What You Might Expect When Moving From the US To Canada

Making a day trip to visit Canada is easy when you live in the United States. Whether you take a short flight or opt for a road trip, this is quite a simple little vacation choice.

But if you are choosing to move from the United States to Canada—and bring all of your possessions with you—things are a little different.  This is actually a far more complicated process and it can be an expensive one, especially if you are not prepared.  Hiring a Clearit Candaian importing clearance consulting firm can be one of those costs, but it could save you money and time in terms of paperwork and efficiency.  They can help you to fill out paperwork, assess the fees you will need to pay, and then get the process started before you even begin packing!


Everyone who relocates from one country to another must pay duties and taxes and this is no different in at the US-Canada border.  These duties and taxes are important because even though you own the possessions are bringing across the border, the fee is necessary to deter the sale and distribution of foreign goods.  The purpose of this is to encourage healthy competition among local goods distributors by adding hefty prices to what are typically cheaper foreign goods.

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Thus, when you bring anything across the border, you have to pay a duty or tax.  The total fee depends on the various rates applied to the value of the item you are “importing” as well as other variables.  These include:

  • The country of export
  • The country of import
  • The category of product (electronics, apparel, jewelry, automotive, etc)
  • The number of pieces you are bringing
  • The value of these pieces (as a whole)


With all this in mind, you must remember to declare all of your relevant goods when crossing the border.  Typically you would do this before you start to make the trip (declaring a vehicle, for example, takes at least a few days to process the paperwork).  If you attempt to cross the US-Canada border without first making the appropriate declarations (and paying the appropriate fees) you could find the process even more complicated. In some cases, you will not be able to bring your belongings across the border at all, until you have gone through the proper channels.

Jennifer Winget

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