While Process for valuing items for customs purposes at the Canadian border discusses how an item is valued and one of the answers has

if you recently bought it, determining the value is simple: look on the receipt, perform a currency conversion, and you're done.

But if I bought it online, does shipping matter or not? I am looking at a 24 hours absence visiting a friend and the item is 140 USD (~190 CAD) but the shipping is 30 USD (~40 CAD) so shipping pushes it over the 200 CAD exemption.

  • Why would it? Customs only care about the value of the item itself.
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 4 '17 at 13:35
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    @JonathanReez HM Revenue and Customs charges VAT on the value including shipping costs of items imported into the UK from outside the EU, so I think it's a reasonable question.
    – MadHatter
    Mar 4 '17 at 14:04
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    @JonathanReez canadacustomer.fedex.com/ca_english/customsguide/… "Most countries use the CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) method to calculate duty charges. CIF is a pricing term that means the cost of the goods, insurance and freight (shipping charge) are included in the quoted price. The total duty and tax charge is calculated by adding all costs together. " -- but that's for shipping something across the border.
    – chx
    Mar 4 '17 at 14:32

It is the value of the imported good that counts. Shipping and US sales tax, when applicable, do not count. Whenever duty is calculated, it is also on the cost of the item, excluding shipping and taxes.

It does not say it in such direct terms but every information regarding duties paid or exemption uses the term value of goods which excludes shipping and taxes. This coincides with my experience and I have done this many many times.

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    Well, if he's willing to pay such-and-such amount of money, including everything, to get the item sent to him, it must be because it is worth that much to him... Mar 4 '17 at 16:54
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    I don't see the problem, officer. Yes it's a diamond ring. Yep 5 bucks. The shipping? That was about 5,000. Can't be too careful, ya know.
    – corsiKa
    Mar 4 '17 at 19:38
  • @Itai : Actually I have paid duties on the entire bill, including shipping.
    – user58232
    Mar 4 '17 at 20:55
  • @ZeroTheHero - Someone owes you some duties! Possibly the paperwork was filed incorrectly. I used to do it often enough that I learnt the process.
    – Itai
    Mar 4 '17 at 22:50
  • @Itai I was told explicitly duty is assessed on the net value of the goods purchase, which includes shipping. I can't imagine the rules are subject to interpretation... I give the sales receipt (the amount of which includes all shipping and handling charges) and I pay duty on the full amount...there is no paperwork to misfile... Now I'm quite surprised by your comment and will inquire next time I am in this situation.
    – user58232
    Mar 6 '17 at 0:51

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