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Canada to the US?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazzy bass man, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. I am wondering if anyone knows about taking musical equipment from canada into the US. Here's why:

    I live in michigan and am interested in markbass amps, who don't apparently have a dealer in the US. Also Clubbass in Canada could possibly be much closer than a US dealer where ever they would be.

    So is it illegal for me to buy a markbass amp in toronto and then bring it back to the US, or would it cost lots.

    Any info is apprectiated on this type of transporting gear

  2. spacecanoe


    Aug 6, 2002
    not illegal at all.ive purchased gear in the states and brought it back to canada so why not the other way around. one thing to note is your warrenty. it might be voided so check into it. if its not made in the us or canada youll be paying duty on it but if its canadian or american made no probs youll just have to pay the tax .
  3. CanadianBass48


    May 8, 2005
    Ont, Can
    Umm ya. I go across the border all the time and they like always ask you what you are going to be doing in the other country. I think that you can only cross over with like $300 worth of goods. You could always try and how that they don't ask if you bought anything though. ;) Or if you like live more then two months in Canada then you can bring your amp back to the states no problem.
  4. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Yeah, there are customs restrictions and taxes on importing goods into either country, but they are pretty easy to get around by claiming you brought the item with you when you left. Usually they don't go beyond a cursory check.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Careful, Careful. I have heard many a story where customs dudes have completely taken a car apart b/c they found out the driver was lying. They have been given very large amounts of leeway as to what they can do to your property. Personally, whatever I do I would do it legally.

    One time I was going to visit a friend in Washington State. i had a box of books in my hatchback. the dude asked whats in that box. I said "oh thats just a box of books I havent taken out of my car yet as I have just finished moving." They "detained" me for 3 hours apparently b/c i said the word "moving." Jerks.
  6. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    So if something is covered under NAFTA, do I have to pay taxes on the purchase price?
  7. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    I don't believe it would be covered under NAFTA, since the item you're importing is not manufactured in North America. I think you'll be paying import duties at the very least.

    The best thing you can do is give Dave Freeman a call. He'll tell you more than anyone here can.
  8. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Hypothetically, couldn't someone purchase an amp or bass, and then let it sit at the dealer for the required number of months of ownership before transporting it across the line?

    Still, I don't think duties will be too bad on an amp. If you were bringing back a Brase, that might be different.
  9. Went to the states a number of years ago, coming back across the border, guy asked if I had anything. I said a couple of cd's, well he pulled me over and made me pay tax., on 2 cd's!....those bastards....

    So if you are thinking about buying an amp here in Canada, think about paying taxes/duty (whatever you want to call it) to get it back across. Markbass isn't cheap, and to lie about something like that hoping you don't get caught...hmmm, really doesn't seem worth it if you get it taken away. I don't know who Dave Freeman, but why don't you call the border, or immigration, or one of those phone #'s in blue pages for the real answer.
  10. MingusBass

    MingusBass Commercial User

    Sep 27, 2004
    Fort Wayne,Indiana
    Sweetwater Sound-Sales
    What if you just order the amp and he sends it to you? Do you have to pay all kinds of fees/taxes?

  11. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Call Dave at Club Bass as he sells to a number of US customers.

    Don't do anything illegal. I had a friend who lied to US immigration. He was detained for 24 hours and his car was seized. He never got it back. A new car under lease. He had to pay for the car. On top of that, he'll never be allowed into the USA again. I believe it works the same way for US citizens. Customs and Immigration has absolutely no sense of humour, so don't do anything illegal. Since 9/11 it's worse than ever.
  12. I got the third degree once for going to an audition in Canada for a band. You may need to bring the receipts for the amp to prove where you bought it so they don't try to hit you for duties.

    I know from personal experience if you're coming to Canada with a car load of band equipment, they want to know if you're getting paid to play there so they get their taxes. I kid you not. I spent an hour or two in the office explaining that I'm AUDITIONING for FREE, and if I GET the position, at THAT POINT I may be getting paid, but NOT TODAY.

    That was 20 years ago, after 9/11 I suspect they're even stricter now. I'd think about calling the appropriate customs agents on both sides of the border, they may each be interested in you, but for different reasons.

    They CAN tear your car apart to check for stuff if they want, and they're not responsible for putting it back together again, so better to make sure all your ducks are in a row before you go.

  13. ... and Dave at Club Bass is a great person to deal with... he'll set you straight one way or another.

  14. seems like the best plan is to talk to Dave, which I will do at some point.
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I dont know how the US system works but when buying an item from the states I ask that it be sent as a "gift" with a value less than a $100us on it. That gets me past duties and taxes. Then make sure you only ship with USPS otherwise you end up paying something like $48 in "brokerage fees" to fedex or ups. Since USPS delivers right to Canada Post you will never be charged brokerage fees. These fees cover the expenses of fedex/ups paying the taxes/duties and your behalf to the govt. Then they charge you the brokerage fee for doing that.

    Even with paying all the fees duties etc often its worth it if you are still getting the item cheaper or if its an unusual item not easily found in Canada.
  16. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    :rolleyes: Then if your "gift" gets "lost", you can count on getting re-imbursed zero from Courier and nada from the make-believe insurance you just bought.
  17. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Yeah, I have been lucky so far. Usually, I dont buy things that require insurance such as strings etc. However, recently i just bought an AI SA Focus. Didnt do the gift thing.
  18. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    Like everyone says, call Dave.. I would try it out there and have him ship it Canada Post or take it across yourself.. There will most likely be customs charges because they're made in Italy...
  19. Yes, and wear clean underwear. Worst case scenario at customs.

  20. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    MarkBass is Italy right? You will need to find out whether there are separate US and Canadian distributors. If separate then warranty will only follow a unit purchased in the States. If North American the warranty should follow regardless of where you bought it.

    From Canada either shipped or purchased in Toronto, you will pay 7% GST but not provincial tax. Probably you will pay Michigan state tax and that's it. If duty applies it will probably only be around 2.5% - 6%. That should be the full extent of your fees if crossing the border. If it's UPS or FedEX they will also charge (in addition to the above) a customs clearance fee which could be as much as $30. Still not too bad when compared to a couple of tanks of gas at today's prices.

    No sense in weaving tales and telling stories. Just tell the man what he needs to know, show the bill of sale and they'll put you through customs nice and quick. If you play games, so will they, and it's you who will be left hanging around the border waiting for them to get to your particular case. Not worth it.