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Old 12-08-2008, 02:18 PM
KarTek's Avatar
<- Ryuko of Kill La Kill
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bahama/Eno Twp, NC
Posts: 3,258
Anyone experienced with shipping/mailing to canada?


A kind member here lent me a tool for my car and now I need to return it to him along with some other misc. seals and parts. (like a few o-rings).

I believe that I'm reading that I need a "comercial invoice" and a "certificate of origin".

What are all these things? Also, it's asking for a "commercial value". Is this the actual value or a "theoritical" value if this part was purchased. How do I classify these items in the description?

I don't want to "lie" about the contents and get them confiscated and I also don't want the recipient to have to pay taxes or duties on things he already owns.

Help please!


Benz Fleet:
1968 UNIMOG 404.114
1998 E300
2008 E63

Non-Benz Fleet:
1992 Aerostar
1993 MR2
2000 F250
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:53 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,350
I'd just write on it 'returning borrowed tool'.
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Alberta
Posts: 267
As a Canadian, I receive packages from the US and I could give you some suggestions that make things easier for the recipient...

If you ship by UPS Ground or Fedex Ground (or any other service offered by any courier with a reasonable rate), the recipient will have to pay hefty brokerage fees as well as disbursement charges and other miscellaneous fees. Avoid this to keep the recipient happy! Only the costly air-based UPS/Fedex services have no brokerage fees (other duties/taxes still apply). Everyone I know hates UPS for the brokerage fees.

Unless you are in a hurry, if you ship by US postal service it would probably be a lot easier. They won't make you provide any forms, and the recipient won't have to pay brokerage fees (there used to be a $5 handling fee but I haven't been charged it in over 2 years so I think it may have been eliminated; I'm not sure.)

For items sent by mail, the recipient pays duty/tax based on the declared value of the item. Under $20 is tax free (or under $60 for gifts, but everyone marks everything as a gift so sometimes they don't believe you - include a happy birthday card/note if it's a gift ).

They may ask for commercial value, value for customs, insured value, etc. - the recipient will most likely pay duties/taxes based on the biggest number you write (i.e. you can't insure it for $500 and then say the value for customs is 9 cents).

And, as the previous poster said, mark in as many places as possible that the item is being returned. I'd suggest:


If you are shipping with UPS/FedEx rather than by mail, here's a link to an online copy of a commercial invoice:

The information on the form is basically the same regardless of the carrier you use (so you could use this UPS template with another carrier without problems)

The NAFTA certificate of origin declares that the goods are made in a country covered by NAFTA (i.e. Canada, US, Mexico). If they weren't made there, you don't need it. If you have claimed that the goods were made in a NAFTA country and cannot supply a valid certificate of origin upon request, there is a $1000 fine. You'd have to get the certificate of origin from the maker of the goods. Having said that, I've received incorrectly-declared packages in the past (the shipper's fault, not mine) and I've never been asked to produce a certificate when importing.

Good luck!

1989 250TD Wagon 5-speed, 160,000mi ::: Dark gray metallic / black cloth
1984 190D-2.2 5-speed, 287,000mi ::: Silver-blue metallic / black MB-tex ::: SOLD
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:16 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I second that. Ship by US mail, not a courier. UPS is worst. They charge a customs brokerage fee payable by the recipient of about $45 regardless of the package value.
Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: The People's Republic of Arlington, VA
Posts: 7,190
I thought NAFTA made it EASIER to trade between our countries. This doesn't sound very easy to me!
" We have nothing to fear but the main stream media itself . . . ."- Adapted from Franklin D Roosevelt for the 21st century

OBK #55

1998 Lincoln Continental - Sold
Max 1984 300TD 285,000 miles - Sold
The Dee8gonator 1987 560SEC 196,000 miles - Sold
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:35 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,971
I third that. POST OFFICE!!

Any other way is CRAZY.

1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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