Author Topic: Shipping bike from US to Vancouver Canada to start Pacific Coast tour.  (Read 3757 times)

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Offline 2whldriveTim

I'm flying into Vancouver in May to start my ride from Canada to Mexico. Anyone have any advice or experiences shipping through Canadian customs. Don't want my bike to be held up or refused. Should/can I ship it to a LBS, host or hotel? Thanks.

Offline zzzz

Shipping into Banff last year I was assessed something like $170 Canadian on my bike in which the declared value was $3000. I have since heard, but do not know definitively, that if you save your customs receipt you can get that fee refunded at the customs office when you leave. The amount of the customs fee is a bit of a mystery but whoever signs for your box will need to be willing to pay up for you or you will need to send them a check proplahalacticly and work out your change when you get there.

I have always shipped my bike to the LBS because I trust there wrenching ability more that mine. If you have no concerns in that regard you may be better off shipping to a host or hotel as then you don't have to work around the bike shops hours.

Use either ShipBikes or BikeFlights for shipping. The rates they have negotiated are a fraction of what you will pay at the window. They will also provide you w/ all the proper paperwork. Also note that there is a maximum size for your package for international shipping before it falls into another, more expensive, category (sorry, can't remember the dimensions). Depending on how big your bike is it may require quite a bit of dis-assembly to fit in a box that size.

That's what I got.


Offline John Nelson

Another alternative to consider is to fly into Bellingham, Washington and ride up to the border. At Peace Arch, you can cross into Canada with your bike (to make it official) without going through Canadian customs and immigration. If you prefer, you can ride all the way up to Vancouver--you're halfway there anyway at the Peace Arch. If you ride your bike up to Vancouver, there will be no problem with customs. One of the main reasons I flew into Bellingham was not necessarily to save the hassle of Canadian customs and immigration, but that I could find much cheaper flights (for both me and my bicycle) to Bellingham than to Vancouver. And, if you pick your airline well, taking your bike on the plane is no more costly than shipping it. I prefer to put my bike together at the airport and ride out the door. The Bellingham airport is sleepy enough that you can easily find a place to do it.

Offline 2whldriveTim

Thanks John & zzzz for the info!!!

Online adventurepdx

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Where are you shipping the bike from? If it's the US, it would be best to ship to Bellingham like others have said. The shipping would be cheaper, and you'd avoid any duties. If you are shipping from Canada or another country, shipping to Vancouver BC would probably be best.

Offline 2whldriveTim

I'm traveling from the US and flying into Vancouver BC. I've decided to fly with it and avoid any shipping delays or customs issues while not personally present with my bike. Now I just have to pray the airline doesn't damage it.

Offline Calum

So if I understand correctly, if I ship the bike to Vancouver from the US, I have to pay customs duties on the bike (even though I can later get them refunded). But if I fly with the bike to Vancouver from the US, I save myself the hassle of the customs duties. Is that right?

Offline zzzz

Hi Lachlan:

You read my post exactly as I layed it out. But as I mentioned I have only done the bike shipping part, not the travel w bike alternate, and the refunded customs fee I have been told is the case but did not hear about it until after my last trip.

The whole customs business seems to have a lot of discretion. I don't know if they never assess customs on a bike you fly with or ride across the border or rarely do or they are one budget shortfall of instituting a new policy.


Offline DarrenBnYYC

If you travel through Canada with your bicycle (i.e., it is with you when you enter Canada), there is no customs fee. However, if you ship it ahead of you and you are not there to receive it, it could be interpreted as an import into Canada, hence the customs fee.

It is essentially the same process for Canadians travelling through the US by bike, also.

Offline Calum