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Shipping from Canada to the United States (US)

A simple guide to help you ship your products to the U.S. quickly and easily

Disclaimer Https://

At FlagShip, we strive to ensure the policies, information and guidelines on our website are as accurate and up-to-date as possible. However, we are not customs brokers, and this information is to be used as a guide. Please consult your customs broker directly before shipping, as customs laws and procedures often change without warning. 

For many Canadian businesses using a courier service, shipping products efficiently and safely from Canada to the U.S. is vital for their success. Sometimes, the process and paperwork may seem daunting, but don’t worry; FlagShip has years of experience.

We’ve created this simple guide to help you navigate through shipping from Canada to the U.S. with our courier service.

At FlagShip, our dedicated team can facilitate all your Canada to U.S. shipping needs. Here are just a few of the ways we can help:

All our information is compliant with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the US International Trade Commission and other government resources to ensure we are up-to-date on all rules and regulations.

Courier rates to the U.S.

Shipping Rates Canada To U.s.

Start the process of shipping your goods from Canada to the U.S. by reviewing and comparing the best rates and service options from the most reliable carrier companies in the world.

Learn more about saving money on shipping from Canada to the U.S.

Couriers For Shipping From Canada To The U.s.

What are you shipping from Canada to the U.S.?

FlagShip is ready to help you deliver your shipment across the border easier, faster, and hassle-free. Here are some examples and guidelines for common products to simplify your shipment processing.

To learn more, click on any of the following:

  • Includes contracts, bills and letters
  • Checks – always note it’s a business document and recommend not to add ‘check’ in the product name or description

The gift exemption for eligible gifts imported into the U.S. is USD$100 or less per gift, per recipient. For consolidated gift shipments, the name of each individual receiving a gift, the description of the gift item(s) for each individual, and the value of each item must be shown on the Commercial Invoice. Each gift in the shipment must be clearly identified as one gift. The complete name, address and phone number of both the shipper and consignee must be stated on the Commercial Invoice.

If any item exceeds the gift allowance, the entire shipment will be dutiable.

The following items are excluded from the USD$100 gift exemption. Shipments containing these items may be subject to duties, taxes, and formal entry requirements:
• Perfumes containing alcohol
• Bath, cosmetic, and beauty products containing antibacterial agents

Non-perishable Food Items and Gift Baskets Containing Non-perishable Food Items
To help reduce customs delays by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the description on the Commercial Invoice must include whether the item is homemade or store-bought (e.g., ‘Homemade (or store-bought) chocolate cookies – for personal consumption, not for resale’). For store-bought items, the manufacturer’s name and address must be shown on the Commercial Invoice.

If a company name appears on the shipping or customs documentation, it is no longer considered a personal shipment. This also applies to shipments addressed to or from an individual c/o their company name and address.

Please note that Kinder chocolate eggs are prohibited from being imported into the U.S.

  • A 3299 Form must be accompanied by a commercial invoice
  • A copy of a passport or Visa/Green Card
  • An approved visa for work and/or immigration allowing your residency in the U.S.
  • Reason if the personal item is being returned: ex. left behind on vacation, business trip, etc.
    • Description of the product being returned. This must be low value
    Commercial samples can be imported duty-free and tax-free, providing the following conditions are met:
  1. The word "Sample - Not for Resale " is stated on the commercial invoice under General Description and Detail Description of Goods.
  2. Specify the HS Code for the sample on the Commercial Invoice.
  3. The samples are not resold under an exact duplicate or replica (i.e. knock-offs).
  4. Samples that are marked, defaced, torn, perforated or otherwise treated so that they are unsuitable for sale.
  5. Does not contain food to be eaten or consumed. See Food Samples for more info.

    Additional Notes:
  1. The sample can be a different size or material than the good it is representing.
  2. The sample can be a miniature version or have a cutaway sample revealing the construction of the product (i.e. cut in half showing the inside of the item).
  3. Cloth samples and colour card that display the different colours of merchandise are eligible.

    Food Samples:
  1. Food samples (and other consumables) may be brought in as "commercial samples" for display and solicitation of orders, but they may not be distributed as samples to be eaten or consumed.
  2. If they are to be eaten (or otherwise consumed in a normal matter), regular entry and duty payment (if any) are required.
  3. Businesses shipping food samples must also complete a Prior Notice.

