duty and taxes are levied at the border at time of import.
Duty fee in general sweeping term is 5%, though it varies depending on what is being imported and where it was manufactured. Items manufactured in the states and mexico might be exempt from the 5% (thank nafta)
You will be taxed with HST which is 13%
They take the declared value and convert it to canadian dollars and then tax it accordingly. Companies may or may not under declare value, most legit places don't because it would be considered mail fraud. Also the declared value is what you will be paid out should the package be damaged, lost or destroyed. Marking an item as gift is no guarantee it will not be taxed.
Depending on the carrier, there is a fee to broker the item through customs duty inspection. Basically someone looks up what is declared on the sheet and what the duty rate is, fills out paperwork and either sends it through or sends it for inspection.
things coming through the mail system I think is 5-8$ per package. fedex and DHL are around 12$ and ups is 35$. This is on top of everything.
Items coming through mail have a good chance of not being hit at all with fees. I believe I'm 0-15 on packages this year in terms of not being taxed. I even got a 700$ item shipped to me from japan by mail that was properly declared and was not taxed when it showed up.
A courier service will charge duties and fees 100% of the time.
Not all packages are opened and inspected either. This is how some people claim they got X prohibited item through without issue. If your package is not taped up with yellow tape that has inspected by CBSA/Canadian Border services agency) your package did not have live eyeballs inside the box and probably passed the xray without a second look.. or a first look.
I futz with V2s, V3s and V6s. I could be wrong... but probably, most likely not, as far as I know.
Last edited by lurkingknight; August 25th, 2016 at 16:56..