Im a canadian citizen and i lived all my life here. It will be his first time!!! yes landing!! so if he fills the thing they give in the plane thats enough??
thank you for responding!!!
You must be very excited! There's specific forms you have to fill out (the cover page with all your info and first few items is called a B4, the continuation is called a B4A).
As a returning Canadian, you can fill out one B4/B4A set that will allow you to import goods duty free as long as you've been out of Canada for at least one year and have owned, used, and possessed the items for at least 6 months (6 month req't waived if you've been out of Canada for five years). If you are importing any item over 10,000 Canadian you will have to pay duties on the amount over 10k. The government gives you one opportunity to tell them what you are bringing in so you need to fill out all the forms upfront and then you can bring it in over time but be sure to include everything upfront.
Similarly, your husband, as an immigrant can fill out one B4/B4A set which he has to turn in on his first visit where he intends to live in Canada more than 12 months. He does not have the 10k limit per item.
As for filling out the forms, you can group like items together - eg clothes $xxxx if the value isn't huge or you can break it down a bit to say suits $xxxx, formal gowns $xxx, casual clothes $xxx. Same for lower value items like household goods, toiletries, etc. If you eat importing thing over several trips (or on plane vs shipment), try to separate line items per trip so that you don't run into issues when they cross items off as you import them.
For jewelry and electronics, you need to list them one per line item and include: for jewelry a photo and for electronics model and serial number. You may also want to take photos of furniture or any higher value item if you aren't importing it immediately. You can complete multiple B4A forms and just number them. Folks have also reported using other formats (Excel, packing lists) successfully.
If you can take an extra copy, it will make life easier for you and the CBSA agent since they keep one and give one (once stamped) back to you.
The B4 is available at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/b4-eng.pdf
And the B4A is at http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/E/pbg/cf/b4a/
Detailed instructions are at http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5113-eng.html
If you're importing a car, there's a few more steps involved (I'm assuming not from the UK, though
A few more thoughts:
- Regarding your trip this time around - if you are going in to re-establish residency (at least vis-a-vis immigration), then turn in the B4 when you arrive and take anything and everything you want in your luggage and leave it with friends, family, or in a storage container. You'll get a copy of the B4 and can use it to import your goods when you actually move (or if your husband isn't joining you, you can add any stragglers to his list)
- Careful with the timing of turning in your B4 if you are doing multiple trips. Technically, if you have exhibited an intent to move (house hunted, procured housing, etc) in a prior trip and didn't turn in your B4 then you could be precluded from turning it in on a later trip. For immigrants, for example, it's best to turn it in at landing vs. waiting. If you have questions on specifics of your situation, I have found CBSA's second line officers on their call center to be very helpful in giving you guidance and referring you to the exact rules that cover your situation.
- You don't have to import everything in the trip when you turn in the B4. They will give you a stamped copy back (they keep one too - that's why they appreciate if you take two copies when you cross the border) that you can show in the future when you import the rest of your goods.
- B4s are in individuals names - so you and your husband can either turn in one for both of you or two separate ones (either at the same time or different times) to cover all your items.
- Given that you have been living outside of Canada for over 5 years, you are exempt from having to have owned your items a minimum of 6 months (new immigrants don't have this constraint)
Hope this helps - don't hesitate to ask if you have additional questions!