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:
- The goods were in fact returned to the sender.
- There is proof the imported goods had duty and taxes.
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.
For Hand Carried Goods:
- CBSA will provide you with a BSF715 Form titled “Casual Goods Accounting Document”
For Mailed Goods:
- Attached to your parcel will be an E14 Form where you can account for all of the duties and taxes
For Goods Delivered by Courier:
- 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.
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 contact us at Pacific Customs Brokers or refer to the CBSA Memorandum D6-2-6.