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Moving Furniture from USA to Canada

Published on 2022-09-23

Moving Furniture from USA to Canada
Moving Furniture from USA to Canada

You are planning on moving furniture from USA to Canada but are not sure how to bring your household goods along with you? As with moving anywhere in the world, there are several things to consider before you arrive in Canada, including what items you should take with you, what is better off leaving behind, duties and tax-free items, and what the most cost-effective way is to transport your belongings. Considerations like customs clearance could prevent you from even getting into the country, which is why working with a professional moving company is so beneficial.

While you can attempt to bring as much of your belongings to Canada in your checked luggage, this isn’t going to work for your furniture and other bulky items. With that said, continue reading as we go through the process and formalities involved in shipping household goods from the USA to Canada. 

How to Move Furniture from USA to Canada?

When it comes to shipping household goods from the USA to Canada, you have two main options: sea freight or air freight. Your choice will ultimately depend on how much stuff you have to move, the urgency of your relocation, and your budget. Overall, here are some of the most important terms and factors that you should be aware of when moving furniture from USA to Canada:

  • Sea Freight vs. Air Freight. Your two primary options when shipping goods to Canada from the US is sea freight or air freight. While air freight is the quickest choice, it can be as much as twelve times more expensive than sea freight. The only drawback to sea freight is that it is, of course, slower.  
  • Full Container Load (FCL) vs. Less than Container Load (LCL). FCL means that your furniture will occupy an entire shipping container. Whereas, with LCL, you will share the space in a container with someone else who is also shipping their stuff to Canada. The main advantage to Less than Container Load is that you also share the costs with the person you’re sharing the container with. Though, you will have to wait until the shipping company fills the rest of the container before your shipment leaves. 
  • Shipping Container Sizes. The standard sizes for shipping containers are 20 feet and 40 feet. Generally speaking, a 20-foot container is large enough to house the contents of a three-bedroom home. A 40-foot container, however, can fit the contents of a five-bedroom house, or a three-bedroom house and a vehicle. 
  • Port-to-port vs. Door-to-door. Port-to-port shipping means that you will be responsible for dropping off your goods at the origin port and then being there when they arrive in Canada. With door-to-door shipping, however, you enjoy the benefit of your moving company packing up your container for you at your home, transporting it, and then unloading everything at your new home in Canada 

With these terms in mind, the following table outlines some average costs to ship goods via sea freight to Canada from the United States. These numbers are based on the contents of a three-bedroom home in a 20-foot container:

RouteAverage CostTrip Duration
Los Angeles to Halifax$2,650 to $2,93017 days
Los Angeles to Vancouver$510 to $5703 days
Los Angeles to Montreal$2,490 to $275019 days
New York to Halifax$450 to $5001 to 2 days
New York to Vancouver$2,575 to $2,85019 days
New York to Montreal$425 to $4704 days

To compare, the table below displays some average costs to ship goods via air freight to Canada from the USA. Keep in mind that there are cargo flights that service Los Angeles. So, if you live on the West Coast, you must opt for sea freight transport. 

RouteAverage CostTrip Duration
New York to Halifax$2,300 to $2,6002 hours
New York to Vancouver$2,300 to $2,6007 hours
New York to Montreal$2,300 to $2,6001 hour

Customs Clearance

All items that are shipped internationally must be cleared for entry by customs in the destination country, and moving furniture from USA to Canada is no exception. In this case, you must declare the value of the goods you are transporting. This is crucial, as the Canadian authorities will use this to calculate how much tax and duty must be applied to said goods. 

Anything valued over $20 CAD is subject to tax and duty, thus, anything under $20 CAD is not subject to taxation. Though, it’s highly likely that your furniture is going to exceed this value. Canada’s Goods and Service Tax (GST) is 5% and will be immediately applied to anything you import that is valued at higher than $20. 

Some Canadian provinces, however, – such as Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Quebec – may also issue a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on your imported goods. Though, this will depend on where you’re headed in Canada.

How to Claim Your Shipped Household Goods in Canada

When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you must present the officer with your completed forms (BSF186 and BSF186A). They will assess the form, complete it, stamp it, and then assign a file number. You will be given a copy of the form as your receipt and to be used for claiming the rest of your goods when they arrive.

Once your household goods have arrived in Canada, you will be notified by your moving company and/or the logistics carrier. Once you are notified, your next step is to head to a customs depot and present them with your stamped Form BSF186A, Personal Effects Accounting Document (list of imported goods).

This form is used for goods that will arrive in Canada separately, either after your arrival or with. The other form (BSF186) is what you should have filled out for the goods that you brought with you to Canada. The BSF186A form must specify the value, make, model, and serial number (where applicable) of all of your goods. If you run out of space on the form, you can attach a separate list. 

The customs office will then compare your copy of the form with the one they have on file. Once successfully matched, they will discharge your goods to you free of taxes and duties. If there is any sort of inconsistency, you may have to pay duties or taxes. At this point, you can arrange to have your moving company pick up your belonging and transport them to your residence in Canada or you can go pick them up yourself. 

Your USA to Canada Furniture Movers

Need help moving furniture from USA to Canada? You’ve come to the right place. Look no further than Three Movers for all your furniture shipping needs, whether it be to Canada or anywhere else in the world. Contact us today to receive your free, no-obligation moving estimate and find out how you could save up to 20% on your upcoming relocation! 

Recommended Article: Movers USA To Canada and Move Cross Border from the USA to Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does it Cost to Moving Furniture from USA to Canada?

The Moving cost depends on different factors such as department size, load volume, time, session, route, and other factors. The Average cost is $1,625 and $7,000.

How can I Migrate to Canada for the Cheapest Price?

Using family sponsorship, moving to Canada is the second highest cost-effective option. Should you have a member of the family who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who resides in Canada, you may request a relative’s sponsorship.

Where can I Live for the Cheapest in Canada?

Do the research and make a moving plan in a proper way. You can get the best and cheapest place in Canada where you can get a job opportunity and raise your family and other benefits. Here are some cheapest places in Canada: Sault Ste, Rimouski, Quebec, Timmins, Cornwall, Quesnel, Bécancour, Sept-Îles, etc.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

Customer Reviews

I just wanted to say thank you so much for the great help with our move. We have so much stuff and I was really worried about being able to take the time off work to pack and get everything moved and unpacked. Three Movers saved the day! Your men showed up and had our house and garage packed fast and even put everything in the precise room at the new house. You saved me a great deal of time and saved my family a lot of money! Thanks so much!

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