FAQ

The customs process was designed by bureaucrats, not consumers. Which means it’s slow and complicated. You have questions - so many questions. We have the answers.

Why do I need a customs broker?

Customs brokers can help expedite the movement of your goods from one country to another. While you don’t legally need a customs broker, we recommend that importers consider engaging their services for added convenience. So you get what you want faster and with fewer headaches.

What is a customs broker and how can they help me?

A customs broker is a licensed individual or company that works closely with border agents in other countries to ensure that goods being imported or exported have met all the necessary requirements to do so. A good customs broker will help you with all the paperwork and administration and will be available to answer questions on your behalf.

What is customs clearance?

“Customs clearance” or “clearing customs” is a phrase we hear a lot in our business. What it really means is that the item that’s being imported or exported has met a country’s specifc requirements for entering or leaving its borders. Those requirements vary from country to country and from one item to another. We can help you “clear customs” fast, with less paperwork and fewer headaches.

What is a Harmonized Tariff Code / HS Tariff Code?

A tariff code is a tax on imports or exports between countries or states. A Harmonized Tariff Code or HS Tariff Code is a list of all the classification codes for goods that are being imported or exported. There are over 17,000 unique classification codes and each country has its own tariff schedule. We have the tariff schedules for both the USA and Canada.

What are your customs broker fees?

Customs broker fees are the fees you pay someone to help you bring your goods into Canada. These fees are different from duty, which is an amount levied by the federal government and is a percentage of the value of your goods. To find out more about our fee structure, send us an email, live chat or give us a call and we’ll get back to you shockingly fast. For self-service, follow the links to get an instant quote.

What is an HS code? / How do I lookup HS code?

The Harmonized System is an international nomenclature for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonized System (HS) for classifying goods is a six-digit code system.

You can look up an HS code for shipments into Canada on this link. For shipments into the United States, you can use this link to look up an HS code.

How do I import or ship a vehicle to Canada / USA?

When it comes to importing a vehicle to or from Canada or the US, we recommend that you start with a visit to our “how to” page. Here you’ll l find up-to-date information and instructions on how to get started and what kind of specifics and paperwork you’ll need. Here’s the link.

How do I ship to Canada/US?

If you’re shipping a car to Canada from the US or shipping a vehicle to the US from Canada, this requires specific information and proper procedures must be followed. To help get you started, check out our import page.

For other products, all major small parcel carriers like DHL, FEDEX and UPS will give you international options through their normal shipping label creation process. Alternatively, we can give you a customized recommendation if you want. Click on the chat box below, email us at service@borderbuddy.com or call us at 1-877-409-8163

What is BorderBuddy?

Border Buddy is a customs broker that provides online solutions for customers who need help with customs, tariffs and other cross-border activities. We simplify the retail experience for web-based businesses with our revolutionary tools that seamlessly integrate customs into e-commerce sites. For shoppers, we take the pain out of the pick up and delivery.

How do I release a seized item in customs?

This will depend on why the item was seized. If it was seized because the item is restricted/inadmissible, customs will either send the product back to the exporter or destroy it. If the item has been stopped by customs and they are waiting on the importer to provide additional information/pay customs duties and taxes on the product, a third party brokerage firm can assist and complete a formal entry with customs to have the goods released.

How do I calculate shipping to US/Canada?

Calculating your shipping costs to or from Canada will depend on what you are shipping. First things first though, do you have a carrier? All major small parcel carriers like DHL, FEDEX and UPS will give you international options through their normal shipping label creation process. You can find the cost of shipping in this process. Alternatively, we can give you a customized carrier recommendation if you want. Click on the chat box below, email us at service@borderbuddy.com or call us at 1-877-409-8163.

How do I avoid customs fees/charges?

Simply put, you can’t. We don’t recommend that you try because you can get into serious trouble with border agents that way. Customs fees and charges are levied against virtually every item that comes into or goes out of a country. It’s just a matter of how much you will pay. We can help you with that.

What is the difference between a registered importer and a customs broker?

A customs broker assists with the customs clearance of vehicles into the United States that already meet US regulations for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and DOT (Department of Transportation). A Registered Importer assists with bringing the vehicle up to US regulations in order for the vehicle to be admissible into the United States. Once the vehicle meets US regulations, a broker can assist with the import.