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immigrating to Canada

Moving to Canada – Settler’s Effects

This post is for people moving to Canada for the first time and how to process your personal household goods. The process is relatively simple.
There is a tax exemption on all duties and taxes under tariff item 9807.

Who qualifies?
– Any person entering Canada with the intention of establishing a residence in Canada for at least 12 months,
-Any person on a work permit valid for over 36 months

What goods qualify?
-Household goods – furniture, apparel, vehicles (admissible to Canada), trailers not exceeding 2.6m and not part of a dwelling, and any goods acquired in transit from former country of residence which has met ownership, possession and use requirements. Be wary of shipping food. Especialy dairy or meat products and plants.

What goods don’t qualify?
-business and commercial goods e.g. office equipment, vehicles for commercial purposes etc.
-goods for the accomodation of others, for sale or for hire.
-live stock
-houses, dwellings, trailers that require a permit to be moved,
-company owned and lease vehicles
-goods purchased and shipped directly to canada without ownership, use and possession requirements being met. i.e. newcomer A buys a kitchen set and has it shipped from the store to Canada.

What are ownership, possession and use requirements?

Ownership – that you have legal rights to a good, purchased or acquired and can dispose of without restriction. i.e lease goods wouldnt qualify.

Possession/- Physically accepted the goods.

Use – Goods have actually been put into action or service in the manner that was intended or designed for those goods. (this requirement is waived for wedding gifts and bride’s trousseau but must have occurred 3 month prior or preceding move to Canada, and alcohol and tobacco)

*Retention Period – goods brought into Canada under this exemption must be retained for 12 months. Any goods disposed prior to the 12 months should be reported and duties and tax paid.

The process

Upon arrival to Canada you should present a list to Customs of the goods you have brought with you and that you plan on having follow you at a later date. You can write this up yourself, or use CBSA’s form B4 personal effects accounting document. download here.

You should list all your goods, in as much details as possible for high value items like jewellery, electronics, listing serial numbers and have appraisal or receipts for supporting documentation. i.e. Gemologist report.
This list should be presented when you first arrive and you should have it stamp validated by Customs. However, if you don’t have this list prepared don’t fret, just report and make your declaration as soon as possible to your nearest customs office.

* Be prepared to show proof of your status in Canada and how you qualify for this exemption i.e. landing papers, immigration docs, work permit exceeding 36 months, etc.
-Make a true and complete declaration. If you’re shipment is selected for an exam and your declaration is found to be incomplete or untrue than penalties will apply.

Once your goods arrive in Canada, you’re shipping company will notify you and you can come to customs to clear your goods. Bring the following items:

-2 copies of the cargo control document
– Your list of goods (hopefully already validated by Customs) on your own paper or on form B4A
-Any supporting documents for high value items – Note pictures will also sufficed if presented prior to arrival in Canada and validated by Customs.
– Government issued ID or passport and proof of status i.e. PR card.
– Form B15 Casual Goods Accounting Document if you have one from your initial declaration to Customs

Present all of these at the Customs office your shipping company/or freight forwarder has instructed you to go to. If the Customs officer is satisfied that all is in order and you have not been selected for an exam or inspection to verify your declaration, he/she will release stamp your cargo doc, return 1 copy to you and issue a B15 receipt if you don’t already have one. Then you can take this document to pick your goods or fax to the shipper who will pick up your goods and deliver them depending on your arrangement.

I hope this helps….any questions? post

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