The lowdown on sending parcels to Canada
Despite being one of the largest countries in the world, Canada's population is actually relatively small. Some 34 million people call Canada home, which is less than the population of California, where 38 million people reside.
Perhaps Americans aren't drawn to the (often) cold climates of Canada, but the Brits are. It's a popular destination for expats, so it's quite likely you know someone living out there.
Whether you're sending a parcel to a friend, a relative or an eBay buyer, it's important to be informed of Canada's postal rules and restrictions, so here's the lowdown on sending packages to Canada.
Addressing your parcel
Any experienced parcel-sender will know it's always a good idea to write your name and address on the item you're sending, but it's mandatory when posting something to Canada. If you fail to include your name and address on the package, it may be sent back to the UK, so don't forget.
Since Canada is not part of the EU, you'll need to attach a CN22 label to the top left corner of your parcel if the contents are worth under £270. If the item is more valuable than that, you'll require a CN23 label and adhesive plastic wallet SP 126. Make sure you sign the label prior to posting.
If you're planning on sending a gift to Canada and it's worth less than $60 Canadian dollars, you won't need to pay any duty or tax. However, you must prove it is a gift by including a card or note that states so. If you're sending something worth more than $60, you'll only need to pay tax and/or duty on the excess amount. How much you'll have to pay will be decided by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Alcohol, advertising materials and products being sent to or from a business do not count as gifts and will be subject to duty and tax, as will all other non-gift items.
Electronic cigarettes may be popular now, but you cannot send them to Canada. Nor can you post cigars or similar products. Although you're unlikely to send any live animals, salt, sand or plastering materials, be aware that these items are also banned. Naturally, explosives and firearms are prohibited, but even toys or replicas that look real aren't allowed either, so think twice when sending your nephew some toy grenades for his birthday.
It is an offence to use the postal service for certain activities, such as sending immoral or indecent material or running lottery scams. The items you send must not contain any information regarding gambling or bookmaking, and trying to get money out of people under false pretences is also an offence, but that should be obvious.
Most of Canada's postal restrictions are fairly standard, but it's still worth double-checking that you can actually, and legally, send whatever it is you're about to post. After all, you don't want your package to end up back in the UK.
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Sending parcels to Canada