    Trade Show Samples:
  1. Must be indicated on the commercial invoice - Promotional Material: Not for resale, Product samples/pamphlets to hand out at a trade show.
  • Indicate “Company Transfer,” not sold
  • Value is low as it is not sold and travelling between the same company
Anything going to the U.S. and coming back.
  • Proofs
  • Items for a convention (indicate each item in the description):
    • Booths
    • Lights
    • Billboard
    • Promotional items (indicate in the description; promotional item, not for resale)
      • Include the following in the product description:
        • Keychains
        • Buttons
        • Pens – TSCA needed
        • Earbuds
        • Clothing – include type of clothing and fabrics

      Returning product after Repairs are Completed. If your product has been repaired in Canada and is being returned to the United States, then the following conditions must be met in order to obtain duty-free exemption:
      • The words "REPAIR & RETURN" are stated on the commercial invoice under General Description or Remarks.
      • The value of the product, including the cost of the repair, must be indicated under the Detailed Description of Goods section.
      • Original shipping docs or tracking number from when the item was first exported to the US.
      • NOTE: If you don’t have the original tracking information or documentation, the recipient may be charged duties and taxes on the shipment.

      Trade Show Booth and Display:
      • The commercial invoice must indicate Temporary Imports - Trade Show booth and display equipment returning indicate the date
All products sold that enter the United States (US) are subject to duties unless they fall under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). The CUSMA agreement was designed to improve trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States and is designed to reduce or eliminate Duties on a number of different items.
  • If it’s a part that is broken under warranty, indicate the information in the description
  • If part is defective, or the wrong part, indicate that information in the description
  • “Value” will not be full value; it will be lower than the original price (must be a value of minimum $10 USD)
  • Replacement – indicate the part that is a replacement under warranty.

Prohibited & Restricted Items

This list of prohibited items is based on carriers and customs for shipping from Canada to the U.S.  It’s important to keep in mind that this list is always changing, so it’s always best to check the official customs restrictions page.

  • Medications
  • Weapons / Ammunition (need special license)
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless you have a license)
  • Batteries (must be Certified in Hazmat for both shipper and receiver)
  • Tobacco products
  • Illegal substance or paraphernalia
  • Any animal or animal products – ex. skins, furs, etc.
  • Certain toys (see list)
  • Human remains
  • Perfumes
  • Money/Cash
  • Explosives
  • Lottery tickets
  • Seeds

Restricted Items:

A restricted item is something that requires a special license from federal agency before item is allowed to enter the country. This list is based on carriers and customs for shipping from Canada to the U.S.

  • Cell phones: Allowed but in a low quantity, and proper value must be indicated; completely prohibited by DHL (air shipments)
  • iPad: Allowed, except DHL
  • Laptops: Allowed, except DHL
  • Supplements: Allowed but in a low quantity
  • Nail polish: Allowed with no alcohol
  • Maple syrup: Allowed in small quantities, however they may ask for a Lacey Form
  • Hand sanitizers: Alcohol-based, not allowed
Vaping Ban Https://

Important news on shipping vaping products

U.S. shipping bans on vaping products

Earlier this year shipping bans for the U.S. were put in place for vaping products by the couriers. FedEx, UPS, and DHL ended shipping into the U.S. and U.S.-U.S. shipping for electronic vaping devices and related component parts to homes and businesses. The only way to transport vaping products is by freight (truckload or less-than-truckload), and the importer/exporter must provide a custom broker for clearance./p>

What are vaping products? Vaping products are considered tobacco products for the purpose of this policy. For U.S. domestic shipments, UPS and FedEx no longer accept any vaping product, including but not limited to e-cigarette devices and e-liquids or gels. This ban is effective regardless of nicotine content and even if a shipper or consignee is permitted to ship and receive vaping products under applicable laws or regulations.

Food Items Https://

As a general rule, candies, condiments, spices, coffee and commercially packaged teas are okay. However, bulk teas or spices, etc., are subject to inspection, and if they are found to have insects, they may be seized and destroyed.

Customer Support Https://

Call 1-866-320-8383 or email at

All our customer service representatives (CSRs) are live every day from 8:00am – 5:00pm EST to help with all your questions about shipping from Canada to the U.S. (and other destinations around the world)! They are trained, certified, and experienced in international shipping business procedures.


There is usually some paperwork to complete for each type of product. Review the list below to find out what documentation you’ll need for your product shipment from Canada to the U.S.

