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What You Need to Know about Moving Goods from Canada to the US

October 14th, 2016

If you’re moving to the US from Canada, you’re probably wondering about the procedures and processes you’ll have to go through in order to start your new life in the States. What paperwork will you need to cross the border? Is there a risk you’ll be stopped or that your shipment won’t be allowed through? Read on to learn what you need to know about moving goods from Canada to the US.

What Goods Are Duty Free? 

There’s good news if you’re shipping the contents of your home to the US: household goods and personal effects that have been in your possession and use for a year or more are duty free. Planning on shipping your Aunt Nancy’s antique dresser? As long as you can prove it’s over 100 years old (with a receipt of purchase or appraisal), you won’t have to pay tax on it, either. Let’s say you’ve bought a bunch of things right before you moved. Don’t underestimate their value or lie to customs officials. They could confiscate those items and then slap you with a fine.

What Paperwork Do You Need?  

The documents you need depend on your status in the US. If you’re a returning US resident, you’ll need a completed copy of the 3299 Customs Form and a valid passport. Are you a part-time resident of the US? You’ll need the same form, a passport, proof of property ownership or lease in the US and documents that prove you live in Canada (such as utility bills or property tax records).

What if you’re not a resident at all? You’ll still need the 3299 Customs Form and a valid passport. In addition, you’ll need a copy of the I94 form that a US Customs official will insert into your passport when you enter the States. Depending on your situation, you might also need a study visa or work visa as well as a letter offering you employment in the US.

Do I Need to Clear Customs Myself?  

The answer to that question depends on certain factors. Generally, you don’t. However, if there’s a problem with your paperwork, your goods will be held in storage (called “in bond”), and you’ll have to clear customs yourself.

Be aware that unless you’re a returning US resident, you have to enter the US before your shipment does. You’ll need to submit a copy of the I94 form to the moving company in order for your goods to make it over the border.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Experts in Shipping from Canada to the US. If you’re moving from Canada to the US, contact Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. today. We have over a decade of experience shipping clients’ goods across the Canada-US border. Some of our clients have been so happy with us, they’ve used us more than once! Our dedication to providing the best customer experience sets us apart. Call us now at 416-661-4228.

Written by Adi Shaked

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