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What to Expect From Duty and Taxes When You Travel Internationally

Visiting Canada from the United States is pretty easy. While some might take an airliner to get there, it is also pretty simple—and a wonderful road trip—to drive from one of the northern states across the border.

Duty and Taxes When You Travel Internationally

Of course, visiting Canada is one thing but moving—and importing your belongings there—is another thing entirely. This can be a complicated process—and an expensive one.  But while the costs can be great it may still be worth it to pay a customs clearance company to help you.  This can be particularly helpful if you need a Canada customs duties and tax calculator .

Why Do We Have To Pay Duty and Taxes

This is an important question that many international travelers ask early in their travel experience.  A trade duty is a tax imposed on any imported goods (or services) with the intent to restrict trade. Tariffs increase the price of an imported good (or service) to make them more expensive to consumers in an attempt to prevent consumers from bringing goods from other countries (and sell them at a profit). This ensure industries continue to compete equally.

Similarly, a duty is a type of tax levied by a state (or other entity). While tariffs tend to refer to goods in a general sense of importation, a “duty” is a type of tariff generally associated with a specific tax on certain items.  Accordingly, an import duty is a tax that an importer has to pay for the privilege to bring foreign goods across a border into their country.

Calculating Duty and Taxes

When you import anything across international borders you will have to pay various duties and taxes.  How much you pay can depend on several variables:

  • The country you are importing from
  • The country you are importing to
  • The product category (jewelry, electronics, automotive, apparel, etc)
  • How many pieces you are importing
  • The overall value of these pieces

The Importance of Proper Goods Declaration

Again, these charges are intended to discourage illegal trade so it is important that any traveler know what they can expect from duty and tax obligations as they cross the border to any country.  If you are not prepared to pay these appropriate fees you may have trouble bringing your goods across the border; and if you attempt to do so it could violate international law (which is an entirely different—and more complicated—set of problems).

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