Daughter is a Canadian citizen, but now in England. She shall not fly back to Canada until October 2022, at the earliest.

To take advantage of a clearance sale in England — she bought a sofa made in Norway at £2000 for her home in Barrie, Ontario. Shipping costed £1000. In total, she paid the English store £3000 ($4813 CAD at the exchange rate for today May 21 2022). This same sofa costs way more in Ontario. The store did not charge VAT. The shipper apprised us that the chair shall arrive in July 2022.

My questions

How can she apply the CBSA's $800 personal exemption that allows her to "claim goods worth up to CAN$800", for absence >7 days"?

Must I in Barrie pay the import tax for her now? Then she shall request a refund of the whole tax, when I land at Toronto Pearson Airport in Oct 2022?

Or should CBSA NOT tax her at all, in the first place?

  • I don't know how it works in Canada, but in other countries I'm familiar with, the exemption applies only to goods accompanying the traveler when the traveler enters the country. The sofa would therefore not be entitled to an exemption, and the recipient woúld have to pay any import duty and VAT due, calculated on the full price of the sofa. I don't know whether that includes shipping costs.
    – phoog
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 6:42
  • In Canada one can use Form BSF192 to claim the $800 exemption for "goods to follow", which might include goods already arrived but still with the customs broker, but the exemption can only be claimed when entering Canada and the sofa seems to be arriving way too early for that to matter. Also, $4813 >> $800, so the bulk of the tax would be due even with that exemption. From your description I don't know of any reason to expect the sofa could be imported tax-free. I think you'll need to pay the tax.
    – Dennis
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


If she has/had residence for more than 1 year, AND had used the sofa for at least six months, it would be free of duty as part of her household goods. Because it's being shipped directly to Canada, it doesn't count and she will owe duty and taxes. If she was resident for at least a year, she can bring back used household goods up to CAD$10000 free of duty and taxes.

Moving or returning to Canada

There are other exemptions if she's been resident elsewhere for over 5 years.

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