Can I ship from Canada to the United States with FedEx?

Can I ship from Canada to the United States with FedEx?

Fedex, with its network of aircraft and vehicles around the world, most certainly operates in Canada and ships parcels from there to the USA

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by Paul Bourque

Apr 08, 2024

Key Points

  • FedEx facilitates shipping from Canada to the USA, but import rules and duties apply.
  • International shipments require proper paperwork and packaging to ensure safe delivery.
  • Secureship simplifies shipping arrangements and offers cost-effective solutions with trusted carriers.
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Can I ship from Canada to the United States with FedEx?

The USA is Canada’s closest neighbour and has been its biggest trading partner for decades. It is estimated that three billion dollars of goods cross the border every day, so it should be no surprise that FedEx – one of the world’s largest and most familiar carriers – has a substantial footprint in Canada. While the US is close by and shipping parcels and goods there has become simpler because of the USMCA (the free trade pact between us, the US, and Mexico), it is nevertheless a foreign country. And as a result, its importation rules for goods may differ from Canada’s.

This blog introduces the reader to some basic details concerning shipping to the USA from Canada such as restricted and prohibited goods, paperwork, and duties and taxes. As well, we will cover preparing the parcel, i.e. how to package it for a safe arrival. And finally, we present Secureship, a Canadian-based shipping broker that helps you find economical shipping options for your shipments to the USA, across Canada, or anywhere internationally.

Table of Contents

  • Shipping to the USA
  • Paperwork and Packaging
  • Secureship
  • Conclusion

Shipping to the USA

Common shipments

The most common items shipped from Canada to the USA (or any other country) are shown below:

  • Documents only
  • Gifts
  • Personal effects (a.k.a. personal belongings)
  • Food, chocolate, and candies
  • Commercial samples
  • Advertising materials
  • Repaired equipment
  • Temporary imports (e.g. for trade shows, conferences, exhibitions)
  • Permanent or sold goods

Low vs. high value shipments

A low value shipment is under $2,500 USD (about $3375 CAD as of April, 2024), and allows for expedited release of goods for the courier industry.

The chart below outlines some of the different requirements for the two types of shipments.

Low value shipments High value shipments
HS codes not required though still recommended Commercial invoice must include the HS code for each line item
Commercial invoice required Required completion of CBP Form 7501
Customs may require duties to be paid before goods are released A bond must be paid to customs to ensure payment of duties

Duties and taxes

The USMCA allows for 0% duties on books, documents, toys, and video games and consoles, and on a number of other imports. However, spirits and wines as well as tobacco products will incur much larger duty fees.

While the USA remains one of the few nations without a value added tax (VAT or GST), goods entering the country may be levied municipal or state taxes up to the value of 7.25%.

Restricted and prohibited goods

Restricted goods may be allowed into the USA if they abide by quantity limitations or health and safety regulations. On the other hand, prohibited items are forbidden to enter the country. A few examples of each are outlined below.

Restricted goods Prohibited goods
Medications Marijuana in any form
Firearms Plants and seeds
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products Goods from a US sanctioned or embargoed country

Paperwork and Packaging

International shipping requires documentation and goods require securing packaging, particularly if the contents are fragile or have great value.


Required documents depend on the shipment and its value; however, there are two documents every shipment must have – the shipping label and commercial invoice.

Shipping label (sometimes called the Bill of Lading):

This states the names and addresses of the sender and recipient, and identifies the courier charged with delivery of the parcel.

Commercial invoice (CI): Akin to a parcel’s passport, it allows entry of the goods into the foreign country from Canada. The CI describes the goods and states their values from which customs officials can assess the goods and apply the relevant duties and associated fees.


A parcel’s journey may involve some manhandling, so it is recommended to follow the practices below when preparing a shipment for any trip:

  • Use a new cardboard box (after one use, a box may have only half of its original strength)
  • For fragile or valuable items: enclose in bubble wrap and pack them a minimum of 5 cm from each other and well away from all sides of the box
  • To seal the box: only apply recommended packing tape; avoid masking or duct tape and string or rope

If your parcel is insured, be sure that you have followed ISTA 3A packaging standards, or the insurance may be invalid in the event of damaged goods arriving to the recipient.


Secureship has been helping its clients save time and money on shipping from Canada to the USA, or indeed worldwide, as well as domestically for 15-plus years. With its easy-to-use online platform, you can quickly find a range of shipping arrangements with FedEx and several other well known carriers (UPS, Purolator) that will suit your budget. The options will also offer a range of arrival times to meet your customer’s expectations.


Fedex, with its network of aircraft and vehicles around the world, most certainly operates in Canada and ships parcels from there to the USA. And though a free trade agreement enables a thriving commercial environment between the two countries, the USA has its own importation rules and applies duties on incoming goods.

To help you find shipping arrangements for your goods and provide information concerning US Customs rules and regulations, consult Secureship. With its intuitive platform and many years of experience, information and advice is available in minutes at your fingertips.

About Secureship

About Secureship

Secureship® offers an online service that helps businesses and organizations ship more efficiently and affordably.

Providing instant price shopping across multiple carriers, Secureship is the best choice for reduced rate shipping. In addition, Secureship offers benefits such as a consolidated shipping system regardless of the carrier you choose, built-in address book, convenient invoicing and shipment management.

Visit our shipping estimate tool to see how much you can reduce your shipping expenses.