  • In Canada the agreement is referred to as CUSMA whereas in the United States, it is known as the USMCA and in Mexico it is called the T-MEC
  • The CUSMA preserves key elements of the trading relationship between Canada, the United States and Mexico as stated in the original NAFTA, and incorporates new and updated provisions that seek to address 21st-century trade issues
  • The CUSMA / USMCA must be completed if:
    • Your product was made within Canada, US or Mexico
    • For all export or import shipments to / from U.S. and Mexico

Anything containing wood products. Example, instruments, tools, furniture, etc.

Any ink products. Example, cartridge, pens, etc.

Any food products that are of high volume and high value

  • All Canadian exporters that ship outside of North America must report exports and submit summary reports electronically through either the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) or the G7 Export Reporting Electronic Data Interchange (G7-EDI). Click here to learn more.
  • How to get started on the CERS? Before you can register and access the CERS Portal, you must apply to become a portal client. You can apply to become a portal client by downloading the application found on the CERS site and submit it by email to:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2877 form is a declaration for imported electronic products (and their parts) subject to the FDA's radiation control standards

Import personal effects or household items into the United States duty-free

Anti-Dumping Form

This is asked for products that are questioned with the U.S. or Canadian Government to protect Canadian and U.S., manufacturing industry from foreign manufacturers. This form may be asked for by customs if they suspect the products are being dumped or subsidized also known as countervailing. The U.S. government is more likely to ask for a SIMA if certain products were manufactured in China.

Material Safety Data Sheet


Duties And Taxes From Canada To The U.s.

It’s always important to ensure hassle-free delivery by understanding Duties and Taxes for your products when shipping from Canada to the U.S.

Shipping under $800 (Informal Entry):

Tax is never applied when shipping to the US and duties may be applied, depending on the product

  • Section 321 Low value – this is determined by the custom broker in the U.S.

Shipping High Value (Formal Entry):

Over $1,000- $2,499 USD.

  • Company – you will need to provide their Tax ID number, otherwise they will be contacted to provide the proper information. The tax ID number belonging to the ‘sold to company’ for the product being shipped must be indicated on the commercial invoice.
  • Personal/Individual – You will need their Social Security Number, otherwise they will be contacted by Customs to give the information to them

If there is no CUSMA, the cost is based on the amount it was sold for to the US recipient.

  • All food products, regardless of value, must provide a Prior Notice and you will need an FSVP Agent in the US to take responsibility for the package. This applies to shipping food to a fulfillment center. Importers should be aware that these items are subject to a formal entry process and undergo extra charges for clearance such as FDA Clearance, Formal entry charges, bond fees, etc.
  • Similar formal entry processes and extra charges also apply to beauty/cosmetics products imported into the United States.
  • The U.S. and Canadian governments have the right to pull any shipment randomly to investigate. In these cases, shipments can be held from 1 -2 weeks.
  • There may be extra charges if the package is held for inspection:
    • ex. Held by the FDA, Agriculture Dept. This can be held from one week to six months
    • If the FDA, Customs, or other Government department decide to deny entry, your package will be returned to you. Depending on the reason for denial of entry there could be penalty fees and after several citations your company could be denied from exporting and importing
  • For shipments with a value of $250 or more and goods with a Country of Origin of China, U.S. Customs requires a Federal Tax ID number or Social Security number to process and clear the shipment.
  • Additional Requirements for Products Manufactured in China when sending any products manufactured from China to the US, Customs will ask for the MID# or Manufacturer information no matter the value.
Tracking Your Shipments

Tracking your shipments

If you encounter any difficulty tracking your shipment, please to contact us to resolve the problem.

We are there to guide and assist.

Call 1-866-320-8383 or email at

General Information

Please note these specific requirements and guidelines for document or product shipment from Canada to the U.S.:

Documents do not need a commercial invoice

  • Must be labeled Business Documents or Personal Documents.
  • If you are sending a check, be advised NOT to state there is a check in the envelope. When sending a check, it is recommended that you put business documents in the description, place them in a small envelope between two sheets of paper, and put them into a courier envelope or your own legal-size envelope.

Shipping under $800 is “Informal Entry”: there are no taxes and duties

  • Section 321 – Low value, this is determined by the custom broker in the U.S.

Shipping High Value is “Formal Entry” – Over $1,000- $2,499 USD

  • Company – you will need to provide their tax ID number, otherwise they will be contacted to provide the proper information
  • Personal/Individual – you will need their Social Security Number, otherwise they will be contacted by Customs to give the information to them
  • If you need a commercial invoice, our website will generate one for you. You can use our commercial invoice, or your supplier can use their own
  • A custom broker must be located in the U.S.
  • On the commercial invoice “Product Name” and “Description” must be different
  • Importer on record is liable for the shipment, no matter what the commercial invoice says
    • If they (the importer) have a custom broker on file it will be cleared by them, even if you have indicated your own custom broker


If you have stated false information or if there is any misinformation, your shipment will be flagged. You may also encounter a fine with charges. Unfortunately, once you have been flagged there may be more inspections on your shipments leading to Customs looking closer at all your shipments. If it continues and you receive several flags, then it is possible you can be banned from shipping internationally.

