Foreign Vendors Sending Free Samples - Maybe Not

Foreign Vendors Sending Free Samples - Maybe Not

Every commodity that crosses the border requires specified details for customs clearance, including the free of charge commercial samples. Through the course of business, importers commonly receive commercial samples from suppliers and vendors from both the U.S. and overseas.  

Many vendors would deem these shipments as zero value (free of charge) to their Canadian clients. But for Canada Customs purposes, the shipper must declare a fair market value. If not, improper declaration may lead to penalties (Administrative Monetary Penalty System - AMPS) or possible seizures by Canada Border Services Agency.  When in doubt, we highly recommend speaking with your customs broker.

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About the Author
Gloria Terhaar
CCS (CA/US), CTCS, CBSA Prof. Designate

Gloria Terhaar began her career in Canadian customs brokerage 2007. She currently works in our Canadian division as a Trade Compliance Supervisor and Regulatory Compliance Specialist. Gloria has extensive experience in all aspects of documentation and regulatory requirements as they relate to importing products into Canada. Gloria is often called upon to train industry with some recent talks for MNP, the Surrey Board of Trade, TFO Canada and the BC Produce Marketing Association. In 2018, Gloria also participated in the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and the Canadian Horticultural Council advocacy event "Fall Harvest" in Ottawa where she participated in advocacy efforts for the Canadian produce industry.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.