Some questions for Canadian customers

It was just a somewhat snide comment that if the delivery person is already on your doorstep with your forge, procedurally they can’t just hand over the merchandise unless they’ve satisfied CBSA with all the paperwork and it was released from the CBSA warehouse.

By refusing the delivery guy on your doorstep, it means that (Courier) would have had to file all the paperwork for you and they’re hoping you’ll just pay them without asking questions.

The evil comes from this…
If you tell the courier at your door you’re self-brokering, they’re screwed: They’ve done the leg-work to get it released without giving you the due right to self-broker, and CBSA released it “in bond” to the courier. There’s no more legwork for you to do with CBSA, it’s already been done. It now becomes a game of chicken with the courier: does the guy take it back to the Courier’s warehouse, incurring MORE costs for delivery, or do they just write off the brokerage fees? If they offer to hand it over to you for ONLY the price of Duty+GST (which you calculated above, naturally) – take the offer. If they brought paperwork with them, look for (and refuse to pay) for the brokerage fee amount. Scribble on the paperwork for him.

Most courier companies avoid getting caught red-handed by this scenario by communicating with you before it’s at a CBSA warehouse, but depending on the service level (next day shipping, anyone?) that can mean they pay the fees ahead of time (“in bond”).

  • If you get a call from the courier asking for any more money (and I mean any), that means they’re trying to get your authorization to be the Broker Agent without saying that there’s a broker fee attached to it. You should only be paying Duty/Tax to the Government, not the courier. Glowforge will have already paid for courier fees up front, and they already clarified that “duty and brokerage are the responsibility of the purchaser”, so that can only leave you holding the bag.
    Call the courier’s customer service and get the CCD (Cargo Control Document) from them. Ask for a PDF of the CCD to be emailed to you. You need this document because it’s the papertrail CBSA uses, and how you pay your duty/taxes. A blank sample and details of what it looks like can be viewed here.

  • If you get a courier on your doorstep and you did not get a call first, then by accepting the package that means you’re accepting being billed at a later date (by mail)! Refuse delivery of it (Edit: and be clear that you’re self-brokering, not completely refusing!). I know it’ll be painful, but once you get the paperwork to CBSA, the courier is paid to deliver it the complete journey to your doorstep. It will return, even if the delivery courier does not write off the brokerage fees on-the-spot.

  • Even if you self-broker, you have a dilemma:

  • Do you retrieve your GF from CBSA’s warehouse where it’s being held?

  • Do you wait for CBSA to clear it so the courier can finish delivering it?


I’ve attached a sample of a “minimum” invoice, for use if CBSA isn’t happy with the commercial invoice Glowforge sends in email. Think of it like a cover page to the Glowforge invoice.

Good news is that you don’t have to worry about calculating the exchange rate conversion (unless you want to know for arguing with the Courier).

  • Box 2. Make sure the date matches the SHIPPING DATE from Glowforge.

  • Box 3. Change to be the Glowforge order number, if the emailed invoice includes one. Otherwise just leave blank.

  • Box 4. Change to be your address. Add your personal or corporate BN for their reference.

  • Box 12. Change to indicate if you ordered a GLOWFORGE BASIC 40W CLASS I LASER CUTTER or GLOWFORGE PRO 45W CLASS IV LASER CUTTER.

If you have other accessories such as the filter, you’ll have to figure that out - sorry.

  • Box 16. Change for any weight changes if you have the filter, etc. On their own, the Basic and Pro weight the same, so 32kg is correct unless they include complimentary Proof Grade materials to the shipment. I took the numbers from the FAQ.

  • Box17. Adjust for the Basic/Pro invoice price, and

  • Box 23(i). Adjust for the Glowforge shipping fees.

  • Box 18. Attach two copies of the emailed Glowforge invoice and put in the Glowforge-assigned Commercial Invoice No. from it.

sample ci1.pdf (65.3 KB)


I’ve been reading some of the comments and went to the CBSA website and used their calculator to see what the duties would be.
I used the category Electronics and Media then Printer. I ordered the Pro model and it cost 4070.00, I paid by credit card and the conversion ended up costing me 5444.01. With this figure the taxes came to 653.28 I then used a figure 800 less which you can use if you stay in the US for 48 hours thus 4644.01 and the taxes then came to 557.28 so a saving of 96.00. Of course you would have the cost of staying there for that long, but if you were visiting friends or family, it’s something to consider.


So Trump got elected… NAFTA is :thinking:

Good thing policies don’t change that fast… Hopefully we all have our Glowforges before he axes NAFTA.

