International Hurdles?

Apologies if this has been answered already, I’m still way behind in reading the forum due to holidays.

It is my understanding that GF will begin shipping to US addresses before International addresses (please correct me if I’m wrong). I think this is so that if there are any issues with the early machines, shipping them back will cost the company less money. Essentially they want to debug things more locally than internationally.

I’m wondering if @dan has mentioned if there are any other hurdles that still need to be jumped before they start shipping internationally. Has all the certifications that are needed been achieved at this point?

I’m having my GF shipped to an address in the US (to save on shipping), and importing it myself into Canada. Does that mean I’m in the first group (US addresses), or in the second group (International Users)?

Thanks for any info.


US shipments will begin prior to international. However they will then overlap. In other words, international ins’t waiting in line behind the US.

No mention that I’m aware of.

Interesting question. I imagine it’ll go by whatever address they have on record for you currently. I don’t know if they’ll ask for shipping addresses in waves or how that’ll work.


They contact you at the time of shipping for a shipping address. - Rich

We will start shipping to US addresses before we start shipping to international addresses - will not necessarily finish US before starting international.

We assume that the machine will be used & received in the same country (and recommend that). We don’t make any allowances for otherwise. So if you tell us US, that’s what you’ll get.


Will you actually save on shipping, once you take taxes into account?

Assuming you are going to import your GF legally, you’ll likely be pulled inside to pay the GST/HST/PST. For me, that cost, plus the state tax (my closest border is with WA, home of the GF where State tax will be due), mean that shipping direct is lower cost overall.

I initially ordered to a US address and have been waiting to switch it to a Canadian address.

Buy hey, if they want a guinea pig to verify international shipping, I’m ready to help out.


I’m under the impression I have to pay taxes either way. Either I pay it at the border, or the shipping company will charge me for it (plus a brokerage fee) when they deliver it. I don’t think the shipping price that GF quoted to ship to Canada include either the taxes or brokerage fees. I may be wrong.

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Your understanding is my understanding also. Importer is (almost?) always responsible for the taxes and duties of importing an item.

But I think @Dent might mean the sales tax for the state its delivered to (in his case, Washington. And since Glowforge is in Washington he would owe sales tax because they would have to collect sales tax) plus the regular customs fees combined is more than if he just gets it shipped directly. So, if you ship it to Canada, you still pay import taxes, but you avoid paying US sales taxes.

Is that right?

I live in Georgia and didn’t pay any taxes, according to my receipt, so you own math might work out differently depending on which state you ordered ‘from’.


Yes @erin, that exactly it.

If @polarbrainfreeze is having his GF delivered to a different state, he may not have to pay state tax and may save money.

Carrying something across the border is a bit of a lottery (when declared properly). Depending on how busy the crossing is, they may or may not refer you “inside” to pay your taxes. You should always count on paying those taxes as it’s much better to be waived through without paying (when you were expecting to pay) than to be referred inside (when you were not expecting to pay).

If you receive the GF by mail, you will have those taxes collected automatically.

If you are caught without declaring something when you cross the border, you will pay penalties and likely have the “something” seized. At the bare minimum, you will pay double the taxes, so it’s not worth it.


Ok, I understand @Dent’s concerns. I would have it delivered to New York state, and as far as I know, I would not have to pay state tax.

I definitely plan on properly declaring my GF. I don’t want it to get seized. I’m fully expecting to pay the taxes on it. But perhaps I’ll get lucky and they’ll just wave me through.

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Depending on how the shipping gets worked out, working at the old business telco place, we often shipped to another telco place in Canada. We had decent shopping rates as a preferred business account. Roughly half the cost of someone waking into a UPS store and shipping. We shipped via the other companies account number because whoever handled their account got a rate half again of ours. So what might cost soneone off the street $200 would cost us $120 would only cost this other company $54 or so. I’m sure @Dan has someone looking into all this already and has been for a long time.