Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping to Canada

07 December, 2022


E-commerce business owners looking to expand their reach across borders into Canada must be aware of shipping restrictions, duties, taxes, and more before offering their goods for sale to Canadian consumers.

Delays, extra costs, and complications can arise if you don’t do your research! Here are our Do’s and Don'ts for shipping to Canada:


 1.   DO Confirm Your Carrier Delivers to Canada

Be sure that your carrier has proper authority to deliver in and out of Canada before committing to a shipping partner. Finding a shipping partner that can support your growth internationally – like Asendia USA – is crucial.

 2.   DO Consider Your Pricing

Canadian consumers are price conscious, and the number one thing they look for when online shopping is a good price. 87% of Canadians made purchases online last year, and they could be shopping with you! Make sure your prices are competitive, as Canadians tend to be more price conscious than brand loyal.

 3.   DO Clearly Communicate Fees

Shoppers don’t like surprises at delivery. If there are duties and taxes due from your customers, it’s essential that you make them aware. For example, any product you sell valued over $40CAD is subject to duties and taxes.

Canada has three types of duties and taxes for imported items:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): 5% federal tax is applied for items sold to Canadian customers for domestic consumption.
  • Harmonized Tax (HST): the total tax rate in some provinces that have chosen to harmonize their Provincial Sales Tax with the general Goods and Services
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST): ranging from 5% to nearly 10%, each province not participating in HST imposes their own tax at the local provincial level.

Consulting an expert like Asendia USA can help determine which taxes are to be collected and when, as some goods are not PST applicable.

 4.   DO Display Prices in CAD

We recommend that you show your prices in Canadian dollars for your Canadian consumers. Creating an online shopping experience that is tailored to your customer makes it easy for them to understand what they’re buying and how much they’re spending – and will help you gain repeat customers!



 1.   DON’T Ship Prohibited & Restricted Items

Before shipping goods into Canada, visit the Canada Border Service Agency for more details on items prohibited for import. As of writing this blog, items you cannot import into Canada include:

  • Coins and cash
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Obscene or Pornographic material
  • Anything made or crafted in prisons
  • Used mattresses or cushioning from used mattresses
  • Items that misrepresent their place of origin
  • White phosphorus matches
  • Any goods that might include hate speech or sedition

Always make sure you’re not shipping prohibited items.

 2.   DON’T Forget Required Documentation

One small mistake can mean a huge delay in the shipping process and headache for you! Don’t forget the documentation required for your shipments. Reach out to learn how Asendia USA can help handle all the necessary paperwork for you.

 3.   DON’T Get Fooled by Prices

Don’t make the mistake of only looking at prices when choosing a shipping provider. Consider which services are included in the shipping rate and if the provider has a good track record of smooth, delay-free delivery. Your shipping provider will be a long-term partner in your business and should be a strategic fit. Choose a provider that has a large network you can leverage for better shipping solutions and pricing.


At Asendia USA, we offer unique and reliable shipping solutions at competitive rates to help grow your sales across the border with ease. With efficient and cost-effective entry points within Canada, customs clearance, direct entry into the Canadian final mile network, and more – plus easy returns and local Canadian locations for your peace of mind, Asendia USA is the best choice for shipping from the US to Canada.


Want to learn more? Contact us for a FREE consultation and quote today!



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