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This may be silly but I just got worried.

I was able to find out, with a bit of research, that class 3b and above are not legal, without justification, as hand held devices in Canada (or the US). I know that higher powered lasers are legal in enclosures like DVD players or those with interuptors when opened like the GF Basic (Class 1).

The GF Pro, however, with the pass through is Class 4.

Do we know if the GF Pro (class 4) is legal up here? What is the current and expected long term stance around my being able to keep it.

I’m wondering if I made a mistake upgrading but I also see a bunch of posts above from Canadians who bought the Pro.

There’s certainly someone here who knows more than I do following this thread.


unless your hands are very large i fail to see how this is a handheld device


Yeah. The company is not likely to give you any assurance that Class IV is legal in your area or whether there are special procedures you will need to follow. In the States it is highly dependent on which State, which city. Some locations require signs, a cordoned area, protective eyewhere, etc. It’s against the official policy of this forum for us to give you any safety recommendations.

I will say that the regulations you referenced were specifically to address the growing problem with the use of high power laser pointers.

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Two things

  1. This wasn’t for the company, GF legal would certainly advise Dan not to comment, but the names above populated with builders who likely have experience with a class 4 or know someone who does. I don’t doubt GF looked into it prior to offering the Pro in Canada but Canadian builders likely have a deeper understanding of what people are doing and why they feel comfortable buying the pro. One of them is also from Ottawa (represent).

  2. For us this is almost certainly a Federal law or decision, the handheld restrictions are from Health Canada (Federal). We are more centrally legislated and as such anything relating to safety is likely Federal affecting us all equally. Unless, of course, we were hunting with it or trying to use it on provincially owned roads, bridges and highways. My brothers and sisters from BC through NL would all get the same sad letter if there was an issue.

Best I can find is the absence of a ruling for this clearly “not a handheld” device for my normally sized hands :wink: @jrnelson

I guess we go with that unless someone knows more.


Good plan. No sense borrowing trouble :slightly_smiling_face:

yeah i am reasonably sure that’s to prevent insane laser pointers more than anything else. i’ve imported dangerous diode lasers before (like from an actual diode module company not like some crappy monoprice one) and had no issues.


It’s not just to fight the scourge of handheld laser pointers, but medical lasers (ie surgical, cosmetic, therapeutic and diagnostic laser equipment). I think the important thing is more what it’s not being used for: medical purposes. Also, if you’re using it in a commercial sense, that you’re not avoiding OHS standards.

I came across this years ago… there might be some helpful information in it. (Ontario) (Alberta)

Using the Alberta text for a talking point:

Part 2
Registration Certificates
Designated radiation equipment
8 The following radiation equipment is designated as requiring a
registration certificate in accordance with this Part unless it is in
transit, in storage or incapable of being energized:

(i) class 3b or 4 lasers that are not enclosed within a laser
system with a lower classification, as described in ANSI
Standard Z136.1-2007, “American National Standard for
the Safe Use of Lasers” published by the American
National Standards Institute.

Anyways, from what I’ve read… NO NAKED CLASS IV LASERS like those you might find in a University research department.

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What I mean is that the ban on >3b is to fight handheld lasers. They’ve even got a page about it specifically:

It also repeats the ‘handheld’ phrasing. It’s not the naked laser bit, it’s the handheld bit that’s the problem. If a laser is attached to a gantry, you can better predict splash and reflections and take the necessary precautions - much harder (and thus much easier to do damage) with a handheld model.

As I said, I’ve imported class IV lasers into Canada no problem, because they weren’t handheld.


And there it is, a first hand account of bringing in Class IV. I knew you existed somewhere in this forum @jrnelson.

I don’t know what I’d have done if I got a letter from Health Canada or CBSA with the word “seized” in it without doing some due diligence prior.

It makes sense to prevent kids running around with 1W lasers playing Star Wars causing planes to fall out of the sky. I’m glad to hear that it’s not (to date) been over applied.


Yea, I saw those too. Most of what I could find related to the safe operation (labour), accounting (provincial level registration) and exceptions to the handheld or naked lasers with just cause (for SCIENCE!).

I had a hard time finding anything that described who could own any of those classes of devices or any barriers between where they are made and where I need it to be delivered.

I found it interesting how this felt more like I was justifying a weapon instead of the tool it is. It’s not like I’ll be running down the street attached to a REALLY long extension cord holding the flap open mugging people. Give me the wallet or I’ll cut a design of a wallet in your chest!


Only if your mugging victim is a Flat Stanley :smile:

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