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What duties apply to an item imported from the USA?

By Julie King |

Marie asked:

I want to buy a stoneware fountain, described as follows:

It is a series of ceramic cups from which lower bowl water gets pumped up by solar power. It is intended for a Mother's Day present in the garden. The fountain costs $116 and the shipping is $38.00.

What can I expect to have to pay for duty and GST? The fountain is from Serenity Health/Net Health shops, Altoona, WI. U.S.A.

Julie King answered:

You would need to get a quote from the company that will be shipping the fountain and handling the taxes and duties on your behalf. Most companies will add a processing charge to your bill, so simply looking at GST, PST and duty fees will not likely represent the full costs.

However, you can get a good idea of what it will cost by requesting a free quote from You will need to know if the fountain is manufactured in a NAFTA country.

Also, since you have a shipping cost estimate, you may want to find out what company does the shipping and ask them for a firm price.

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