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Importing Japanese knives into Canada


Importing Japanese knives into Canada, direct from Japan
GST, PST, QST, HST, import duty and fees

The tax exemption on personal purchase imports into Canada is a meagre $20.00, so we can safely say that with any purchase from Knife Japan there’ll be local taxes to pay when your order arrives from Japan. More info on the how-much of that below.

Upon import you'll be asked to pay GST, PST, QST, or HST depending on where you are located in Canada. The tax percentage will vary.

That percentage calculation is applied to the total of (purchase value + cost of shipping/insurance + import duty). Let's have a quick look at each of those.

Import Duty
The good news is that import duty isn’t levied under any scenario for Japanese-made goods imported into Canada from Japan. All products available from Knife Japan are free of import duty under the terms of the CPTPP Trade Agreement introduced in 2018.

We won't insure your delivery if it's sent by DHL Express. Why not? Well, we pack very well, and we have a high level of trust in DHL. Also, their insurance option can add 50% to the cost of shipping. Sometimes it may be preferable to send your order by post and in that case we'll pay the insurance. That's generally only $1 or so for us, and might add ten cents to your tax liability.

Shipping is free with Knife Japan for all items to all destinations, so you won’t pay additional tax on shipping. We will add a nominal amount for shipping to your invoice and then apply a discount for that amount, so it won’t enter the calculation - if we note 'free shipping' on the invoice, the shipping fee will be added to the invoice and included in the tax calculation.

Carrier fee
There's paperwork to be done and money to be collected when your order arrives in Canada, and the courier company or Canada Post will apply a fee for managing this for you. The DHL Express fee is $17.00, Canada Post applies a fee of $9.95. It is possible to 'self-clear' and avoid this fee, but that would mean going places and doing things, and honestly paying the fee seems like a much better way.

Tax on your knife import into Canada from Japan

You’ll forgive us for saying so but from outside the country Canada looks like a tangle of taxes. You might pay GST, GST plus PST or QST, or HST, depending on your province or territory. 

How much tax will you pay on your overseas purchase? Here’s a quick rundown of the tax rates.

Province /Territory GST/HST PST/QST Total Taxes
Alberta 5% GST   5%
British Columbia 5% GST 7% PST 12%
Manitoba 5% GST 7% PST 12%
New Bruswick 15% HST   15%
Newfoundland and Labrador 15% HST   15%
Nova Scotia 15% HST   15%
Northwest Territories 5% GST   5%
Nunavut 5% GST   5%
Ontario 13% HST   13%
Prince Edward Island 15% HST   15%
Quebec 5% GST 9.975% QST 14.975%
Saskatchewan 5% GST 6% PST 11%
Yukon 5% GST   5%

And here's a quick example in dollar terms, for the purchase of a knife valued at $150.00 and delivered by DHL Express:

Purchase Value Province /Territory Tax on import DHL fee Total Payable
(tax fee)
$150.00  Alberta  $7.50 $17.00   $24.50
 British Columbia  $18.00  $35.00
 Manitoba  $18.00  $35.00
 New Brunswick  $22.50  $39.50
 Newfoundland and Labrador   $22.50  $39.50
 Nova Scotia  $22.50  $39.50
 Northwest Territories  $7.50  $24.50
 Nunavut  $7.50  $24.50
 Ontario  $19.50  $36.50
 Prince Edward Island  $22.50  $39.50
 Quebec  $22.46  $39.46
 Saskatchewan  $16.50  $33.50
 Yukon  $7.50  $24.50

Not too bad. The postal service delivery fee is lower at $9.95 so please let us know if you'd prefer for us to ship using Japan Post. Your delivery may be a bit slower.


How do I figure out the exchange rate for calculating Canadian tax?

Knife Japan transactions are conducted in US dollars, and it will be the rate applied by your credit card company that dictates how much you pay for your order in Canadian dollars. Credit card exchange rates are generally the best you’ll find.

The Canadian government uses the Bank of Canada's published exchange rates to derive a taxable Canadian dollar value for your order. Follow the link for current and recent rates here. CBSA has a duty and taxes estimator here.

I’ll use my knife professionally. Can I have a Canadian dollar invoice for my tax records?

Sure. Let us know what number shows up on your credit card statement and Knife Japan will provide a matching invoice in CAD for your tax records.

How do I pay taxes on my online purchase imported into Canada?

DHL Express makes things easy. They will calculate your tax payment based on your shipping address and the invoice we provide, and send you a link to an online payment facility.

For shipments by EMS International Express or by Airmail Canada Post now handles most payments online with the Canada Post mobile app. When the item is eligible to be paid online, when you track your item you'll see a "Pay" button on screen and can follow the instructions to complete a secure online payment using a credit card. Once the online payment is complete, you'll receive an email confirmation that includes a number and barcode. This can be shown as proof of payment if the Canada Post delivery agent requests it when your package arrives.

How can I avoid paying tax on my import into Canada?

If we send your order to your Canadian address from Japan then it's really not possible.

If you are outside Canada for more than 48 hours to receive or retrieve your delivery then you'll benefit from an $800 tax-free allowance if you carry your purchase back into the country and report it. 

As a Canadian resident your purchase from Knife Japan will be subject to local taxes upon importImport duty is not applied to any knives sent from Japan no matter the value, provided Japan is the country of origin (ie if they were made in Japan).

If you have any questions about our products or how we can deliver them to you in Canada, please drop us a line using the form below.

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