It is a common misconception that all clothing made in the USA can be imported into Canada duty free. However, the NAFTA agreement only permits garments that wholly originate in a NAFTA country to pass their borders without duty.
If the article of clothing is made from cotton that was grown, milled and woven in the US it qualifies to enter Canada without paying the 18% duty. There are no North American suppliers of polyester or rayon, however, and if there is more than 7% of imported fiber in a garment, it does not qualify. This is called, “The de Minimus Rule” which can be found on Page 15 of this official NAFTA link: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/c-124-eng.pdf. CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) strictly enforces this rule and many unwary importers find themselves faced with terrible consequences.
CBSA can commence on Audit on any importer at any time and demand to see the fabric content of every item imported over the past 5 years. They will then charge duties on all articles of clothing that do not qualify. They can also impose fines and ignorance of the law is not a valid argument. It can be difficult to obtain a Certificate of Origin from American exporters, as they are unaware of NAFTA laws and have no personal consequences. The onus is on the importer to be aware of all the rules concerning the items they are declaring at the border.
Objects of Desire can guarantee that all duties have been paid on the articles of clothing, and you will not be charged any duties when purchasing our products.