duty exempt when it enters canada, and if it is second hand it isn't taxable. As a US citizen planing to return to the US, and not planing to leave the bike in canada, you shouldn't need to do anything at the border no mater what kind of bike it is. An exception might be if you are doing all this professionally, like you are Lance or a BMX pro, then it might be taxed as a tool, but for tourism we want you up here and you're welcome.
Assume everything will be searched at the border, though you probably won't be, do not carry a single scrap of paper you do not need, leave any irrelevant material in the US. it's just less stuff to raise questions. You could be asked to prove your bike was not bought in Canada when you re-enter the US. You can either run it past US customs as you leave, or bring any receipts with you.
Thousands of people cross the border every day or hour, and this stuff never comes up. Be drugs, weapons, and alcohol free as you cross and you shouldn't have any problems. Passport requirements are not currently in force.
07-30-06, 11:00 PM
Make sure you have a sales receipt, preferably with a serial number, just in case a border official decides to challenge you on where the bike was purchased. There are no duties unless you plan on leaving the bike in Canada AND it's not made in either the US or Canada. Also make sure you have some proof of citizenship. I don't know how it works if you ship the bike. I always take mine as luggage.
Crossing between Canada and the US is boringly routine. Most border officials will just ask a few questions and wave you through while trying to stifle a yawn :-) Be nice, be courteous, be truthful and you'll be through in a matter of minutes enjoying all the wonderful stuff Vancouver has to offer. Cop an attitude and you could be there for a while (applies in both directions).
I've crossed the US/Canada border south of Vancouver twice with my boxed bike on the Greyhound. They never opened the box or any of my other luggage in either direction. The only time I was thoroughly searched was going into the US by car carrying some gourmet coffee for a friend in Seattle. Little did I know that coffee is sometimes used to hide the smell of drugs :rolleyes: I've ridden fully loaded onto the Sydney to Port Townsend Ferry with no questions asked. I've hauled the bike back into Canada on the back of a car and no one cared.
Just pack up, come on over and have fun!
Thanks! It sounds like it should be minimal hassle, if any. I'm looking forward to the trip.
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