harps crossing the Canada-US border

Posted In: Coffee Break

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    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #188655

    I have a cautionary tale about new regulations for harps going back to the USA from Canada for repair work, even under warranty. Even though there is not supposed to be any duty applicable, the customs brokers charge you for it anyway unless you have a manufacturer’s affidavit, signed by the president of the harp company. I was expecting a small charge of about $125 for brokers’ fees, as was the case when I bought this harp and brought it into Canada in 2011. Luckily, my VISA card’s algorithms stopped the payment of over $2000 that they tried to charge. This would have included various charges above and beyond their own fees, which are double when the harp goes into the USA, plus about $1600 in duty and taxes. (I had told them it was warranty repair; it didn’t matter.) The headache increased when it turned out that every single officer at Lyon & Healy was on vacation for the whole week, so my harp had to go into the warehouse until they get back and somebody can sign the affidavit. The harp is still waiting in the warehouse, while I fret. The moral of the story is: don’t assume things haven’t changed since the last time. Always call the harp company before you send anything, and make sure that they talk you through everything you need, and get all your documents before the harp leaves your house.

    meredith-kohn-bocek on #188712

    Thanks for this tip, I had a problem when I brought back a harp that had been repaired in Cananda, but luckily they let me go through.

    I just brought my lever harp to Cananda since I wanted to practice while I was there on vacation, I brought the bill of sale from 2012, I was hoping that was enough if I was stopped. I was not stopped. Does anyone know if there are any issues with just bringing a harp over for practice, not performance?

    patricia-jaeger on #189529

    In 1998 I brought my (used) pedal harp into Canada through Blaine, WA in order to experience summer study on harp with Rita Costanzi there, at a camp on Vancouver Island. The customs officials on both sides accepted my story and waved me through without any charge. Things are different now, sadly.

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