Having ordered my Pro in Oct/2015 and after the latest delay (May to July) I have decided enough with waiting. I’m going to have my Glowforge shipped to a PO Box just across the border and pick it up myself.
I’d like to know what experience you may have had bringing the Glowforge Pro through Canada customs, specifically B.C. if possible, and what I should make sure I have for the folks as I cross to avoid any hassles.
What paperwork does Glowforge come with to help me out and what should I make sure I avoid saying so I don’t raise eyebrows?
Was any duty/PST/GST charged?
Do I refer to it a ‘laser cutter’ or a ‘hobby laser’
Any other suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
Looking forward to finally getting this machine and having as much fun as the rest of you folks.
It is not my problem but there have been threads where folk who had Basic or Plus because of the legal differences with the Pro. Canadian import rules seem to see that as a major difference where Basic and Plus machines get through but the Pro is blocked for everyone in Canada. there are several folk on each side of the border who have discussed that a lot.
Thanks @rbtdanforth. I am looking for information specific to people who’ve brought a Pro across. It’s the Class 4 aspect that our government seems to have an issue with. The fear of random laser bursts escaping from Glowforge’s across the country and killing beavers and moose is a risk they don’t seem willing to take
Oh yeah, that one might have been a private message. You can shoot a message to @SunnyStarbucks though and ask her how she handled it. She should be able to tell you exactly how it went. (She’s our earliest expert in trans border crossings.)
I got my basic this way. You will definitely be paying taxes on it. Ensure you bring your receipt.
I told the officer it was a laser cutter and the value and into the office I went. The counter officer entered it as a laser printer because that was the description on the receipt. I didn’t argue after I tried to correct them at the counter. When I did my research, it wouldn’t have changed the tax I paid anyway.
With my experience, they focused on the desciption of the receipt I provided matching the packslip. They didn’t even look at the machine. This may not be the same for you as I’m sure other officers may be more stringent.
The only difference I can think of is at the time only FLEX USA was building these machines so I didn’t have any additional taxes due to NAFTA.
I know that some machines now are being built in Mexico (I think) and I dont know of the machines are exempt under USMCA (new Nafta)
There are several posts around here from people who have done exactly this. I don’t recall any horror stories, well none where customs was the root cause. A few things I remember from them:
As you ordered a Pro there will be the glowforge and its filter on the receipt. They seem to charge tax on both. Keep this paperwork for when you bring the filter across so you aren’t charged twice. Now, as in before you import, is the time to decide if you want a compact filter, no filter or will stick it out for the glowforge filter.
Glowforge will add state sales tax if you have it delivered to an address in the state of Washington. Somewhere there are forms you can submit to the State of Washington to get a refund of their sales tax.
Note that when the border guard asked me if they would ship to Canada, I said they would. This was before they were shipping to Canada at all, but I assumed they would start shipping to us soon. The main reason I had it shipped to the states was to save money on shipping. So I don’t think I lied. I did not know that it would take so long to get the Pros to Canada.
I’m not sure what I would say if they asked me the same question again.
That’s my biggest concern. Lying to CBSA is not a good plan at any time. Technically they will ship to Canada, just not this specific unit.
I did get my “we’re ready’ email and when I went to fill out the order, find out they won’t ship to a PO Box. I specifically asked that they confirm that a PO Box is okay prior to changing my address but that seems to have been glossed over in their response. I’m now scrambling to find a friend just across the border who won’t mind me hanging out at their house for a day to sign for the package.
Just on the other side of the border from me, there is a company that accepts parcels. (For me it’s called myUSAddress.com). I think they only have an office here near Ottawa. But I’m guessing there might be a similar service near where you are. These kinds of places are popular near borders.
Our team doesn’t always read this category, so in the future, if you need a response from us, be sure to post in the problems and support section. Unfortunately I don’t think our advice here is going to be very helpful. We have to recommend that you only import into countries that we already sell to.
@dan I originally sent the email for change of shipping address to support.
As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’m usually a person who plays by the rules but the wait has become a bit ridiculous for those of us in Canada.
Now I feel like I’ve shot myself in the foot because if I ‘refuse’ delivery now because of the PO Box issue I will lose my credit for further delays.
I’ll check to see if my service will sign for packages before I make my final decision. I have absolutely no doubts that the machine is safe and the problem getting certification for Canada is simply beauraucratic technicalities. Frustrating for us and for glowforge as well.
Bit the bullet and went across the line to pick it up! FINALLY have my Glowforge in the office and set up. . No problems at the border. Just had to give the Canadian government their taxes and I was sent on my way. Saved about $540 CDN on delivery which paid for the taxes and then some.
I printed the founders’ ruler and can’t wait to get going with this puppy! The long delay almost felt worth it when I logged in to my account and saw nearly $600 in credits ($20 at a time) That should be enough to keep me in proofgrade for the next little while.