The ability to bring over prized possessions and relics from a previous life is integral to the Newcomer’s experience. The Canadian immigration system is very accommodating in this regard. Immigrants can import personal belongings like jewellery, clothes, and books duty-free.
This policy is particularly valuable in the Indian context. The 2016 census placed the number of Indian-born immigrants at 668,565 and rising since. According to Immigration.ca, India alone accounted for 96,660 new permanent residents in 2021 (data up to October). The increasing Indian diaspora led to the influx of new cultural practices into the mainstream. Indian cultures have always associated jewellery as more than just a vanity item. It is seen as an indicator of status, an heirloom, an investment and a savings option, among other things.
Jewellery is among the most common items to pass through immigration and customs worldwide. The following article delves into Canada’s laws and regulations regarding personal effects and how you can bring jewellery from India to Canada.
How much does it cost to bring your Jewellery to Canada?
Immigrants can bring jewellery duty-free to Canada as long as it is for personal use.
As an Immigrant, the regulations mentioned under the Memorandum D2-2-1 of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) apply to you. The memorandum details the circumstances and conditions for duty-free import of goods into Canada by a ‘Settler.’
The legislation under Tariff Item No. 9807.00.00 specifies what constitutes ‘goods’ for this purpose. The goods must be for the Settler’s household or personal use and be owned, possessed and used abroad before the Settler arrived in Canada.
Do immigrants fall under the ‘Settler’ definition?
Under Tariff item No 9807.00.00, a Settler is defined as any individual who enters Canada with the intention of establishing a first-time residence for a period not less than 12 months.
It includes permanent and temporary residents coming to Canada for employment and residing for a period exceeding 36 months. If you fall under any of these circumstances, you are a ‘settler.’
What items are duty-free for immigrants under Canadian law?
The Canadian Border Services Agency has the complete list of Items that qualify for import-duty and tax exemption.
Some items covered under this tax and duty-free list are:
- Musical instruments
- Gifts worth $60 or less
- Hobby tools
- Private collections of stamps, coins and art
What items are liable for duties?
According to the IRCC’s portal, you will have to pay duty on the following goods:
- Farm equipment
- Equipment to be used in:
- Vehicles to be used for commercial purposes
- Items brought on the way to Canada and
- Items that are leased or rented
What items are restricted or prohibited?
The Canadian Border Services Agency imposes certain restrictions on the import of certain goods for Safety, health and National security reasons. The complete information is available on the Border Services Agency portal. These items with restrictions and additional protocols include:
- Firearms and weapons
- Food, plants and animals
- Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
- Consumer products
What is the procedure for importing Jewellery from India to Canada?
The form requires a description of your goods, their valuation in Canadian dollars, and the Classification Type, i.e. Settler (tariff item No. 9807.00.00) for newcomers.
How to fill up a BSF186 or B4 form when importing jewellery to Canada?
You are required to observe the following procedures when filling up a BSF186 form:
- Leave the fields marked in grey blank. They are to be filled by the CBSA officials.
- Fill in your name under Importer’s name, a Canadian address under Importer’s address, your Country of origin and Country of Export- Canada.
- Fill in the list of goods you’re importing to Canada- in this case, jewellery and their value in Canadian dollars. A receipt showing how much you paid for the jewellery can be used as proof.
- The CBSA’s guidelines suggest that you use the wording from an insurance policy or jeweller’s appraisal to describe jewellery.
- Include dated photographs that are signed by a jeweller or gemologist.
You are required to carry this document with you during the immigration process, along with your passport, confirmation of PR or other Canadian immigration documents. The officials will refer to this form to determine how much you’ll pay as a duty for your goods.
The article should familiarize you with importing personal jewellery from India to Canada. We suggest you read the IRCC’s manuals and consult immigration experts for more details. Also, feel free to recount your personal experiences or share valuable information that could be helpful to new immigrants in Canada.