Canadians - Shipping question

LOL. I’d rather not “risk it”. I’ve thought about it, but it would be SOOO frustrating to get the GF confiscated.

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I ordered the pro and I’m going to have it shipped directly to me. I budgeted around 900 dollars for taxes and duties being in Nova Scotia. Even if that amount is a little high I feel like by the time I get the glowforge it will be mostly paid off working my day job

In my experience there is one more reason to go pick it up and bring it back yourself. If you do, you just get stuck with the duty/taxes. If you get it shipped to your address in Canada then theirs a very good chance that it will also have to pay a brokerage fee by the shipping company. UPS is notorious for that.

I have never had any problems with paying brokerage on anything shipped via USPS and then coming into Canada and to me via Canada Post. But with UPS I have had to pay brokerage once and will never do it again. I don’t know about FedEx or Puralator but I have a feeling it will be the same thing and they will charge a fee. (Now I do think it depends on the class of shipping the shipper used as well, standard charges brokerage but first class or express, doesn’t. I think)

Now I hope everyone that’s getting it shipped to their door gets lucky and doesn’t have to pay anything more than the duty/taxes but don’t be too shocked if they come and tell you that you owe more than you thought.

It might just come down to what courier and what class is used.

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I have been dinged pretty bad by UPS in the past as well.

Yup! In one case I had to pay 30 dollars brokerage fee on a 40 dollar item. How that made sense don’t ask me, I just paid it and went on my way. I was young and it was my first experience with ordering anything from the US.

UPS in notoriously bad for brokerage fees. I’ve had better experience with FedEx in the past.

Be careful about pickup up the GF in Washington State - I thought of doing what cwilson21 is doing, but if the GF ships to Washington State, you pay Washington State taxes. Add in the fact that you will pay GST/PST when you import the GF and the shipping cost to Canada suddenly seems more reasonable.

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As for Brokerage fees, you never have to pay them. Brokerage is a separate service and there is always an option to do it yourself. Here’s how:

  1. Delivery guy shows up at your door demanding $$$ in fees. Say no - refuse delivery, tell him you will self broker.
  2. Call the courier company, tell them you want to self broker. They will update the package notes.
  3. Go to the shipping facility in your town (where the courier is holding the package). The package legally must be there (in case the CBSA wants to inspect it). Ask them for the clearance paperwork for self-brokerage.
  4. Take the paperwork to your local CBSA office (usually there’s one near the airport).
  5. Provide the paperwork, tell them what it is and pay the GST/PST and any duties they assess.
  6. Return the stamped paperwork to the shipping facility and collect your package.

It’s a hassle, that may not be worth the fees, but on higher cost items, you can save a couple hundred dollars.


Thanks for the info. I did not know you could do that.

Here’s a few notes about this topic I’d like to highlight:

The CBSA tariff code for calculating duty and tax will be 8456.10
84.56 Machine-tools for working any material by removal of material, by laser or other light or photon beam, ultrasonic, electro-discharge, electrochemical, electron beam, ionic-beam or plasma arc processes; water-jet cutting machines.
8456.10.00 00 -Operated by laser or other light or photon beam processes

Brokerage fees: It’s true, you can do it yourself. I learned to do it myself. I personally ship computer test equipment around the world for my company. You have to have:

  • a commercial invoice,
  • the proper tariff code (see above)
  • any appropriate regulatory documentation. In the GF’s case, because it includes WiFi, it has to have FCC (if going into US from out of US) or CRTC (if coming into Canada) radio emissions declarations.

As for the Glowforge evaluation units, they can likely ship them out of the US into Canada duty-free to testers as long as they declare them not for resale (NFR) and on loan for under a year. In CBSA terms, this is a “B13A Exemption”. For me, I usually loan test equipment from Canada to the US using No Declaration Required (NDR) 14. But I believe Glowforge has to claim NDR3 for the loans coming into Canada and returning to the US.


Thanks for the info @dan_berry.

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Has anyone recieved their GF shipped to canada yet?
I originaly ordered mine in november 2016 but upgraded to the Pro march 25th 2017. Estimated shipped date has moved about 5 times now. Now says september 1st 2018

The only GF units in Canada are those that people crossed the border to bring over themselves. :glowforge: still doesn’t have CSA certification and are thus not shipping to Canada yet…

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I had mine sent to a UPS drop off spot and picked it up there - in Sumas WA. Noted that the large arrows indicating it was not to be on edge were ignored (I guess they think it is just a company logo or something…
All good though. I would recommend doing this - I love my Glowforge and happy to have expedited things by doing a USA run (did have to take two ferries though…). On the way down make sure you say you are just going shopping - or they charge you for crossing the border - as a commercial vehicle, even if you are in your own car! I said I was picking up a laser cutter and apparently there is a fee for that… who knew?! On the good side there was a great ice cream shop just south of the border - yum!


Nice! If only I had the luxury of being close to the US border… It’s 6 hours for me to get to Sweetgrass MT, which is not a drive I’m willing to make. I’d be half asleep before get to Lethbridge.

I’m glad to hear that everything went well with your unit.
I really do just wish GF would be a little more forthcoming with the certification process rather than just seeing repeated delays with no explanations.

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Agreed about the certification, normally the USA certification is fine for Canada - I import a lot from Taiwan and we certify to the USA standard and CSA is usually the same, so few problems. They should be harmonized…
6 hours - ouch (with the ferry ride and waiting for it, and waiting in the line at the border - it probably took me that long too). Can’t wait for drone delivery…

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Don’t they have to be UL-certified (or equivalent - CE doesn’t cut it) to be imported?

Wonder what testing mark the EU units have stamped on them?

CSA for Canada. CE mark for the EU.

CSA is normally not much different to UL but they don’t have UL either.

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I drove Edmonton to Lethbridge, which was close enough, and slept overnight at a hotel. Another hour or so (if I recall correctly) to then go to Sweetgrass, circle around and head back. But yeah, it was tiring.

This. But I can attest once you have the unit you just stop caring anymore. :stuck_out_tongue: