What to know about international shopping

by | May 7, 2023 | Travel and Leisure

Spring and summer are a time of new beginnings. For many Canadians that means shopping for new clothes, shoes, vehicles and other necessities of life. If you’re planning a trip across the border or overseas, or simply browsing online stores from a different country, follow these simple suggestions for getting the biggest bang for your buck, safely and legally:

Make sure your source is safe
You might be able to spot a shady bricks-and-mortar store, but when shopping for items online, you should double check where the website is based and understand the currency before checking out. Look for typical signs that the website is secure, such as a padlock or https in the address bar. And compare the claims and product descriptions across international and Canadian sites of the same retailer. If there are differences compared to the Canadian site, this could be fishy.

Watch out for hidden fees
Don’t forget that on top of possible fees for shipping, there may be fees for customs, as well as bank or currency conversion fees. To avoid surprises, always slow down, ask questions and read the fine print before you pay.

Check the rules and regulations
Know the rules for bringing certain products into Canada. For instance, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has very strict rules when bringing a pet to Canada or importing animals for sale or adoption. Importing a dog without the necessary vaccinations and paperwork is not permitted and may result in the animal being denied entry. Furthermore, there may be fines and other legal consequences. That’s to prevent diseases like dog rabies from gaining a foothold here, since dogs are the primary carriers of a strain of the deadly disease.

For more information on the rules and requirements for bringing pets into Canada, visit inspection.gc.ca/pets

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