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Customs/Duties for bringing an amp to Canada?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rabid_granny, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. I'm interested in an Avatar cab. I heard a local band and was pretty happy with the sound though I need to do more research. Since I'm in Vancouver, BC Canada, I'll need to bring this in myself. Does anyone have any info regarding bringing music equipment in from Canada? Any taxes/duties/levies that I need to prepare myself for?
  2. Jimmy P.

    Jimmy P.

    Apr 5, 2005
    Tokyo, Japan
    Check out Steamco Music, the Canadian distributer for Avatar cabinets -- they will look after the import duty.

  3. If it's made in North America there is no duty, you just have to pay the gst. BUT, unless you do the paper work to broker the customs yourself (it's not hard but not many do it) the courier company will charge you a brokerage fee. Some companies charge a percentage of the value of the item, some have flat rates. In my experience it has been cheapest to receive stuff from USPS, but if money isn't an issue UPS is the fastest, they get things through customs really quick. Everytime I've had a cross border shipment with Fedex it's been a nightmare, they have a really inefficient customs crew and they are just as expensive as UPS.
  4. UPS are real bastards with the broker fees which can be more than the tax. Dont use them. UPS is currently sueing Canada Post saying that becasue it is a governmet run system it has a unfair advatage under the NAFTA agreement. They beleive that we shouldnt have a state sponsered mail delivery system even though they wont provide cheap service to any region in the country. They are trying to get $250 million of your tax dollars from the Canadian government. Again I wont give them my money. you can read more about it if you google Council of Canadians which is a citizens lobby group in Canada. USPS is the best and cheapest but might take an extra day or two.
  5. Oh yeah, brokerage fees are way more than the gst, I've known guys get charged 10-20% of the declared value, which is why it's a good idea to do the brokerage paperwork yourself.

    As for the other issue, I agree UPS is way off base with their lawsuit. But, Canada post on the other hand is lobbying the gov't for compensation claiming they are losing huge money because of e-mail. They want a tax on e-mail/internet to be paid to them for lost revenue, and apparently the tories are listening. So for those keeping score, in Canada according to the tories you should be able to have as many guns as you want without tax, but e-mail is totally taxable. Good Times :(
  6. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    There's one thing to check if you want to order directly from Avatar. I was in contact with Dave there a while ago and he said he will not ship to Canada. He's had too many problems. If you have someone across the border to accept the shipment (like in Blaine for example) you could do it that way. Otherwise Steamco is your best bet. They do all the work for you and while their prices are a bit higher it still looks like a pretty good price.

    Best to email Avatar and see what their current policy on shipping to Canada is.
  7. Cool. Thanks for the info. Dave did point me towards Steamco, I totally missed the Steamco link on Avatar's main page. I'm also going to head to Bass NW in Seattle to try out heads/cabs. If something sounds good there, I may not go with the Avatar. It all depends. There's so much choice out there!!!
  8. Jimmy P.

    Jimmy P.

    Apr 5, 2005
    Tokyo, Japan
  9. Hey Smash,

    The band "Romance" won Shindig. Steve, the bassist, was running an Avatar 2x12 with an SVT Pro-2 head.. It sounded good to me and Steamco is selling package deals of a Thunderfunk with Avatar cabs.


    No music clips at their MySpace though.

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