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The Most Affordable Shipping Rates from US to Canada

Diana Zheng
January 7, 2021

When it comes to online shopping, Amazon is a powerful platform that no sellers should ignore. It is the leading company when it comes to online sales, and it definitely shows no signs of stopping. It has shipped over 5 billion items worldwide in 2017 and has over 95 million Amazon Prime members. In this article, we’ll talk about affordable shipping rates from US to Canada. 

Amazon is known for shipping internationally to over 100 countries and regions, especially Canada. Canada is a popular shipping destination. It has over $718.5 billion in goods and services trade in 2018. The numbers alone clearly tell us that Canada is one of the US's largest trading partners next to China. 

But, before you try shipping to Canada, you have to be aware of the customs requirements and prohibited items that you need to take note of. You’ll need to properly document your packages and avoid shipping banned items. By doing so, you’ll have a smooth and hassle-free shipment. 

Besides knowing the different documents needed, we know that you’re itching to find out how to ship from US to Canada,and the shipping rates from US to Canada, . Fret not because we’ll tackle everything, especially some of the best shipping carriers that offer standard shipping from US to Canada

To know more about it, read below. 

Canadian Customs Clearance and Paperwork

If you plan to ship to Canada via US Address, your package must first be cleared by Canada’s customs. This means you’ll need to provide the necessary documents to ensure your goods won’t be delayed at the border. Shipping from Canada to US customs fee shall also be checked if you plan to ship packages. By having the required material, you’ll minimize the likelihood of lost time and financial concerns. The documents needed are below:

Bill of Lading (BOL)

Whether you plan to ship domestically or internationally, the Bill of Lading is a document that you’ll need for freight transactions. The BOL is a document where you list the goods you plan to ship.

It is a legally binding document that provides the driver and carrier the details needed to process the shipment and the manner of invoicing. Since it’s a legally binding document, it can be used for litigation. Inaccurate BOL can expose carriers to claims and criminal prosecution.

The Bill of Lading contains the following information:

- Carrier Name

- Date and information about goods 

- Notation of the port of loading and the port of destination

- Terms and conditions 

- Description of the products being shipped (value, count, weight, size, markings/numbers, etc.)

- Name of the consignee

Three bills of lading are issued -- one for the shipper, one for the broker/third party, and one for the consignee. There aren’t restrictions on the number of bills of lading issued; however, it is recommended to issue as many as actually needed for security purposes. 


Canada Customs Invoice (CCI)

The Canada Customs Invoice (CCI) is one of the most important documents needed to ship from the US to Canada. It is not the same with a commercial invoice since you will only need it if you satisfy the criteria stated below. This document also provides details about the shipment, and you can obtain a copy from the carrier before delivery.

These are the criteria before you obtain a CCI. For starters, the commercial shipment must be valued at over $2,500. Second, the delivery should not be classified under HTUSA Chapter 9810. Lastly, the purchase is subject to duties and sales tax.

Commercial Invoice (CI)

A CI is an invoice that provides details about the price, value, and quantity of the good(s) being shipped. One of the few things you should do when filling up the CI is to accurately declare the shipment value. Some shippers undervalue their goods to save money on tariffs and fees. 

Undervaluing the declared goods can pose a problem to both you and the purchaser. The products can be tagged as “do not pass go” by customs, which can cause delays and revenue loss. So, when you’re filling up the details of the commercial invoice, you need to indicate the correct information. Also, one copy goes with the freight, and the second copy is attached to the BOL.

It’s quick to note that any goods worth over $20 shall be subject to tax and duty. The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is 5% and shall be applied to the imported value of the goods. A Provincial Sales Tax (PST) shall be used in British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec or Saskatchewan. 

Shipper’s Export Declaration(SED) / Electronic Export Information (EEI) 

The final form to ship across the Canadian border is the Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED). It is a standard United States government form required for all U.S. exports with commodities valued at US$2,500 or higher. 

If the item exceeds $2,500, an Electronic Export Information form (EEI) must be used. 

A SED serves as a record of U.S. exports and serves as a regulatory document. It is delivered to the exporting carrier and then present to the U.S Customs Service. Usually, you fill out the form, or you can ask your freight forwarder. 

Restricted and Prohibited Items

Before you ship to Canada, you need to check your goods if they’re not in the restricted and prohibited items. You don’t want to encounter any problems when your goods arrive at Customs. Plus, this ensures that there are no additional fees or delays on your shipment. 

For your reference, we created a list of the items prohibited and restricted by customs and the different shipping carriers. Canada also has a secure reference system where you can quickly enter your item and find out if it is restricted or not. 

Restricted Items

Restricted items are not exactly prohibited, but it’s best to keep them out of your shipping package just to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to provide supporting documents for it to be approved. 

