Rules and Regulations for Importing Computers and Electronics from China to Canada

China is one of the biggest suppliers of computers and electronics worldwide. Even though all the instructions for importing computers and electronics from China to Canada can be found online, considering that you are located halfway across the world, it can be challenging to do so for a number of reasons. To facilitate your search, here is a step-by-step guide:

1- Preparing for Import

Before importing computers and electronics from China to Canada as a business, you will need to obtain a Business Number (BN) to open an import RM account. The BN is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Click here to get a BN or contact the CRA Business Window at 1-800-959-5525. When you are importing it as an individual, and not as a business, there is no need to have a BN and ARGO Customs Brokers will assist you.

Now that you have the BN RM import number, we can assist you to determine the HS Tariff classification codes and inform you about Other Government Departments (OGD) regulations.

Most electronics items are duty free, but you have to pay Customs TAX (GST for businesses) and HST for individuals. For commercial/business importations, GST is 5% of the dollar value of the goods for all provinces. For personal importation, HST is related to the province (for example for Ontario, it is 13%).

We need a copy of the commercial invoice from your vendor in China with full description and brand name. Last but not least, ensure that the electronic gadgets you are importing are permitted in Canada. Please consult the Memoranda Series D9, Prohibited Importation and Government Departments and Agencies Reference List for Importers.

2- Classifying the Goods

Once you are sure about the type of products you are importing, we will determine a correct tariff classification number (HS code), as it is used to determine the payments (duty, when applicable and TAX) at the time of import. China uses the Harmonised System (HS) to classify the products. The HS number is a 10-digit code that is used to identify the product. The first six digits are universal, whereas the last four are unique to Canada. When you have the first six digits, ARGO Customs Brokers can assist you to find the last four.

3- Determining Taxes and Duties

On our website we present a very useful tool for you to check the HS Tariff codes, find them as per CBSA Tariffs, and check the duty and TAX on your own.

Visit to access the tool.

Our customs brokerage fees can also be seen and estimated using the calculator’s link.

Visit to access the Canadian Tax and Duty Calculator.

4- Shipping and Reporting of Computers and Electronics

ARGO Customs Brokers conduct clearances at ALL Canadian ports and via any mode of transportation. So, whichever port your electronics arrive at, we’ll assist with the Customs clearances.

On the other hand, in case you are handling the goods yourself, consult with the Hand-Carried Goods Release Process (HCG).

5- Getting Computers and Electronics Released

As fully licensed customs brokers, we submit entries electronically via the SWI IID system. It is a fast and efficient way to make a declaration.

When you are doing the clearance by yourself (on paper), you’ll need:
● two copies of Form CI1, Canada Customs Invoice
● two copies of Form A8A-B, Cargo Control Document
● a copy of all importation documents, licences, certificates, and permits (where required)

On the flip side, if you want the import items like laptops, desktops, cameras, computers, and other electronics to be released before paying the taxes, you will have to fill out an application. You will be required to submit an approved amount as a security deposit to the CBSA.

Note: The CARM Client Portal, is a self-service tool that will facilitate accounting and revenue management processes with the CBSA, will be available to importers, brokers, and trade consultants in the near future. When it is fully implemented, the release process for individuals and businesses who wish to self-declare will be made easier.

After you have succeeded in importing computers and electronics from China to Canada, it is your job to ensure that any accounting errors are cleared and that you keep copies of the import documents safe for the next six years. If any errors were made, you will have an option to submit a B2 correction form.

The Verdict

There are some certain rules and regulations that you must follow when importing computers and electronics from China to Canada. If the above-mentioned process is not found to be easy for a new importer or individual, you can minimise the work by hiring ARGO Customs Brokers. For more information or questions, reach out to ARGO Customs Brokers. All inquiries are welcome.

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