We have all purchased casual goods that just don't work out. Sometimes grandpa does not want a new phone. Sometimes those new pants are just a wee bit too tight. Regardless of the purchase, we all make returns and we all want refunds.

The good news is when you return your goods that have been imported into Canada you are able to apply for a refund of the Canadian duties and taxes paid on the original purchase. You can apply with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and their Casual Refund Program.

What Is The Casual Refund Program?

The Casual Refund Program manages the refund and adjustment process for the duty and taxes paid on non-commercial goods hand carried, mailed and couriered into Canada. The program allows for the refund of duties and taxes if:

  1. The goods were in fact returned to the sender.
  2. There is proof the imported goods had duty and taxes.
How To Import Personal Belongings vs Casual Goods

How Do I Get A Refund?

CBSA has Casual Refund Centres (CRC) located throughout Canada. The centres are responsible for the receipt, review and processing of all casual requests.

If you wish to request a refund on duties and taxes paid to CBSA on non-commercial imports, you are required to submit a B2G Form. The CBSA provides you with detailed instructions on how to fill out the form, as well as the addresses where the form can be mailed to.

Keep in mind the CRC will not consider a casual refund request if the amount of duties and taxes is less than $2.00 CAD.

You can authorize a third party, such as a customs broker, to submit the request. However, you must provide a signed letter authorizing the third party to act as an agent on your behalf. Don't fret, only the person who paid the duties and taxes is entitled to a refund.

What Else Do I Need To Provide?

Along with the B2G Form, you must provide supporting documentation. The original accounting document showing the duties and taxes paid at the time of the importation must be attached. The accounting document will be dependent upon the method of importation.

Hand Carried Goods:

  • CBSA will provide you with a BSF715 Form titled 'Casual Goods Accounting Document'

Mailed Goods:

  • Attached to your parcel will be an E14 Form where you can account for all of the duties and taxes

Couriered Goods:

  • If the goods arrived via a courier company then you were provided a courier receipt that includes a CBSA B3 transaction number from the courier.

Regardless of how you received the goods, one of these accounting documents must be attached to the B2G Form to ensure you paid duties and taxes.

Also, you have to provide proof that the goods were returned to the U.S. seller. Proof can be provided by the seller through a credit note or bill of lading. This will provide CBSA proof the goods were exported and the date of the export.

Attn Online Shoppers, A De Minimis Increase Means More Duty-Free Importing

When Must I Apply For The Refund?

It is important to know your request must be made within one year.

The CRC will strive to process casual refund requests within 30 business days of receipt of your B2G Form and the supporting documentation. If the CRC does not provide a refund by the 91st day, interest will be granted at the prescribed rate for the period up to the day the refund is granted.

During your next online shopping adventure remember you can get refunded on the duty. For more information on the processing of a potential claim you can refer to the CBSA Memorandum D6-2-6.

Need Help Applying For A Customs Refund?
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About Author
Jan Brock

Jan Brock joined Pacific Customs Brokers in 2015 as a Senior Trade Advisor. She retired from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in 2015 after serving more than 37 years. Jan started her career with CBSA as a summer student in 1976 and worked part-time until she graduated from U.B.C. with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1980 . Shortly after graduating from U.B.C. Jan worked full time as an inspector with CBSA and within three years was promoted to Superintendent. She served some time in the Regional Operations office as an Operations Review Officer before she was promoted to Chief of Operations first at the Customs Mail Centre, then in the Metro District as the Commercial Chief and ending her career as a Chief at Pacific Highway Commercial Operations where she served as Chief from 1992 to 2015. During her career she was a member of the Customs Drug Team and a trainer in the National Enforcement Program. Jan also served as the Regional Coordinator Officer Powers and Use of Force for the Pacific Region. Jan served on many Commercial Program Reviews and committees both national and regional during her career and possesses an expansive knowledge of importing and exporting into and from Canada.

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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.