  • Firearms and weapons
  • Explosives such as fireworks
  • copyright works such as films
  • currency
  • vehicles
  • dead animals
  • live chicks, parasites, leeches, bees and beeswax
  • Plant or animal-related materials
  • Certain consumer products that potentially endanger the public
  • intoxicating liquors
  • Drugs and other controlled substance
  • Eggs, milk, and other animal-derived foods
  • Root vegetables such as potatoes or onions
  • Tobacco
  • plants, seeds, fruits, bark, plant parts, and soil
  • wheat, straw, bran, chaff, barley and their products
  • diamonds (rough) and other expensive jewelry

Prohibited Items

If an item is prohibited, it means it is strictly not allowed to be imported into Canada. 

The following goods are prohibited for import, and should never be shipped to Canada:

  • Fraudulent or counterfeit products or materials (e.g., lottery tickets, coins, propaganda)
  • Live animals
  • bee-keeping apparatus, used
  • Contraceptive items and materials
  • prison-made goods
  • Chain letters and other literature about fraudulent schemes
  • gold bullion, gold dust or non-manufactured metals
  • corrosives, nuclear substances or oxidizing substances
  • counterfeit coins
  • Used mattresses
  • Second-hand cars and vehicles that do not comply with Canadian standards
  • firearms, weapons, and ammunition
  • Certain chemicals including corrosives, oxidizing and nuclear substances
  • Butter substitutes such as margarine
  • Poisonous or infectious substances
  • obscene, immoral, indecent or lewd matter
  • manufactured goods bearing insufficient markings or origin

Shipping Food to Canada

Food is generally a great gift for our loved ones, especially if a family member lives abroad. However, before shipping it to Canada, you’ll need to accomplish some import permits and certificate of origin. The governing body for this is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 

USPS Shipping Internationally Prohibited and Restricted Items

These items may not be sent from the United States to any country:

  • Aerosols
  • Air Bags
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Dry Ice
  • Explosives
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Gasoline
  • Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
  • Nail Polish
  • Perfumes (containing alcohol)
  • Poisons

Restricted international items include:

  • Cigars
  • Cremated remains 
  • firearms
  • Lithium batteries

FedEx Shipping Internationally Prohibited and Restricted Items

FedEx Cross Border doesn’t ship prohibited and non-approved restricted items. Before shipping to Canada, you may want to check your goods first if it complies with FedEx’s website and Canada’s country-specific list. 

Affordable Shipping Rate from the United States to Canada

To help you out on which affordable shipping carriers to hire, we created a list on which to choose that will work best. 

If your packages are under 4 pounds, consider these affordable shipping rates from US to Canada:

  • USPS - First Class Package International 

Shipping rates start at $12.25, and package delivery takes between 11 to 20 business days. They also offer free tracking information. If you want an affordable shipping rate for your package under 4 pounds, this is a great shipping carrier to consider.  

  • DHL eCommerce - Packet International

Their packet international is perfect for goods that are less than 4 lbs. The usual shipping time is between 4-8 working days, plus they offer milestone tracking for the goods. They also have a simplified postal customs clearance, and DHL manages the documents. 

  • Global Post - Standard International

Global Post Standard International offers to ship small packages to 28 countries in the world. Delivery time is between 6 to 10 days, and there is a $100 coverage included for every package. 

Do you want your parcels to quickly ship to Canada? Try these:

  • DHL Express - Worldwide

With DHL Express-Worldwide, you can expect your shipment to be delivered before the end of the next possible working day. You can keep an eye on your shipments, too, through their Track & Trace tool! 

  • USPS - Priority Mail Express International

For USPS Priority Mail Express International, the delivery time is 3 to 5 days. The flat rate also starts at $45.95. 

If your items are more than 4 pounds, consider these international mail options:

  • GlobalPost Standard International

They can ship your packages up to 200 lbs plus coverage of $100 in the package. The shipping time shall depend on the destination.

  • USPS Priority Mail International

For USPS Priority Mail International, they allow packages of up to 70lbs. Delivery time is between 6 to 10 business days, and it includes insurance of up to $100 for non-negotiable document reconstruction while up to $200 insurance for loss or damage. 

  • DHL Parcel International

The maximum weight is up to 44 lbs, and shipping time is between 3 to 10 business days. 

In Conclusion

Shipping from the US to Canada is truly an easy experience. You just have to make sure that you followed their policies and rules. It will help you save time and money while pleasing your customers. 

But, do you want to know the Cheapest Way to Ship from the US to Canada?

It’s the Stallion Express Way!

Here at Stallion Express shipping packages weighing 2 lbs is only worth $11.27. You’ll find us to be a cheaper alternative to Canada Post. Plus, the delivery time is only 2-4 business days. We offer insurance of $100-$300, and you can integrate your store with us. 

For more details, you can contact us at +1 877-863-7447 or email [email protected]

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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