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Importing fish from USA to Canada

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Importing fish from USA to Canada

Post by l_l_l on Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:37 pm

I have been looking at an auction website recently searching for rarer fish that simply cannot be found here.
Unfortunately, most of the sellers there only will ship to local USA..
I am wondering if you guys have any experience bringing in some fish from USA to Canada safely?
I know that one needs to be an authorized fish importer in order to do such a thing..
Do you have contacts, or something that I could start with?
Thanks!
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Re: Importing fish from USA to Canada

Post by Biulu on Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:54 pm

I have not done this myself, but I know of people that have fish shipped to a private address in the US (they don't accept post boxes!) close to the border and then go and pick them up themselves.

If you know people in Vermont.... That is not too far from us.
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Re: Importing fish from USA to Canada

Post by catinthehat on Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:43 pm

I have a mail box in the States and have fish shipped there all the time with no issues. Also have had fish shipped directly to me from the U.S. and Europe with few issues. But remember the shipper will not guarantee your fish if they are held up by customs which is a very good possibility .

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Re: Importing fish from USA to Canada

Post by Biulu on Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:48 pm

When there is a speaker at MAS normally the Burlington club drives him down. Maybe you can arrange something with them?

Another good reason to become a member! Twisted Evil 
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Re: Importing fish from USA to Canada

Post by alexmtl on Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:28 pm

I have personally brought live fish from the US while travelling and I declare them. It takes planning and coordination however it is well worth the effort. Canada Customs has a list of prohibited species on their website so you should research what you are bringing in and openly declare to the Inspection Office. There is no issue if you state that the fish are for your aquarium and not for commercial purposes.

Almost all auction listers will not ship across to Canada as they cannot guarentee life delivery. It is up to the importer to provide the sufficient paperwork for declaration. Usually that means going to the website, filling out the Customs Form from both the US and Canada side. As you can see, the auction lister has better time spent shipping within the US, and not have the hassle of paperwork.

I have called Canada Customs and you should always dutifully declare, noting all species information and purpose. Fines can be significant, in the $thousands, so you should make all reasonable and conscientious effort on your part to declare.

It is not easy, and not always successful to import as their are significant delays while bring processed in Customs. You as the importer, have the responsibility to document, and accept the potentially several days delay as the shipment is bring cleared. I found it's easier to pick up the fish in the US, declare at the border since I can personally present the documents.
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