Choose FlagShip for Shipping from Canada to the U.S.

For companies shipping from Canada to the U.S., navigating the complexities of international logistics can be daunting. With FlagShip’s comprehensive shipping solutions, businesses can streamline operations and unlock numerous benefits.

Expertise and Experience

With years of experience in international shipping, FlagShip has established itself as a trusted partner for businesses shipping from Canada to the U.S. Our team of logistics experts possesses in-depth knowledge of customs regulations, shipping routes, and documentation requirements, ensuring smooth and hassle-free transportation of goods across borders.

Comprehensive Services

FlagShip offers a wide range of shipping services tailored to meet the needs of businesses shipping from Canada to the US. From express courier services for urgent deliveries to freight forwarding solutions for bulk shipments, we have the capabilities to handle all your shipping requirements. Our comprehensive services include customs clearance, tracking and monitoring, insurance coverage, and more, providing customers with end-to-end support throughout the shipping process.

Cost-Effective Solutions

At FlagShip, we understand the importance of cost-effectiveness in shipping operations. That’s why we offer competitive rates and flexible pricing options to help businesses minimize shipping costs while maximizing efficiency. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly shipping solutions or premium expedited services, we have pricing plans to suit every budget and shipping need.

Reliability and Timeliness

With FlagShip, businesses can rest assured that their shipments will be delivered on time and in pristine condition. Our extensive network of carriers and logistics partners ensures swift and reliable transportation of goods, regardless of size or destination. Whether you’re shipping to major cities or remote locations across the US, you can trust FlagShip to deliver your shipments promptly and efficiently.

Advanced Technology

FlagShip uses cutting-edge technology to streamline the shipping process and enhance customer visibility and transparency. Our state-of-the-art shipping platform provides real-time tracking and monitoring capabilities, allowing businesses to track their shipments every step of the way. Customers can access up-to-date information on their shipments from pickup to delivery, enabling greater control and visibility over their logistics operations.


How do I use a tariff code?

  • Look up your tariff code here:
  • If there is multiple tariff codes and you are not sure, you can leave this section blank. If there is a number that is wrong, you could have extra charges

Can I ship medication from Canada to the U.S.?

  • You cannot ship medication of any sort, including over the counter. You will need to contact your pharmacy or doctor and ask them to send the prescription to a pharmacy in the U.S.
  • However, if it’s for personal use you can send medication to the U.S. with the following information:
    1. You have to be able to prove that the medication is going to a Canadian citizen who is in the U.S. temporarily & provide a copy of their passport
    2. Indicate the intended use of the medication as well as the generic, common & scientific name
    3. Indicate the name and address of the manufacturer
    4. Indicate that medication is a 3-month supply or less and is for personal use only, not for resale

Can I ship gift baskets?

Yes, you can ship gift baskets with these requirements:

  • No alcohol
  • When shipping a food gift basket to the U.S., the following guidelines must be followed, or the shipment will be delayed by the FDA:
    • The shipment must be addressed specifically to an individual only
    • If it is addressed to or from an individual c/o their company name and address, it is no longer considered a personal shipment
    • You must list all items in the basket. In the description field of the air waybill, it must say “food, for personal consumption only” or “food, unsolicited gift” and the description of what is being sent in the shipment
    • The commercial invoice must contain the name and address of the manufacturer or if they are home baked goods, it must state as such

Can I ship a care package?

Yes, you can – the same rules as the gift baskets apply here

What can I do if I was billed incorrectly on my fees for importing into the U.S.?

  • You must contact the importing country to dispute the charges
  • You can also work with your receiver and the U.S. to try to resolve the problem
  • If this happens, please contact us and we will be able to assist you. Call our CSRs at 1-866-320-8383 at any time during business hours

What happens if the products are made in China?

  • The US government may ask for a SIMA (Anti-Dumping Form)
  • U.S. Customs also added taxes and tariffs for products that are manufactured in China. This is usually applied to a high value shipment

Can I use my own custom broker?

  • Unfortunately, the importer on record is the one that takes care of the importing and how it is being imported
  • The custom broker must be in the importing country