Bringing the GF across from the US to Canada

My GF was delivered on Tuesday morning to Ogdensburg, NY. I brought it across the border Tuesday afternoon.

It went very smoothly.

I used a service called They provide you with a free U.S. address. They charge you $5 per package, and you have one year to pick it up. It was a 2 minute drive from the border to their warehouse. The staff gave me my packages and in about 10 minutes, I was back on the road heading to Ottawa.

I told the border agent that I purchased a laser-cutter, and what it was worth. He asked a few other questions (firearms, tobacco, etc.), and then gave me a declaration paper to bring into the building to pay my taxes.

I went in. I talked to another agent, and it took a little while to explain what it was. Luckily, based on a tip from @SunnyStarbucks, I printed a screenshot of the GF front page that shows what you can make with it. I also had a copy of the user manual.

I also printed a copy of my paypal receipt, and a copy of the “here’s what you purchased” page from GlowForge.

I think his biggest concern was whether I was allowed to bring this into the country. I told him I shipped it to the US to save on shipping costs. He asked if they would ship it to Canada, and I said that yes, shipping to Canada was available for a higher cost. That put him at ease.

I had printed proof that it was manufactured in the states, but he did not ask about it. It also says it prominently on the box, so you don’t have to bring that proof.

Once he determined that I was allowed to bring it in. He printed a page with an amount of tax to pay. I brought it to another agent, and paid the taxes on it. It was about $570 if I recall correctly (I left the receipt at home).

I then drove away, got home, and starting making things!

So in summary, bring:
-Your passport,
-Your receipt from Credit Card or Paypal
-Your “what you purchased” page from GF.
-Some way to show what the GF does, so you can easily explain it.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help out.


Technically they won’t ship it to Canada at the moment. Presumably they don’t have the CSA approvals yet but I don’t suppose the border guard is ever going to know that unless he has one on order himself, so well bluffed.

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One of us… One of us

Congrats! Can’t wait to see what you make with it now that you aren’t running back and forth to the makerspace.


There are reciprocal agreements with UL. If it can ship in the US, it can usually ship in Canada.

Really? When I worked for a company shipping from the UK we needed UL for the USA and CSA for Canada. Mind you I haven’t worked there since 2012.

Maybe reciprocal agreements is the wrong term. The major standards certification group in the US is UL. UL also certifies to CSA standards. You can receive a certification from them for both countries. It would likely cost more than a single country certification, but likely less than two separate certifications. As long as you don’t have to make two separate version of the product (to meet local rules), you would probably go for the combined certification.

As long as your not hiding little toys in candy (like those evil Kinder Surprises), you’re likely OK in both countries.


Yes that is what we did. A test lab can test to more than one standard but the standards are a bit different but will have a lot in common. I remember CSA had a very low earth leakage limit and I think a different way of measuring it. If it passed CSA earth leakage it would also pass UL and CE as they had higher limits.

But they don’t have UL certification for the USA yet the last we heard. If you need it for a workplace, etc you can delay until they have it.

Also, just to add to that list, have the proper Customs Tariff code (8456.10) handy. Yes they can look it up, but being able to properly indicate it to them shows you’ve done your research and removes any pangs of concern they might have making an error allowing the wrong item in.


according to this document and the same 8456.10 code, we should be lucky in Australia and NOT have to pay any import duty.

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Not that I think it’ll make a lick of difference, but it may also be 8456.11 for Australia.
There seems to be a mish-mash of data available. I only looked because I saw the year “2012” on that PDF and thought that document must have been amended by now.

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$570 in taxes?!! Whoa!!! That seems high, 20-30%?!?! What made it so high?

VAT and imports tariff taxes.

I was under the impression that NAFA reduced them to a more reasonable level.

That was for a Pro, not a Basic. And I think you pay the taxes on the US amount, not the Canadian amount.

Honestly, I really did not question it much. I just paid what they told me to pay, knowing full well they could at any time say “Never mind, we won’t let this into our Country”.


(I’m assuming you meant NAFTA; if I’m wrong, disregard…)

NAFTA is the trade agreement between the US, CA and MX. AU is not part of the party.
Trivia: Canadian officials also refer to NAFTA as MUST (Mexico-US-Trade agreement), but everyone generally refers to it as NAFTA because it’s easier.

That took me a second…

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It has been changed to 8456.11.

@polarbrainfreeze, thank you very much for this thread. I head down tomorrow to pick up my Pro.

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The code changed in September (I believe) but for all intents the tariff charges haven’t changed. If you claimed the old code, they’d either charge the exact same amount or they’d lookup the .11 code and use that. It shouldn’t slow you down either way.

Thanks for the clarification Dan.