Canada Border Services Agency
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Importing by Mail

Goods and services tax (GST)

Any item mailed to Canada is potentially subject to duty and taxes. Although the GST was designed as a tax on the consumption of goods and services within Canada, imported goods are also subject to the GST because this ensures fair tax treatment for domestic products. Therefore, unless specifically exempted, you must pay the 5% GST on items you import into Canada by mail.

If you live in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario or British Columbia, please see the Harmonized sales tax (HST) page.

You don’t have to pay duty or the GST on the following goods that are imported into Canada by mail:

  • goods worth CAN$20 or less; and
  • gifts from family members or friends who live abroad when the gift is worth CAN$60 or less.

Foreign-registered publishers outside Canada are allowed to pre-collect the GST on printed matter only, such as books, newspapers, magazines and periodicals.

Non-printed items imported into Canada by mail from foreign-registered publishers are subject to the GST upon import.