Clearit.ca's Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates
When it comes to online shopping, Canadians have become accustomed to paying extra duties and fees to receive the goods they ordered from American and international sellers and as Canadians, they’re not being too fussy about it. Unaware of what lies behind the online shipping industry, Canadians leave between the hands of government agencies and private lobby groups, a matter that is of economic self-interest.
There’s a back-alley fight going on between various lobbies regarding international online shopping and nobody is really aware of it.
Accessing goods from the European market or even from our neighbours from the south means seeing somewhat protectionist duty fees and taxes slapped onto goods entering Canada. With the smallest de minimis threshold in the developed world, at a mere $20, Canada is far from offering its citizens the liberty and pleasure of a real online shopping experience. In comparison, American online shoppers can reap the benefit of an $800 US de minimis threshold, allowing them to order at their hearts desires duty and tax-free.
Stay with the Status quo or no?
The Retail Council of Canada is one of the largest cheerleaders when it comes to convincing the government that the status quo is the only way to go. Representing businesses across Canada that employ 1.9 million Canadian, the Council says its members are at a disadvantage because they act as tax collectors for Ottawa and the provinces.
On the other side, there is some movement in the anti-status quo camp: a group of Senators sent to then US Ambassador to Canada Gary Doer, a letter in which they state that “Canada’s low de minimis threshold represents an unnecessary trade barrier between our two countries,” urging the Ambassador to convince Canada to bring the de minimis up to par with the American amount of $800 in order to “further expand our historic and mutually beneficial trad
The Canadian-American Business Council gathered 1,000 signature for an online petition, sponsored by Liberal MP Sonia Sidhu, demanding the government ‘dump the duties and taxes’. But it seems the issue of cross border online problems woes just aren’t raising passions and Canadians seem to have given up the battle before it has really even started.
Retail giants eBay and Amazon have preferred opting for a softer lobbying strategy, using the recently released study by the C.D. Institute that clearly demonstrates that the government is spending dollars to collect dimes.